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Ohio Dominican's Physician Assistant Studies program embraces a holistic approach to the pursuit of excellence in academics, research, clinical practice and community service.
Job opportunities for physician assistants are projected to grow 38 percent from 2012 to 2022. ODU's program prepares you for a successful career in this dynamic field of health care. 

Learn more at an upcoming PA Program Open House

PANCE Pass Rate

Program Features
  • 27-month program with classroom and clinical phases.
  • State-of-the-art PA Program building includes cadaver and simulation labs.
  • Partnerships with clinics and health care centers throughout Ohio.
  • Housing available on campus.
  • Physician Assistant Studies Program

    Admissions Requirements

    View the admissions requirements, including pre-requisites and minimum technical standards.

    View Requirements
  • Physician Assistant Studies

    Application & Cost

    Admission to ODU's PA Program is highly competitive. Learn what steps to take to apply today.

    Apply Today
  • Physician Assistant Studies program


    View the curriculum for the classroom and clinical phases of the program and the course descriptions.

    View Courses
  • About the Program

    ODU's Physician Assistant Studies Program is a vigorous 27-month program that prepares highly educated and compassionate health care professionals for work in the community.

    Didactic Phase

    The didactic (classroom) phase of the program lasts 15 months. Students receive an in-depth study of:

    • anatomy, including cadaver dissection in our on-campus cadaver lab
    • genetics
    • pathophysiology
    • microbiology
    • clinical medicine including internal medicine, family practice, surgery, emergency medicine, women’s health and pediatrics

    Students are also provided Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules training and certification.

    Classroom instruction is reinforced through clinical experiences in various institutions and practices in the Columbus area, beginning the first semester.

    The last semester in the didactic phase will include clinical skill instruction in such areas as:

    • suturing
    • lumbar puncture
    • vascular access
    • splinting
    • operating room techniques
    • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)

    In order to complete the didactic phase and proceed to the clinical phase of the program, the student must successfully complete all didactic course assignments and program assessments, as well as maintain standards of professional behavior.

    Clinical Phase

    Upon completion of the didactic phase, students begin the clinical phase. Students participate in monthly rotations in eight core areas of study:
    • family medicine
    • internal medicine
    • emergency medicine
    • surgery
    • psychiatry/behavioral health
    • primary care
    • women’s health
    • pediatrics
    Additionally, Ohio Dominican PA students may participate in up to two one-month elective rotations. 

    Students will be eligible to graduate upon successful completion of all clinical rotations, assessments and practicals including two Objective Standardized Clinical Examinations (OSCE), as well as attendance at the Clinical Phase Board Review.
  • Why Choose ODU?
    Ohio Dominican's PA Program is designed for individuals committed to helping others through a compassionate and holistic approach to health care.

    ODU's program prepares students in:
    • application of coursework concepts
    • clinical skills
    • critical thinking
    • effective communication
    • professionalism
    • working in the community
    Students enrolled in the Physician Assistant Studies program at Ohio Dominican benefit from the university’s strong liberal arts foundation. To understand the health of the body and improving the health of others requires a true application of the liberal arts approach to draw on foundations in business, ethics and the natural sciences. As a result, Ohio Dominican is uniquely positioned to take a distinctive approach to Physician Assistant Studies. 

    Ohio Dominican was the first university in Central Ohio to offer a Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies, which graduated its first class in Fall 2014. 

    ODU's Fall 2014 PA Program graduates achieved a 98% PANCE pass rate, well above the national average of 94% for first-time takers.

    ODU draws on its strengths as a small university, its many community connections, and its foundation in a contemplative, reflective, ethical understanding of its place in the world. 
  • Graduate Outcomes
    Graduates of Ohio Dominican's MS in Physician Assistant Studies Program are able to:
    • Meet eligibility requirements for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE).
    • Effectively communicate with patients and their families and other health care professionals.
    • Show entry-level proficiencies necessary to provide high-quality primary care in a rapidly changing health care system.
    • Demonstrate attitudes and skills that show their commitment to professional behavior, along with respect for self and others.
    • Provide quality, compassionate and ethical health care services.
    • Become a leader through continued knowledge, growth, research, publication and professional activity.
  • Accreditation

    Ohio Dominican University received accreditation to confer the Master of Science of Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) by Ohio Board of Regents January 10, 2012. The Higher Learning Commission has approved the program as well.

    The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional through 2015 to the Ohio Dominican University Physician Assistant Program, sponsored by Ohio Dominican University. 

    Note: Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status. The status indicates that the plan and resource allocation for the proposed program appear to demonstrate the program's ability to meet the ARC-PA standards, if fully implemented as planned. Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status and is limited to no more than five years for any program

Physician Assistant Studies

Lisa Mergler and Chad Coon share why they chose to pursue their Master's Degree in Physician Assistant Studies at Ohio Dominican University.