Master of Science

Physician Assistant Studies

Ohio Dominican's Physician Assistant Studies program embraces a holistic approach to the pursuit of excellence in academics, research, clinical practice and community service.

Physician Assistant Studies Program

Admissions Requirements

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

View Requirements

Physician Assistant students run patient simulations in our state of the art lab.

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

PA students studying in ODU's PA simulation lab.

Ohio Dominican's PA Program is designed for individuals committed to helping others through a compassionate and holistic approach to health care.

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.

ODU's program prepares students in:

  • application of coursework concepts
  • clinical skills
  • critical thinking
  • effective communication
  • professionalism
  • working in the community

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 PA Program Class of 2023 graduates achieved a 96% PANCE pass rate for first-time exam takers, above the national average of 92% for first-time takers. To date, 100% of ODU PA Program alumni have passed the PANCE.

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.

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. 

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.

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 seven core areas of study:
  • family medicine
  • internal medicine
  • emergency medicine
  • surgery
  • psychiatry/behavioral health
  • women’s health
  • pediatrics
Additionally, Ohio Dominican PA students may participate in up to four one-month non-core 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.

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Ohio Dominican University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Ohio Dominican University. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.

Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be September 2025. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

The program’s accreditation history document can be accessed on the ARC-PA website by clicking here.


Ohio Dominican University’s Physician Assistant program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). ODU graduates who complete the Master of Science in Physician Assistant studies program are eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).   Ohio Dominican University’s Physician Assistant program satisfies the academic requirements for those credentials and licensure as set forth by the State Medical Board of Ohio.  

Requirements for licensure and/endorsement eligibility can vary from state to state.                

The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) has a concise breakdown of the requirements for licensure in all 50 states at the following:

The NCCPA provides a directory of state licensing boards at the following:

For students who wish to practice in a state other than Ohio, please contact the appropriate program director/advisor to discuss if you will need to satisfy additional requirements in that state. 

To find out whether a program satisfies requirements from your home state, please visit the ODU Licensure & Certification Programs and State Requirements page.

ODU Physician Assistant Simulation Lab

Students in Ohio Dominican University's Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program share how important ODU's Simulation Lab is to their training to become a PA.