Physician Assistant Programs in Arizona

There are a few schools in Arizona offering on campus physician assistant programs – A T Still University, Midwestern University Glendale, and Northern Arizona University. Because choices are limited, those looking to complete a physician assistant (PA) degree in state may also be interested in online options as a way to increase the number of choices that they have and benefit from flexible options at the same time. This guide will help you evaluate which physician assistant programs offered in Arizona are right for you.

Online vs On Campus Physician Assistant Programs in Arizona

When choosing between completing your physician assistant (PA) program in person or online, it is good to think about each option’s unique benefits. If you are looking for scheduling flexibility, you can probably obtain that with an online program – with options that provide advantages from cutting commute time to allowing you to choose when to do your work. If you feel like the classroom is the best place for you to learn, you may opt for a traditional campus.

Last Updated: 12/21/20

Fully Online PA Programs vs Hybrid PA Programs

Aspiring physician assistants can apply to various types of online programs:

Online PA Programs

If you are looking for a program that allows you to skip the commute to the classroom, an online PA program is what you need. These programs allow you to complete all of your coursework online. Clinical components – which are an essential part of a PA degree that cannot be done online – are typically completed in one’s own community rather than near campus, to allow students to complete the degree without moving. A couple of campus trips may be required by an online program.

Hybrid PA Programs

Hybrid PA programs are similar to online programs, but do require that some of the coursework is completed in person on a traditional campus. Because of this, students do need to live near campus in order to attend a hybrid program. While not offering the full flexibility benefits of an online program, hybrid programs still do offer some reduction in commuting, and online components by be flexible in when you complete them. Hybrid programs are great for those who want to reap some of the benefits of online school while still enjoying a traditional campus experience.

Arizona Physician Assistant Program Online Learning Formats

There are two main types of delivery for online PA programs:

  • Synchronous – Classes are held at specific times. This allows students and professors to tune in simultaneously to engage in discussion as they learn. Synchronous delivery can range from a live chat discussion to live classes delivered via video where everyone shows up via webcam!
  • Asynchronous – Classes are not held at any specific time. Students work with pre recorded lectures and complete deliverables at whatever time works best for them, before the work is due of course.

 

Some online PA programs will blend elements of both synchronous and asynchronous learning.

How Long do Physician Assistant Programs Take to Complete?

Including clinical requirements, it typically takes between two and three and four years to complete a physician assistant program.

Typical Online Physician Assistant Programs Available to Arizona Students

The following online physician assistant programs are available to students in Arizona. Note that these are masters program options for students who are not already physician assistants:

Fully online PA programs

If you wish to become a PA, here are eight physician assistant programs that are completely online. Some require you to be online at scheduled times for certain classes, discussions or exams; others do not. Some also require you to be NCCPA certified in order to apply.

School Degree level Live classes On-campus requirements Length of program Accreditation
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

 

Doctor of science in physician- assistant studies (DScPAS) No None 3 years, but accelerated program is two years ARC-PA accreditation
Pace University

 

MPAS for already- certified PAs No None 12 months N/A (program for already certified PAs)
Stony Brook/SUNY

 

MPAS Some None 24 months ARC-PA accreditation
Touro College

 

MPAS for already- certified PAs No None 12 months N/A (program for already certified PAs)
University of Nebraska – Medical Center

 

MPAS for already-certified PAs, or MPAS/MPH dual No None Five semesters N/A (program for already certified PAs)
University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley

 

MPAS for already- certified PAs No None 28 months N/A (program for already certified PAs)
University of Wisconsin – Madison

 

MPAS Some First summer semester / 12 weeks 36 months ARC-PA accreditation

1ARC-PA probation is a temporary accreditation status for programs that are making substantial progress toward all accreditation standards but need more time to become compliant.

2ARC-PA provisional means that a program has the plans and resources needed to meet all accreditation standards but has not yet enrolled students; or that a program is demonstrating progress toward the standards as it prepares for its first graduating class.

Hybrid physician assistant programs

Here are three hybrid physician assistant programs, all of which require a combination of online and on-campus work. 

School Degree level Live classes On-campus requirements Length of program Accreditation
Miami Dade College

 

MDC-PA, M.H.Sc. Some All clinicals are in Florida 27 months ARC-PA accreditation
University of North Dakota MPAS Some 15 weeks 24 months ARC-PA accreditation

On Campus PA Programs in Arizona

The following physician assistant programs can be found on Arizona campuses. 

Program City Time to Complete GPA Requirement
A.T. Still University Mesa 26 months 2.5
Midwestern University Glendale Glendale 24 months 3.0
Northern Arizona University Flagstaff 24 months 3.0

General Tips on How to Become a Physician Assistant in Arizona

To become a physician assistant in Arizona, here are some common steps:

  1. Earn your Physician Assistant Degree – This will take you about two to three and a half years. Look for physician assistant programs accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) to ensure you meet certification requirements in the future.
  2. Pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) – You can learn more about the PANCE on our guide to becoming a physician assistant.
  3. Get Licensed – Check with the Arizona Regulatory Board of Physician Assistants as early as possible to make sure you are on track to meet all current requirements for licensure. According to the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), licensure in Arizona requires graduation from an accredited bachelor and physician assistant program and passage of the PANCE exam. Current certification by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) is also required. This is a high-level overview, but please make sure to check out Arizona’s state board for exact requirements.