Physician Assistant Programs in Connecticut

If you are a Connecticut resident with hopes of becoming a physician assistant, you are in luck! There are several on campus and online PA programs that you can complete without leaving the state. Given that you have choices, you will want to know how to decide which PA program is best for you. This page will help you do just that.


Online PA Programs vs On-Campus Programs in Connecticut

Making a decision between completing a physician assistant program online or on campus requires an understanding of why one format over the other may work best for you. Depending on how predictable your other commitments are, you may want an on campus or synchronous online program that keeps you accountable for showing up to class at specific times during the week. If your schedule is less straightforward, you may view an asynchronous online program as more compelling, as it will allow you to complete deliverables at whatever time works best for you.

Last Updated: 10/26/20

There are two types of online programs that aspiring physician assistants can apply to:


Online PA Programs

Many programs that feature online components will allow students to complete all coursework online, making them fully online programs. Many online programs will also allow students to complete clinical requirements right in their communities, so that they can complete most of their degree from where they live. Some online programs may require minimal on campus requirements, such as short immersion experiences where hands on skills are learned.


Hybrid PA Programs

Some programs will allow students to complete some of their coursework online, but will also require that some on campus classes be taken. These programs are considered hybrid due to their blend of online and in classroom learning. While they generally don’t offer the same level of flexibility that online programs can offer, they can still provide extra breathing room to those who believe it will be a hassle to get to campus for all of their classwork. This model is also thought to be beneficial for those who want some of the benefits of online learning while being able to interact with professors and peers some of the time.


Physician Assistant Program Online Learning Formats

When choosing between online programs you will want to consider the format of the online classes. Some programs will fall under what is known as synchronous learning – meaning that despite the lack of a real classroom students are still meeting at a specific time to view a live lecture or interact with their peers in real time. Synchronous learning can help keep students engaged as it facilitates discussion, and can sometimes allow you to see your peers’ faces (and they can see yours!). There are also asynchronous programs, which do not bring students and professors together at specific times. Instead, asynchronous learning is done at whatever time works best for each student, so long as deadlines are adhered to. If your life doesn’t follow a set schedule each week – asynchronous learning may offer you the flexibility that you need.

If you are looking for an on campus physician assistant program, Connecticut has got you covered. With on campus programs, all classwork is completed in a traditional classroom, where you commute to campus and have the traditional experience. Typically, clinical requirements are completed in the community. For those who learn best in person or want the maximum level of interaction with their peers, on campus learning may be the right choice.


How Long do Physician Assistant Programs Typically Take to Complete?

Your typical Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) degree can take 2.5 to 4 years to complete (PA programs are approximately 27 months, according to American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)). This time frame includes any clinical requirements that you need to meet in order to earn your degree, as well as the classroom requirements. Other program options, such as programs for those who are already physician assistants but do not hold a master’s degree, may take only a year to complete.


Online Physician Assistant Programs Available to Connecticut Students

The following online physician assistant programs are available to students in Connecticut. Note that some of these options are for students who are already certified PAs but do not hold a master’s degree:

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)
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.


On Campus PA Programs in Connecticut

The following physician assistant programs can be found on Connecticut campuses. There are campuses all over the state.

Program City Time to Complete GPA Requirement
Quinnipiac University Hamden 27 months 3.2
Sacred Heart University Fairfield 27 months 3.0
University of Bridgeport Bridgeport 28 months 3.0
University of St. Joseph West Hartford 28 months 3.0


General Tips on How to Become a Physician Assistant in Connecticut

To become a physician assistant in Connecticut, 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 Connecticut Department of Public Health 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 Connecticut requires graduation from an accredited bachelor and physician assistant program, passage of the PANCE exam, and current certification by the National
  4. Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). This is a high-level overview, make sure to check out Connecticut’s state board for exact requirements.