Physician Assistant Programs in Louisiana

Four schools offer physician assistant degree programs in Louisiana –  Louisiana State University (LSU) New Orleans, LSU Shreveport, Our Lady of the Lake College, and Xavier University of Louisiana. Louisiana residents also have some online options at their disposal that allow them to attend an out of state school without relocating. This guide aims to help understand what kind of program is best for you.

Online PA Programs vs On-Campus Programs in Louisiana

The best physician assistant program depends on what your needs are. Needs are based on both personal preferences and situational needs. For example – it may be your personal preference to learn in an on campus environment so that a classroom may provide you with structure or eliminate distractions, or it may be your personal preference to eliminate commute time and learn online in the comfort of your living room. There preferences become situational needs when your schedule demands it – for instance if the convenience of online learning is actually a requirement due to what the rest of your life and schedule allows.

Last Updated: 1/12/21

On Campus PA Programs in Louisiana

Programs that are conducted on campus require students to report to the classroom several times during the school week for class. In this sort of situation – students typically live by campus and make friendships with fellow students that extend beyond the classroom – classmates may often become an important part of each other’s social life. Beyond coursework, on campus programs require the completion of the clinical hours that are essential for becoming licensed. These clinical requirements are often completed at a placement site in the community surrounding the university.

Online PA Programs

Online programs take the classroom online – either through live video classes, pre recorded lectures, or other methods (discussed later). This allows students to save commuting time and earn a degree in the comfort of home. While classes may be completed online, there is no online substitute for clinical experience. Luckily, many online programs cam place students in sites that are in their own communities (check with the schools you are applying to about what they can do). Your program may also require you to go to campus a couple of times for special in person events and deliverables, but any more than twice a year would mean that the program is more of a hybrid than online program. Make sure the programs you apply to do not require you to travel more than you are able to.

Hybrid PA Programs in Louisiana

There are currently no accredited hybrid PA programs in Louisiana, though you may decide to relocate to attend one. With hybrid programs, either some entire classes are offered online, or parts of classes. Some coursework will be completed in person.

Physician Assistant Program Online Learning Formats

Online programs are delivered in one of two formats – either exclusively or through a mix of the two delivery methods. It is not always obvious on a program’s website how online coursework is delivered, so always check with the schools you are applying to:

  • Synchronous learning is anything that involves interaction with professors or peers, and that requires you to attend class or deliverables in real time because of this.
  • Asynchronous learning is anything that is not done at a specific time, and therefore a student may complete the work or view the lecture on their own time.

How Long do Physician Assistant Programs in Louisiana Typically Take to Complete?

PA programs are approximately 27 months, as stated by the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA). This goes for those who are not currently physicians assistants. There are some PAs who were able to become PAs before a master’s was required, and if they are earning their master’s after the fact, they enroll in special programs just for them.

Online Physician Assistant Programs Available to Louisiana Students

The following online physician assistant programs are available to students in Louisiana. Note that some of these options are bridge programs for current PAs:

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 Louisiana

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

Program City Time to Complete GPA Requirement
LSU New Orleans New Orleans 29 months 3.0 in science coursework
LSU Shreveport Shreveport 27 months 3.0
Our Lady of the Lake College Baton Rouge 28 months 3.0
Xavier University of Louisiana New Orleans 28 months Unknown

General Tips on How to Become a Physician Assistant in Louisiana

To become a physician assistant in Louisiana, here are some common steps. Be sure to check with the state licensing agency for specific state requirements:

  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 Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners 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 Louisiana requires graduation from an accredited physician assistant program and passage of the PANCE exam. Current certification by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) is not required. This is a high-level overview, make sure to check out Louisiana’s state board for exact requirements.