Physician Assistant Programs in Michigan

Michigan is home to seven different physician assistant (PA) programs – from Eastern Michigan University to Western Michigan University, you have options throughout the state if you are trying to earn your degree in the Great Lake State. But wait, there’s more! Michigan residents may be able to also complete their PA degree digitally through programs throughout the country that are offering an online option. This resource will discuss all of the options you have when looking to earn a PA degree in the state of Michigan.

Online PA Programs vs On-Campus Programs in Michigan

The best physician assistant program for you may be different than one best for another student. What makes one program good for one individual may be what makes it inconvenient or less ideal for another. For example, if you think that you retain more information when you sit in an actual classroom, you may believe you will get more out of an on campus degree. However, if you lead a busy life and don’t have time to commute to campus, an online program may be a godsend, especially if you feel that you learn better in the comfort of your own home!

If you are looking for a program that allows you to socialize with your peers, you may consider an on campus program as there is more face time and everyone is close by geographically. For those who like but don’t need this aspect of the experience – you may be surprised by the kind of connections you can forge through some online programs.

Whether you are considering an on campus or online experience, you will need to consider that each program is unique in how it is structured and scheduled. You may want to ask the programs you are interested in about when classes usually meet and how much flexibility you have in creating your schedule.

Last Updated: 6/22/21

On Campus PA Programs in Michigan

As mentioned before, there are seven institutions offering on campus programs in Michigan. As expected with all on campus programs, students report regularly to campus to attend classes in these instances. In addition to the classes, there are also clinical requirements that are completed in person, but typically these are completed at an off campus placement site in the community.

On campus programs provide structure with their specific attendance requirements throughout the week. They also allow for in person socialization and befriending your peers in real life.

Not interested in on campus learning? An online program might be for you.

Online PA Programs

Online programs may offer you a level of convenience that on campus programs just can’t compete with. Because you are attending class on your computer, you do not need to commute to class which can be a big time saver – particularly if you live far from a campus. While you will likely need to show up to clinical placements in person, you may be able to complete them locally in your community – ask any programs you are interested in if they support you in securing local placement sites.

Another way online PA programs may offer flexibility is through asynchronous learning. Some programs allow students to complete courses on their own time through media such as prerecorded lectures and other activities that don’t require logging in at a specific time. While some people prefer logging into attend class when the professor is actively lecturing, this added convenience may be essential for some. 

Hybrid PA Programs in Michigan

A hybrid program splits coursework requirements between campus and online. This kind of program is not currently being offered on any Michigan campuses.

Physician Assistant Program Online Learning Formats

Programs are offered either synchronously, asynchronously, or through a mix of both of these formats:

  • Synchronous – real time learning where everyone in the class logs on at the same time (for example a live lecture delivered by a professor via webcam)
  • Asynchronous – offline learning completed at one’s convenience (for example a pre recorded lecture)

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

A master’s program may take between two and a half and four years to complete for those who are not already physician assistants (PA programs are approximately 27 months, according to American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)). Bridge programs, which are designed for those who became PAs before a master’s was required, may take less time.

Online Physician Assistant Programs Available to Michigan Students

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

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.

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 Michigan

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

Program City Time to Complete GPA Requirement
Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant 27 months 3.0
Concordia University Ann Arbor Ann Arbor 27 months 3.2
Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti 24 months 3.0
Grand Valley State University Allendale Charter Township 28 months 3.0
University of Detroit Mercy Detroit 2 years 3.0
Wayne State University Detroit 24 months 3.0
Western Michigan University Kalamazoo 24 months None

General Tips on How to Become a Physician Assistant in Michigan

To become a physician assistant in Michigan, 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.

Get Licensed – Check with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs 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 Michigan 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 Michigan’s state board for exact requirements.