Physician Assistant Programs in Mississippi

Mississippi has just two accredited physician assistant degree program offered in the state – at Mississippi College and Mississippi State University – Meridian. Often, those who are applying to PA school apply to multiple programs so that they improve their chances of getting into a program. Luckily, for those who want to stay in state, there are online programs offered by campuses throughout the country that Mississippi students may be able to apply to without having to worry about relocating to attend class. This guide will educate you on all of your options so that you can make an informed decision on which programs to apply to.

Online PA Programs vs On-Campus Programs in Mississippi

Because everyone learns differently and has a different schedule, individuals will value different factors when selecting the physician assistant program that is right for them. Many people strongly associate earning a degree with an on campus experience, and reporting to class in person on a regular basis may very well work for them. However, others who have less flexible schedules and who juggle other responsibilities may be more interested in other options that allow them to attend class where and possibly when it is most convenient for them. Online classes may be appealing to this group because they cut commute time and allow you to attend class wherever you are. For the busiest of people, some programs may allow you to attend class via pre-recorded lectures so that you may be able to do it on your own time.

Last Updated: 6/23/21

On Campus PA Programs in Mississippi

As mentioned previously, Mississippi College and MSU – Meridian are the only institutions in Mississippi that offer an on campus physician assistant degree program. For these program, students report to campus regularly to attend class, as they would for any other kind of on campus program. Additionally, students report to clinical placement sites to gain experience in the field for the clinical component of their degrees.

With only one program in the state, it may seem like there are not many options for those who want to become a PA but not relocate for school. Thankfully, there are also several online physician assistant programs to consider!

Online PA Programs

Online programs are delivered virtually which means you may be able to complete the program from wherever you are. This can potentially save a bunch of commute time. Also, if you prefer to learn in the comfort of home, an online program gives you the opportunity to do just that! While online programs all differ in format, some may allow you to view lectures on your own time. While this may take away the ability to ask a professor questions during class and communicate with peers, it may be essential for those who need flexibility when fitting a degree into their busy lives.

For clinical requirements, an online program may be able to set you up with a placement site local to you. Always make sure to ask the online programs you are applying to where you can complete placements and how much assistance they will offer you in securing one.

Hybrid PA Programs in Mississippi

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

Physician Assistant Program Online Learning Formats

Online coursework is delivered in one of two formats – synchronous or asynchronous. Some programs will deliver course lectures and material both ways.

  • Synchronous – requires interacting with a class or activity at a specific time
  • Asynchronous – is not live and can be completed at one’s convenience

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

A master’s in physician assistant studies (MPAS) may take as little as two and a half and as much as four years to complete (PA programs are approximately 27 months, according to American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)). Bridge programs, which are unaccredited programs that further train PAs who got their degree when only a bachelor’s was required, may not take as long.

Online Physician Assistant Programs Available to Mississippi Students

The following online physician assistant programs may be available to students in Mississippi. 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)
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 Mississippi

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

Program City Time to Complete GPA Requirement
Mississippi College Clinton 30 months 3.0
Mississippi State University – Meridian Meridian 29 months 3.0

General Tips on How to Become a Physician Assistant in Mississippi

To become a physician assistant in Mississippi, 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 Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure 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 Mississippi 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 Mississippi’s state board for exact requirements.