Physician Assistant Programs in Missouri

Missouri has just four accredited physician assistant degree programs on campuses in the state – from Saint Louis University in Saint Louis to University of Missouri in Kansas City. In addition to these choices, there are several online programs that Missouri residents may be able to complete while staying local. You may choose to apply to mainly on campus programs, online programs, or a mixture of both. This guide will give you more information about the various options so that you can choose the program that is best for you.

Online PA Programs vs On-Campus Programs in Missouri

The “best” physician assistant program means something different for everyone – this is because different people have different schedules and learn in different ways. The key is determining what the best program for you is. If you are looking for the structure that comes with reporting to the classroom for lectures, an on campus program may be a good choice for you. If you are looking for more convenience and flexibility, an online PA degree program may help you shave off commute time or even eliminate the need to attend class at a specific time.

Last Updated: 6/23/21

On Campus PA Programs in Missouri

As mentioned previously, there are four institutions in the state of Missouri that offer PA programs on their campuses. In these instances, students attend class in the classroom on a regular basis. They interact with peers and the professor face to face in real life. In addition to coursework, students are required to complete clinical requirements, which may mean reporting to a clinical placement site in the community (this is required for online students as well).

While four programs means you have some options to choose between, you may be looking for additional programs to apply to or for a whole different learning experience altogether. If this is the case, you may want to consider online PA programs.

Online PA Programs

Since online programs are delivered digitally, the need to commute to class is eliminated and you maybe able to show up to class from the convenience of your own home or wherever else you are. You may not be in the same physical room as your classmates and professors, but you can still interact with them through email, chat, and even during live classes via webcam if that is how your classes meet. Or, if your schedule does not permit you to make it to class at specific times, you may be able to find an asynchronous program that allows you to view pre recorded lectures whenever it works best for you. Clearly there is a lot of variation between online programs – it is important to do your research to find the ones that best fit your needs.

Online students still need to complete clinical requirements in person, but this may be done locally depending on the program. Ask the programs you are considering where they place students and if and how they can assist you in finding local placement sites.

Hybrid PA Programs in Missouri

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

Physician Assistant Program Online Learning Formats

Online coursework is delivered in either a synchronous or asynchronous format. Some programs will utilize both of these delivery methods.

  • Synchronous – live requirements that students log in for or attend in real time
  • Asynchronous – lectures or materials that can be accessed at a student’s convenience

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

There is a range in how long it takes to complete a master’s in physician assistant studies (MPAS) – it may take between two and a half and four years (PA programs are approximately 27 months, according to American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)). Those who have undergraduate degrees in PA studies from when before a master’s was required may be interested in bridge programs, which take less time to complete.

Online Physician Assistant Programs Available to Missouri Students

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

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

Program City Time to Complete GPA Requirement
Missouri State University Springfield 24 months 3.0
Saint Louis University Saint Louis 27 months 3.0
Stephens College Columbia 27 months Unknown
University of Missouri – Kansas City Kansas City 29 months 3.0

General Tips on How to Become a Physician Assistant in Missouri

To become a physician assistant in Missouri, 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 Missouri Advisory Commission for 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 Missouri 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 Missouri’s state board for exact requirements.