Physician Assistant Programs in Nebraska

There are four accredited physician assistant programs that can be completed on Nebraska campuses – Creighton University, College of Saint Mary, University of Nebraska Medical Center, and Union College all have offerings. You may choose to apply to multiple programs to give yourself the best chance of getting into PA school and better yet, having options to choose from. For those who want to expand their options without leaving Nebraska or for whom an on campus program does not work well for, there are several online options to consider as well. This guide will introduce you to all of your options and help you figure out how to determine what kinds of programs are best for you.

Online PA Programs vs On-Campus Programs in Nebraska

When selecting the physician assistant program that best fits your needs, you will likely put a premium on a unique set of factors that are most important to you – it is important to determine what variables have the biggest impact on your ability to complete a degree to the best of your ability. Most students are familiar with the on campus experience and know what to expect when walking into the classroom. For some, this classroom is an important place that fosters learning and is free of distractions. For others, the idea that they can complete a degree without needing to report to campus or sit in class is very appealing or even necessary, and potentially a better fit for their learning style. Think about how you learn best and which of these options best complements that.

Last Updated: 7/22/21

On Campus PA Programs in Nebraska

As previously noted, Creighton University, College of Saint Mary, University of Nebraska Medical Center, and Union College are the on campus PA programs available in the state of Nebraska. As with any on campus program, students report to these campuses to go to class and complete their degree. For clinical placements, students report to clinical sites in order to gain real world experience in the field. Often, these sites are in the community surrounding the university.

In addition to these on campus options, there are several online physician assistant programs that aspiring PAs can apply to. The availability of these programs expands options for those who want to stay local as they complete their degree.

Online PA Programs

With an online program, courses are offered digitally which allows you to attend class or view required coursework materials from wherever you are. Because you don’t have to travel to class, you may save a bunch of commute time by attending an online program. Some people find that they may learn better in the comfort of home – every person is different! For students who need the maximum level of flexibility, some online programs may be delivered in a format that allows students to view lectures on their own time, which means they may be able to attend class at their own convenience as they lead an already busy life.

No matter what kind of program a student enrolls in, clinical placement needs to be completed in person as it is meant to provide real world experience. Check with the online programs you are interested in to see if they can provide you with placements that are local to where you live, and what level of assistance they can offer you in setting up those experiences.

Hybrid PA Programs in Nebraska

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

Physician Assistant Program Online Learning Formats

Online programs may be delivered in an asynchronous or synchronous format, or a mixture of both:

  • Synchronous – real time delivery where students complete virtually delivered requirements or attend class on a set schedule
  • Asynchronous – anything that can be completed at a student’s convenience (as long as due dates are adhered to)

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

A master’s in physician assistant studies (MPAS) might be as short as two and a half or as long as four years (PA programs are approximately 27 months, according to American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)). It may take less time to complete a bridge program, which is an unaccredited program for PAs that became licensed before a master’s was required.

Online Physician Assistant Programs Available to Nebraska Students

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

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

Program City Time to Complete GPA Requirement
Creighton University Omaha 28 months 3.0
College of Saint Mary Omaha 24 months 3.0
University of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha 28 months 3.0
Union College Lincoln 33 months 3.0

General Tips on How to Become a Physician Assistant in Nebraska

To become a physician assistant in Nebraska, 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 Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services 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 Nebraska 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 Nebraska’s state board for exact requirements.