Physician Assistant Programs in Ohio

The number of accredited on campus physician assistant (PA) programs available on Ohio campuses runs into the double digits. Still, those who want to stay in state as they complete their PA training may be interested in additional options, such as online learning. The availability of online programs not only adds to the range of programs that students can apply to, but offers unique benefits such as the ability to attend class from home. This guide was designed to help you navigate all of these choices by figuring out what kind of programs might be best for you – the answer is different for everyone!

Online PA Programs vs On-Campus PA Programs in Ohio

You will want to start your program search by thinking about what kinds of programs can fit into your life to begin with. If you are juggling many responsibilities at home, for example, you may not be able to attend a physician assistant program that has you on campus during most weekdays. Eliminating programs that don’t gel with your schedule is an easy way to narrow your search. Ask yourself these questions:

If and when could I be on campus for class? Do I have time to be on campus regularly during the week? Is transporting myself to class easy? Will added commute time cut into my other obligations?

What other obligations do I have? Am I busy or free at the same times each week? Would it help me to have the flexibility to attend class when I want, even if I lose the benefits of live interaction?

After you figure out what simply will or won’t work with your schedule, you may want to start considering your learning preferences. Think about what your optimal learning environment is by asking yourself these questions:

  • How do I focus best? In a classroom? At home? Under what circumstances am I least distracted?
  • Do I need to separate school from home?
  • Would I benefit from the convenience of learning at home?

Last Updated: 8/23/21

On Campus PA Programs in Ohio

There are a number of campuses offering physician assistant degrees all over the state of Ohio. Though these programs may differ in a variety of ways, there are some parts of the experience that will be the same no matter what campus you end up on. For one, you will be going to campus on a regular basis to attend class, where you will attend lectures and converse with your professors and peers. You will also report to clinical placement sites, most likely not on campus but in the community surrounding the university, to complete clinical requirements. These critical real world experiences are an essential part of any PA program, whether or not it is a campus based program.

Those looking for added flexibility or a different kind of experience may want to think about an online program.

Online PA Programs

With modern technology, the availability to attend physician assistant programs online is an additional possibility. With online programs, students may not need to report to campus to go to class because they can go on their computer and login to a live or prerecorded virtual class. This convenience isn’t just nice – for some it is the difference between being able to fit earning a PA degree into their schedule and not. With online PA programs come varying levels of flexibility – some may follow a very similar schedule to an on campus program, just from the comfort of home. Others may allow you to have more control over when you view lectures. If you are attending a program with live online classes, you may not have the maximum level of flexibility but you may be able to keep some of the benefits of in person learning, such as interaction with students and professors

With online programs, you will still need to report in person to clinical placement sites. Real world experience simply can’t be gained online. The online programs you are interested in may help you secure placement sites close to your home – make sure to figure out exactly how much help you can expect to get from each program you are interested in.

Hybrid PA Programs in Ohio

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

Physician Assistant Program Online Learning Formats

Online programs are typically delivered in one or two ways (or via a mix of both of the different ways):

  • Synchronous- any live delivery. Students login at a specific time to attend a live class via webcam or other live deliverables.
  • Asynchronous- any deliverable that can be completed on one’s own time (adhering to any due dates) and that does not require live participation.

How Long Do Physician Assistant Programs in Ohio Typically Take to Complete?

PA programs are approximately 27 months, according to the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), however specific length varies and may range from as little as two years to four years or longer. If a licensed PA who entered the field before a master’s degree was required for licensure goes back to school, the bridge program they complete may take less time than a typical master’s in physician assistant studies.

Online Physician Assistant Programs Available to Ohio Students

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

On Campus PA Programs in Ohio

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

Program City Time to Complete GPA Requirement
Baldwin Wallace University Berea 24 months 3.0
Case Western Reserve University Cleveland 27 months 3.0
Kettering College Kettering 27 months 3.0
Lake Erie College Painesville 27 months 3.2
Marietta College Marietta 26 months 3.0
Mount Saint Joseph University Cincinnati 27 months 3.0
Ohio Dominican University Columbus 27 months 3.0
Ohio University Athens 27 months 3.0
University of Dayton Dayton 27 months 3.0
University of Findlay Findlay 28 months 3.0
University of Mount Union Alliance 27 months 3.0

General Tips on How to Become a Physician Assistant in Ohio

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