Physician Assistant Programs in Texas

Several schools offer master’s of physician assistant (PA) programs in the state of Texas. There are different places across the state where students can go to PA school at a traditional college campus. Additionally, there are online programs that Texans can complete without leaving the Lone Star State. This guide will help you tackle the journey of determining which Texas physician assistant program options may be best for you.

Online vs On Campus Physician Assistant Programs in Texas

When deciding whether to complete your physician assistant (PA) program in person or online, you should think about what you need from a program in order to be successful. You may not have a schedule where you can attend class at the same time every week and therefore may be best served by an online option that allows you to complete coursework on your own time. You may get distracted at home, in which case you may want to read up on available campus programs.

 

Anyone looking to save time – whether it be through limiting commuting time to campus or being able to complete coursework at the times best for you – could consider online programs. These programs offer varying degrees of flexibility, described later on in this article.

Last Updated: 12/21/20

Fully Online PA Programs vs Hybrid PA Programs

Aspiring physician assistants can apply to various types of online programs:

Online PA Programs

As hinted at by the name, an online program is one that is completed online instead of on campus. For physician assistant programs, this means courses are completed online, while the more hands on, clinical components are completed in person, but typically somewhere in your community rather than by the school’s campus. This allows you to complete the program without having to travel to campus – though you may be required to go to campus just a handful of times throughout the program. Any more than this would make the program a hybrid program.

Hybrid PA Programs

With hybrid components, a chunk of the classwork is completed online, but there are also more on campus requirements – whether it be that some courses are in person, all courses are partially in person, or there are too many other kinds of on campus requirements to consider the program truly online. Because one must be on campus with some frequency, it is important to live near campus to complete a hybrid degree. When applying to a hybrid program you will want to check and see how it is structured and whether the structure benefits you.

Texas Physician Assistant Program Online Learning Formats

There are two main types of delivery for online PA programs:

  • Synchronous – which means students all attend class at a specific time. Synchronous learning allows professors and peers to engage with each other during lectures. While some synchronous experiences are incredibly immersive (think live video classes where you can see your peers’ faces), synchronous can also mean everyone is on the chat board communicating via message board.
  • Asynchronous – which means students complete coursework on their own time, through pre recorded lectures and other deliverables.

 

Some online PA programs will blend elements of both synchronous and asynchronous learning.

How Long do Physician Assistant Programs Take to Complete?

Including clinical requirements, it typically takes between two and three and four years to complete a physician assistant program.

Typical Online Physician Assistant Programs Available to Texas Students

The following online physician assistant programs are available to students in Texas. Note that these are masters program options for students who are not already physician assistants:

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)
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 Texas

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

Program City Time to Complete GPA Requirement
Army Medical Center of Excellence Fort Sam Houston 29 months 2.5
Baylor College of Medicine Houston 30 months 3.2
Hardin-Simmons University Abilene 27 months 3.0
Texas Tech University Lubbock 27 months 3.0
University of North Texas HS Center Ft. Worth Ft. Worth 30 months 3.0
University of Texas – HS Center at San Antonio San Antonio 30 months 3.0
University of Texas – Medical Branch at Galveston Galveston 27 months 3.0
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Edinburg 28 months 3.0
University of Texas Southwestern Dallas 30 months 3.0

General Tips on How to Become a Physician Assistant in Texas

To become a physician assistant in Texas, here are some common steps:

  1. Earn your Physician Assistant Degree – A degree 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 Texas Medical Board 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 Texas requires graduation from an accredited bachelor and physician assistant program and passage of the PANCE exam. Current certification by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) is also required. This is a high-level overview, make sure to check out Texas’ state board for exact requirements.