Physician Assistant Programs in West Virginia

West Virginia is home to a handful of on campus physician assistant (PA) degree programs. In addition to these on-campus offerings, West Virginians can also complete online PA programs from the comfort of home, which are offered by campuses throughout the country. This leaves aspiring physician assistants with a variety of different degree program options. This guide can help you sift through the choices so that you can pick the program that is the best fit for you, your schedule, and your learning style.

Online PA Programs vs On-Campus PA Programs in West Virginia

To start creating a list of physician assistant programs that interest you, it is good to start eliminating options that you couldn’t possibly enroll in due to any scheduling conflicts that you might have. For example, if you have other commitments going on at night, you would not want to enroll in a program that requires you to go to class during the evening. Additionally, you will want to think about how close the nearest campuses are. If commuting time will be too much for you to fit into your schedule, you may want to consider either moving closer to a campus or applying to online options that get rid of that commuting time. Variability in your schedule is another factor to consider. If your other obligations change from week to week, you may want a program that allows you to attend class on your own time through asynchronous learning, which is something we will talk about later.

After you take any non-possibilities off of your list, you can start thinking about your learning preferences. Do you learn better in the classroom or at home? If you were to complete an online program, where would you attend class? From your living room or an office or other location? What do you want out of your learning experience? Do you want to have meaningful discussions with professors and peers? Does talking things through help you learn better? Would you be able to focus if you were required to go to class on your own time without being accountable to a professor who can see you over a webcam? These are all questions that you should be asking yourself as you evaluate the different options.

Last Updated: 10/20/21

On Campus PA Programs in West Virginia

If you are truly prepared to start applying to physician assistant programs, you have a bachelor’s degree under your belt. Likely, you earned your undergraduate degree on a campus, so you probably know a thing or two about what the on-campus experience entails. On-campus students report to class to attend lectures and earn credits toward their degree. They complete assignments and take exams like you would in any program. Additionally, students complete clinical experiences, typically at clinical placement sites around the general area of the school. These clinical experiences are required by any kind of physician assistant program, and allow students to earn in person experience that they need in order to become certified professionals. 

Looking for other options? An online PA program may be for you.

Online PA Programs

Online physician assistant programs bring the classroom to your living room, office, or wherever else you want to complete class from. One of the obvious benefits of an online program is the elimination of time wasted commuting. The most flexible of online programs may even allow you to go to “class” on your own time through what is called asynchronous learning, which we will talk about more later. Online programs can vary greatly in structure and delivery – some are geared towards the person who is looking for as close to the in person experience as possible but for whatever reason cannot attend an on campus program (perhaps they live too far away). These kinds of online programs may be delivered live via webcam so that class feels like a virtual version of an actual classroom, complete with discussions between students and professors. Other online programs are geared towards the busiest students or those with unpredictable schedules. While those do not offer an intimate virtual classroom setting, many students benefit from the ability to go to class on their own time.

Online programs will still require you to complete clinical placement experiences. These are required in order to become certified as a PA. Ask the online programs you are interested in if they will be able to assist you in securing placement sites local to you.

Hybrid PA Programs in West Virginia

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

Physician Assistant Program Online Learning Formats

Online programs are delivered either synchronously or asynchronously.

  • Synchronous learning is live and requires you to login at a specific time
  • Asynchronous learning is not live and can be done on one’s own time

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

PA programs are approximately 27 months, according to the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA). Program length can vary program to program – one may take just two years while another may take four.

Online Physician Assistant Programs Available to West Virginia Students

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

On Campus PA Programs in West Virginia

The following physician assistant programs can be found on West Virginia campuses.

Program City Time to Complete GPA Requirement
Alderson Broaddus University Philippi 27 months 3.0
Marshall University Huntington 28 months 3.0
University of Charleston Charleston 28 months 3.0
West Liberty University West Liberty 24 months 3.0
West Virginia University Morgantown 28 months 3.2

General Tips on How to Become a Physician Assistant in West Virginia

To become a physician assistant in West Virginia, 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 West Virginia Board of Medicine 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 West Virginia 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 West Virginia’s state board for exact requirements.