CSMís Physician Assistant (PA) program is a five-year accelerated masterís degree. Students enter the program as freshman and complete the coursework required for a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Human Biology in four years. Beginning in their fourth year, students begin masterís level PA training and complete that training in their fifth year as they accomplish a variety of clinical rotations at various hospital and clinic sites. The program is organized into levels, and includes the following coursework:
Level I - III: Human Biology Curriculum and General Education Courses
· Level I: Cell Biology, Genetics, General Chemistry, Algebra and Trigonometry
· Level II: Advanced Anatomy & Physiology, Organic Chemistry and Physics
· Level III: Biochemistry and Pathophysiology
· Levels I-III: Microbiology, Immunology, Introductory Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Abnormal Psychology
Level IV: PA Didactic Curriculum / Completion in Human Biology
· Level IV: Clinical Medicine, Pharmacology, Clinical Skills and Health Care Ethics
Level V: PA Clinical Curriculum / Completion in Physician Assistant Studies
· Level V: Clinical Rotations in Pediatrics, Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine, General Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Mental & Behavioral Health and optional specialty rotations.
At this time students are only being admitted to Level I.
Once accepted into the program, students continue onto subsequent levels as long as progression criteria are met. Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater, with no science, math or psychology grade below a B minus. Students who do not meet these criteria will be put on probation. If performance does not improve, they will be dismissed from the PA program (but may continue to seek their B.S. in Human Biology degree from CSM).
The College of Saint Mary Physician Assistant (PA) Program has applied for provisional accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). CSM anticipates matriculating its first class of PA students in fall 2016, pending provisional accreditation in spring 2016. Provisional accreditation is an accreditation status for a new PA program that has not yet enrolled students, but at the time of its comprehensive accreditation review, has demonstrated its preparedness to initiate a program in accordance with the accreditation Standards.