Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

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Physician Assistant Studies

Prerequisite Change

We will now accept any general psychology course to meet the prerequisite previously noted as Developmental Psychology or Human Growth and Development.  Developmental Psychology or Human Growth and Development courses will continue to be accepted to meet this prerequisite in the upcoming admission cycle.  Please see to review our prerequisite courses.

2021-2022 Admission Cycle COVID-19 Updates

  • Admissions deadlines remain unchanged: 
    • The CASPA application will be available from April 25 through September 1
    • The MUSC supplemental application will be available from July 1 through September 1
  • Prerequisite requirements remain unchanged: 
    • Must complete at least 30 credits of the prerequisite courses (34 semester credits total) and submit transcripts by September 1
    • All prerequisites courses must be graded
      • Pass/Fail, Advanced placement and other non-graded courses do not meet prerequisite requirements 
    • For courses completed between January 1, 2020 and September 1, 2020:
      • If your university gave the option of a traditional grade or a Pass/Fail grade for a prerequisite course, a grade must be provided, that is Pass/Fail grading will not be accepted.
      • If an institution ONLY allowed P/F grading please contact for more information
    • Courses, including labs, completed on-line are acceptable to meet prerequisite requirements
  • Physician Assistant College Admission Test (PA-CAT)
    • For the current application cycle (2021) applicants must submit the PA-CAT results. The GRE will not be accepted and applications cannot be processed without PA-CAT results.
    • The PA-CAT may be taken remotely (on-line)
      • For more information about the PA-CAT, score reporting, practice test, and other study resources, visit We recommend that you take the PA-CAT exam no later than July 15 to ensure we receive your scores in time for review. Your PA-CAT scores will be reported directly to MUSC if you have selected us to receive your scores
  • "Healthcare experience" or shadowing hours are not required for your application to be considered. We consider health care experience and shadowing as one of many nonacademic components of our admission process.  For the incoming class, 67% had 1,000 or more healthcare experience hours


About the Profession

The Physician Assistant is a licensed health professional qualified by specialized academic and clinical education to perform medical tasks traditionally undertaken by physicians, while practicing under the supervision and responsibility of a licensed physician. PAs provide essential diagnostic, therapeutic, preventative, and health maintenance services in primary and specialty care settings.

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Physician Assistant Studies (PAS) program awards a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies degree (MSPAS). MUSC is an academic teaching hospital and the PAS program benefits from the vast resources available from the University including access to interprofessional experiences and simulation technology. MUSC PAS students also support free clinics as well as participate in international mission trips. In addition to our outstanding resources and opportunities for student involvement outside the classroom, we have dedicated faculty who pride themselves in their students' success.

About the Program

Physician Assistants play a critical role delivering high-quality, affordable health care, and more than ever before, are helping to meet the health care needs of our nation and the world. The MUSC PAS program is the perfect place to gain the skills, knowledge, and experience to prepare you to practice in this exciting, ever evolving profession. We offer a Master of Science degree for individuals seeking to become physician assistants.

The PAS program begins at the end of May and lasts for seven semesters which is approximately twenty-seven months in duration. The first four semesters, which take place on campus and comprise the fifteen-month didactic portion of the program, are devoted to classroom study.

During the last three semesters, which comprise the twelve-month long clinical year, students complete nine individual clinical rotations at sites predominately located in South Carolina. The clinical rotations include internal medicine, family medicine, women's health, pediatrics, mental health, emergency medicine, surgery, an adjunct clinical experience as well as an elective of the student's choosing. 

Students are highly discouraged from being employed while in the PAS program.

Accreditation Status

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Medical University of South Carolina Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Medical University of South Carolina. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards. Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2023. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy. More information regarding Accreditation Standards can be found here: 


Being accredited by the ARC-PA confirms the program meets or exceeds established national standards for a professional program leading to the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies degree. Whereas accreditation applies to training programs, licensure applies to individuals. Our program prepares you for and makes you eligible to take the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) exam, which all individuals must pass in order to practice as a Physician Assistant. Passing the certification exam is necessary but it may not be sufficient to practice as a physician assistant in any given state. You can find additional requirements for practicing physician assistants in each state at

Graduate Performance on the PANCE (PDF)