About the Program

The MUSC Physician Assistant Studies (PAS) program awards a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies degree (MSPAS). MUSC is an academic health sciences center, and the PAS program benefits from the vast resources available from the university including access to interprofessional experiences and simulation technology. Students in the PAS program may also support free clinics in the Charleston community. 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.

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. Our program is the perfect place to gain the skills, knowledge, and experience to prepare you to practice in this exciting, ever evolving profession.

The PAS program is full-time and students must progress sequentially each semester. The program begins at the end of May and lasts for seven semesters (approximately twenty-seven months). The first four semesters, which take place on campus and comprise the fifteen-month didactic portion of the program, are devoted to classroom study. The last three semesters of the PA Program are comprised of nine clinical rotations. Clinical rotation sites are located in a variety of geographic locations, with many within the state of 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.

Due to the demanding nature of the program students are highly discouraged from being employed while enrolled in the PAS program.

Why choose MUSC?

Dedicated Facility and Lab Space

Most PAS classes are held at the College of Health Professions (CHP) building, located in Charleston, SC, on the main MUSC campus. The program utilizes two classrooms at the CHP building as well as two large clinical skills laboratories. Students also welcome and encouraged to use any resources available on the campus, such as our library.

Great Location for Training

Because MUSC has a diverse offering of academic health care and research programs, including a medical school, there are many opportunities for interprofessional learning both on-campus and in the surrounding area. In the Charleston area alone, there are many other local hospitals and medical facilities. MUSC also has clinical sites in upstate SC, NC, and Florida, branching farther into the medical communities.

Experienced MUSC Faculty

Students in MUSC’s PAS program learn from faculty members who have the expertise, knowledge, and experience as PAs and physicians. Our faculty members’ diverse backgrounds and specialties make the MUSC PAS program the perfect place to help students achieve their goals. Beyond teaching, our faculty members provide mentorship to students to ensure their success not only in the program, but also in their future careers.

Student Leadership Opportunities

Students have many opportunities to get involved within the program, CHP, MUSC and the local community. In addition to the MUSC and CHP Student Government Associations, PAS students have their own student government, which is one hundred percent directed by the PA students. CHP also has PAS student ambassadors, who have an integral role in prospective students shadowing. MUSC also has students lead a local health clinic in a community of need. These are just a few examples among many of the student leadership roles within MUSC.

PA-Interprofessional Initiatives

Our PAS students have classes with physical therapy and occupational therapy students in the summer. They also participate in Interprofessional Day, a university-wide initiative for all MUSC students to work collaboratively with students from other academic programs. Interprofessional Day promotes a culture of teamwork in health care by engaging over 1,500 MUSC students in interprofessional team-based learning activities.

After Graduation

Our graduates practice medicine throughout South Carolina and across the country. This degree offers flexibility with a wide range of specialties that include but are not limited to: family medicine, surgery, emergency medicine, internal medicine, and dermatology.

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI)

PAS blood pressure check IMG_7015The MUSC Physician Assistant Studies program celebrates the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusivity (DEI). Because of this, we have incorporated diversity education and other DEI opportunities in our curriculum to train culturally competent providers who treat all patients with dignity. Our curriculum highlights many facets of diversity, including but not limited to racial and ethnic disparities in health, immigration and refugee health, spirituality, social determinants of health, LGBTQIA+ patient care, neurodiversity, disability and ableism, and multicultural groups.

Our students and faculty are involved in:

Community Engagement

  • Service-learning Opportunities
  • Guest Lectures from Community Members

Education & Training

  • Implicit Bias Training
  • LGBTQIA+ Ally Training
  • Anti-racism Educational Programs
  • Microaggressions Panel
  • Culturally Sensitive Care Workshop

Admissions

View our student demographic information.