The EMU PA program is a 24-month, full-time, year-round graduate professional program leading to a master's of science in physician assistant studies. The EMU PA faculty and staff, with input from the PA Advisory Board, developed and continues to review/assess the following mission, vision and goals to serve as the basis for the program.

Mission

The Eastern Michigan University physician assistant program mission is to identify, train and support a diverse population of graduate students to become highly respected ambassadors of the profession and extraordinary health care providers with a strong foundation in primary care medicine and interdisciplinary practice.

Vision

Our physician assistant program is dedicated to teaching students the science and art of medicine. Our clinically-focused curriculum will promote critical thinking and patient-centered problem solving. We are committed to producing graduates who will master the skills required to competently and compassionately practice preventive and diagnostic medicine, and foster the interpersonal and collaborative attributes necessary to become exemplary medical providers.

Goals

The EMU PA program has set forth goals aligning with the program mission and vision, along with those of our school, college and university. The goals and the methods used to evaluate our ability to meet them, are as follows:

  • Faculty Clinical Practice

    Program faculty provide a wealth of relevant clinical practice experience across a variety of clinical specialty areas.

    • Measured by the majority of PA faculty continuing clinical practice with multiple different specialties being represented
    • Currently, program faculty practice clinically in general medicine and emergency medicine.
  • Medical Knowledge and Application

    Program graduates demonstrate high levels of medical knowledge and effectively apply that knowledge to patient care.

    • Measured by first-time NCCPA PANCE pass rate and Clinical Preceptorship Student Evaluation
    • First-time PANCE pass rate of our first five cohorts is 98%.
    • During the final clinical preceptorship, the majority of our students were rated by their preceptors as "excellent" in the area of medical knowledge and its application. Additionally, the majority were also rated as "excellent" in their ability to use critical thinking to solve problems.
  • Diversity in Clinical Practice

    Program graduates demonstrate diversity in practice and discipline.

    • Measured by graduates practicing in many different settings and specialties
    • Our graduates are currently practicing in a wide variety of fields: cardiac surgery, critical care medicine, dermatology, emergency medicine, endocrinology and infertility, family medicine, internal medicine, gynecologic oncology, intensive care, interventional radiology, neurosurgery, orthopedics, otolaryngology, pain management, physical medicine and rehabilitation, rheumatology, trauma surgery and urgent care.
  • Healthcare Delivery in Michigan

    Program graduates provide healthcare to patients in Michigan.

    • Measured by the majority of PA Program graduates clinically practicing in our state
    • The majority of our graduates to date are practicing in the state of Michigan.

Program Defined Competencies

The EMU PA program has created a set of program defined competencies, which embrace the competencies set forth by the Competencies for the Physician Assistant Profession [PDF] as developed jointly by the National Commission on Accreditation of Physician Assistants, the Accreditation Review Commission for Education of the Physician Assistant, the Physician Assistant Education Association and the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

Mastery of the EMU PA program defined competencies is required for students to graduate from the program and be prepared for entry-level practice. They are:

  1. Elicit a patient-centered and focused and comprehensive patient history while recognizing cultural issues and social determinants.
  2. Perform a technically correct focused and complete physical examination recognizing normal and abnormal findings.
  3. Order and interpret diagnostic labs and tests for both acute and chronic medical conditions of a patient.
  4. Perform selected procedures common for a practicing PA and educate patients regarding procedure, side effects, follow-up care, and informed consent.
  5. Apply critical thinking and medical decision making to all aspects of patient care.
  6. Generate a comprehensive list of differential diagnoses (Including most common, most likely, most concerning disease or condition).
  7. Formulate an accurate treatment plan, including pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments.
  8. Practice evidence-based medicine and incorporate current clinical guidelines.
  9. Foster professionalism in all aspects of clinical practice and appropriately obtain patient consent.
  10. Effectively present an oral case to a supervising physician and other healthcare providers.
  11. Accurately document patient encounters in a clear and concise manner.
  12. Communicate effectively with patients, families and other health care providers.
  13. Foster preventive care including age-appropriate screening, immunization recommendations, patient education, behavioral modifications.
  14. Utilize medical knowledge of acute and chronic conditions including etiology, anatomy, pathophysiology, incidence, risk factors, clinical presentation, differential diagnosis, and treatment strategies to effectively manage a patient across the life span.
  15. Possess a thorough understanding of medical ethics and the legal aspects of health care.
  16. Practice interprofessional team care and embrace the value of a collaborative physician/PA relationship.
  17. Perform patient education which considers cultural awareness, health literacy and other social determinants and encourages shared decision making in management.
  18. Embrace the role of a physician assistant and recognize personal limitations while practicing.

Curriculum: 103 credit hours

To complete the PA Program and graduate, a student must satisfactorily complete each course outlined in the Program’s curriculum below, attain supervised clinical practice experience benchmarks and successfully complete the program Summative Evaluation. In addition, a student must be in good academic standing after completing the required curriculum, achieve all program competencies for preparation into clinical practice, and meet University guidelines.

  • Didactic Year: 61 hours

    Fall Semester I: 21 hours
    PAS 610 Clinical Medicine for Physician Assistants I 6 hrs
    PAS 620 Patient Assessment for Physician Assistants I 3 hrs
    PAS 630 Pharmacotherapeutics for Physician Assistants I 3 hrs
    PAS 640 Pathophysiology for Physician Assistants I 3 hrs
    PAS 650 Advanced Human Anatomy with Cadaver Lab for Physician Assistants 4 hrs
    PAS 672 Introduction to Clinical Year, I 1 hr
    PAS 683 Simulation for Physician Assistants I 1 hr

    Winter Semester I: 20 hours
    PAS 611 Clinical Medicine for Physician Assistants II 6 hrs
    PAS 621 Patient Assessment for Physician Assistants II 3 hrs
    PAS 631 Pharmacotherapeutics for Physician Assistants II 3 hrs
    PAS 641 Pathophysiology for Physician Assistants II 3 hrs
    PAS 670 Ethics and Research Methods for Physician Assistants 3 hrs
    PAS 673 Introduction to Clinical Year, II 1 hr
    PAS 684 Simulation for Physician Assistants II 1 hr

    Summer Semester I: 20 hours
    PAS 612 Clinical Medicine for Physician Assistants III 6 hrs
    PAS 622 Physician Assistant Practicum 3 hrs
    PAS 632 Pharmacotherapeutics for Physician Assistants III 3 hrs
    PAS 642 Pathophysiology for Physician Assistants III 3 hrs
    PAS 660 Patient Assessment for Physician Assistants III 3 hrs
    PAS 674 Introduction to Clinical Year, III 1 hr
    PAS 685 Simulation for Physician Assistants III 1 hr

  • Clinical Year: 42 hours

    Fall Semester II: 16 hours
    Select four clinical rotation courses from the list below 16 hrs

    Winter Semester II: 16 hours
    Select four clinical rotation courses from the list below 16 hrs

    Summer Semester II: 10 hours
    PAS 720 Clinical Preceptorship 6 hrs
    Select one clinical rotation courses from the list below 4 hrs

    Clinical Rotation Courses
    PAS 710a Pediatric Medicine Clinical Rotation 4 hrs
    PAS 710b Psychiatric Medicine Clinical Rotation 4 hrs
    PAS 710c General Surgery Clinical Rotation 4 hrs
    PAS 710d Obstetrics and Gynecological Medicine Clinical Rotation 4 hrs
    PAS 710e Emergency Medicine Clinical Rotation 4 hrs
    PAS 710f Family Medicine Clinical Rotation 4 hrs
    PAS 710g Internal Medicine Clinical Rotation 4 hrs
    PAS 710h Elective Clinical Rotation I 4 hrs
    PAS 710i Elective Clinical Rotation II 4 hrs

Thinking about applying to the EMU PA program?

One of our recent graduates shares her experience from pre-application through the first year of the program.

 

Student Performance

Below are data from EMU PA students' Physician Assistant National Certifying Exams (PANCE) and attrition.

  • Certification and PANCE

    To become a certified physician assistant (PA-C), one must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE), a computer-based, multiple-choice test comprising questions that assess basic medical and surgical knowledge. The PANCE is provided by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and is the only certifying organization for PAs in the United States.

    To be eligible for the PANCE, one must graduate from a program accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant. PA program graduates will be deemed to have graduated from an accredited program if their PA educational program was accredited at the time of their matriculation.

    The Eastern Michigan University PA Program has graduated six cohorts, with a combined first-time PANCE pass rate of 98%.

    View the PANCE results [PDF].

  • Attrition

    Graduated Classes
     Class of 2021Class of 2020Class of 2019
    Maximum Entering Class Size (as approved by ARC-PA)303030
    Entering class size303030
    Graduates283030
    * Attrition rate0.0700
    ** Graduation rate0.931.001.00

    * Attrition rate calculation: Number of students who attritted from cohort divided by the entering class size.

    ** Graduation rate: Number of cohort graduates divided by the entering class size.

Student Profiles

Below are highlights from the CASPA applications of each cohort of EMU PA students.

  • 2020–2021 

    • Number of applicants: 774
    • Number of matriculated students: 30
    • Speaks more than one language: Seven students
    • Highest degree completed: Two master's, 19 bachelor's, nine bachelor's in progress (at time of application)
    • Cumulative undergraduate (UG) GPA (mean): 3.7
    • GPA of last 60 UG credit hours (mean): 3.8
    • Overall science GPA (mean): 3.71
    • GRE General Test score: 315 (mean), 302–341 (range)
    • Received a degree from EMU: Four students
    • Gender: 22 female, eight male
    • Age (mean): 24.8 years
  • 2019–2020

    • Number of applicants: 901
    • Number of matriculated students: 30
    • Speaks more than one language: Four students
    • Highest degree completed: Three master's, 21 bachelor's, six bachelor's in progress (at time of application)
    • Cumulative undergraduate (UG) GPA (mean): 3.8
    • GPA of last 60 UG credit hours (mean): 3.9
    • Overall science GPA (mean): 3.79
    • GRE General Test score: 312 (mean), 298–323 (range)
    • Received a degree from EMU: Three students
    • Gender: 24 female, six male
    • Age (mean): 24.2 years
  • 2018–2019

    • Number of applicants: 844
    • Number of matriculated students: 30
    • Speaks more than one language: Six students
    • Highest degree completed: Two master's, 18 bachelor's, 10 bachelor's in progress (at time of application)
    • Cumulative undergraduate (UG) GPA (mean): 3.8
    • GPA of last 60 UG credit hours (mean): 3.9
    • Overall science GPA (mean): 3.8
    • GRE General Test score: 315 (mean), 299–331 (range)
    • Received a degree from EMU: Three students
    • Gender: 21 female, nine male
    • Age (mean): 24.7 years
  • 2017–2018

    • Number of applicants: 861
    • Number of matriculated students: 30
    • Speaks more than one language: Six students
    • Highest degree completed: Three master's, 27 bachelor's
    • Cumulative undergraduate (UG) GPA (mean): 3.7
    • GPA of last 60 UG credit hours (mean): 3.9
    • Overall science GPA (mean): 3.75
    • GRE General Test score: 316 (mean), 305–330 (range)
    • Received a degree from EMU: Four students
    • Gender: 23 female, seven male
    • Age (mean): 26.1 years
  • 2016–2017

    • Number of applicants: 998
    • Number of matriculated students: 30
    • Speaks more than one language: Seven students
    • Highest degree completed: Two master's, 23 bachelor's, five bachelor's in-progress (at time of application)
    • Cumulative undergraduate (UG) GPA (mean): 3.8
    • GPA of last 60 UG credit hours (mean): 3.9
    • Overall science GPA (mean): 3.8
    • Received a degree from EMU: Two students
    • Gender: 24 female, six male
    • Age (mean): 25.9 years
  • 2015–2016

    • Number of applicants: 762
    • Number of matriculated students: 30
    • Speaks more than one language: Seven students
    • Highest degree completed: Five master's, 18 bachelor's, seven bachelor's in-progress (at time of application)
    • Cumulative undergraduate (UG) GPA (mean): 3.8
    • GPA of last 60 (UG) credit hours (mean): 3.9
    • Overall science GPA (mean): 3.74
    • Received a degree from EMU: Nine students
    • Gender: 21 female, nine male
    • Age (mean): 27.5 years
  • 2014–2015

    • Number of applicants: 621
    • Number of matriculated students: 30
    • Speaks more than one language: Five students
    • Highest degree completed: Four master's, 21 bachelor's, five bachelor's in-progress (at time of application)
    • Cumulative undergraduate (UG) GPA (mean): 3.7
    • GPA of last 60 UG credit hours (mean): 3.8
    • Overall science GPA (mean): 3.77
    • GRE General Test score: 301 (mean), 286–319 (range)
    • Received a degree from EMU: Three students
    • Gender: 25 female, five male
    • Age (mean): 25.7 years
  • 2013–2014

    • Number of applicants: 605
    • Number of matriculated students: 20
    • Speaks more than one language: Eight students
    • Highest degree completed: Two doctorate, four master's, eight bachelor's and six bachelor's in-progress (at time of application)
    • Cumulative undergraduate (UG) GPA (mean): 3.7
    • GPA of last 60 UG credit hours (mean): 3.8
    • Overall science GPA (mean): 3.71
    • Received a degree from EMU: Six students
    • Gender: 16 female, four male
    • Age (mean): 28 years

Explore this Program

About the Program

Discover the mission, vision and goals of the physician assistant program.

Admissions Information

Learn about the steps to apply including requirements.

Pre-Admissions Courses

Find out what courses you'll need to apply to the PA program.

Admissions Process

Get information on the application process for entering the PA program.