Master of Physician Assistant (MPA)

Program Location

WCU Texas

 

Program Credits

117 Credits

 

Program Length

6 Trimesters, 90 Instructional Weeks

 

Time to Complete

24 Months

  

*Program length may vary. 

Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Code: 29-1071

Program Mission:  The West Coast University Physician Assistant Program prepares students to excel as clinicians and leaders by providing them with opportunities to learn and adopt practice-ready knowledge, skills, and behaviors that are patient-centered, innovative, embracing cultural humility, adaptability, and agility within the evolving, challenging, and ambiguous context of contemporary healthcare. We prepare professionals who will contribute to the advancement of the physician assistant profession through exemplar practice, life-long learning, and service, within and across their healthcare communities.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the program, the Master of Physician Assistant students will be able to:

  1. Apply patient-centered care using evidence-based medical knowledge, skills, and values to medical practice.  
  2. Evaluate the social determinants of health for patient care decisions influenced by the larger community.   
  3. Demonstrate health literacy communication with patients and families throughout the lifespan and across cultures.  
  4. Engage in interprofessional teams using collaboration and leadership skills that optimize best practice.
  5. Exhibit professionalism in the integration of ethical, legal, and regulatory requirements of medical practice.
  6. Provide patient care sensitive to healthcare and consumer finances in the context of evolving medical system.  

Admission Requirements

Program specific application requirements and prerequisites:

  1. Completion of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States, prior to matriculation with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  2. Medical/health-related experience is strongly recommended.
  3. Required science courses must meet a minimum of a 2.7 grade point average and must be completed within the last ten years:
    1. Sciences (must have been taken within the last 10 years):
      1. General Biology I and II with lab (6 semester units or 8 quarter units)
      2. General Chemistry I and II with lab (6 semester units or 8 quarter units)
      3. Organic Chemistry with lab (3 semester units or 4 quarter units)
      4. Microbiology with lab (3 semester units or 4 quarter units)
      5. Biochemistry (3 semester units or 4 quarter units)
      6. Genetics (3 semester units or 4 quarter units)
      7. Human Anatomy I with lab * (3 semester units or 4 quarter units)
      8. Human Physiology I with lab* (3 semester units or 4 quarter units)

      *Anatomy and Physiology, I and II with lab for a total of 6 semester units or 8 quarter units

    2. Social Sciences:
      1. General Psychology (3 semester units or 4 quarter units)
      2. Introduction to Sociology (3 semester units or 4 quarter units)
    3. Mathematics:
      1. Introduction to Statistics (3 semester units or 4 quarter units)
    4. Language
      1. College English and English Composition or equivalent (3 semester units or 4 quarter units)

    All prerequisite courses must be completed by August 31st during the year prior to matriculation. Advanced Placement (AP) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) credit will not be accepted for any prerequisite courses nor will the program offer advanced placement. Prerequisite courses completed within the last seven years are preferred, and all science courses must be less than 10 years old at time of application. Prerequisite courses are for enrollment purposes only and will not substitute for more advanced applied content within the professional component of the program.

  4. Submit results of CASPer and Snapshot for non-academic attributes and/or people skills (https://altusassessments.com/suite/).
  5. A current Basic Cardiac Life Support (BLS) card/certificate from the American Heart Association one month prior to program enrollment.
  6. Submission of an Admissions Essay Statement
  7. Three Letters of Recommendation
  8. Each applicant must meet the Program Technical Standards: Meet the Program Technical Standards for admission as follows:
    1. Candidates must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences.
    2. Candidates must have sufficient use of the sensory, vision, hearing, motor, and somatic sensation necessary to perform a physical examination including point-of-care techniques.
    3. Candidates must be able to perform examination activities such as palpation, auscultation, percussion, the administration of intravenous medication, the application of pressure to stop bleeding, the opening of obstructed airways, and the movements, equilibrium and functional use of the sense of touch and vision.
    4. Candidates must be able to learn to respond with precise, quick, and appropriate action in emergency situations.
    5. Candidates must be able to communicate with accuracy, clarity, efficiency, and sensitivity.
    6. Candidates must have the skills to be able to analyze and synthesize information, solve problems, and reach diagnostic and therapeutic judgments.
    7. Candidates must be able to acknowledge evaluation and respond appropriately.
    8. Candidates must possess the interpersonal skills to develop rapport and positive relationships with patients.
    9. Candidates are expected to possess the perseverance, diligence, and consistency to complete the PA Program curriculum. Candidates, therefore, must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads, to function effectively under stress, to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients.  

Candidate Seat Deposit

Applicants that are conditionally accepted to the Master of Physician Assistant program will be required to submit a $500.00 good faith payment for a Seat Deposit. The Seat Deposit will be credited to your program costs. The University will retain a maximum of $175.00 of this deposit should you cancel your enrollment within seven calendar days (excluding holidays) of enrollment or by the seventh calendar day of the first term, whichever is later. Deposits may be paid by money order or cashier's check made out to West Coast University. 

Program Information and Disclosures

Master of Physician Assistant Program Clinical Requirements

  1. Obtain background clearance.*
  2. Undergo a drug screening.*
  3. Strict adherence to the Bloodborne Pathogens Policy and Exposure Control Plan. 
  4. Submit documentation of immunizations, vaccinations, tuberculosis clearance.*
  5. Provide and maintain a current Basic Life Support (BLS) certification.*
  6. Expect the hours and days to vary depending on the trimester schedule.  
  7. Expect the trimester schedule to be final and non-negotiable.  If a student refuses a clinical assignment, the student will be dismissed from the program.  

*Information regarding these requirements is provided during the application process and at the program orientation.  

Master of Physician Assistant Program Accreditation Disclosure

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the West Coast University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by West Coast University.  

Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appears to demonstrate the program's ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation.  Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.  

Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status.  It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.  The program's accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at http://www.arc-pa.org/accreditation-history-west-coast-university/.  

Master of Physician Assistant Program Licensure Disclosure

To become a certified PA (PA-C), one must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE).  In addition, students must obtain state medical board registration/licensure.  The licensure requirements will vary from state to state.  

A PA may not begin working as a Physician Assistant in most states until he/she has successfully passed the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) AND has been licensed/registered by the state in which they practice.  There may be exceptions for certain state licensures or for federal employment, such as the military and Veterans Administration.  Failure to complete all necessary steps may constitute practicing medicine without a medical license.  Upon graduation, students are responsible for ensuring they obtain all required and licenses and certifications.  West Coast University is not responsible for registration or licensing; the student is solely responsible for all such requirements and verifying proper authorizations to practice medicine have been obtained.  

Health Insurance Requirement

Students enrolled in the MPA program will be required to provide evidence of health insurance prior to participation in clinical experiences.  Participation in all clinical experience courses is required to complete the program. 

Technical Standards for the Program

The technical standards for enrollment in the Master of Physician Assistant program is provided in the online University Catalog, Master of Physician Assistant section, and includes:

  • Candidates must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences.  
  • Candidates must have sufficient use of the sensory, vision, hearing, motor, and somatic sensation necessary to perform a physical examination including point-of-care techniques.  
  • Candidates must be able to perform examination activities such as palpation, auscultation, percussion, the administration of intravenous medication, the application of pressure to stop bleeding, the opening of obstructed airways, and the movements, equilibrium and functional use of the sense of touch and vision.  
  • Candidates must be able to learn to respond with precise, quick and appropriate action in emergency situations.  
  • Candidates must be able to communicate with accuracy, clarity, efficiency, and sensitivity.  
  • Candidates must have the skills to be able to analyze and synthesize information, solve problems, and reach diagnostic and therapeutic judgments.  
  • Candidates must be able to acknowledge evaluation and respond appropriately.  
  • Candidates must possess the interpersonal skills to develop rapport and positive relationships with patients.

Candidates are expected to possess the perseverance, diligence, and consistency to complete the PA Program curriculum. Candidates, therefore, must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads, to function effectively under stress, to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients.

MPA Curriculum

 

Core Physician Assistant Courses

PA 500Medical Science

3

PA 503Clinical Anatomy & Physiology I with Lab

7

PA 506Patient Assessment & Counseling I with Lab

5.5

PA 509Pharmacology & Pharmacotherpeutics I

3

PA 512Clinical Diagnostics I

1.5

PA 515Disease & Society I

4.5

PA 518Mental Health

3

PA 521Clinical Anatomy & Physiology II with Lab

5.5

PA 524Patient Assessment & Counseling II with La

5

PA 527Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapeutics II

3

PA 530Clinical Diagnostic II

1.5

PA 533Disease & Society II

5.5

PA 536Patient Assessment & Counseling III with Lab

5

PA 539Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapeutics III

3

PA 542Clinical Diagnostics III

1.5

PA 545Disease & Society III

6

PA 548Evidence Based Medicine

1.5

PA 551Physician Assistant Profession

2

PA 554Clinical Skills & Preparation Lab

2

PA 600Clinical Experience - Family Medicine

4.5

PA 603Clinical Experience - Internal Medicine/Hospitalist Service

4.5

PA 606Clinical Experience - Emergency Medicine

4.5

PA 609Masters Project I

1.5

PA 612Art of Care I

1.5

PA 615Clinical Experience - Women's Health

4.5

PA 618Clinical Experience - Pediatric Medicine

4.5

PA 621Clinical Experience - Behavioral Medicine

4.5

PA 624Masters Project II

1.5

PA 627Art of Care II

1.5

PA 630Clinical Experience - Surgery

4.5

PA 633Clinical Experience - SCPE Elective

4.5

PA 636Clinical Experience - Advanced Topics

3

PA 639Capstone Masters Project

1.5

PA 642Art of Care III

1.5

Total Credit Hours:117.0

MPA Program Costs

For program costs, please see the Graduate Tuition and Fees section.