Studying to be a top physician assistant (PA) is a demanding educational experience that leads to an outstanding career.

Our department offers a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies degree in a 28-consecutive month curriculum. Accredited by the ARC-PA, we graduate high quality and compassionate PAs to successfully pass their certification exam to serve their patients and communities with pride.

If you are ready for that challenge and seek to serve others, we welcome your interest. We invite you to schedule an appointment to visit upstate New York and discuss your potential as a Clarkson PA student. Each fall we host an open house for the public to meet potential incoming first year students.

What is a Physician Assistant?

Physician assistants (PAs) are health professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. PAs perform a comprehensive range of medical duties, from basic primary care to high-technology specialty procedures. PAs often act as first or second assistants in major surgery and provide pre- and postoperative care.
In some rural areas where physicians are in short supply, PAs serve as the primary providers of health care, conferring with their supervising physicians and other medical professionals as needed and as required by law. PAs can be found in virtually every medical and surgical specialty.
The PA's responsibilities depend on the type of practice, his or her experience, the working relationship with physicians and other health care providers, and state laws. There are approximately 83,600 practicing PAs in the United States. The average salary exceeds $100,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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What Makes Our Physician Assistant Program Unique?

Pance Exam 100% pass rate Badge 2021

Our faculty has a variety of clinical backgrounds as do the local health care providers we utilize for rotations and guest speaking. We utilize clinical sites in St. Lawrence and surrounding counties as well as distant sites. This means you will get clinical experience in a variety of healthcare settings while serving diverse populations. Our small class sizes mean you receive personal instruction from our faculty.

The PA profession continues to be an important part of the coordination required in improving healthcare in the U.S. The U.S. government and multiple other publications continually produce articles and reports that demonstrate the value of PAs and the continuing need for more physician assistants in the future. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Physician Assistants are in the top 10 fastest growing occupations. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Physician Assistants).

Physician Assistant Program Achieves 100 Percent Exam Pass Rate

Kylie Broughal
"I chose to attend Clarkson because I like the small class size and the focus on learning and providing medical care to the local community. Without a doubt, I've gained essential experience and insights here that will help me be understanding and compassionate and grow into the kind of provider I want to be."

Kylie Broughal, MS Physician Assistant Studies

Physician Assistant Studies Program Admissions

Each January, a new class of 30 students is admitted to the Clarkson University Physician Assistant Studies Program. The Admissions Committee selects those candidates who show the most promise of becoming an outstanding Physician Assistant by fulfilling the mission and goals of the Clarkson University PA Program. We enroll intelligent, mature and highly motivated students from diverse educational and cultural backgrounds who have the potential to become leaders in our profession. 

We review each application individually on its own merit and admission decisions are based on the evaluation of an applicant's academic record, personal statements, previous healthcare/hands-on patient care experience, GRE score, letters of reference, CASPer score and a formal interview. Only applicants formally interviewed by the Clarkson University PA Program Admissions Committee will be considered for admission into the program.  

All applicants who wish to apply will need to complete an application via the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) for verification. The application needs to be submitted and verified by CASPA by January 15th of every year. It is highly recommended that all documents be submitted to CASPA several weeks prior to the deadline date to ensure all items arrive on time. A rolling acceptance policy is being used, so applicants may hear from the program after the January deadline.  

Contact Us

Any questions regarding the admissions process, please contact us:  
Clarkson University Physician Assistant Studies Program-Admissions Department 
Graduate Admissions Coordinator: Amy Thompson 
Phone: 315-268-2161

Admission Requirements & Prerequisites 
How to Apply & Admission Process 
Technical Standards 
Tuition & Costs 


MS in Physician Assistant Studies

The PA Studies program at Clarkson University is a professional degree program intended to prepare students academically and professionally for responsibilities and services as physician assistants. The MS in Physician Assistant Studies degree program consists of 82 credit hours divided into three phases that span 28 consecutive months.

Physician Assistant Studies MS Curriculum

Best PA Program Graphic

Undergraduate Physician Assistant Programs

For high school students who already know they're interested in a career as a Physician Assistant, Clarkson offers two programs: direct entry, in which students apply for admission into both an undergraduate bachelor's degree program and the MS in Physician Assistant Studies at the same time, and the pre-physician assistant professional advising track.

Learn more about Physician Assistant undergraduate program options

Program Accreditation & PANCE Pass Rates


The program has been granted continuing accreditation by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) as of March 2015. The program has also been registered by the New York State Education Department. Graduation from an accredited program is a licensing requirement of states and credentialing requirement of healthcare systems. The program's accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at

Department of Physician Assistant Studies Mission and Goals

The mission of the Clarkson University Department of Physician Assistant Studies is to prepare exceptional, highly skilled clinicians who actively demonstrate the University's core values of teamwork, caring, integrity, diversity, service, growth and diligence while compassionately providing for the healthcare needs of their communities. 

Program Goals:
1. Produce highly skilled and compassionate health care providers licensed to practice medicine as part of a healthcare team.
2. Establish student competence in medical and evidence-based research through scholarly activity.
3. Develop in students the professionalism, medical knowledge, and clinical skills needed to provide comprehensive care to diverse populations in a variety of clinical settings.
4. Instill in students the core values of Clarkson University, while fostering a commitment to community service. 

Mission and Goals Measurements

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