Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

Helen S. Martin, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA, Division Director

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. Physician Assistants (PA) 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. PAs provide essential diagnostic, therapeutic, preventative, and health maintenance services in primary and specialty care settings. The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (PAS) program is the perfect place to gain the skills, knowledge, and experience to prepare student to practice in this exciting, ever evolving profession.

The PAS program begins at the end of May each year and is approximately 27 months (seven semesters) in length. The first four semesters are devoted to classroom study. They take place on campus and comprise the fifteen-month didactic portion of the program. 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.


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remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards.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:


Learn more about the admission steps and requirements for the program.


Year 1, Summer

PA 606Human Anatomy6
PA 607Intro to the PA Profession1
PA 630Bioethics1
PA 632Principles of Pharmacology2
PA 643Human Physiology & Basic Pathology3
Semester Total 13

Year 1, Fall

PA 614Fundamentals of Clin Med I6
PA 617Clinical Problem Solving I2
PA 624Pharmacotherapeutics I3
PA 634History & Physical Exam Skills2
PA 654Diagnostic Medicine I2
PA 662Pathophysiology I3
PA 665Cultural Competency2
PA 695Research Methods for Health Professionals3
Semester Total 23

Year 1, Spring

PA 615Fundamentals of Clin Med II6
PA 618Clinical Problem Solving II2
PA 625Pharmacotherapeutics II3
PA 636Clinical Skills & Procedures2
PA 655Diagnostic Medicine II2
PA 656Public Health  1
PA 663Pathophysiology II3
PA 690Graduate Project I1
IP 711IP Foundations & Teamstepps1
IP XXXIP Concentration Course of Choice1
Semester Total 22

Year 2, Summer

PA 616Fundamentals of Clin Med III3
PA 619Clinical Problem Solving III1
PA 626Pharmacotherapeutics III2
PA 642Pertinent Topics in Peds1
PA 651Geriatrics1
PA 652Principles of Emergency Medic2
PA 653Principles of Surgical Care2
PA 691Graduate Project II1
Semester Total 13

Year 2, Fall

PA 670Clinical Rotation I*5
PA 672Clinical Rotation II*5
PA 674Clinical Rotation III*5
Semester Total 15

Year 2, Spring

PA 676Clinical Rotation IV*5
PA 678Clinical Rotation V*5
PA 679Clinical Rotation VI*5
PA 680Clinical Rotation VII*
Semester Total 20

Year 3, Summer

PA 682Clinical Rotation VIII*5
PA 685Clinical Rotation Elective*5
Semester Total 10
Curriculum Total 116

* Students are scheduled in the following disciplines for clinical rotations 1-8; Emergency medicine, Family medicine, Internal medicine, Mental health, Pediatrics, Surgery, Women's Health, and Adjunct Clinical Experience (ACE). In addition the students are required to complete an elective in a specialty of their choice.

A Summative Evaluation is required by the Accreditation Review Commission for Physician Assistant Education (ARC-PA) within the last 4 months of the program. Each student must successfully pass all components of the Summative Evaluation to be eligible for completion of the program and graduation. The components of the Summative Evaluation include the following:

  1. PAEA End of Curriculum Exam
  2. Summative Professionalism Evaluation
  3. Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)