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 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remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards.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 2033. 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 644 Human Anatomy 4
PA 631 Bioethics and Research Methodology 1
PA 657 Introduction to Clinical Medicine 2
PA 607 Introduction to the PA Profession 1
PA 649 Human Physiology and Basic Pathophysiology 3
PA 656 Public Health 1
Semester Total 12

Year 1, Fall

PA 658 Hematologic System 2
PA 617 Clinical Problem-Solving I 2
PA 659 Cardiovascular System 6
PA 664 Pulmonary System 3
PA 666 Renal System 2
PA 662 Pathophysiology I 3
PA 700 Care of Underserved and Vulnerable Populations 2
PA 668 Clinical Skills I 1
PA 669 Evidence-Based Medicine I 1
IP 711 IP Foundations & Teamstepps 1
Semester Total 23

Year 1, Spring

PA 671 Gastrointestinal System 4
PA 618 Clinical Problem-Solving II 2
PA 673 Endocrine System 2
PA 675 Neurologic System 3
PA 681 Reproductive System 3
PA 663 Pathophysiology II 3
PA 677 Musculoskeletal System 3
PA 686 Clinical Skills II 2
PA 687 Evidence-Based Medicine II 1
IP XXX IP Concentration Course of Choice 1
Semester Total 24

Year 2, Summer

PA 689 Genitourinary System 2
PA 619 Clinical Problem-Solving III 1
PA 693 Dermatologic System 2
PA 694 Eyes, Ears, Nose, and Throat 2
PA 697 Psychiatry and Behavioral Science 3
PA 698 Clinical Skills III 1
PA 699 Clinical Year Orientation 1
Semester Total 12

Year 2, Fall

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

Year 2, Spring

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

Year 3, Summer

PA 682 Clinical Rotation VIII* 5
PA 685 Clinical 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)