Schools for Surgical Physician Assistants: How to Choose

Dec 09, 2019

A few bachelor's degree programs in the area of surgical physician assistant are available but master's degree programs are more plentiful. These programs include coursework and clinical rotations.

Aspiring physicican's assistants can get training through bachelor's, master's, or dual degree programs, which can be found at four-year colleges and universities around the country.

Schools with Physician Assistant Programs

These schools offer relevant training for aspiring physician's assistants:

College/Institution Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (In-state, 2018-2019)*
Seton Hill University Greensburg, PA 4-year, Private Master's $14,382
Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY 4-year, Private Dual Bachelor's/Master's $42,345 (undergraduate, includes fees), $45,520 (graduate)
Pennsylvania College of Technology Williamsport, PA 4-year, Private Bachelor's $16,740 (includes fees)
University of Alabama-Birmingham Birmingham, AL 4-year, Public Master's $8,100
Northwestern University Evanston, IL 4-year, Private Master's $54,120
Saint Louis University Saint Louis, MO 4-year, Private Master's $20,340
Baylor College of Medicine Houston, TX 4-year, Private Master's $21,558
University of Missouri - Kansas City Kansas City, MO 4-year, Public Master's $9,238
Pacific University - Oregon Forest Grove, OR 4-year, Private Master's $31,297
Towson University Towson, MD 4-year, Private Master's $7,524

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Here are some considerations for students who are considering physician assistant programs:

  • Prerequisite requirements for bachelor's and master's degree programs vary from school to school, so students should review the requirements of prospective schools. Prior healthcare experience or coursework in chemistry, biology, microbiology or organic chemistry is often required, especially for master's degree programs.
  • Students should look for up-to-date, on-campus clinical facilities, including a department of surgery, to ensure training with the latest medical equipment.
  • Additional specialization in specific areas of surgery, such as plastic, thoracic, trauma and cardiovascular surgery may be available through some programs. Specialization in a surgical field could help graduates when seeking employment and advancement.

Bachelor's Degree in Physician Assisting

The first two years of a bachelor's degree program for physician's assistants covers general education and basic science courses, and the final two years are dedicated to professional PA education, including internship opportunities and clinical rotations.

Master's Degree in Surgical Physician Assisting

Master's degree programs for surgical physician assistants can generally be completed in two years. They often require master's projects and extensive clinical experiences.

By enrolling in a program that provides comprehensive classroom and clinical training, students can get the necessary preparation to become surgical physician assistants.

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