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In Ohio, most physician assistant programs are offered at the master's degree level. Courses are made up of lectures and clinical experiences in such fields as geriatrics, pediatrics, psychiatry and emergency medicine. Programs are usually limited enrollment, and because of the advanced nature of physician assistant courses, applicants usually need a bachelor's degree.
Seven of the nine schools listed in this article are fully accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Baldwin Wallace University and Ohio Dominican University have provisional ARC-PA accreditation, a temporary credential that is often given to newer programs.
Baldwin Wallace University
Located in Berea, this university provides a Master of Medical Science program for aspiring physician assistants. This full-time program takes 24 months to complete, and students participate in lectures and clinical experiences. Students learn about clinical medicine, pharmacology and pathophysiology. Clinical rotations focus on obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN), emergency medicine, family medicine and more.
Cleveland State University
This university is located in Cleveland and offers a Master of Science in Health Sciences with a physician assistant concentration. Students complete 36 credit hours for the Master of Science in Health Sciences program at Cleveland State University and 59 credit hours in the physician assistant program at Cuyahoga Community College. Coursework for this program includes pathology, surgical skills, patient management and clinical pharmacology. Students also complete a master's project and field experiences.
Cuyahoga Community College
Cleveland's Cuyahoga Community College offers a physician assistant certificate program. Since the school is affiliated with Cleveland State University, students enrolled in this program also receive a Master of Science in Health Sciences with a concentration in physician assistant science. Students take courses in clinical anatomy, clinical medicine, pharmacology, electrocardiography and surgical skills. The curriculum for this program also includes field experiences and seminars.
Located in Kettering, this college offers a Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree that requires the completion of 45 credits. Students can expect to take courses in pharmacology, patient documentation, pediatrics, women's health, pulmonology and infectious disease. Students spend 40 weeks completing rotations in emergency medicine, surgery and more. They also must pick elective rotations in fields like dermatology, cardiology and critical care.
This college in Marietta offers a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program. There are currently 36 students allowed into the program, and the curriculum is taught by eight faculty members. During the didactic phase of the program, students spend 12 months engaged in laboratory work and classroom instruction. Coursework includes human physiology, pharmacology, clinical medicine and pathophysiology. The clinical portion of this program spans 14 months and includes clinical rotations and a capstone project.
Ohio Dominican University
Located in Columbus, this university has a Master of Science program for physician assistants. The program is full-time and provides clinical experiences and lectures. Didactic coursework covers topics on microbiology, pharmacology and genetics. Students also take clinical rotations in family medicine, emergency medicine, surgery and other medical fields.
The University of Findlay
Located in Findlay, this university admits 18 students into the master's degree program for physician assistants. The entire program can be completed in seven semesters. Students complete didactic education first, then they complete three semesters of clinical experiences. All clinical sites are located off-campus.
University of Mount Union
The University of Mount Union is located in Alliance and offers a physician assistant program to 25-30 students. The program is full-time and takes 27 months to complete. Courses cover clinical anatomy, health and disease, human physiology, medical ethics and clinical skills. The clinical practicum portion of the program has rotations in geriatrics, pediatrics, family medicine, women's health, psychiatry and emergency medicine. Clinical rotations are four weeks in length.
University of Toledo
This university is located in Toledo and offers a 27-month master's degree program with a concentration in physician assisting. In 2011, the program received the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) Excellence Through Diversity Award. The university also received over $1 million in federal grants for expanding and improving the program. The clinical component of the program includes 40 weeks spent in clinical rotations. PA students learn about emergency medicine, pediatrics, surgery and more in clinical rotations. An 8-week preceptorship in primary care medicine is also required.
All physician assistants are required to be licensed for legal practice. Licensure requirements include completion of a program accredited by the ARC-PA and the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination. Licensure is maintained every six years through continuing education, recertification exams and practical experiences.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Physician Assistant Programs Offered||Estimated Program Costs (2016)|
|Baldwin Wallace University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb||Physician Assistant Master of Medical Science||$75,000*|
|Cleveland State University||4-year, public; large suburb||Master of Science in Health Sciences (Concentration in Physician Assistant Science)|| $29,885.06, in-county;
|Cuyahoga Community College||2-year, public; large city||Post-Degree Professional Certificate in Physician Assistant Studies|| $29,885.06, in-county;
|Kettering College||4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb||Master of Physician Assistant Studies||$11,190 per semester*|
|Marietta College||4-year, private not-for-profit; fringe town||Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies||$75,396*|
|Ohio Dominican University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city||Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies||$80,796*|
|The University of Findlay||4-year, private not-for-profit; distant town||Master of Physician Assistant||$86,294*|
|University of Mount Union||4-year, private not-for-profit; fringe town||Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program||$68,600*|
|University of Toledo||4-year, public; large city||Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences (Physician Assistant Concentration)|| $6,582 per semester for in-state students;
$11,750 per semester for out-of-state students**
Source: *Schools' websites, **NCES College Navigator.