A Physician Assistant is a health care professional licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. Physician Assistants conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, assist in surgery, and in most states write prescriptions.
Pre-Physician Assistant at the University of Maryland is not a degree/certificate granting program, nor does the University offer a Master’s of Physician Assistant Studies program. The University of Maryland does offer the pre-requisite courses needed for admission into a Physician Assistant program. Students are required to have a Bachelors degree before entering into a Physician Assistant program. No one major is required or preferred to apply to Physician Assistant programs. Most University of Maryland students interested in becoming a Physician Assistant (P.A.) complete a Bachelor’s degree along with a certain number of professional school prerequisites, in addition to accumulating patient care hours, as required by the P.A. schools to which they are applying.
Most University of Maryland (UM) students interested in becoming a Physician Assistant (P.A.) complete a Bachelor's degree along with a certain number of professional school prerequisites, in addition to accumulating patient care hours, as required by the P.A. schools to which they are applying. In essence, most UM students, complete the following "Master's" pathway to P.A. school:
- "Master's" Option
- Bachelor's degree + professional school prerequisites (20-60 credits) + most require health related, patient care experience (100-2000 hours) + 2 years of professional school = Master of Science or Master of Physician Assistant (MPA) or Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) or Master of Health Professions or Physician Assistant Certificate
- Note that some physician assistant programs require applicants to have previous health care experience and some college education. The typical applicant already has a bachelor's degree and at least two (full-time) years of health care experience. Commonly nursing assistants, EMT's, and medical assistants apply to PA programs. Check the particular prerequisites of the PA educational programs that interest you. Most Master's level P.A. programs require GRE (Graduate Record Exam) scores.