Master of Physician Assistant Studies

About the Program

Established in 1972, the Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program at UT Southwestern is a full-time, post-baccalaureate program that begins once a year in May and is completed in 30 months with graduation in December.

The curriculum is a robust blend of academic learning and hands-on clinical training. Students begin with four semesters of lecture and bedside demonstration in medical and behavioral sciences. This foundational coursework is followed by four semesters of clinical rotations in a wide range of disciplines and settings.

Curriculum Details

Badge: Best Grad Schools, Physician Assistant - U.S. News & World Report


The mission of the Physician Assistant Studies Program is to:

  • Excel in the art and science of physician assistant education.
  • Promote interprofessional primary health care delivery to a diverse and dynamic population.
  • Encourage leadership, service, and excellence among our faculty, staff, students, and graduates.
  • Foster a commitment to diversity and inclusion, evidence-based medicine, quality improvement, and patient safety.


The vision of the Physician Assistant Studies Program is to become a destination PA program for economically and environmentally disadvantaged faculty, staff and students while achieving and maintaining excellent outcome measures.


Scholars Honored

Three students are the program’s first to win National Health Service Corp Scholarships.


UT Southwestern Advantage

Students wearing gloves learn to use a tourniquet on a model of a forearm

UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program prepares exceptional students for one of health care’s fastest growing and deeply rewarding careers.

Ranked seventh in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in “America’s Best Graduate Schools 2020,” our physician assistant (PA) program’s unique advantages include:

  • A noted faculty recognized for student interaction and teaching excellence
  • A 30-month curriculum that blends comprehensive academic training with 15 months of clinical rotations
  • The unmatched resources of UT Southwestern, including Parkland Memorial Hospital, ranked one of the nation’s best for more than a decade
  • Tuition and fee rates that are among the most reasonable in the country
  • A premier location near the heart of Dallas, a thriving center for health care, business, education, and the arts

Selecting UT Southwestern for your physician assistant education can be the first step toward a career rich in personal and professional rewards.

Clinical Facilities

PA Students Walking in Hospital

The new William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital is a dynamic learning environment that includes areas for collaborative, team-based education. The facility has more than 35,000 square feet of space dedicated to research and learning.

Parkland Memorial Hospital is a high-energy, 862-bed county facility that admits nearly 41,000 patients a year. Parkland has earned a place on U.S. News and World Report’s list of America’s Best Hospitals for more than a decade.

In addition to Clements University Hospital and Parkland, your clinical training will take you to other teaching hospitals and community clinics with formal affiliations with UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Program Goals and Outcomes

  • Goals

    The program goals of the Physician Assistant Studies Program are:

    • Exceed the U.S. national average first time pass rate on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE)
    • Provide student clinical education opportunities in diverse settings and medically underserved areas/populations
    • Demonstrate excellence in scholarship, leadership and service 
    • Provide longitudinal educational experiences in evidence-based medicine, quality improvement and patient safety
  • Success in Goal Accomplishment

    PANCE Goal

    For the past five years, 99.6% of students passed the PANCE on their first attempt exceeding the U.S. national average each year. Read the official NCCPA report.

    Clinical Education Opportunities

    • 100% of students completed clinical education opportunities in diverse and medically underserved areas/populations.

    Scholarship, Leadership, Service

    • Across their careers, the faculty and staff have held 18 state or national leadership positions
    • Served on more than 85 professional, institutional, and community committees; received more than 65 awards and honors to include international research recognition and various teaching awards from state and national organizations
    • From 2016-2020, our faculty contributed to 25 published manuscripts, 12 funded grant submissions, 25 oral presentations and workshops at local and national professional meetings, and over 50 poster presentations. Our students contributed to 2 manuscripts submitted for publication, 1 funded grant submission and 6 presentations at local and national professional meetings.

    EBM & QI/PS Curricula

    • 100% of students complete our EBM curriculum that includes longitudinal experiences focused on critical appraisal of research articles and application to clinical care. This includes completion of a one-credit didactic course followed by an EBM module as part of the eight-week Family Medicine rotation. Additionally, students have the option of selecting EBM as the focus of their graduate project.
    • 100% of students complete didactic phase lectures addressing the basic concepts of QI/PS and how to conduct QI/PS projects. In the clinical phase, all students participate in a workshop design to enhance implementation of QI/PS projects upon graduation.


Graduates of our program are eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination given by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).


The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Physician Assistant Program sponsored by the University of Texas. 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 Standards and ARC-PA policy.

The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website,

Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant
12000 Findley Road, Suite 150
Johns Creek, Georgia 30097
Phone: 770-476-1224

In accordance with ARC-PA Standard A3.12, please find the program’s most recent UTSW Student Attrition Table 04.15.2021.

Meet the Program Director