Physician Assistant Studies

First Five-year, Entry Level Master's Degree For PA

The Duquesne University Physician Assistant Studies (PAS) Program was the first five-year, entry-level Master's degree program in the nation.

Our graduates become health professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. They provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services, in primary and specialty care in medical and surgical practice settings.

Program Structure

"Entry level" students come into Duquesne University as freshmen, complete the five year curriculum, and earn both a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences degree and a Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree.

  • The rigorous 3-year pre-professional curriculum is comprised of core curriculum requirements and pre-requisites for the accredited phase.
  • Pre-requisite courses provide the strong science background necessary for academic success as an accredited phase student.
  • Pre-professional phase students meet with PA program faculty on a regular basis and have numerous opportunities to learn more about the program and the PA profession.

Pre-professional Phase Curriculum:

First Year Curriculum

Second Year Curriculum

Third Year Curriculum

Upon successful completion of the requirements for the pre-professional phase, students then advance into the accredited phase of the curriculum.

Accredited Phase Curriculum:

Third Year Curriculum Continued

Fourth Year Curriculum

Fifth Year Curriculum

Why Duquesne's PA Program Stands Out

With over 800 successful graduates, Duquesne University is recognized for educating highly qualified clinical practitioners. Some aspects of our program which stand out are:

  • Our graduates' outstanding performance on the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination
  • Their successful clinical practice in a variety of medical and surgical specialties.
  • Our highly qualified and experienced faculty under the leadership of Bridget C. Calhoun, DrPH, PA-C, Department Chair and Associate Professor
  • Students receive top quality instruction in a state-of-the-art facility.

A Model for Others

The Duquesne University Department of Physician Assistant Studies is a leader in PA education and a model for other programs.  Over half of the PA programs in the country currently award a Master's degree.  Of the Master's programs in existence, only a few offer an “entry level” Masters program.  Other programs that offer a Master's degree traditionally require 2 or more years after completion of a 4 year undergraduate program -- a total of 6 years (or more) of higher education in comparison to 5 years with the Duquesne University program. This is one of the strengths and advantages of the Duquesne University PAS Program.

For information about filing complaints with ARC-PA, please see page 32 of this document.