Physician Assistant (MSPA)

Empowering compassionate clinicians. 

Physician assistants (PAs) are highly trained healthcare professionals who work under the supervision of doctors of medicine or osteopathy. The collaborative relationship between physicians and PAs is crucial to delivering high-quality healthcare. PAs have the knowledge and skills to make clinical decisions, offer various diagnostic, therapeutic, preventive, and health maintenance services. They play a vital role in primary and specialty care across medical and surgical settings.

Time to finish
27 months
In Person
Master of Science in Physician Assistant (MSPA)
April 27
CASPA Closes
October 1
Program Start

Why Earn a Physician Assistant (MSPA) Degree at Mary Baldwin?

The role of the physician assistant demands intelligence, sound judgment, interpersonal skills, and the capacity to react to emergencies in a calm and reasoned manner. PAs perform physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret lab tests, assist in surgery, and provide patient education and counseling. As a highly regarded PA program in Virginia, the master of science in physician assistant program at Mary Baldwin embraces the team-based, collaborative, and interprofessional approach to patient care. 

Faculty with Proven Expertise

Learn and be mentored by accomplished scholars and practitioners. Many of our faculty members have upwards of 20 years of experience in the field, and most are still active in PA practice. Our faculty’s areas of specialty include family medicine, sports medicine, surgery, emergency medicine and urgent care, pediatric advocacy, preventative medicine, and more.

Shared Experience

Studying in a cohort model means that you’ll start and finish the PA program with the same group of fellow students, so you’ll find a strong community of support as you complete your courses. You’ll also get to work together in special interprofessional case study groups, research, and clinical skills scenarios.

Collaborative Training

Collaboration extends to students from other disciplines like occupational therapy, physical therapy, medicine, nursing, and social work. Our PA program’s curriculum prepares our graduates to practice the highest quality patient care in a rapidly changing healthcare environment.

Immersive Experiences in the Field

Through our partnership with local community hospitals and healthcare organizations, PA students are able to begin clinical experiences immediately. This access enables them to build communication, relationship, and clinical skills right off the bat during their first year. Overall, our program emphasizes spending more hours in the field to better prepare you for future practice.

  • 100% of MBU graduates ultimately passed the PA national exam (2022)
  • 100% of MBU graduates employed within six months of earning their PA degree (2021)

“I cannot begin to express how prepared I felt entering the workforce after completing MBU’s PA program. I’m a new graduate functioning independently and serving as a sole provider managing a variety of conditions at a very busy, very well-established practice.

Montana Weitzel, MSPAClass of 2021

Courses and Curriculum 

All didactic courses (15 months of instruction) will utilize the most appropriate and up-to-date instructional techniques, including lecture/discussion, interprofessional group and problem-based discussion, case studies, presentations, clinical skill scenarios, and hospital-based experiences.

The clinical phase follows the didactic and is 12 months in length. Students will study in six-week rotations with practitioners in the areas of family medicine, internal medicine, emergency medicine, pediatrics, women’s health, behavioral medicine/mental health, and general surgery.

Murphy Deming Student Services

Our team is dedicated to ensuring Murphy Deming students receive a high-quality student experience and support for their well-being, development, engagement, and success.

Cost & Financial Aid

A great education is worth it. Our mission is to help you level up and bring your aspirations to life.

Career opportunities

PAs work in various areas of practice, including:

  • 13.1% in family medicine, addressing a wide range of conditions, emphasizing prevention, and providing continuity of care while serving their communities 
  • 9.7% in orthopaedic surgery, supporting musculoskeletal procedures and providing care in emergency departments and urgent care centers, or serving as care coordinators
  • 7.4% in emergency medicine, examining and evaluating patients; ordering and interpreting lab tests; and diagnosing and treating in the ER
  • 6.5% in urgent care, providing immediate outpatient medical care for acute and chronic illness and injury
  • 4.6% in general internal medicine, addressing the diagnosis, treatment, and care of adults, ranging from healthy individuals to those with complex illnesses
  • 3.3% in dermatology, evaluating, diagnosing, and treating a wide variety of skin-related health conditions, both medically and surgically
  • 3.1% in cardiology, working in a variety of settings among diverse patient populations and helping to meet the increasing demand for cardiovascular care
  • Additionally, 1-2 % of PAs respectively reported specialties in each of the following areas: hospital medicine, psychiatry, critical care, education, obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN), or administration.

Source: AAPA Areas of Practice Guide, based on the 2023 AAPA Salary Survey and Report concerning primary PA roles

Professional Licensure Disclosure

The PA program has determined that its curriculum meets the state educational requirements for licensure or certification in all states and the District of Columbia.

Technical Standards

View the Minimum Technical Standards for Admissions, Continuation, and Graduation for the PA program here.

Policy/Student Handbook

The program maintains a policy/student handbook available to enrolled students. This includes policies of remediation, deceleration, withdrawal, leave of absence, progression, and completion.

It’s time to level up your career. Apply today!