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MPA - Master of Physician Assistant

Our MPA program helps prepare professionals who will contribute to the advancement of the physician assistant profession through leading, life-long learning, and service.

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You must be a licensed registered nurse or have completed an associate degree of nursing to apply for the program.

You must be a licensed registered nurse and have completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree or a bachelor's degree in a closely related field to apply for this program.

You must be a licensed registered nurse and have completed a Master of Science in Nursing degree to apply for this program.

You must be a licensed registered nurse and have completed a Master of Science in Nursing degree or a master's degree in a healthcare related field.

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MPA Program Highlights

<p>Earn your physician assistant master’s degree in as few as 24 months</p>

Earn your physician assistant master’s degree in as few as 24 months

<p>Learn with innovative medical visualization resources such as virtual dissection tables and augmented reality</p>

Learn with innovative medical visualization resources such as virtual dissection tables and augmented reality

<p>Practice in technologically advanced immersive learning center to help you master patient care techniques and build confidence</p>

Practice in technologically advanced immersive learning center to help you master patient care techniques and build confidence

<p>Receive individualized support as you prepare for your licensure examination to become a physician assistant</p>

Receive individualized support as you prepare for your licensure examination to become a physician assistant

<p>Get career support after graduation</p>

Get career support after graduation

Student Life at WCU

Join a diverse community of passionate, dedicated individuals at WCU.  With a culture that feels like a family, you will have all the support you need to be the best you can be. Join a study group to learn from your classmates or get some guidance through peer tutoring sessions. WCU’s class sizes grant you the opportunity to get to know your professors and get insight into the healthcare industry. Find a community that helps you build on your strengths and reach your academic goals.

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Additional Information About our MPA Degree

Tools for Today’s Students

At WCU, our goal is to help you build both the skills and the confidence required to be an effective physician assistant. That’s why our Physician Assistant program in Dallas is designed to deliver a variety of innovative, hands-on learning experiences.

  • Physician Assistant Center for Advanced Immersive Learning for comprehensive, collaborative, and clinical preparation exercises
  • Immersive learning resources that include virtual dissection, augmented reality, and advanced 3D experiential platforms
  • Simulation room equipped with high-fidelity manikins that mimic real-life physical functions
  • Patient exam rooms for students to practice history taking, physical examination, and communication skills
  • Real-world clinical experience with preceptors at our partner medical and hospital facilities

One-on-One Support

From the admissions process until beyond your last day of class, WCU aims to give you the support you need to earn your MPA degree. These are just some of the teams and resources available to you as a WCU student.

  • Financial Aid – Financial aid and scholarships are available for those who qualify. Our dedicated financial aid advisors can help you find the funding option that’s right for you.
  • Clinical Team – Completing your clinical hours is an important part of your education, which is why our clinical team is available to help you find clinical sites.
  • NCCPA Board Preparation – Get help preparing for your licensure exam to become a physician assistant.

Support Beyond Graduation

West Coast University supports its MPA students beyond the last day of class. We are committed to helping our graduates throughout their careers. Through our Career Service department, we provide ongoing assistance with professional and career development through workshops and guidance for our students and graduates of the MPA program in Dallas.

WCU provides career guidance and assistance but cannot guarantee employment.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the program and as required for licensure, the entry-level Physician Assistant will be able to:

  1. Apply patient-centered care using evidence-based medical knowledge, skills, and value to medical practice.
  2. Evaluate the social determinants of health for patient care decisions influenced by the larger community.
  3. Demonstrate health literacy communication with patients and families throughout the lifespan and across cultures.
  4. Engage in interprofessional teams using collaboration and leadership skills that optimize best practices.
  5. Exhibit professionalism in the integration of ethical, legal, and regulatory requirements of medical practice.
  6. Provide patient care sensitive to healthcare and consumer finances in the context of the evolving medical system.

Admissions Requirements and Processes

  1. Submit a completed application for admission with all admissions requirements through the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistant system (CASPA) and pay $75 application fee through WCU.
  2. Meet the program admissions requirements.
  3. Submit a copy of official transcripts through CASPA.
  4. Participate in a qualitative admissions interview arranged by the admissions department.
  5. Complete an enrollment agreement if accepted into the program.
  6. All requirements must be met by the application deadline in order to be considered.

Program specific application requirements

    1. Completion of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States, prior to matriculation with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale-excludes post-baccalaureate work.
    2. Medical/health-related experience is strongly recommended.
    3. Required science courses must meet a minimum of a 2.7 grade point average and must be completed within the last ten years:
      1. Sciences (must have been taken within the last 10 years):
        1. General Biology I and II with lab (6 semester units or 8 quarter units)
        2. General Chemistry I and II with lab (6 semester units or 8 quarter units)
        3. Organic Chemistry with lab (3 semester units or 4 quarter units)
        4. Microbiology with lab (3 semester units or 4 quarter units)
        5. Biochemistry (3 semester units or 4 quarter units)
        6. Genetics (3 semester units or 4 quarter units)
        7. Human Anatomy I with lab * (3 semester units or 4 quarter units)
        8. Human Physiology I with lab* (3 semester units or 4 quarter units)

*Anatomy and Physiology, I and II with lab for a total of 6 semester units or 8 quarter units

      1. Social Sciences:
        1. General Psychology (3 semester units or 4 quarter units)
        2. Introduction to Sociology (3 semester units or 4 quarter units)
      1. Mathematics:
        1. Introduction to Statistics (3 semester units or 4 quarter units)
      1. Language
        1. College English and English Composition or equivalent (3 semester units or 4 quarter units)

Advanced Placement (AP) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) credit will not be accepted for any prerequisite courses nor will the program offer advanced placement. Prerequisite courses completed within the last seven years are preferred, and all science courses must be less than 10 years old at time of application. Prerequisite courses are for enrollment purposes only and will not substitute for more advanced applied content within the professional component of the program.

  1. Submit results of CASPer and Snapshot for non-academic attributes and/or people skills.
    Visit Altusassessments.com.
  2. A current Basic Cardiac Life Support (BLS) card/certificate from the American Heart Association one month prior to program enrollment.
  3. Submission of an Admissions Essay Statement
  4. Three Letters of Recommendation
  5. Meet the Technical Standards for admission as follows:
        • Candidates must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences.
        • Candidates must have sufficient use of the sensory, vision, hearing, motor, and somatic sensation necessary to perform a physical examination including point-of-care techniques.
        • Candidates must be able to perform examination activities such as palpation, auscultation, percussion, the administration of intravenous medication, the application of pressure to stop bleeding, the opening of obstructed airways, and the movements, equilibrium and functional use of the sense of touch and vision.
        • Candidates must be able to learn to respond with precise, quick, and appropriate action in emergency situations.
        • Candidates must be able to communicate with accuracy, clarity, efficiency, and sensitivity.
        • Candidates must have the skills to be able to analyze and synthesize information, solve problems, and reach diagnostic and therapeutic judgments.
        • Candidates must be able to acknowledge evaluation and respond appropriately.
        • Candidates must possess the interpersonal skills to develop rapport and positive relationships with patients.
        • Candidates are expected to possess the perseverance, diligence, and consistency to complete the PA Program curriculum. Candidates, therefore, must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads, to function effectively under stress, to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients.

    Pre-Admission Academic Standards
    Program specific application additional components:

        • Obtain a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States, prior to matriculation with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on 4.0 scale
        • Required science courses must meet minimum of a 2.7 grade point average and must be completed within the last 10 years at time of application.
        • Complete all aspects of the CASPA application including the personal statement and program specific questions.
        • Submit results CASPer and Snapshot for non-academic attributes and/or people skills
        • List all college coursework taken (including foreign coursework and transcript evaluation by World Education Services (WES) submitted through CASPA.
        • Current Basic Cardiac Life Support card/certification from the American Heart Association one month prior to program enrollment.
        • Submit three letters of recommendation. These letters of recommendations must be able to provide feedback regarding your preparation for a profession in medicine including professionalism, work ethic, ethics and character, and academic preparation. Letters of recommendation should come from: medical providers (MDs, DOs, PAs, etc), professors, supervisors/employers, and mentors. Letters should not come from personal contacts such as family members, neighbors, personal medical providers, and religious leaders.</

    Admissions Processes
        • The program follows a rolling admissions process where applications are reviewed, and applicants selected for interview throughout the application cycle.
        • The application cycle opens in late April when CASPA opens and ends September 30 of each year.
        • Individuals apply to the program via the Centralized Student Application Service (CASPA).
        • The West Coast University Texas Admissions Office review applications and forward completed and appropriate applications to the MPA TX program for review.
        • In some cases, applicants may be denied an interview. Generally, these applicants do not meet the program’s admission requirements.
        • Invited candidates attend a virtual interview with the program via a secure Zoom platform. The interview sessions include the following components:
        • Opening session with the Program Director welcoming candidates, reviewing the program and admission processes, introduction of faculty and candidates, review of program curriculum, and question and answer session.
        • Individual multiple mini-interviews (MMIs) with program faculty
        • Closing session with the Program Director and then, without the program director or faculty present, with current students for any remaining questions to be answered.
        • The most competitive applicants will have strong GPAs, no course withdrawals or incompletes, history of health care experience, strong written communication skills, evidence of commitment to serving the underserved.
        • Admissions decisions are made near the time of the interview.
        • Following the interview, program faculty meet to discuss all candidates and make admissions decisions.
        • The program will offer admissions to candidates on this rolling basis such that more admissions seats will be available toward the beginning of the admissions cycle and fewer towards the end of the admissions cycle.

    Admissions decisions include:

        • Accepted for Admission
        • Denied for Admission
        • Alternate list for admission*

    *Alternate list applicants are re-reviewed following each subsequent admissions session and may be moved from waitlist to another admissions category (e.g., denied or accepted).

    Candidate Seat Deposit

    Applicants that are conditionally accepted to the Master of Physician Assistant program will be required to submit a $500.00 good faith payment for a Seat Deposit. The Seat Deposit will be credited to your program costs. The University will retain a maximum of $175.00 of this deposit should you cancel your enrollment within seven calendar days (excluding holidays) of enrollment or by the seventh calendar day of the first term, whichever is later. Deposits may be paid by money order or cashier's check made out to West Coast University.

MPA Curriculum

Physician Assistant Courses

PA 500 Medical Science

3

PA 503 Clinical Anatomy & Physiology I with Lab

7

PA 506 Patient Assessment & Counseling I with Lab

5.5

PA 509 Pharmacology & Pharmacotherpeutics I

3

PA 512 Clinical Diagnostics I

1.5

PA 515 Disease & Society I

4.5

PA 518 Mental Health

3

PA 521 Clinical Anatomy & Physiology II with Lab

5.5

PA 524 Patient Assessment & Counseling II with La

5

PA 527 Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapeutics II

3

PA 530 Clinical Diagnostic II

1.5

PA 533 Disease & Society II

5.5

PA 536 Patient Assessment & Counseling III with Lab

5

PA 539 Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapeutics III

3

PA 542 Clinical Diagnostics III

1.5

PA 545 Disease & Society III

6

PA 548 Evidence Based Medicine

1.5

PA 551 Physician Assistant Profession

2

PA 554 Clinical Skills & Preparation Lab

2

PA 600 Clinical Experience - Family Medicine

4.5

PA 603 Clinical Experience - Internal Medicine/Hospitalist Service

4.5

PA 606 Clinical Experience - Emergency Medicine

4.5

PA 609 Masters Project I

1.5

PA 612 Art of Care I

1.5

PA 615 Clinical Experience - Women's Health

4.5

PA 618 Clinical Experience - Pediatric Medicine

4.5

PA 621 Clinical Experience - Behavioral Medicine

4.5

PA 624 Masters Project II

1.5

PA 627 Art of Care II

1.5

PA 630 Clinical Experience - Surgery

4.5

PA 633 Clinical Experience - SCPE Elective

4.5

PA 636 Clinical Experience - Advanced Topics

3

PA 639 Capstone Masters Project

1.5

PA 642 Art of Care III

1.5

Total Credit Hours: 117.0

Master of Physician Assistant Program Clinical Requirements

  1. Obtain background clearance.*
  2. Undergo a drug screening.*
  3. Strict adherence to the Bloodborne Pathogens Policy and Exposure Control Plan. 
  4. Submit documentation of immunizations, vaccinations, tuberculosis clearance.*
  5. Provide and maintain a current Basic Life Support (BLS) certification.*
  6. Expect the hours and days to vary depending on the trimester schedule.  
  7. Expect the trimester schedule to be final and non-negotiable.  If a student refuses a clinical assignment, the student will be dismissed from the program.  

*Information regarding these requirements is provided during the application process and at the program orientation.  

Master of Physician Assistant Program Accreditation Disclosure

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the West Coast University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by West Coast University.  

Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appears to demonstrate the program's ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation.  Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.  

Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status.  It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.  The program's accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website.  

Master of Physician Assistant Program Licensure Disclosure

To become a certified PA (PA-C), one must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE).  In addition, students must obtain state medical board registration/licensure.  The licensure requirements will vary from state to state.  

A PA may not begin working as a Physician Assistant in most states until he/she has successfully passed the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) AND has been licensed/registered by the state in which they practice.  There may be exceptions for certain state licensures or for federal employment, such as the military and Veterans Administration.  Failure to complete all necessary steps may constitute practicing medicine without a medical license.  Upon graduation, students are responsible for ensuring they obtain all required and licenses and certifications.  West Coast University is not responsible for registration or licensing; the student is solely responsible for all such requirements and verifying proper authorizations to practice medicine have been obtained.  

Health Insurance Requirement

Students enrolled in the MPA program will be required to provide evidence of health insurance prior to participation in clinical experiences.  Participation in all clinical experience courses is required to complete the program. 

Physician Assistant National Certifying Examinations

Five-year First-Time Test Taker Summary Report

Will be uploaded here upon completion of the PANCE by 1st Cohort

WCU MPA TX Program Attrition Table

 

Graduated Classes

 

Class of 2023

Class of 2024

Class of 2025

Max. entering class size (as approved by ARC-PA)

 

 

 

Entering Class Size

 

 

 

Graduates

 

 

 

Attrition rate

 

 

 

Attrition rate is calculated by the number of students who dropped from the cohort divided by the entering class size

Graduation rate is calculated by the number of cohort graduates divided by the entering class size

Tuition and Financial Aid

Learn more about tuition and fees for the MPA program on our online catalog. 

To apply for financial aid assistance or scholarships, we recommend applying alongside your admissions application in order for your consideration to be processed on your intended timeline. Learn More.

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the West Coast University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by West Coast University.

Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation. Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class. The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website.

Faculty

You can find a list of our program administrators and full-time faculty members on the online catalog.

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