Sep 26, 2023  
Academic Catalog 2022-2023 
Academic Catalog 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School of Physician Assistant Studies

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School of Physicial Assistant Studies Website

The Physician Assistant (PA) is a respected member of the health care team who works interdependently with their supervising physician to provide diagnostic and therapeutic patient care in a variety of medical settings.

PAs are trained to take comprehensive medical histories, perform complete physical examinations, order and interpret diagnostic tests, diagnose illnesses, develop treatment plans, assist in surgery, and perform minor procedures. In addition, PAs promote preventive health care and advocate for patient participation in health care decisions.

Employment opportunities for PAs exist in Oregon, the Pacific Northwest and throughout the United States. According to the U.S Department of Labor, employment of physician assistants is projected to grow 31 percent from 2019 to 2029. PAs practice in primary and specialty care at a variety of settings such as community clinics, private practice, medical groups, hospitals, managed care organizations, prisons and other government agencies. In addition to clinical practice, PAs may advance into positions in research, academics, public health, health care administration, and education.

Program Purpose and Learning Outcomes

The School of Physician Assistant Studies provides an outstanding curriculum utilizing innovative, alternative and traditional formats in a dynamic learning environment. The focus of the School is driven by the needs of the local and global community with a strong commitment to multilingual, multicultural-, and gender-equitable learning.


The School of Physician Assistant Studies is located within the Tuality Health and Education District in downtown Hillsboro, Oregon. Classrooms are located in Creighton Hall, Pacific University College of Health Professions. The School has affiliations with hospitals, managed care organizations, medical groups, community clinics, nursing homes, and private practice physicians. Clinical rotation placements are driven by the School’s focus on underserved communities and are located locally, throughout the Pacific Northwest, nationally, and internationally.


Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

Add/Drop/Withdrawal Schedule

Due to the structure of the curriculum, there is no add/drop period. If a student must leave during a semester, courses that have been completed will receive a grade, and the transcript will show no record of courses that have not started. Once a course has started, withdrawing before 60% of the course has been completed will result in a W grade; withdrawing after the 60% point will result in a grade based upon instructor evaluation of completed work.

Enrolling Without Seeking a Degree

Students may not enroll in courses for credit or audit unless they are seeking a degree.


All courses are graded Pass/No Pass based on the achievement of at least 80% of the total possible score for all assessments, skills and rotations.


The School of Physician Assistant Studies does not award honors at graduation.

Time Limits to Completion

All degree requirements must be completed within 40 months.  Students with extenuating circumstances may petition the School Director for consideration of longer timeframes.

Grade Changes

Once a course grade has been submitted, it is considered final and may be changed only in the case of recording, posting, or computation errors. Faculty members submit Grade Change Request forms to the School Director for approval

Incomplete Grades

An instructor may issue a grade of Incomplete (I) only when the major portion of a course has been completed satisfactorily but health or other emergency reasons prevent the student from finishing all requirements of the course. Prior to submitting an Incomplete grade, the instructor and the student complete an Incomplete Grade Contract detailing the completion and submission of all remaining work, as well as a timeline. After submission of the work, the instructor completes a Grade Change form and submits it to the School Director for approval; the form then is processed by the Registrar.

If agreed-upon work is not completed and no grade change submitted by the deadline (and an extension has not been granted), when the Incomplete expires the grade becomes a N (No Pass). Faculty may request an extension of an Incomplete (before the expiration date of the Incomplete) by notifying the Registrar’s office.

Questions regarding this policy should be directed to the Registrar or the School Director.

Transfer Credit

The School of Physician Assistant Studies does not accept transfer credit.

Normal Load

9 credits or more is considered a full-time course load; 5 credits is considered half-time.


To apply for readmission after an absence of one semester or more, a student must complete an Action Plan as determined by the School, and submit official transcripts from all colleges attended during a student’s absence from Pacific University to the School Director.

Calendar: School of Physician Assistant Studies

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