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Marietta College’s graduate program in Physician Assistant Studies is divided into two parts — the 12-month Didactic Phase, where students complete a rigorous academic experience, and the 14-month Clinical Phase, where students complete multiple medical rotations under the guidance of highly qualified licensed practitioners.
Requirements for a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies.
Student Success
The median salary for Physician Assistants (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Marietta's overall student pass rate on PANCE — the national certification exam
Employment growth for physician assistants between 2022 and 2032 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Marietta's overall graduation rate since the PA Program started
Growth of the PA profession in the U.S. since 2013
Expected growth of Physician Assistants by 2035 according to a March 2022 study published in the Future Healthcare Journal
of 2023 cohort graduates had job placement six months post-graduation
average starting salary for graduates of the 2023 cohort
A Marietta College Physician Assistant Studies graduate student uses an ultrasound machine
A Marietta College Physician Assistant Studies graduate student uses a syringe.
A Marietta College PA student performs a suture
A Marietta College Physician Assistant Studies graduate searches for a vein.

What You'll Learn While Earning a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Degree

Our students are prepared to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) as soon as they graduate from the program. Our students have an overall graduation rate of 99.1% and an overall PANCE pass rate of 100%.

Admission Prerequisites

Pre-requisite Classes:

  • Upper-Level Human or Mammalian Biology*
  • General Chemistry I with Lab*
  • General Chemistry II with Lab*
  • Organic Chemistry with Lab*
  • Microbiology with Lab*
  • Human Anatomy with Lab*
  • Human Physiology*
  • General Psychology*
  • Upper-Level Psychology with emphasis on abnormal and/or developmental psychology*
  • Statistics*

*Or comparable course as determined by the Admissions Committee.

The following courses are not required pre-requisites but are excellent additional classes to strengthen an application:

  • Genetics
  • Immunology
  • Virology
  • Biochemistry
  • Histology
  • Pathophysiology
  • Toxicology
Admission Considerations

Prospective students must apply to the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) at by Nov. 1 to be considered for admission to the following summer class. When applying, official test scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test (verbal and quantitative) should be submitted using Marietta’s School Code 0937. The MCAT may be substituted for the GRE. An Admission Committee will weigh each candidate based on academic preparation, potential for primary care practice, motivation, maturity, prior health care experience, work ethic, leadership skills, extracurricular activities, knowledge of the physician assistant profession, and letters of recommendation. Successful candidates will be chosen to interview on campus before the committee.

Pioneers Lead the Way
Department Faculty & Staff


Is the PA Program accredited?

The ARC-PA has granted Continued Accreditation to the Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Marietta College. Continued accreditation is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.

Continued 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 comprehensive review of the Program by the ARC-PA will be March 2028.

What is the length of the program?

26 months, with classes being in June.

How many credit hours is the program?

102 credit hours; 44 credits during the Didactic phase and 58 credits during 
the Clinical phase.

Is there a supplemental application?

No, applicants should complete all requirements through CASPA

Does the tuition differ for in and out-of-state residents?

Tuition is the same for in state as well as out-of-state residents.

Do you offer any scholarships?

Yes, the program offers multiple scholarships to students in the MC PA program. Click here for more information.

Is financial aid available?

Information on financial aid can be obtained from the Office of Student Financial Aid at 1-800-331-2709.

What does your "average" accepted student look like?
Cumulative GPA3.70
Pre-requisite GPA3.70
Health care experience (total hours)2,615
Prior health care experiences include, but are not limited to the following areas: nurse, nursing assistant, phlebotomist, paramedic, medical assistant, athletic trainer, cardiac patient technician, triage assistant, and surgical specialist.
What is the minimum prerequisite GPA required for admission?


What type of setting is best to obtain patient contact hours?

Health care hours are not required, though they are strongly recommended. Examples of experiences include: shadowing PAs or physicians, nursing assistant/STNA, EMT, medical assistant, phlebotomist, ER tech, respiratory therapist, etc.

Is there a separate form required for logging health care hours?

No, applicants should complete all requirements through CASPA

Will I be able to work while in school?


  • The MC PA program is extremely intense and rigorous.  Students should view their education as their primary responsibility and should not allow any outside activity to interfere with the ability to accomplish the requirements necessary as a PA student.  Therefore, outside employment and collegiate athletic participation are strongly discouraged during the didactic phase and is prohibited during the clinical phase of the MC PA program. (A3.04,A3.15e). Collegiate athletic participation is at the discretion and approval of the MC PA program Progress and Conduct Committee.  
  • Students enrolled in the MC PA program cannot substitute for practicing physician assistants or provide unsupervised services common to a certified PA while at any learning or employment site while enrolled in the MC PA program.
  • Students are not permitted to work for the MC PA program or any clinical affiliates while enrolled in the MC PA program. Students are never required to or permitted to substitute for regular administrative staff or instructional faculty or clinical rotation staff during didactic or clinical phase regardless of prior experience and are not to be the primary instructor or instructor of record for any component of the curriculum. (A3.04, A3.05a,b) 
How many applicants were there this year?

A total of 1,055, with 305 verified applications, were received in the 2023–2024 cycle.

How many students are accepted each year?


What is the waitlist?

After the class is selected, applicants are placed on the waitlist. Applicants on this list may be contacted anytime until classes begin in June and offered admission if another applicant declines their seat.

Am I required to take my prerequisite courses at Marietta College?

No. You can take the prerequisite courses at any accredited college or university.

What is the employment trend for PAs?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physician assistants is projected to grow 27% from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations.

About 12,200 openings for physician assistants are projected each year, on average, over the decade.  

What is the difference between a PA, NP, RN, etc.?

PAs and NPs receive education that is competency base and both are advanced practice providers (APPs). Physician assistants are individuals trained using the medical school model, which has an expectation of strong basic science background and clinical experience of between 2,000 to 2,500 hours during their educational program. Nurse practitioners are individuals trained using the nursing school model, and are often trained in a specific area such as pediatrics, etc., following their formal training as a nurse.

Should I get a Bachelor's degree or a Master's degree in Physician Assistant Studies?

Most states, including Ohio, require a master's degree to practice.

Are advanced placement courses accepted?

Advance placement (AP) courses (limit two (2) courses) will be accepted for pre-requisite requirements, but will not be calculated into the pre-requisite GPA.

What do our preceptors have to say about our students?

"The program is well organized and professional. I enjoy the students." 

"I have been thoroughly impressed with the quality of education that your students are receiving." 

"Students are intelligent, motivated and show a lot of promise." 

"Students are enthusiastic, quick learners and work well with others." 

"Excellent knowledge base and basic diagnostic exam skills. Diligent, attentive, and interested in learning." 

"MC starts with quality applicants which makes a big difference in the quality of the final product."

Do you accept transfer students?

At this time, the MC PA program does not accept transfer students directly into the graduate program.

In rare or unforeseen circumstances, the MC PA program may accept transfer of students due to closure of a program, change in accreditation status, natural disasters, or other unanticipated institutional situations.

Admission: The MC PA program will utilize current admission processes with some slight variations to ensure fair and consistent policies to transfer students. Transfer admission candidates will include a review of CASPA application, admission documents, healthcare and leadership experience, and any academic and/or professional documents in the student file from the previous PA program. Candidates are not eligible for transfer if returning from medical/personal leave from the previous institute.  Additional MC PA program admission items may be required upon acceptance into the program. Depending on completed PA coursework and considering the semester of acceptance into the MC PA program, some previous institute admission requirements may be accepted.

Didactic: Any student that has not completed the didactic phase of training at another institution must provide previous syllabi for program review and to determine what courses may be accepted. Students will be required to complete all MC PA courses and competencies prior matriculating into the clinical phase of training. Failure to meet these requirements will jeopardize continued enrollment in and graduation from the MC PA program. Cost associated with additional didactic courses or delay in matriculation to the clinical phase will be the responsibility of the student.

Clinical: Any student that has completed the didactic phase of training at another institution in good academic and professional standing and has met MC PA program didactic courses, competencies, and outcomes may be considered for transfer into the clinical phase in the MC PA program requirements.

Does the program grant transfer of credit?

The program does not grant credit for experiential learning, international medical experience, and transfer of credit from another Physician Assistant Program or medical school. In rare or unforeseen circumstances, the MC PA program may accept transfer of students due to closure of a program, change in accreditation status, natural disasters, or other unanticipated institutional situations.

Please refer to the FAQ “Do you accept transfer students?” above.

Will I be expected to travel during the clinical year?

Yes. Students are likely to travel to distant sites, including out of state, for supervised clinical practice experiences. The clinical coordinator(s) will work hard to secure placements within a reasonable radius from the geographical location (60-90 miles).

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