Program Type
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Physician Assistant Program Overview

Ashland University Physician Assistant Program Mission Statement:

Educate physician assistants based on a foundation of evidence-based medicine, to competently practice patient-centered care, exercise cultural humility and cultivate a team approach. Graduates will be prepared for the changing landscape of medicine to serve individuals locally, nationally and internationally. Physician assistants will be taught the Dwight Schar College Nursing and Health Science’s guiding values: integrity, caring, accountability, respect and excellence (ICARE), interprofessional collaboration and lifelong learning.

Physician Assistant Students in clinical
Delivery Format

In Person

Credit Hours


Time to Complete

24 months


Program Goals

With a foundation of evidence-based medicine, the PA Studies program aims to:

  • Recruit and select diverse and highly qualified applicants for admission.
  • Provide a quality educational experience with an emphasis on patient-centered care, and produce practice-ready graduates. 
  • Deliver a curriculum that integrates interprofessional teams, professionalism and self-assessment to prepare graduates for team integration and continued self-learning. 
  • Graduate PA students who perform above the national average of first-time pass rates on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination. 
  • Promote leadership and service of students and faculty.
Physician Assistant Student taking notes


The Master of Science in Physician Assistant studies at Ashland University is looking for students who demonstrate professionalism, dedication and commitment to patient care.

The program accepts applications through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Admission is limited to 36 students per cohort.

Apply early! Students will be accepted on a rolling admission cycle. Applications are processed and interviews are arranged* as applications are received, up to the application deadline of April 1. Students who meet the admission requirements but apply later in the process will be considered, but they may be placed on a waitlist.

*Applicants who have been selected for an interview will be notified via email with details for the interview day. Ashland University PA Program reserves the right to adjust the interview format based on local, regional, state and national restrictions.

Cost & Financial Aid

Students who are accepted into Ashland University’s Physician Assistant program are responsible for a non-refundable deposit of $1000 to secure their seat. Based on rolling admission, $500 is required two weeks after an offer is extended and the remaining $500 is due June 1st.

COSTS* Fall 2023 Cohort Fall 2024 Cohort
Total Program Tuition $92,500 $94,645
Graduation Fee $100 $100
Learning Technology Fee $42/credit hour $46/credit hour
Additional Costs    
Health Insurance (Ashland University option) $1,821/year $2,174/year
Background Check & Drug Screen $250 $250
Textbooks $1,500 $1,500
Laptop (if purchased through Ashland University) $1,100 $1,500
Professional Memberships $125/2-year $125/2-year
Personal Medical Equipment $1,000 $1,000
Estimated Living & Transportation Expenses    
University Housing (optional) $9,720/year $12,213/year
Personal Living Expenses $2,765/semester $2,904/semester
Transportation (car insurance/car payment/gas) $2,868/year $3,012/year
Vehicle Permit $96/year $100/year
Eagle ID replacement card $10


*All costs are subject to annual adjustments.

Financial Aid

To learn more about AU’s policies governing Financial Aid, including the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy, Refund Policy and Outside Scholarship Policy, visit Current Students Financial Aid.

The Financial Aid Office will begin packaging aid and generating offer letters in April each year for Physician Assistant students who submit a FAFSA and meet eligibility requirements. Students are encouraged to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before April 1. For more details, visit Graduate Student Financial Aid.


In addition to providing the medical knowledge to graduate practice-ready physician assistants, the program is committed to providing training and certifications to enhance each student’s portfolio and prepare them for employment upon a successful first-time pass of their PANCE exam.

The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies is a full-time, 24-month, year-round graduate program that consists of 103 semester credit hours completed over six consecutive semesters. 

The curriculum is separated into didactic and clinical academic work. The didactic curriculum will be completed face-to-face with early integration of the state-of-the-art high-fidelity simulation lab. The clinical year curriculum is delivered primarily through Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences (Clinical Rotations). 

Students will complete four-week rotations in the disciplines of Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine, General Surgery, Women's Health, Pediatrics and Behavioral Health. Additionally, students have the opportunity to select two elective rotations.

Student Attrition

Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) Student Attrition

Graduated Classes
  Class of 2023 Class of 2024 Class of 2025
Maximum entering class size
(as approved by ARC-PA)
24 30 36
Entering class size 24 30 30
Graduates 20 N/A N/A
Attrition rate 16% N/A


Graduation rate 84% N/A N/A


Accreditation Statement

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Ashland University Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program sponsored by Ashland University.

Accreditation-Provisional status is 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. It may also be granted 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 at

PANCE Results

The first-time Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) pass rates for the five most recent graduating classes compared to the national average, as provided by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, are published once information becomes available for each class year.

Data from our first graduating class will be available in spring 2024.

Can You Give Me a Glimpse of My Future?

As a graduate, you'll join the ranks of highly skilled medical providers, equipped with the knowledge, clinical expertise, and compassion to make a tangible difference in the lives of patients. Whether you find yourself working in primary care, surgery, emergency medicine, or another specialized field, your role as a physician assistant will be vital in delivering high-quality, patient-centered care.

Student Resources and Policies

Contact Information

Melissa Irwin
Melissa Irwin, D.M.Sc.
Director, Physician Assistant Program; Chair, Department of Medical Sciences; Clinical Assistant Professor
134 College of Nursing – Mansfield