Feb 27, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin 
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physician Assistant Studies, MSPAS

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The University of Kentucky, Division of Physician Assistant Studies (PAS) offers a Plan B, non-thesis, physician assistant master’s degree program that is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (M.S.P.A.S.) program is designed for students who wish to become PAs and hold a baccalaureate or will have earned a baccalaureate degree by the time they enter the program. The M.S.P.A.S. program is offered at two distinct locations in either Lexington or Morehead, KY.

The mission of the University of Kentucky Physician Assistant Studies program is to improve the health and well-being of the people in the Commonwealth of Kentucky by graduating competent and compassionate physician assistants who will become transformative leaders in their practices and communities. Accordingly, we seek applicants who have a strong interest in practicing medicine in Kentucky, especially its most underserved areas. We employ a holistic approach to choose those students who will best fulfill our mission. Graduates of the program are eligible to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination. After successful completion of the NCCPA Exam, graduates are eligible for state certification/licensure to practice as certified physician assistants.


Admission Requirements

The admissions cycle to the M.S.P.A.S. program is a competitive application and interview process occurring annually (April - July), with each cohort matriculating in January. Applicants select one campus (Lexington or Morehead) and apply simultaneously to the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) and the UK Graduate School application. Students must satisfy admissions requirements for both the Graduate School and the Physician Assistant Studies Program. For more detailed information on the program admissions requirements, please visit the program website

Bachelor’s Degree

All applicants must meet the minimum academic standards for the Graduate School. Completion of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university is required prior to entry into the program. (The UKPAS program does not require a specific degree and the program does not favor one degree over another.) Additionally, applicants may have only two outstanding prerequisite requirements at the time of application submission to be completed by August.

Prerequisite Courses*

A “C” grade or better must be earned in the following prerequisite courses and only one retake per course requirement:

  • General Chemistry 1 with laboratory 1 semester
  • General Chemistry 2 with laboratory 1 semester
  • Organic Chemistry with laboratory 1 semester
  • General Biology with laboratory 1 semester
  • Microbiology with laboratory 1 semester
  • Human Anatomy 1 semester
  • Human Physiology 1 semester
  • Statistics 1 semester
  • Psychology 1 semester
  • Developmental Psychology 1 semester
  • Sociology or Anthropology 1 semester
  • Medical Terminology 1 semester

Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

All GRE scores must come from exams taken within the last 5 years. A minimum score is not set by the program or UK’s Graduate School. The UKPAS Program accepts ONLY the GRE for our program. We do not accept any substitutes (e.g. the MCAT, PA-CAT).

TOEFL Requirements (if applicable)

International applicants or domestic students who attended a high school in which English was not the primary language are required to submit TOEFL iBT scores in addition to the GRE. A minimum score of 26 in each category must be obtained: Reading, Listening, Speaking, & Writing.

Patient Care Experience

The UKPAS Program requires patient contact, however a minimum amount of hours is not set. Contact hours may be completed utilizing the following (but not limited to) medical disciplines: CNA, EMT, CMA, Medical Tech., phlebotomist, etc.

Additional Recommendations

Shadowing, leadership, and volunteer experience are strongly recommended to be a competitive applicant.

Letters of Recommendation

Three (3) letters of recommendation are required from people acquainted with the applicant for at least one year and familiar with his/her professional goals. They must be submitted with the CASPA application. Letters should come from the following sources:

  • Letter 1 - PA or Physician
  • Letter 2 - Academic Professor, Advisor, or Committee
  • Letter 3 - Medical (i.e. PA, physician, nurse manage, etc.) or Academic

Admissions Essay

The admission essays are completed through the CASPA application.  Essays must be of graduate quality and reflect the applicant’s commitment and understanding to the profession, program mission, campus selection, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Basic Life Support Certification

Applicants must be certified in Basic Life Support for Health Providers through the American Heart Association by matriculation in January. Red Cross certifications will not be accepted.

Technical & Behavioral Standards, Background Checks, & Drug Screening

All students matriculating into the UKPA Program are required to meet certain technical and behavioral standards of the program and College of Health Sciences. Additionally, applicants must pass a background check and drug screenings.


Due to the competitive nature and large number of students applying to the program, not all applicants who meet minimum requirements will be invited for an interview.

For more information and dates of General Information Sessions please visit our website.

If you have questions after visiting our website and attending an information session you may contact:

Julia Berry

UKPA Educational Didactic & Admissions Coordinator



Degree Requirements

MSPAS Program Curriculum Requirements

All students enrolled in the program will take the following courses in a lock-step format.Courses are on a 4.0 grading scale. D grades are not awarded to graduate students.




ANA 611   

Regional Human Anatomy


PAS 620  

Health Care Delivery in the 21st Century


PAS 651  

Introduction to the PA Profession


PGY 412G  

Principles of Human Physiology





Summer 4-Week Intersession


PAS 610  

Research Methods & Epidemiology in PA Studies





Summer 8-Week Intersession


PAS 653    

Introduction to Health & Disease


PAS 678 

Health Promotion & Disease Prevention








PAS 645    

Master’s Project


PAS 650  

Clinical Methods


PAS 654  

Clinical Lecture Series I


PAS 655  

Psychosocial Factors in Primary Health Care


PAS 672  

Pharmacology I








PAS 646   

Master’s Project 2


PAS 656  

Patient Evaluation & Management


PAS 657  

Clinical Laboratory Procedures


PAS 658  

Clinical Lecture Series II


PAS 673  

Pharmacology II





Summer 4-Week Intersession


CNU 503   

Nutrition for Health Professions


PAS 640  

Survey of Geriatric Medicine





Summer 8-Week Intersession


Students begin Clinical Year Program Clerkship Requirements; rotations are not set in any particular order

Clerkships are 4-week long rotations


PAS 660  

Family Medicine Clerkship (Two 4-week rotations)


PAS 661  

Pediatric Clerkship


PAS 662  

Obstetrics & Gynecology Clerkship


PAS 663  

Surgery Clerkship


PAS 665  

Clinical Practicum in Physician Assistant Studies (i.e. Electives; Three 4-week rotations)


PAS 669  

Internal Medicine Clerkship (Two 4-week rotations)


PAS 670  

Emergency Medicine Clerkship


PAS 671  

Psychiatry Clerkship


PAS 680  

Seminar in PA Studies





Total Program Credit Hours



Please note that any course offered in the PA program curriculum must be taken while in the program. The program does not offer advanced placement or course audits. Courses will not be allowed to transfer into the program (e.g. PGY 412G, ANA 611, etc.)

After completing the course work and clerkship requirements with a minimum 3.0 GPA, students who receive passing scores on the final graduate (Summative) examination will be awarded a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (M.S.P.A.S.) degree. Graduates of the program are eligible to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination. After successful completion of the exam, they are also eligible for state certification/licensure to practice as certified physician assistants.

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