Dec 09, 2023  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physician Assistant Studies, M.M.S.

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The M.M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies program prepares graduates for entry into the practice of medicine. The graduate must have the skills and knowledge to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and render a wide spectrum of patient care.

Candidates for the M.M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies must possess the intellectual ability to learn, integrate, analyze and synthesize data. They must have functional use of the senses of vision, hearing, equilibrium and taste. Their exteroceptor (touch, pain and temperature) and proprioceptor (position, pressure, movement, stereognosis and vibratory) senses must be sufficiently intact to enable them to carry out all the activities required to complete the program. Candidates must have sufficient motor function capabilities to meet the demands of the physician assistant studies program and the demands of total patient care. They must be able to complete the didactic and clinical curriculum in its entirety. The candidate must possess ability, aptitude and skills in six areas: observation, communication, motor, intellectual, behavioral and social.

Accreditation standards require that admission criteria for admittance into a physician assistant studies program are established by the program’s faculty. These requirements include technical standards for admission developed by the accrediting agency, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).

In the admission process, the University must judge the scholastic accomplishments and potential of the applicant to become a successful Physician Assistant. The University also considers the applicant’s current physical and emotional status, cumulative and progressive disability and drug-induced impairments that may pose obstacles to the safe application of the student’s knowledge and skill or prevent effective interaction with patients and co- workers.

In accordance with University policy and as delineated by Federal and California law, the University does not discriminate in admission, educational programs or employment against any individual on the basis of that individual’s handicap or disability and will make good faith efforts at providing reasonable accommodation(s) as required.

Application process

One cohort of students is accepted each year and these students matriculate in January. Students who wish to apply must do so during the prior year between April and August. Applications will not be accepted after the posted deadline.

Applications and supporting documents are submitted to the Centralized Application System for Physician Assistants (CASPA) on or before the posted deadline. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their applications and supporting documents as early as possible. Applicants are responsible for following up with CASPA to ensure all necessary documents are received. After CASPA confirms receipt of all necessary documents and verifies the completed application, students must forward updated transcripts for courses in progress at the time of application to the Office of Graduate Admission.

The supporting documents include:

  • All official transcripts; must include degrees posted.
  • GRE scores.
  • TOEFL scores (if English is not first language).
  • Three letters of recommendation. One must be from a physician assistant (PA) or physician (MD or DO).

Admission requirements

Admission to the M.M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies is competitive and multifaceted. The selection process is based on a combination of your graduate application, academic performance (degree(s), GPA(s) and GRE), letters of recommendation, patient contact hours, shadowing hours, community service, diversity of life experiences, personal statement of intent and performance during an in-person interview if invited.

Admission to the Physician Assistant Studies program requires the applicant to complete the required prerequisite coursework and admission requirements listed below.

  1. Completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college prior to matriculation into the Chapman University M.M.S. PA Studies program.
  2. Completion of all prerequisite coursework with a “C” or better at an accredited university or college in the United States.
  3. Overall cumulative GPA minimum 3.200.
  4. Cumulative science prerequisite GPA minimum 3.200.
  5. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) with no minimum score required. The GRE must be completed within the last five years from the application deadline. Chapman University’s institution code is 3681. A department code is not needed.
  6. TOEFL score must meet minimum standard requirement of 80 if English is not the primary language.
  7. Technical Standards: Qualified applicants must have abilities and skills in the following areas: observation, communication, motor, intellectual, conceptual, integrative, qualitative and behavior/social.
  8. Three letters of recommendation. One must be from a physician assistant (PA) physician (MD or DO).
  9. A minimum of 1,000 hours of direct patient contact in a health care related work experience, voluntary or paid; click here to view the approved patient contact list.
  10.  Observation/shadowing experience with a licensed and practicing PA is preferred, although shadowing with an MD or DO is also beneficial. Shadowing hours will not count towards the 1,000 required patient contact hours. Applicants must enter any shadowing experience hours in the official CASPA application. Observational experiences are to be arranged by the student. The PA Studies program will not arrange nor recommend observational sites. Clinical work experience as well as any formal health career training (EMT, CNA, LVN,  RN, RT, PT, MT, etc.) cannot be substituted for observational/shadowing hours.
  11. Personal statement/Narrative: Please describe your motivation towards becoming a PA. 5000 characters limit = approximately 625 words.
  12. Personal interview: After initial assessment and screening of applications, selected candidates will be invited to interview on campus in Irvine, CA.
  13. Background check: successful completion.
  14. Due to new government regulations, we are unable to accept international students into the program at this time. If you have any questions, please contact

Persons who have been dismissed from another physician assistant studies program are not eligible for consideration for admission to Chapman University’s M.M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies.

Prerequisite coursework

All prerequisite coursework must be obtained from an accredited college or university with a grade of “C” or better.

basic sciences

Human anatomy and physiology, chemistry, biology, and microbiology may not be taken by an online or correspondence format. Credits listed are semester credits.

  Human Anatomy with lab
Physiology with lab
4 credits
4 credits


  Human Anatomy and Physiology with lab 8 credits
  General Chemistry I with lab
General Chemistry II with lab
General Biology I with lab
General Biology II with lab
Microbiology with lab
Medical Terminology
4 credits
4 credits
4 credits
4 credits
4 credits
2 credits
1 credit


  English Composition
General Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Introduction to Statistics
Pre-Calculus or Calculus
3 credits
3 credits
3 credits
3 credits
3 credits

recommended courses

  Medical Ethics
Medical Spanish

Requirements for the Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies degree

Students must complete 120 credits of academic course work. Students must also enroll and participate in three 0-credit Interprofessional Education (IPE) courses for completion of their Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies.

Students pursuing the Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies are held to the University’s Academic Policies and Procedures . In addition, these specific degree standards apply:

  • Minimum grade “C+” or above required in all coursework.
  • Maintain 3.000 GPA in the degree.

The following courses make up the M.M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies curriculum and must be completed for degree conferral. (The curriculum is subject to change and students will be notified by the department.)

capstone requirements (4 credits)

total credits 120

clinical experiences

The student must satisfactorily complete all clinical experiences to be eligible for graduation.

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