Physician Assistant Studies Program

Health Science Building
9200 University Blvd., Charleston, SC 29406

The PA Program at Charleston Southern University is a full-time, 24-month, year-round graduate program that consists of 99 semester credit hours completed over six semesters. The curriculum is separated into didactic and clinical academic work. The curriculum structure is designed to give students the knowledge, skill and confidence to care for patients in a variety of settings.

Students are assigned a faculty advisor as soon as they begin the program. Time has been worked into the academic schedule each week for advising, which may be done in a group setting or in a one-on-one setting depending on the agenda for the week. 

We recognize that not all students learn in the same way, and we have developed a curriculum structure to include lecture, small group, problem-based learning, high-fidelity simulation and practical hands-on training.

Didactic Year

The didactic year is organized to deliver curriculum by each major organ system. The curriculum will be taught through various platforms such as lectures, small groups, problem-based learning, high fidelity simulation and practical hands-on training.

Spring Semester

Unit Course Code Course Name Credit Hours
1 MPAS 500 Human Anatomy and Lab 4
1 MPAS 590 Diagnostic Sciences 1
2 MPAS 510 The Path to Becoming a PA I 1
2 MPAS 520 Clinical Medicine I 6
2 MPAS 530 Basic Sciences I 3
2 MPAS 540 Patient Assessment and Diagnostic Methods I    2
2 MPAS 550 Pharmacology I 2
2 MPAS 560 Problem-Based Learning I 1

Total Semester Hours: 20

Summer Semester

Unit Course Code Course Name Credit Hours
3 MPAS 511 The Path to Becoming a PA II 1
3 MPAS 521 Clinical Medicine II 6
3 MPAS 531 Basic Sciences II 3
3 MPAS 541 Patient Assessment and Diagnostic Methods II   2
3 MPAS 551 Pharmacology II 2
3 MPAS 56I Problem-Based Learning II 1

Total Semester Hours: 15

Fall Semester

Unit Course Code Course Name Credit Hours
4 MPAS 512 The Path to Becoming a PA III 1
4 MPAS 522 Clinical Medicine III 6
4 MPAS 532 Basic Sciences III 3
4 MPAS 542 Patient Assessment and Diagnostic Methods III   2
4 MPAS 552 Pharmacology III 2
4 MPAS 562 Problem-Based Learning III 1
4 MPAS 570 Fundamental of Pediatrics 1
5 MPAS 580 Clinical Year Prep 1
5 MPAS 600 Graduate Year Project I 1

Total Semester Hours: 18

Clinical Year

The clinical year curriculum is primarily delivered through supervised clinical practice experiences or clinical rotations. Students will be required to complete 9 five-week clinical rotations as outlined below. 

The majority of our clinical sites will be located in and around the Charleston area. However, students may be required to attend rotations at a site outside of the Charleston area and will be responsible for all expenses related to such assignments. If a student wishes to establish a new clinical site for the program, he or she can request up to two new clinical sites. However, the student is not guaranteed to be placed at the requested sites. 

Clinical Rotations

Course Code Course Name Credit Hours
MPAS 610 Family Medicine Rotation 5
MPAS 620 Internal Medicine Rotation 5
MPAS 630 Emergency Medicine Rotation 5
MPAS 640 Surgery Rotation 5
MPAS 650 Pediatrics Rotation 5
MPAS 660 Psychiatry Rotation 5
MPAS 670 Women’s Health Rotation 5
MPAS 680 Elective I Rotation 5
MPAS 690 Elective II Rotation 5
MPAS 601 Graduate Year Project II 1

Total Clinical Year Hours: 46

In order for students to successfully graduate and be awarded a Master of Medical Science in physician assistant studies, students must successfully complete all coursework, achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better and successfully pass all components of the Summative Evaluation demonstrating all program Student Learning Outcomes have been achieved. In addition, students must be in good professional standing with the program and complete all university requirements.