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Physician Assistant Program

Charleston Southern University > Physician Assistant Program


Charleston Southern University offers a Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MMSPAS) Program.  The program consists of didactic and clinical academic work over the course of 24 months or 6 continuous semesters.  Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for physician assistants through the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) and will be able to apply for licensure through the Board of Medical Examiners in the state in which they wish to practice medicine.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Charleston Southern University Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program is to educate compassionate and highly motivated individuals in a Christian environment who excel in providing patient-centered care, practicing as an inter-professional team, serving as leaders in their communities, and advancing the PA profession.  

Program Goals 

  • Recruit diverse and highly-capable students to the program.
  • Deliver an outstanding curriculum that prepares students to provide patient-centered medical care upon graduation.
  • Foster a healthy and supportive Christian learning environment that prepares students appropriately to transition from student to clinician.
  • Engage faculty and students in opportunities for service, leadership, and scholarly activities in the school, our community and the profession.

Student Learning Outcomes 

Upon completion of the program, students will have acquired the knowledge, interpersonal skills, clinical reasoning and problem solving abilities, clinical and technical skills, and professional behaviors required for entry into PA practice:


  1. Demonstrate an understanding for the medical, behavioral and social knowledge necessary to evaluate and manage patients across all ages and patient populations in both primary care and specialty settings.
  2. Demonstrate an ability to make informed decisions about the care of patients consistent with up-to-date scientific evidence and sound clinical judgment.

Interpersonal Skills

  1. Demonstrate an ability to elicit an accurate medical history on patients.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to deliver accurate patient education that encompasses verbal, non-verbal and written forms of information to the patient, their family, and their care team that considers disease prevention and health awareness.
  3. Demonstrate excellent communication skills with patients, their care teams, and other members of the healthcare team that adapts to the needs of that person as necessary.

Clinical Reasoning and Problem Solving Abilities

  1. Demonstrate an ability to formulate a differential diagnosis relevant to the findings in the history and physical exam.
  2. Demonstrate an ability to recommend appropriate diagnostic studies to assist in the evaluation and treatment of the patient.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to develop and implement an appropriate therapeutic management plan, either pharmacological or non-pharmacological, based on the patient’s medical history, physical exam, and diagnostic study findings.

Clinical and Technical Skills

  1. Demonstrate the ability to perform a detailed physical exam relevant to the medical history.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to perform clinical procedures common to primary care including but not limited to: venipuncture, intravenous access, joint injections and aspirations, wound management, laceration repair, casting and splinting, strep screening, urinalysis, catheterization, performing pelvic exams, and interpretation of radiographic images, pulmonary function tests, and EKGs.

Professional Behaviors

  1. Demonstrate professionalism with high ethical principles, sensitivity, and responsiveness to all patients, their care teams, and members of the healthcare team.

Accreditation Status:

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation - Provisional status to the Charleston Southern University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Charleston Southern University.

Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status 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 or 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.

The Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program is approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).



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