PA program ranks among
The Southern Illinois
University Carbondale (SIU) Physician Assistant (PA) Program began in
1997 and utilizes a problem-based learning (PBL) format for delivery
of its medical curriculum. The SIU PA Program is currently accredited
by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician
Assistant (ARC-PA). Our most recent site visit was held in September
2009. The results were that we are now accredited for seven (7) more
years. Our Program is part of the SIU School of Medicine. We are
housed in Lindegren Hall and Life Science II. The SIU PA Program was a
pioneer in and continues to use PBL, simulated patients, innovative
evaluation techniques, and clinical mentoring programs.
SIU has a
national certification rate of 100% for 2011 and a 98% five year
average. SIU PA Program NCCPA Program
The mission of the
Southern Illinois University Physician Assistant Program is to prepare
professionals to provide primary healthcare. We enhance this process
by preparing graduates who are interdependent medical providers,
dedicated to both the community and their profession. Our academic
setting fosters creative thinking and communication skills in the
pursuit of excellence.
Because SIU is a major research institution
and the national trend in PA education has moved toward the Master's
Degree, the PA Program has transitioned to a Masters level degree
program that began with the class entering summer of 2007. Two
separate degree options are offered. A Master of Science in Physician
Assistant Studies (MSPA) can be gained within 26 months. This full
program is for students who wish to become physician assistants. We
have also added an online Masters degree completion option for those
who already hold a Bachelors Degree in and are currently practicing
physician assistants. This Masters Completion Program (MCP) can be
achieved in one (1) year using distance learning and a supervising
Preceptor. Detailed information about each of these programs can be
found by clicking on the appropriate links in this website under MSPA
Applicants will be required to complete a
Bachelors degree before being considered for admission to the PA
Program. Any degrees in the sciences or medical field will suffice for
the MSPA. A Bachelors degree in PA is required for the MCP.
Note for Potential Students
SIU no longer offers a Bachelors Degree in
Physician Assistant Studies. A student can enroll in a pre-health
profession track program through the SIU Science Department, choose a
baccalaureate oriented major and fulfill requirements simultaneously.
Therefore, a student planning a professional career in Physician
Assistant Studies but has not completed a Bachelors degree should
register in the College of Science. Students may consider the
disciplines of Physiology, Anatomy, Biological Science, Chemistry,
Radiological Sciences, Health Care Management, Psychology, Nursing or
other health related undergraduate majors. Remember that in addition
to a Bachelors degree, you will have to score highly on several
prerequisite courses, have strong references and hands on healthcare
experience to be considered for admission to the SIU PA Program. It is
also highly recommended that an applicant shadow a PA-C. Please see
related information on this website.
Our curriculum includes intense
problem-based learning modules combined with clinical experiences.
These units of study are based on the most common disease states and
preventive medicine guidelines utilized in medical practice. The
curriculum is designed to prepare primary care providers for medical
practice. All physician assistant courses are sequenced and are
required of all students. The first year of study (Phase I: Didactic)
is on campus in Carbondale. It focuses on the PBL modules, Human
Anatomy, clinical medicine, the core sciences and research methods.
The second year (Phase II: Clinical Rotations) is completed at several
Illinois locations. Currently those are: Carbondale/Delta, Decatur,
Mattoon, Olney, Peoria, Quincy and Springfield. These locations are
subject to change (check with the Program for updates). Second year
students may be required to relocate to one of these towns. Learning
is continued through our PBL modules. Phase III is the eight-week
Preceptorship and students may complete this at a site of their
choice, with faculty approval. Phase III is entered after all clinical
rotations are completed. (More complete curriculum information is
available elsewhere on this website.)
The Masters Completion Program (MCP) is
designed to be completed via distance education with possible periodic
scheduled seminars on campus. The MCP curriculum includes research
methods, medical ethics, current PA practice and a Masters seminar.
The Program can be completed in 12 months. This option was developed
for those students who are practicing PAs, hold a Bachelors degree in
PA and have graduated from an accredited PA program.
Applications for the full 26 month PA
Program are accepted the year prior to matriculation, between
April 15th and currently September 1st of each
year. These dates may change within an application season. Check our
official website or contact the Academic Advisor for updated
information. There is a $50 application fee (fee may increase without
notice). After applications are completed, those who are accepted into
the Program all start classes in early June.
Before students are accepted into the MSPA
they must complete a Bachelors Degree, take either a GRE, MAT or
MCAT, as well as completion of all Physician Assistant Program
requirements and prerequisites. Transfer credits may be accepted
(contact academic advisor). No academic credit is awarded for prior
work experience. Consideration for admission to the MSPA Program is
given to candidates with high cumulative and prerequisite grade point
averages (GPAs), appropriate hands on healthcare experience and strong
letters of recommendation, preferably one from a PA-C. The most
qualified candidates are invited to campus for interviews. After
interviews, thirty to thirty four students are offered a position in
the class each year.
Applications for the MCP are accepted until
June 1st of each year. There is a $50.00 application fee
(may increase with out notice) and classes for the MCP start in the
fall semester of each year or by special arrangement of the Program.
MCP students do not use the CASPA application process. They must
contact the Academic Advisor for an application package.
Tuition and Fees
PA students will pay a higher tuition rate
than other normal graduate programs. Consult the Financial Aid
Department or the Program Academic Advisor for questions.
Please be advised that border state students
will not receive a tuition decrease. Therefore they will pay a higher
tuition rate. Establishing residency to receive the in-state tuition
rate can be applied for after six (6) months with a form and certain
requirements. Applicants may contact the Graduate School Registration
Office at (618) 453-2969 or the Program Academic Advisor.
Upon successful completion of both programs,
a Master of Science Degree in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPA) is
awarded. A Certificate of Completion in Physician Assistant Training
is also awarded to students in the full 26 month Program. These
graduates are then candidates for national certification through the
National Commission of the Certification of Physician Assistants
To speak with an academic advisor for any
questions about recommended majors, the new PA Program requirements or
if you need any assistance, call (618) 453-5527 or send an e-mail
paadvisement-L@listserv.siu.edu. A complete transcript must be
sent before advisement.