Doctors aren't the only ones who can bring better health to our communities.

If you want to advance your medical career without spending multiple years in medical school, and you're looking for an accredited graduate-level physician assistant degree program, University of the Cumberlands is the place. We're proud to offer the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) program at both our Williamsburg and Northern Kentucky campuses. Want to make sure you'll receive high quality education and training? Look no further than our recent 100% PANCE pass rate at both campuses.

At University of the Cumberlands, our master’s in physician assistant studies program prepares you to become a skilled PA through comprehensive coursework and clinical rotations. Focusing on basic, behavioral, and pre-clinical sciences of medicine, our program equips you with the necessary clinical and critical thinking skills to succeed in the field. By providing care to patients under the supervision of a licensed physician, you'll learn everything from patient assessments and medical procedures to clinical medicine and pharmacology. Our PA program can be completed in as little as 27 months, allowing you to jumpstart your medical career efficiently.

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By the Numbers


Average Salary


Industry Growth


PANCE Pass Rate (2023)


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Our accredited Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) is designed to teach you the skills you need to provide medical care to patients and can be completed in as little as 27 months.

Requirements include 113 credit hours, 68 of which are earned through didactic coursework in traditional classroom and laboratory settings. All didactic coursework takes place on campus.

The remaining 45 hours of the master's in physician assistant studies program are earned during the second year in the program. Through 10 supervised clinical rotations in the field, our physician assistant program provides students with real-world experiences in family, internal, and emergency medicine; surgery; psychiatry; pediatrics; and women’s health.

Physician Assistant Career Information

*All information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics

What PAs Do:

What PAs Do:

Physician assistants, also known as PAs, examine, diagnose, and treat patients under the supervision of a physician.

Duties of a PA:

Duties of a PA:

  • Obtain and review patients’ medical histories
  • Examine patients
  • Order and interpret diagnostic tests, such as x rays or blood tests
  • Diagnose a patient’s injury or illness
  • Provide treatment, such as setting broken bones, stitching wounds, and immunizing patients
  • Educate and counsel patients and their families on a variety of issues, such as treatment and self-care for asthma
  • Prescribe medication
  • Assess and record a patient’s progress
  • Research the latest treatments to ensure quality of patient care



  • Primary care
  • Family medicine
  • Emergency medicine
  • Psychiatry
  • Surgery
  • and more!

Job Statistics:

Job Statistics:

Physician assistants held about 139,100 jobs in 2021. The largest employers of physician assistants were as follows:

  • Offices of Physicians: 51%
  • Hospitals; state, local, and private: 23%
  • Outpatient Care Centers: 10%
  • Educational Services; state, local, and private: 4%
  • Government: 2% 

Median Pay By Industry:

Median Pay By Industry:

In May 2021, the median annual wages for physician assistants in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

  • Outpatient Care Centers: $128,430
  • Hospitals; state, local, and private: $127,240
  • Office of Physicians: $121,010
  • Government: $106,910
  • Educational Services; state, local, and private: $101, 040



Most physician assistants work full time. Work schedules vary and may include nights, weekends, or holidays. Physician assistants also may be on call, meaning that they must be ready to respond to a work request with little notice.

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Common Questions

MSPAS degree applicants must have completed a baccalaureate degree prior to matriculation or meet the requirements for the Pre-Physician Assistant Program track. There is not a required major. Applicants may have majored in any subject as long as they meet the course prerequisites with a satisfactory GPA of 3.0 or higher.

University of the Cumberlands no longer requires an entrance exam for the MSPAS program. 

Click the NKY or Williamsburg tab above to find the prerequisites for the accredited physician assistant program from University of the Cumberlands.

  • Williamsburg: Application cycle opens in April with the CASPA opening and closes August 1.
  • Northern Kentucky: Application cycle opens October 1 and closes March 1. 

Candidates may have their bachelor’s degree and/or prerequisites in progress, as long as both are complete prior to matriculation. The only exception is if students are admitted through the early admissions process at University of the Cumberlands (Pre-PA track).

All applicants must apply and follow the CASPA application guidelines. A University of the Cumberlands Supplemental application and $30 application fee are also required. The link to the supplemental application will be provided once your CASPA application has been verified.

The knowledge and skills I gained during PA school set the foundation for how I practice as a PA today. I am reminded to stay flexible, work hard as a team, and be open to questions.

Annmarie Sagraves, PA-C
BS 2016, MSPAS 2019

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