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Master of Physician Assistant Studies (M.P.A.S.) at Grand Valley State University.

Physician Assistant Studies, M.P.A.S.

Physician Assistants (PAs) are valued members of the medical community who work with a collaborating physician. They take medical histories, perform physical examinations, make clinical diagnoses, treat illnesses, provide patient education, counsel patients, assist in surgery, create patient orders, interpret laboratory studies, and prescribe medications.

Visit the program website for more information.

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Job Growth in West Michigan by 2024
GVSU Ranking as West Michigan Talent Provider
Median Annual Salary

Source: EMSI, 2020

GVSU M.P.A.S. Program

The GVSU M.P.A.S. program was established in 1995. The main campus for the program is located at Cook DeVos Center for Health Sciences. In 2015, the program expanded to include a distant campus in Traverse City to serve the needs of Northern Michigan. The program is now simultaneously delivered to two campuses through the use of telepresence videoconferencing.

Admission to the M.P.A.S. Program

Admission to the program is highly competitive. Candidates must possess a baccalaureate degree and have completed the admission criteria (completion of prerequisite courses, GPA requirements, completion of GRE, minimum healthcare experience, completion of recommendation rubrics).

In addition to general admission requirements, admission to Traverse City campus will include previous/current residence and/or connections to Northern Michigan.

Further details can be found at the M.P.A.S. website, Applications are submitted through the CASPA system: Deadline is September 1. The $30 nonrefundable application fee is waived if the applicant has previously applied to GVSU.

Why Choose Physician Assistant Studies at Grand Valley?

  • Excellent Resources: The program has two locations: the Cook DeVos Center for Health Sciences in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids' medical mile and The University Center in Traverse City. Both facilities offer dedicated laboratory and classroom space, access to a simulation center, and connections to the local health care community.
  • Successful: Over the last five years GVSU graduates have had a first-time pass rate of 100% on the NCCPA certification exam.
  • Small Student to Faculty Ratio: The program accepts 48 students per year. Students have greater access to our 15 dedicated faculty members and opportunity for small group discussions.
  • Recognized Faculty: Our faculty are recognized locally and nationally for teaching excellence and evidence-based clinical practice.
  • Accredited: The Grand Rapids and Traverse City locations are accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA;

Location & Format

Classes for graduate students in this major meet on the GVSU Health Campus, near the Grand Rapids Medical Mile.

This program is also available in Traverse City.

  • Face To Face


During the 28 months (7 semesters) in the M.P.A.S. program, students take a variety of classes which include: anatomy, medical physiology, interprofessional education, clinical problem solving, clinical medicine and application, pathophysiology, pharmacotherapeutics, professionalism, simulation, and evidence-based medicine. The first four semesters are spent in didactic training; the remaining 3 semesters are spent on clinical rotations.

Career Options

PAs are employed in a wide variety of settings and specialties including, but not limited to, primary care, ER/urgent care, cardiology, orthopedics and surgery.

Skills Employers Want

The Master of Physician Assistant Studies at GVSU will develop the skills you need to land the job you want. Whether the skills are advanced or general, you will build a resume of qualifications that are sure to attract employers. The following skills correlate with those pulled from actual job postings in the health sciences field.

  • Nursing
  • Advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS)
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • Stress testing
  • Basic life support
  • Nurse education
  • Pediatric advanced life support
  • Wound care
  • Electronic medical record

For More Information

College of Health Professions Physician Assistant Studies Program
301 Michigan ST NE, Suite 200
(616) 331-5700

GVSU Traverse City Regional Center
2200 Dendrinos Dr. Suite 15
Traverse City MI 49684



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