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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 as part of a collaborative healthcare team. They take medical histories, perform physical examinations, make clinical diagnoses, treat illnesses, provide patient education, counsel patients, assist in surgery, create patient orders, interpret lab studies, and prescribe medications.

Visit the program website for more information.

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Program Overview

The Grand Valley State University M.P.A.S. program was established in 1995. The main campus is located at the GVSU Health Campus in Grand Rapids. In 2015, the program expanded to include Traverse City to serve the needs of Northern Michigan. The program is now simultaneously delivered to the two campuses through telepresence videoconferencing (i.e., interactive Zoom classrooms).

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

Admission to the program is highly competitive. Candidates must possess a baccalaureate degree and satisfy admission criteria, including completion of prerequisite courses, GPA requirements, GRE, Acuity Insights (Casper) tests, minimum healthcare experience hours, and recommendation rubrics.

In addition to general admission requirements, admission consideration for the Traverse City campus includes 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: The 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 Health Campus in Grand Rapids 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 healthcare community.
  • Successful: GVSU graduates have had a first-time pass rate of 94% on the NCCPA certification exam over the last five years.
  • Small Student-to-Faculty Ratio: The program accepts 48 students per year. Students have greater access to our 12 dedicated faculty members and opportunities 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;

Career Insights

This tool shows an overview of potential career opportunities for this major. Actual salaries, employment opportunities, and job titles may change over time.


 The GVSU PAS program, including the Grand Rapids and Traverse City locations, is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA; 

  • ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Grand Valley State University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Grand Valley State University.  Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.
  • Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be September 2024. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.


Have questions about admission to the program? Click here to access the Physician Assistant FAQ page.

Visit our tuition and fees web page for detailed information specific to this program.

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


Students take various classes during the 28-month (7 semesters) program, including anatomy, medical physiology, clinical problem solving, clinical medicine and application, pathophysiology, pharmacotherapeutics, professionalism, evidence-based medicine, and experience interprofessional education. The first four semesters are spent in didactic training; the remaining semesters are spent on clinical rotations.

Admission Requirements

For general requirements for graduate admission, visit Grand Valley State University’s admission section of the online catalog.

Admission into the physician assistant program has additional requirements, which are available on this page.

If you have additional questions, please contact our graduate admissions office.

For More Information

College of Health Professions
Department of Physician Assistant Studies
Physician Assistant Studies
200 Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences
301 Michigan Street NE
(616) 331-5700

GVSU Traverse City Regional Center
2200 Dendrinos Drive, Suite 15
Traverse City, MI 49684

Program Director

Jill Ellis, MPAS, PA-C, Program Director

Nicholus Kopacki, DMSC, MPAS, PA-C Traverse City Director
(616) 331-5576