Master of Physician Assistant Studies

Grand Valley State University's Master of Physician Assistant Studies (M.P.A.S.) is offered through the university's College of Health Professions and is designed for practitioners seeking a terminal degree in physician assistant studies.

Working under the direct supervision of Physicians, a Physician Assistant takes patient histories, performs physical examinations, diagnoses and treats illnesses, gives medical advice, counsels patients, sets fractures, assists in surgery, and orders and interprets diagnostic tests.

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16% Job Growth
(In Michigan by 2024)
(West Michigan Talent Provider)
Median Annual Salary

Career Outlook and Opportunities

Employment of physician assistants is projected to grow 16% in West Michigan and 17% in the U.S. by 2024. The median annual wage for physicians assistants is approximately $105,000. Graduates of Grand Valley’s MPAS program usually hold the following job titles:

  • Physician Assistants (PA)
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Advance Practice Registered Nurses (APRN)
  • Registered Nurses

Source: EMSI, 2019

The 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


  • Management
  • Leadership
  • Communications
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Coordinating
  • Customer service
  • Written communication
  • Research
  • Critical thinking

Source: EMSI, 2019

Other Reasons to Study Physician Assistant Studies at GVSU

  • 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. The locations interact daily using state of the art distance learning through the use of ITV.
  • Successful: Over the last five years GVSU graduates have a 1st time pass rate of 99% on the NCCPA certification exam.
  • Small Student to Faculty Ratio: The program accepts 48 students per year with 12 full-time dedicated program faculty members which allows students easy access to faculty and allows for increased small group discussions.
  • Recognized Faculty: Whether state or national presentations, master teacher awards, or national leadership excellence awards, the faculty members are of the highest caliber.


 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; 

  • The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (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.

Visit the Physician Assistant Studies homepage for student outcome information.

Course Offerings

During the 28 months in the M.P.A.S. program students take a variety of classes, some of which include: anatomy, medical physiology, interprofessional education, clinical problem solving, clinical medicine and application, pathophysiology, pharmacology, professionalism, simulation, and evidence-based medicine. Visit the Physician Assistant Studies homepage for a detailed curriculum list.


The Master of Physicians Assistant Studies M.P.A.S. admission requirements and application for admission are available online. The $30 application fee is waived for undergraduate alumni of Grand Valley.

There are application deadlines for the program so please see admission requirements for more detail.

Admissions Requirements


For more information on tuition and fees, please visit the Tuition and Financial Aid portion of the Physician Assistant Studies homepage. For financial support, scholarship search, and filing for FAFSA, please visit the GVSU Financial Support website or the M.P.A.S. website for degree specific scholarships.

Note: Grand Valley does not charge a higher tuition rate based on residency. Tuition is based on the program in which you chose to enroll.

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