Graduate Catalog 2008-2009
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Master of Science…
The master of science degree in the Physician Assistant field prepares medical professionals to assist the primary care physician with all medical and patient care responsibilities within the health care system. The program provides opportunities for those first entering a health care profession and those seeking career mobility within the health care field.

The curriculum builds on the clinical and academic competencies acquired through the bachelor's degree. An emphasis is placed on the natural and behavioral sciences and work experience. Course work specific to the Physician Assistant program is combined with graduate courses in health promotion/disease prevention, health care policy and methodology in medical research.

The first year of the program is didactic course work in the medical and social sciences with related educational experiences to address the physical, interpersonal and psychosocial needs of patients. Classes are scheduled in summer sessions as well as regular fall and winter semesters.

During the second year, students acquire clinical expertise through a broad range of intensive clinical rotations, community health education and health projects with medically underserved communities. Clinical work is scheduled in summer sessions as well as in the regular fall and winter semesters. Each student completes the course of study with a preceptorship in primary care medicine.

A three-year course of study is available. This program track is designed for health professionals and others who wish to earn the master's degree while continuing employment or other obligations. Students in this track divide the didactic coursework over a two-year period rather than one. The clinical year is completed in the same manner as the traditional two-year program.

The master of science degree is conferred at the completion of the program requirements. Graduates are eligible to sit for the national certifying exam administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

The Physician Assistant Program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA), holds membership in the Physician Assistant Education Association, and is host to a student chapter of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

Application deadline: February 15. Application fee: Free online at UDM. CASPA applications are accepted with completion of the UDM PA program supplemental application. CASPA applicant deadline is January 15.

Admissions Requirements

Admissions Criteria
Admission requirements for the Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant studies include:

  • A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 2.5.
  • Submission of all official transcripts for college/university education.
  • Official Graduate Record Examination general aptitude scores.
  • Completion of the prerequisite courses within the six years prior to application.
  • Evidence of problem solving ability and communication skills as well as understanding of and commitment to the PA role, as demonstrated on the PA application and in candidate interviews.
  • One year full-time equivalent of health care or helping care experience with increasing levels of responsibility, leadership and evidence of community service.
  • Three recommendations; one of these should preferably be from a practicing physician assistant or a physician familiar with the role and responsibilities of the physician assistant.
  • A personal interview with the members of the Physician Assistant Graduate Admissions Committee. Personal interviews are by invitation and the class is selected only from among those interviewed.

Academic Policies and Requirements

To remain in good academic standing and to graduate from the program, a student must maintain a 3.0 GPA. Core PA courses must be passed with a B- or better. Students are expected to maintain a mature, professional attitude consistent with that of an effective health care practitioner.

The performance record of each student is reviewed at the end of each semester. Any student who fails to maintain these standards may not be permitted to progress in the program.

The program may be completed in two or three years. The maximum amount of time to complete the course of study is three years unless approval is granted by the department due to extenuating circumstances.

Curriculum Plan

Didactic Phase

Fall Semester
BIO 543/545* Advanced Human Anatomy 4
HLH 590* Advanced Pathophysiology 3
PAS 510 Patient Evaluation Practicum I 3
PAS 524 Clinical Medicine I 3
PAS 536 Diagnostic and Therapeutic Procedures I 1
Total: 14 credits

Winter Semester
HLH 530* Pharmacology I 2
HLH 550* Research Methods in Health Care 3
HLH 570* Health Care Delivery and Policy Issues 3
PAS 520 Patient Evaluation Practicum II 3
PAS 525 Clinical Medicine II 3
PAS 537 Diagnostic and Therapeutic Procedures II 1
Total: 15 credits

Summer Semester
HLH 531* Pharmacology II 2
HLH 532* Health Promotion and Risk Reduction 3
PAS 526 Clinical Medicine III 3
PAS 530 Patient Evaluation Practicum III 3
PAS 538 Diagnostic and Therapeutic Procedures III 1
Total: 12 credits

Clinical Phase

Fall Semester
PAS 580 Clinical Rotations I 8
PAS 587 PA Seminar I 1
Total: 9 credits

Winter Semester
PAS 581 Clinical Rotations II 8
PAS 588 PA Seminar II 1
Total: 9 credits

Summer Semester
PAS 582 Clinical Rotation III 8
PAS 589 PA Seminar III 1
Total: 9 credits

Grand Total 68 credits

* Taken the first year of the three-year track.

The PA Master's Completion Program

Course of Study
The PA Master of Science Degree Completion Program at UDM provides a stimulating and challenging opportunity for graduate physician assistants to obtain theory and practice based education leading to the advanced degree. The minimum 30 credit hour program is designed to enable PAs employed full-time to complete the required didactic studies. An educational track in Administrative Leadership is offered.

The curriculum draws from the knowledge and methods of basic and applied research in the areas of epidemiology, public health, health care administration, health care education and health policy. The multi-disciplinary faculty, curriculum and student population provides a learning environment which allows students to build on their undergraduate experiences and undertake advanced study.

Graduates will demonstrate competence in scholarship and research and be prepared to deliver health care services more effectively in a variety of clinical, research, educational and administrative settings.

Other Characteristics
All required classes will be presented on weekends, evenings and/or on-line. Specific areas of study may require course work in the traditional settings. Students will meet, by arrangement, with faculty for completion of projects and/or thesis.

Benefits to graduates will include acquisition of skills to address added responsibilities based on the PAs evolving role in the health care setting including current practice.

The program will:

  • Provide bachelor level PAs with the opportunity to advance themselves academically
  • Increase the quality of health care delivery and health promotion disease prevention services for residents in the community currently served by the PA.
  • Enhance the ability of the PA to function in a multidimensional role in the delivery of health care in service to the community and the profession.

Students will complete master's level studies with:

  • Minimal time away from their present practice.
  • A knowledge of recent advances in practice of clinical medicine (including the impact of managed care).
  • Renewed commitment to the mission and goals of the profession.
  • A deepening of their comprehension and skills in:
    • Health education
    • Utilizing critical thinking and research skills in the process of lifelong learning.
    • Ethical problem solving abilities within a professional code of conduct.
    • Integrating advanced knowledge from the biological, behavioral and medical sciences.
    • Communicating with and coordinating information between all members of the health care team.
    • Accessing and contributing to the body of professional literature.

Entry Requirements
Applicants will be required to demonstrate successful completion of a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.5. Candidates must also demonstrate successful completion of an accredited PA program. Admission consideration will be given to PA candidates who are not graduates of an accredited program but who have qualified for clinical practice privileges through experiential learning. These candidates must meet all other admission requirements.

Applicants may be required to hold or be eligible to obtain a license to practice as a PA in Michigan. Applicants must submit official transcripts from all previously completed academic course work. Letters of recommendation are required, preferably one each from the director of the PA program where trained, current supervisor or a professional colleague. In addition, a personal interview with the admissions committee may also be required.

Degree Requirements
Health Professions Master's Degree Requirements: At least 30 credit hours. Eighteen credit hours must be completed "in residence" (ie., not transfer) at the graduate level, of which approximately six credits may be a graduate project or thesis.

Candidates may apply for advanced standing. This will consist of transfer credit not more than seven years old being applied toward the 30-hour degree requirement.

Transfer credit
Selected course work completed at other accredited institutions in the areas of public health, health education, health care administration, and profession-related areas will be considered for advanced standing. Such course work will be reviewed by a committee on a case-by-case basis and limited to 12 semester hours.

Course Outline:

CHP Core (15 credits):
HLH 532 Health Promotion and Risk Reduction 3
HLH 570 Health Care Delivery and Policy Issues 3
HLH 550 Research Methods in Health Care 3
PYC 503 Statistics 3

Choose one of the following:
PAS 597 Field Research OR 3
PAS 593 Scholarly Project OR 3
PAS 599 Thesis 6

Administrative Leadership Track (15 credits):
HSA 500 Theory and Practice of Health Services Management 3
HSA 510 Leadership and Human Resource Management in Health Care 3
HSA 506 Health Economics 3
HSA 550 Information Systems for Health Services Administrators 3

Elective (choose one):
HSA 505 Legal Aspects of Health Services Administration 3
HSA 512 Quality Improvement and Strategic Planning for Health Care Professionals 3
Any other appropriate Graduate level HSA or MBA course 3
Total: 30 credits

The course work will be offered on weekends, evenings and/or on-line. Accelerated courses in three weekend or seven week sessions are also offered.

Application Information:
Please direct inquiries to: University of Detroit Mercy, Physician Assistant Master's Completion Program, 4001 W. McNichols Rd, Detroit, MI 48221-3038. Telephone: (313) 993-2474 Fax: (313) 993-1271 Email: Website:

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