About the Program

Established in 1972, the Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program is a full-time, postbaccalaureate program that begins once a year in May and ends 30 months later in November.

The curriculum is a powerful blend of academic learning and hands-on clinical training. You’ll begin with four semesters of lecture and bedside demonstration in medical and behavioral sciences. This foundational coursework is followed by four semesters of clinical rotations in a wide range of disciplines and settings.

In the last eight years, 100 percent of our graduates passed the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination on the first try.


The hub of your training is Parkland Memorial Hospital, a high-energy, 990-bed county facility that admits nearly 41,000 patients a year and delivers more babies than any other hospital in the nation. Parkland has earned a place on U.S. News and World Report’s list of America’s Best Hospitals for more than a decade. It operates internationally recognized trauma and burn centers and delivers specialty emergency care in medicine, surgery, psychiatry, and obstetrics and gynecology. 

For students, residents, and fellows, the new William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital is a dynamic learning environment that includes areas for collaborative, team-based education – the learning style preferred by many millennials, the next generation of health care professionals.

  • Conference rooms on patient floors (complete with interactive whiteboard technology and videoconferencing capabilities) offer a place to gather for instruction or to discuss cases with UT Southwestern teachers or experts anywhere in the world. 
  • A simulation room in the Intensive Care Unit provides an active learning opportunity, where students can simulate a procedure or care scenario and then see it carried out in the hospital setting.
  • “Touch down” areas provide a more informal setting for smaller groups of faculty, residents, fellows, and students to confer, taking advantage of the real-time learning opportunities in a large, urban hospital

In addition to Parkland, your clinical training will take you to other teaching hospitals with formal affiliations with UT Southwestern Medical Center, including Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Methodist Hospital, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, and Scott & White Hospital in Temple, Texas. Your clinical training will broaden your experience even further, with rotations in hospitals, clinics, private physician practices, long-term care facilities, and other settings.

At the end of 30 months, successful students receive a Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree and are eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination. In the last eight years, 100 percent of our graduates passed the exam on the first try.

The mission of the Physician Assistant Studies Program is to:

  • Excel in the art and science of physician assistant education and promote inter-professional primary health care delivery to a diverse and dynamic population.
  • Encourage leadership, service, and excellence among our faculty, staff, students and graduates.
  • Foster a commitment to evidence-based practice, quality improvement and patient safety.


Patient Care

The Physician Assistant Studies Program was established to prepare broadly trained health professionals to carry out patient care functions traditionally performed only by a physician. Successful graduates of this Program will have had the opportunity to prepare themselves for conducting a sophisticated medical interview and physical examination, for analyzing laboratory data, and for organizing and integrating these findings.

From the results, graduates should be able to make assessments, diagnoses, and therapeutic plans to present to the physician both orally and in writing so that the physician and the physician assistant can perceive the medical problems and determine appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic steps. Graduates should be capable of assisting physicians by performing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, prescribing medications, and coordinating the services of community health agencies in order to serve the needs of the patient.

Physician Supervision

It is emphasized that a physician assistant functions under the general supervision and responsibility of the physician although he or she might, under specially defined rules and circumstances, operate away from the immediate supervision of the physician. To perform properly at this level of responsibility, a physician assistant must be trained by and for physicians in order to assure that the patient care functions carried out by the physician assistant are equivalent in quality to those of the physician who delegates them.


Graduates of this program are eligible to take the national certification examination given by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.


The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC- PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Physician Assistant Program sponsored by the University of Texas. 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 March 2020. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Standards and ARC-PA policy. 

Accreditation Review Commission on Education
for the Physician Assistant

12000 Findley Road, Suite 150
Johns Creek, Georgia 30097
Phone: 770-476-1224