About the Program

Established in 1972, the Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program is a full-time, post-baccalaureate 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 10 years, 100 percent of our graduates passed the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination on the first try.

The vision of the Physician Assistant Studies Program is to become a destination PA Program for disadvantaged and underrepresented faculty, staff and students while achieving and maintaining excellent outcome measures.

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.

Program’s Success in Achieving Goals


  • Exceed the U.S. national average first time pass rate on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE).
  • Provide student clinical education opportunities in diverse settings within medically underserved communities.
  • Demonstrate faculty excellence in all areas of academic scholarship.


  • UT Southwestern’s most recent first-time 10 year PANCE pass rate is 100 percent, compared to the national average of 94 percent. Read the official NCCPA report
  • UT Southwestern PA students average 15 weeks per student of clinical experience in medically underserved communities, to include Parkland Health & Hospital System and multiple Dallas-Fort Worth area inpatient and outpatient health care facilities.
  • UT Southwestern faculty have been recognized with numerous state and national professional leadership positions, teaching and research awards, research grants, peer-reviewed publications, and many national and international presentations.

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.

Parkland Hospital, a high-energy, 862-bed county facility that admits nearly 41,000 patients a year. 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. 

In addition to Clements and Parkland, your clinical training will take you to other teaching hospitals with formal affiliations with UT Southwestern Medical Center. 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 10 years, 100 percent of our graduates passed the exam on the first try.


Patient Care

The Physician Assistant Studies Program is committed to preparing broadly trained health professionals to provide high quality patient care to a diverse and dynamic patient population. It utilizes the Competencies for the Physician Assistant Profession as the foundation for its educational objectives. These competencies fall into the following broad categories:

  • Medical Knowledge
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  • Patient Care
  • Professionalism
  • Practice-based Learning and Improvement
  • Systems-based Practice


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 2023. 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