Jul 13, 2024  
2017-2018 Catalog 
2017-2018 Catalog [PAST CATALOG]

Physician Assistant Studies, Professional Certificate

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Special Admission Requirements - Program Application Deadline: Sept. 1

Title of Certificate: Physician Assistant Studies, Professional Certificate

Award: Professional Certificate


Total Credit Hours: 86

Learn more about the Physician Assistant Studies program

Purpose: Prepares the primary care physician assistant (PA) student to provide quality medical care under the supervision of a licensed physician. Graduates are employed in doctors’ offices, hospitals, clinics, HMOs, nursing homes, the armed forces and other federal government agencies. Graduates are eligible to sit for the national certifying exam for primary care physician assistants conducted by the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants.

The Anne Arundel Community College Physician Assistant program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA).

The ARC-PA has granted Continued Accreditation to the Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Anne Arundel Community College. Continued accreditation is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.

Continued 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remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards.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 comprehensive review of the program by the ARC-PA will be in 2019.

AACC cannot confirm whether the course or program meets requirements for professional licensure in states other than Maryland.   If you plan to apply for licensure in a state other than Maryland, contact that state’s licensing board to determine whether the AACC course or program meets requirements for licensure in that state.  If you need assistance finding contact information for your state, or if you need additional information regarding professional licensure, please contact the School of Health Sciences at 410-777-7310.

Additional Program Requirements

Students enter the Physician Assistant program in the summer term of each year.

The 25-month, full-time program requires continuous attendance. Therefore, students should plan finances carefully to avoid the necessity for employment. Information on financial assistance opportunities is available in the Student Financial Services office, Student Services Center.

Students must meet academic and technical standards prior to admission to the program. Admission to the program is required prior to registering for any PHA course. An overall GPA of 3.0 or better in the physician assistant curriculum is required to progress into the clinical year of the program.

All physician assistant students are required to have a personal digital assistant (PDA), email address and Internet access.

Range of Occupations

  • Physician Assistant (PA)

Special Conditions

Health Manpower Shortage: This program of study may be designated a Health Manpower Shortage Tuition Reduction Program. This means that some residents of Maryland (see the Tuition, Fees and Payments  section of this catalog) enrolled in this program of study by the first day of the term may be eligible for in-county tuition rates for courses required for program completion. It is the student’s responsibility to confirm that this program still maintains a Health Manpower Shortage Program status before enrolling. Please refer to the college’s Accounts Receivable Office to confirm this designation.

Master’s Program

Students enrolled in the Physician Assistant program will earn a master’s degree while earning their physician assistant certificate through a partnership between Anne Arundel Community College and the University of Maryland at Baltimore Graduate School. Students must be in good academic standing to be enrolled for the master’s program. Under the agreement, students pair 30 hours of UMB coursework with 6 hours of pathophysiology and pharmacology for a Master of Health Science degree. The master’s program is entirely online and takes place throughout matriculation at AACC. Additional information on this program is available in the PA admissions packet or online.


The Anne Arundel Community College School of Health Sciences reserves the right to revise the admission requirements, the selection criteria and procedures, and the curriculum as deemed necessary without prior notification.


Entrance/Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

  1. Applicants to the Physician Assistant program must have a bachelor’s degree or higher conferred from a nationally recognized institution.
  2. Completion of the GRE.
  3. Completion of the following prerequisite courses with a minimum grade of B in each course: Statistics, General Microbiology, Anatomy and Physiology 1, Anatomy and Physiology 2, Introduction to Psychology or Developmental Psychology, and General Chemistry or Organic Chemistry or Biochemistry. All prerequisite courses will be reviewed for equivalency to the following AACC courses: BIO 223 , BIO 233 , BIO 234 , PSY 111  or PSY 211 , CHE 111  or CHE 112  or CHE 113  or CHE 115  or CHE 213  or CHE 214  and MAT 135  or PSY 250 . (A higher level biochemistry course may satisfy the chemistry prerequisite.) Course equivalency is determined by the college’s transcript evaluation process. All science courses must include a lab component. We require that the Anatomy & Physiology courses be completed within the last seven (7) years of the date the CASPA application is submitted. We recommend for your success in the program that you also take biochemistry, medical terminology and developmental psychology. Applicants are responsible for reviewing the listed prerequisites provided in the admissions information to ensure equivalency prior to submitting a CASPA application.Transcript evaluation services are not available.
  4. Applicants to the Physician Assistant program must submit application materials and complete an application through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) at www.caspaonline.org. Applicants are encouraged to apply by July 1 since the CASPA application process can take several weeks to be completed. Program requirements such as a bachelor’s degree or higher, minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, GRE, and equivalency of the five listed prerequisites with a minimum grade of B or better must be reflected in the completed application to be eligible for consideration. AACC must receive the completed CASPA application by the deadline date of September 1. Applicants must also complete three (3) Letters of Recommendation, a Personal Statement and Patient Contact Experience history (a minimum of 1400 hours is preferred) in the CASPA application.
  5. Foreign educated students must have their international college transcripts from all higher-level institutions attended evaluated by one of the following credential evaluators: ECE (Educational Credential Evaluators) at www.ece.org or WES (World Education Services) at www.wes.org. Please be advised that this process may take several months and must be completed in order to submit and complete the CASPA application.
  6. Applicants whose native language or language of the home is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The minimum acceptable TOEFL score for admission is 250 for the computer-based test and 100 for the Internet-based test. Please note that TOEFL scores are only valid for two years. Official TOEFL scores must be reported on the CASPA application and be mailed to CASPA by the application deadline.
  7. Please refer to the Physician Assistant website for detailed information regarding Physician Assistant admission requirements and process.

Academic Standards

All physician assistant students must receive a minimum grade of C in each physician assistant course (and maintain a 3.0 GPA). Students who receive a final grade below C in any physician assistant didactic course will be awarded a grade of F in the course and will not be permitted to continue in the program.

Selection Criteria

The selection criteria used to evaluate each applicant will include, but are not limited to:

  • Cumulative GPA
  • Natural science GPA and credits/hours
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Patient contact experience
  • Community, military and/or civil service
  • Conversational fluency in multiple languages
  • Recommended courses
  • GRE scores
  • Interview

No selection decisions will be communicated via telephone and/or email.

The decision of the Physician Assistant Admissions Committee is final. A non-refundable $500 deposit is required upon acceptance to the program. This will be applied to your first term bill.

Technical Standards

Students who are provisionally accepted to this program of study will be required to submit a Health Examination Record completed by a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant validating that the student meets the technical standard of good physical and mental health as established by the School of Health Sciences, and verifying that the student is free of communicable diseases as evidenced by required immunizations/titers.


Students must successfully complete the American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) CPR certification course by designated deadline.

Readmission to the Physician Assistant Course Sequence

Students seeking readmission to the Physician Assistant program are referred to the PA Program Student Handbook. Specific requirements and eligibility must be met for consideration for readmission.

Advanced Placement or Transfer

Anne Arundel Community College’s Physician Assistant program does not offer advanced placement in or transfer into either the didactic or clinical portions of the program.

Health Insurance

Students are required to have individual health insurance coverage throughout the duration of the program.

Criminal Background Checks and Drug Screening

This program requires the satisfactory completion of a criminal background check and possible drug screening. For complete details, see the Health Sciences  section of this catalog.

Physician Assistant Course Sequence

As a requirement for graduation from the PA program students must successfully complete clerkships in all the following areas: history and physicals, clinical laboratory, radiology, internal medicine, family practice, pediatrics, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, emergency medicine, psychiatry, occupational medicine and two electives.

Certificate Requirements

Total credit hours: 12

Total credit hours: 16

Total credit hours: 19

Second Year - Summer Term

Total credit hours: 8

Second Year - Fall Term

Total credit hours: 12

Second Year - Spring Term

Total credit hours: 15

Second Year - Summer Term

Total credit hours: 4

Total Program Credit Hours: 86

Career and Educational Advancement Resources


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