The PA degree at Bethel is a 27-month master's program designed to give physician assistants a foundational, generalist training that prepares them for all areas of medicine.
Schedule and Delivery
Students take 15 months of courses followed by 12 months of clinical rotations in several different specialties. Classes meet during the day, with some evening hours expected and varying hours during rotations the second year.
The program begins in the summer with full-time classes during the day and occasional evening lectures for the first 4 semesters (15 months). For the last 3 semesters, students engage in full-time rotations (40+ hours per week) at various hospitals and clinics with an assigned preceptor. Hours will vary during clinical rotations.
To accommodate this schedule, PA students must be available for program activities Monday to Friday 7 a.m.-9 p.m. In rare instances, we may also hold Saturday morning sessions. This full-time program offers a demanding course load with significant time spent in the labs. We will also need to adjust the schedule to accommodate guest lecturers and seminars. You will be expected to have the flexibility to make yourself available during these times.
Bethel University's Master of Science in Physician Assistant (PA) program is designed as a comprehensive curriculum, and all learners are required to complete the prescribed didactic and clinical coursework. The PA program does not allow for exemption from courses, clinical skills, laboratories, or clinical education regardless of prior experience, degree or credential. Students must matriculate through all aspects of the program and successfully complete all program requirements in order to graduate.
We realize that many students may need to have a part-time job to support their graduate work. However, the rigors of the curriculum will demand that you keep these outside hours at a minimum. We encourage you to seek outside sources of support and devote as much time as possible to your graduate education.
As part of our employment policy, PA students must not substitute or function as instructional faculty, and are not required to work for the program.
Classes will be held at or near the main Bethel University campus in Arden Hills, Minnesota.
Graduates of the physician assistant program will be able to:
- Practice medicine as competent practitioners who can serve society, the healthcare community, and the individual patient in a compassionate manner.
- Apply clinical skills necessary to function in a changing healthcare environment.
- Demonstrate the skills as primary care PAs by contributing and providing quality healthcare to patients in a variety of clinical settings, especially in areas designated as “medically underserved.”
- Analyze the medical literature by demonstrating an in-depth understanding of medical research methodology and applying it to the patient care they deliver.
- Commit to professional and public service for carrying out compassionate and holistic medical practice in light of a Christian faith and biblical perspective.
- Integrate professional values and ethical behaviors expected of the PA in a medical practice setting.
- As a PA, promote the concepts of wellness and prevention of disease for improved patient care and for healthy living.
- Synthesize new and advancing medical knowledge in an evidence-based manner for the advancement of new therapies and treatment strategies.
- Use medical information technology, as well as new and modern medical hardware and software, to improve medical care.
Graduates of an accredited PA program must pass the national Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) prior to obtaining a license to practice. The examination is required for certification/registration in all states. This exam is developed by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). PANCE pass rates for graduates of Bethel’s program will be posted annually beginning after the first graduating class in Fall 2015.
The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional to the Bethel University-MN Physician Assistant Program.
Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status. The status indicates that the plans and resource allocation for the program appear to demonstrate the program's ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards, if fully implemented as planned. Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than three years from the matriculation of the first class.
Programs at Bethel University are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and the PA program has been added to our list of approved programs withe the HLC; the PA program is also registered with the Minnesota Department of Education.