Physician Assistant Studies Program


The physician assistant (PA) field is a challenging, rewarding career choice for those who are genuinely interested in medicine, sensitive to the needs of patients and committed to the delivery of quality medical care. The profession evolved in response to an appeal to extend the delivery of primary care medicine and, since its inception in 1965, has had a profound impact on the quality of health care.

Mission Statement

To develop and graduate academically and clinically exceptional physician assistants.


Physician Assistant Studies is a master's level degree curriculum that recognizes the emerging status of the physician assistant (PA). The PA must think like a physician, be educated in the same fashion, have genuine interest in the patient, possess medical curiosity, work within legal and medical limitations, and be prepared to treat any disease entity regardless of age, gender, race, social status, or sexual preference. In order to prepare the PA for this comprehensive role, the physician assistant program provides the necessary experiences in clinical practice, research and professional services.

PAS Video from C-SPAN

AAPA President John McGinnity, MS, PA-C, DFAAPA, appeared on C-SPAN's Washington Journal on Saturday, Nov. 8, to talk about the valuable roles PAs play in today's healthcare system. He explained to patients and viewers how PAs are educated and that they practice medicine every day in every medical setting and specialty. McGinnity also fielded calls from patients, PAs and healthcare professionals from around the country.

Watch video here

Program Goals

  1. Maintain full accreditation status and preserve the historical standard of excellence of the program.
    • UTMB has maintained continuous accreditation from ARC-PA since February 1973. The UTMB PA Program consistently exceeds the PANCE first-time pass rate nationally. Our five year average pass rate for first time takers is 98% compared to 95% nationally.
  2. Maintain and develop quality clinical rotation sites to promote exposure to a variety of patient care settings.
    • UTMB PA students not only train at UTMB's own hospitals and clinics, but at a variety of clinical settings and facilities in urban, rural, and metropolitan areas of the state in family medicine, women's health, pediatrics, surgery, and general internal medicine.
  3. Maintain a 95% or better graduation rate for students entering
    the UTMB PA Program.
    • In the past 5 years, only 2% of UTMB PA students who matriculate have not graduated.
  4. Provide an exceptional education to Physician Assistant Studies students and maintain a PANCE first-time pass rate above the national average.
    • UTMB's full-time PA Program faculty have well over 100 years of clinical experience combined! They come from diverse clinical experiences in primary care and are respected in their specialty areas, such as cardiology, infectious disease, pediatrics, rheumatology, hepatology, orthopedic surgery, neurology, and research. Currently, over 35% of full-time PA Program faculty possess doctoral degrees.

Program Accreditation Status

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Physician Assistant Program sponsored by the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston. 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 May 2017. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

PANCE First Time Pass Results