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Prospective Physician AssistantsForum → Pa Schools- Bachelor’s vs. Master’s?

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  • Profile picture of Ashley Lougheed Ashley Lougheed said 2 years, 5 months ago ago:

    Hi there,
    When looking at the Pa Program Profiles in NYC I see that some of them award a Bachelor’s degree upon completion and others a Master’s degree. The program length is the same (28 months or so), but the tuition cost is more than double for the Master’s. So for someone like myself who already has a Bachelor’s degree, and has to take all of the science prereq’s before applying anyway ($$$), would it matter if I just got another bachelor degree or would it be better to do the Master’s? If the designation of Pa is the same, what are the differences in the programs and in the future of the field as far as educational requirements go?
    Also, is it frowned upon to take the science prereq’s at a community college (given a strong overall application)?
    Any advise or clarification would be greatly appreciated!!

  • Profile picture of Tonya Tonya said 2 years, 5 months ago ago:

    Not only are Bachelor’s degrees offered, some programs are strictly certificate programs and you can enter without any degree. Currently there doesn’t seem to be any difference in these as the scope of practice is the same (PA-C is what you’re really after). There has been a definite move of programs toward Master’s options and it appears that there could be a significant difference somewhere down the road, but I personally believe they will do the same thing they are for physical therapists since the requirement for a DPT rather than a masters, which is create an accelerated bridge program for practicing PA’s to earn the masters while still working. The job opportunities and pay seems to be the same for all of these programs right now.

  • Profile picture of davidpayne PA-E davidpayne PA-E said 2 years, 5 months ago ago:

    @ashleylougheed Ashley, around seven states now require a Bachelor’s degree in order to become licensed and three states require a Master’s. Furthermore, the new accreditation standards mandate that all programs award a master’s by 2020. Finally, if you ever have an interest in going into academia, then you will need a Master’s. If you choose to go the Bachelor’s route you need to make sure that you will not be practicing in the states that require a Master’s. You should also make sure there are no legislative pushes to require a Master’s in any states of interest. I wrote an article on this that should be quite helpful entitled Does the Degree Awarded by the Physician Assistant Program Matter?

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