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PA Programs

Navigate the Process

You are here because you have an interest in becoming a Physician Assistant and you probably already know that everyone calls them PAs.  Our goal is to provide you with interactive, actionable data to help you navigate the process of selecting the right schools so that you can increase your odds of getting into PA School this cycle.  The 2019/2020 cycle starts the end of April and runs through the end of March the following year.

There are currently 238 accredited PA Programs in the United States.  There are an additional 27 PA Programs that are in the process of becoming accredited.  For the 2019-2020 PA Program admission cycle, there are more than 260 PA Programs that are accepting applications.  Another 34 schools are developing PA Programs, which if they are successful, will bring the total PA Program count to 299.  There is no guarantee that all developing PA Programs will become accredited.  These numbers are continually changing as ARC-PA continues their process of assessing schools and determining their compliance with the accrediting process.

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Why should you care about the accreditation status of a PA Program?

A PA Program must be accredited by ARC-PA for students who have graduated from the program to sit for the PANCE Exam.  You must pass the PANCE Exam to become a certified Physician Assistant, PA-C.  You must be certified to practice as a PA.  New PA Programs that meet the accreditation standards of ARC-PA are granted Provisional Accreditation, and they retain that status for several years.   ARC-PA schedules accreditation reviews with all PA Programs to ensure they are fulfilling the accreditation requirements.  PA Programs with a Provisional status that do not fulfill the accreditation standards are put on probation, and their accreditation status is changed to Provisional Probation.  There are currently 24 PA Programs on Probation, 18 of these programs had Continuing Accreditation status, and 6 of these programs had Provisional Accreditation status.

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