Although physician assistants have a lot of the same tasks as a regular doctor, they still are required to work under supervision. They also take a few years less studying, way less residency time, and lack certain medical freedoms (like prescribing medicine or delivering babies) depending on the policies of particular states. For many people seeking a medical career, they find that becoming a physician assistant is a better path for them than becoming an actual doctor.
But what makes a good school for PAs? Things like selectivity in acceptance, good incoming students average test scores, and graduates with high employment/salary rates, I guess. However, subjective things can be an indicator of a good school, too. The location of the school and the culture can be of monumental importance, too. However, for the cases of most people, we don’t have the time nor resources to ask every single program’s students what they think. Luckily, the U.S. News and World Report provides a wonderful resource for evaluating the quality of American schools. Based on a 5 point ranking system (5 being best, 1 being worst)- here are the rankings of the top grad schools for getting your physician assistant credentials. Did your school make the list?
20 Best Grad Schools for Physician Assistants
1. Duke University– Durham, NC
“Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke University offers top-rated medical education and residency training programs and a quality of life second to none. ”
2. University of Iowa– Iowa City, IA
Iowa’s only Academic Center is at the University of Iowa.
3. Emory University- Atlanta, GA
Emory University schools over 500 international students where they can practice the most advanced education where they can practice in facilities all over the Atlanta area.
4. George Washington University– Washington, D.C.
GWU is the 11th oldest medical school—and first in the capital.
5. Oregon Health and Sciences University– Portland, OR
OHSU is the only academic health center in Oregon.
6. Quinnipiac University- Hamden, CT
Since the 1930’s, Frank H. Netter was famed for his medical illustrations. Now, the school of medicine is named for him.
5. University of Colorado– Aurora, CO
The labs here receive more than $400 million in research grants annually.
6. University of Utah– Salt Lake City, UT
The University of Utah has 17 colleges and almost 100 departments.
7. University of Nebraska Medical Center- Omaha, NE
UNMC is Nebraska’s only public academic health center—dedicated to providing cures for diseases and helping patients.
8. Wake Forest University– Winston-Salem, NC
“Do yourself a favor: Be an easy grader. Score yourself on a curve. Give yourself extra credit,” said Stephen Colbert who recently spoke at the graduation for the Class of 2015 to a student.
9. Interservice Physician Assistant Program– Fort Sam Houston, TX
The Physician Assistant Program aims to provide uniformed services with top-notch PAs.
10. University of Washington– Seattle, WA
The University of Washington has 3 campuses, 440+ degree options, and 280 programs.
11. Baylor College of Medicine– Houston, TX
In addition to it’s celebrated PA program, this school was also voted one of the best research and primary care medical schools.
12. Drexel University- Philadelphia, PA
“Linking technology to a tradition of caring.”
UT Southwestern Medical School is another school that places in the top quarter for research and primary care.
14. Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences– Piscataway, NJ
RBHS has eight schools and four centers and institutes for medicine.
15. Shenandoah University– Winchester, VA
Founded in 1875, this university is located 70 miles from D.C., this university has 11 womens & 10 mens sports, and have alumni living in 90+ countries around the world.
16. Stony Brook University-SUNY– Stony Brook NY
Stony Brook is one of the top 35 best value public colleges, boasts a 17:1 student-faculty ratio, and was named top 1% in the world from Times Higher Education.
17. University of Alabama-Birmingham- Birmingham, AL
This school was Alabama’s first public college with a modern student-faculty ratio of 19:1.
18. Midwestern University- Downers Grove, IL
The MWU, Downers Grove community is a safe and comfortable place to learn yet just a short drive to nearby Chicago, 25 miles away.
19. Midwestern University– Glendale, AZ
Another MWU on the list, the Glendale campus is another wonderful learning institution, this one just a 15 minute drive to Phoenix.
20. Northeastern University- Boston, MA
Northeastern University was founded in 1898 offering online, on campus, and hybrid courses. Plus, they have 39 PhD programs.