Master of Physician Assistant Studies

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (PA)

PA Fair April 7

PA Virtual Fair - April 7, 2021

The Mercy College of Ohio’s Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) is a 118-credit hour, cohort-based program designed to provide a graduate-level learning experience that produces PA graduates who can provide competent, patient-centered medical care for diverse populations in a variety of clinical settings while also embracing service, scholarship, and leadership.

Located at the Mercy College Campus in Toledo, OH, the PA space features a dedicated PA classroom, laboratory, and student space as well as a suite of outpatient exam rooms. Other learning offerings include simulation laboratory, interprofessional education, Anatomage table as well as clinical skills laboratories.

The seven (7)-semester curriculum entails four (4) didactic and three (3) clinical semesters. Students will have seven (7) required Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences (SCPE) areas along with opportunities for elective experiences. Students are expected to participate in direct patient contact for 40-60 hours/week.

Class Size

The first cohort of 20 PA students (PAS) starts May 2021, with clinicals August 2022 through beginning of August 2023; second cohort of 25 PAS; third and subsequent cohorts of 30 PAS. The PA Program does have a Direct Entry pathway with up to approximately 15% of seats reserved. Also, refer to the FAQ “How many seats are held for Direct Entry students?” for the current number of seats reserved.

Mercy College of Ohio Mission

Mercy College of Ohio, a Catholic institution with a focus on healthcare, educates and inspires students to lead and to serve in the global community.

Physician Assistant Program Mission

The Mercy College of Ohio PA program provides a graduate-level learning experience that produces PA graduates who can provide competent, patient-centered medical care for diverse populations in a variety of clinical settings while also embracing service, scholarship, and leadership.

Physician Program Program Vision

The Mercy College of Ohio PA program will be a premier graduate-level PA educational program in which its graduates contribute service, scholarship, and leadership to meet the medical care needs of the region, the State of Ohio, and the nation.

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Mercy College of Ohio Master of Physician Assistant Studies sponsored by Mercy College of Ohio.

Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation-Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.

The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at

Mercy College of Ohio’s developing PA Program is ready to be flexible. In general, online course work is not an issue as it’s an accepted teaching pedagogy. Pass/Fail grades earning Pass will generally be acceptable for the pandemic affected semester(s) courses (e.g., those courses moved from graded to pass/fail after the course was in session). The Pass/Fail courses will be interpreted within the candidate’s existing GPA and other admissions data. The home-based GRE will be accepted. If a course is already offered online for a grade, a candidate should take the graded course. Our admissions open houses and interview sessions may move to virtual offerings pending results of public health data and guidelines. Our Admissions Committee will be actively engaged in reviewing admissions files, reaching out to candidates for more information as needed, and making determinations guided by our current published criteria.

With approval from the ARC-PA, 20 program seats to be available for the May 2021 cohort. Accordingly, the plan is to increase cohort size, as listed below:

  • May 2022—25 seats
  • May 2023—30 seats

Click here to review the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, specifically for Physician Assistants.

Click here for scholarship opportunities through the PA Foundation.

You will earn a Master of Physician Assistant Studies.

The program is 7 semesters. There will be 4 semesters of didactic coursework (in the classroom) and 3 semesters of clinical rotations (in the field).

No, this is a full-time academic program.

Due to the rigorous academics, time-intensive studies, and clinical nature of this program, employment of any kind is discouraged.

Many of the state Physician Assistant organizations maintain a list of PA-Cs who volunteer their time shadowing interested students. You can find the Ohio Association of Physician Assistants here and search for others.

Please see Mercy College's Title IX information.

Please see Mercy College's diversity and inclusion information.

Please see the Mercy College's safety information.

  • Earning a degree allows you to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination (PANCE), which is issued by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). You will need to pass the PANCE to earn your certification.
  • Completion of a PA program does not automatically guarantee that the graduate can practice as a physician assistant.

The MPAS program will serve as a strong foundation for the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination.

Competitive applicants will have more than the minimum requirements.

The CASPA site opens approximately early to mid April 2021, and cutoff is December 1st for CASPA cycle 2022. A rolling admissions model is utilized, so applicants are encouraged to apply early.

Because this program is in a development phase, and this will be the first applicant pool, the data is unavailable. However, once data has been collected from the 2021 cohort, it will be published.

Mercy College’s developing PA Program does not favor specified individuals or groups. The PA Program does have a Direct Entry pathway. The PA Program interviews qualified Mercy College of Ohio pre-PA track Biology CASPA applicants.

  • While currently there are no seats taken, the program reserves the right for direct admissions or articulation into the program. The following list shows the maximum potential reserve seats for direct entry:
  • May 2021 (Class of 2023) 3 seats
  • May 2022 (Class of 2024) 4 seats
  • May 2023 (Class of 2025) 5 seats
  • The website will be updated regularly to keep CASPA applicants informed as to the reservation status of the potentially held seats.
  • Initial academic decisions are made by reviewing the CASPA application, including GRE scores and overall and prerequisite GPAs. Further decisions will be made with the results of the CASPer assessment, which measures non-cognitive skills and relational characteristics that are essential for success in the program and practice.
  • Additional factors in the decision-making process include letters of recommendation, exposure to and grasp of the physician assistant profession, robust writing and relational skills, ability to articulate personal statements, leadership experience, previous campus engagement/involvement. Final decisions will be made following virtual group and individual interviews.
  • The CASPer has an initial cost of $25, and $12 per score distribution.

Due to COVID 19, all interviews will be in virtual format. The interview process is happening in 4 steps:

  1. In-depth virtual information session
  2. Small group virtual interview
  3. Take CASPer
  4. Individual virtual interview

The MPAS Program is utilizing Zoom for its virtual interview platform.

No, Mercy College does not accept transfer credits from other PA programs. PA students who find themselves in that situation should apply as a new applicant and be sure to submit transcripts from PA school with their other transcripts.

  • Yes, you will need to take the GRE.
    • The general test must be taken within the last 5 years.
  • Preferred competitive combined verbal/quantitative score over 300
  • Preferred competitive quantitative score over 150
  • Analytical Writing GRE result of 3.5 or above
  • While MCAT is for entry into a medical school, the PA-CAT test, which intends to measure readiness for entry into PA programs is in development and may become an admission criterion for our program but is not currently. The PA program does not utilize MCAT scores in our admissions process.

Please upload all documents/materials through the CASPA portal. When the CASPA portal closes, please send to the PA Program at Mercy College of Ohio. We will advise and direct best methods of delivery at that time.

Be sure to label all files with your last name, first name and content description. Ex: Smith_Mollie_Mercy College transcript.pdf

  • Fit within the mission and values of institution and PA program
  • Career discernment and passion for the PA profession
  • Strong science acumen
  • Robust interpersonal skills
  • Solid writing ability
  • Direct-patient care experience
  • Being able to speak to diverse breadth and depth professional and personal experiences

The PA program admissions team receives your application once CASPA has processed and verified it. Click here to find out more about how your CAPSA application is processed. An email will be sent from Mercy College within a week to acknowledge receipt of your application, and to notify if there are any outstanding needs. Within 4-6 weeks you will be notified of your application review status via email.

There is no secondary application for the Mercy College PA program, but there is an additional cost for CASPer. The CASPer has an initial cost of $25, and $12 per score distribution.

The selection process consists of the CASPA, GPA, GRE scores, personal statement, CASPer, and interview activities.

Please visit Mercy College’s Admission Criteria information regarding international students.

Yes. Applicants with international transcripts are required to submit their official transcripts to World Education Services (WES) for a course-by-course level evaluation and calculated cumulative grade point average (GPA). Contact WES at

Once Mercy College receives the course-by-course level evaluation from WES, the Admissions Committee will decide if the degree meets the criteria for the PA program.

If you believe you’ve taken a class and it is not clear on your transcript that it meets criteria, work with the Director of Enrollment and PA admissions committee to provide proper documentation for review. However, the PA program does not allow substitutions for prerequisites or relevant courses for another. An example of this would be that the PA program will not accept Molecular biology for Microbiology or Organic Chemistry II with lab for Biochemistry.

While the PA program finds value in having a background related to healthcare, especially as an experience that allows you to place your discernment of the PA profession at the forefront, having direct patient care experience will have a strong correlation with your success in the program.

It is recommended retaking medical science courses such as physiology, biochemistry, genetics, or immunology, as these courses are needed to prepare you for success in the PA program. If your coursework is older than 7 years, but you utilize these sciences daily in your work, this may be sufficient for the program. Please contact the Program Director or the Admissions coordinator to ask your specific questions regarding this.

In your acceptance letter you will receive detailed information on how to move forward with your tuition deposit and course enrollment.

Mercy College does not require students to provide their own clinical sites. If a student generates a lead, then the program can investigate according to the program process. Feasibility will be explored when possible, however, the PA program can’t promise that a student-generated lead will culminate in a clinical site.

Mercy College utilizes an on-campus digital dissection tool (Anatomage Table) supplemented with the Anatomage Table companion application for iPads. Digital dissections allow for a robust regional anatomy learning experience without the potential hazards of chemical preservatives. The Anatomage Table, specifically, provides an assortment of cadavers that display normal and pathological anatomic variations, numerous cases that provide a means to critically think through anatomical problems, a vast library of images (tissue, x-ray, CT) that expand upon the regional anatomy learned with the cadavers, and the ability to customize learning experiences. A growing body of research identifies that digital dissection improves student performance in gross anatomy labs. Mercy College’s decision to utilize digital anatomy platforms also allows flexibility for students to learn anatomy as a team-based approach or autonomously both in the laboratory and online environments.

Please see grading scale here.

Yes, at the close of the admissions cycle. Approximately two weeks into the start of the program notifications will be made.

Mercy College has developed local and national preceptor partnerships for clinical rotations. Rotations are six, and sometimes three weeks in length. Students must be prepared to be mobile during the clinical year.

Mercy College of Ohio does not provide on-campus housing; however, you can find off-campus housing resources here.

Yes. Select candidates will be required to take the CASPer prior to invitation for an on-campus interview. The CASPer has an initial cost of $25, and $12 per score distribution.

Didactic Phase Semesters I-IV

Semester I: Summer 1 (13 weeks – 14 credit hours)

PAS 500PA Professional Issues and Medical Ethics (1 credit hour)
PAS 505Health Care Policy and Systems (1 credit hour)
PAS 510Basic Sciences Foundations (6 credit hours)
PAS 520Pharmacology (3 credit hours)
PAS 531Patient Assessment and Clinical Skills I (2 credit hours)
PAS 541Clinical Diagnostics-I: Diagnostic Labs (1 credit hour)

Semester II: Fall 1 (17 weeks – 18 credit hours)

PAS 521Clinical Medicine and Therapeutics I (10 credit hours)
PAS 532Patient Assessment and Clinical Skills II (3 credit hours)
PAS 542Clinical Diagnostics II (2 credit hours)
PAS 551Evidence Based Practice-I (1 credit hour)
PAS 561Clinical Integrations and Decision Making I (2 credit hours)

Semester III: Spring 1 (17 weeks – 18 credit hours)

PAS 522Clinical Medicine and Therapeutics II (10 credit hours)
PAS 533Patient Assessment and Clinical Skills III (3 credit hours)
PAS 543Clinical Diagnostics III (2 credit hours)
PAS 562Clinical Integrations and Decision Making II (3 credit hours)

Semester IV: Summer 2 (13 weeks – 14 credit hours)

PAS 523Clinical Medicine and Therapeutics III (5 credit hours)
PAS 534Patient Assessment and Clinical Skills IV (3 credit hours)
PAS 552Evidence Based Practice-II (1 credit hour)
PAS 563Clinical Integrations and Decision Making III (3 credit hours)

Clinical Phase (Clinical Year) Semesters V-VII
The PA Program’s clinical phase covers three semesters. The Clinical Phase Seminar and Scholarly Inquiry course series are first presented by semester as these run concurrent with the Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences (SCPE) which are assigned on a rotating basis over these three semesters. Students are typically expected back on campus for end of rotation activities after each major SCPE block. Students must pass the PA Program didactic phase to enter the clinical phase.


Semester V: Fall 2

PAS 651Scholarly Inquiry I (1 credit hour)
PAS 671Clinical Phase Seminar I (1 credit hour)

Semester VI: Spring 2

PAS 652Scholarly Inquiry II (1 credit hour)
PAS 672Clinical Phase Seminar II (1 credit hour)

Semester VII: Summer 3

PAS 653 Scholarly Inquiry III (2 credit hours)
PAS 673 Clinical Phase Seminar III (2 credit hours)

Students are assigned into a series of Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences in a variety of settings on a rotating schedule. The SCPEs are divided into 8 periods of approximately 6 weeks each. Required 6-week experiences include Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine and General Surgery/Surgery. Experiences in Women’s Health, Pediatrics and Behavioral Health are required 3-week experiences that may be integrated throughout the clinical experiences. Electives are available in a variety of clinical practice areas, pending preceptor/site availability and prior rotation experience. Electives can be in a new discipline or an augmentation of a required discipline. Students are to average 45 hours a week at the clinical experiences (on site 40-60 hrs/wk). The PA Program reserves the right to assign rotations or supplemental activities to ensure that students meet all PA Program requirements for the SCPEs. The SCPEs are competency based with Pass/Fail grading.

Semester V: Fall 2

PAS 661SCPE 1 (6)
PAS 662SCPE 2 (6)
PAS 663SCPE 3 (6)

Semester VI: Spring 2

PAS 664SCPE 4 (6)
PAS 665SCPE 5 (6)
PAS 666SCPE 6 (6)

Semester VII: Summer 3

PAS 667SCPE 7 (6)
PAS 668SCPE 8 (6)
Course Descriptions
MPAS Program Goals Benchmarks for Goals Measures/Indicators
Guided by our mission, vision, and values, the PA Program of Mercy College of Ohio aspires to meet these goals:
1. National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants Board Pass Rate Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam program performance at or above the national mean score for overall performance and for specialty and task areas National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants results
Mercy College PANCE Pass Rates
2. Employment Rate At least 95% PA placement within 12 months of graduation Credentialing, exit surveys, alum tracking
Results of Program Goals
3. Meet Mission 100% of Physician Assistant Students (PAS) and PA faculty/staff will meet PA Program Mission annually through service, leadership, or scholarship by participating in at least two of these areas annually: See specific areas below; Report aggregate % of participation for PAS, faculty and staff participation
Results of Program Goals

3a. Service Service to community, profession, college, external stakeholders, etc. Report % of PAS, faculty and staff that participate in service annually;

Activities will be listed when available.
3b. Leadership Leadership to community, profession, college, external stakeholders, etc. Report % of PAS, faculty and staff that participate in leadership annually;

Activities will be listed when available.

Supporting the PA Profession: provide space, CME, promote profession (PA Week)
3c. Scholarship 100% of faculty and PAS participate in Boyer scholarship model activities Report % of PAS, faculty and staff that participate in scholarship annually;

Activities will be listed when available.

Learning Outcomes

Upon program completion MPAS students will be able to demonstrate competency in the following measurable and observable domains:

PLO 1: Analyze population/public health issues that impact patients and their communities (e.g. health literacy, social determinants of health)

PLO 2: Analyze clinical scenarios, formulate differential diagnoses, and create management plans rooted in current evidence-based and current best practice guidelines.

PLO 3: Engage in critical thinking in clinical decision making and scholarly inquiry.

PLO 4: Defend ethical decisions with respect to individual health care cases and population/public health issues using Mercy College Values.

PLO 5: Evaluate peers, interprofessional team members, and supervising professionals.

PLO 6: Create an action plan for professional growth and development.

Results of Learning Outcomes

  • Document .pdfPANCE Pass Rate

    First-time PANCE rate for the five most recent graduating classes.

  • Document .pdfAttrition Rates

    ARC-PA Student Attrition

  • Document .pdfMPAS Results of Program Goals

    Results of MPAS program goals.

  • Document .pdfMPAS Results of Learning Outcomes

    Physician Assistant Annual Assessment Plan


Career Outlook

Graduate MPAS admission requirements at Mercy College of Ohio follow. Note that competitive applicants will typically have more than minimal requirements. The PA Program does not accept transfer credits into the Direct Entry or Graduate Program or credit by examination for prerequisite courses. The PA Program does not award advanced placement.

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution prior to matriculation into the PA program.
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 as a competitive threshold.
  • Prerequisite GPA of 3.0 with no course grade lower than C as a competitive threshold.
    • Successfully repeated with a grade C or above will be considered.
  • Prerequisite Coursework: It is highly recommended to take the prerequisite courses noted with an asterisk (*) at an upper level, as opposed to a lower level or survey courses, preferably taken within the last 5 years.
    • One semester of medical terminology (minimum 1 semester hour or equivalent quarter hours) or valid certificate of completion or equivalent
    • One semester of psychology (minimum 3 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours).
    • One semester of statistics (minimum 3 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours).
    • One semester of genetics (minimum 3 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours).
    • One semester of organic chemistry (minimum 3 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours) (proper organic chemistry as prerequisite to biochemistry course).
    • One semester of microbiology (minimum 3 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours).*
    • Equivalent of two semesters of combined (human) anatomy and physiology (minimum 6 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours), with lab preferred.*
    • One semester of biochemistry (with organic chemistry prerequisite) (minimum 3 semester hours or equivalent quarter hours).*
  • Submit CASPA application online
  • Letters of recommendation: At least two academic or professional letters of recommendation.
  • GRE General test within the last 5 years
    • Preferred competitive combined verbal/quantitative score over 300
    • Preferred competitive quantitative over 150
    • Analytical Writing GRE result of 3.5 or above.
  • Discernment into the profession such as health care experience/patient contact.
  • Technical Standards must be met
  • Clinical Requirements must be met at time of matriculation and ongoing per program requirements
  • Must be a US citizen or legal resident.
  • Other relevant science courses earning C or above will be considered holistically within the candidate’s science academic body of work.
Technical Standards
Clinical Requirements
Direct Entry Admissions Requirements

Please note the following highlighted policies regarding:

Employment while in the MPAS program.

  • Due to the rigorous academics, time-intensive studies, and clinical nature of this program, employment of any kind is discouraged.

Admission and enrollment practices that favor specified individuals or groups.

  • The PA Program does have a Direct Entry pathway. Projected seats reserved by entering Direct Entry cohort are as follows: May 2021 (Class of 2023) 3 seats, May 2022 (Class of 2024) 4 seats, May 2023 (Class of 2025) 5 seats. Mercy College’s qualified undergraduate pre-PA track Biology majors completing the graduate admissions/CASPA application process will be offered an interview.

Refunds of Tuition and Fees

  • The policy for Refunding Tuition and Fees can be found in the Graduate Catalog under the topics of Financial Aid (R2T4) and Refund Request.
  • It is important to visit with Student Records, Financial Aid, and the Business Office to make sure you understand the implications related to financial responsibilities and that all forms have been submitted and appropriate action has been taken.

Information Session

Upcoming session dates will be posted as they are scheduled. In the meantime, please contact Admissions with any questions about the program.