Physician Assistant Studies Bridge Program (MPAS)

Physician Assistant Studies Bridge Program (MPAS)

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The Master in Physician Assistant Studies Bridge Program (MPAS) curriculum is a web-based program that enables a practicing physician assistants with a Bachelor’s degree to obtain a Master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies allowing the physician assistant to remain in their community while completing their course of study. The degree awarded at the completion of the Bridge Program will be a professional Master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS).

While enrolled in the Bridge Program, each student will enroll in three clinical tracks (four weeks each) and the research experience course. The emphasis of the clinical tracks is to encourage life-long learning in the area of the professional competencies as agreed on by our professional organizations.

*This program is offered 100% ONLINE

  • Admission Requirements

    Step #1: Submit a UTRGV Graduate Application at www.utrgv.edu/gradapply. The university application fee of $50 ($100 for International Applicants) can be paid online by credit card or electronic check (in the online application). All application fees are nonrefundable.

    Step #2: Request your official transcripts to be sent electronically to gradapps@utrgv.edu or mailed to:

    The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
    The Graduate College
    Marialice Shary Shivers Bldg. 1.158
    1201 W. University Drive
    Edinburg, TX 78539-2999

     
    *Please Note: If you are a graduate of UTPA, UTB/TSC, or UTRGV you do not need to request an official transcript to be sent to the Graduate College.

    Review and submit all Program Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree  in  Physician  Assistant  Studies  from  a  regionally accredited institution in the United States or a recognized international equivalent.
    • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.
    • Official transcripts from each institution attended (must be submitted directly to UTRGV).
    • Current license to practice as a Physician Assistant.
    • Current NCCPA certification.
    • Be employed as a Physician Assistant (for clinical hours participation).
    • Must have medical malpractice insurance.
    • Letter  of  reference  from  their  supervising  physician  agreeing  to precept the Physician Assistant.
    • Cleared Criminal Background Check (fee non-refundable).

    Students whose native language is not English or who studied at a University outside the U.S.:

    • TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Test with minimum scores: 550 on paper-based, 213 on computer based, or 79 on Internet-based for the TOEFL; 6.5 for the IELTS. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for 2 years. For additional information, visit the Additional Documents for Domestic Applicants who Attend Foreign Universities section of our website.
    • Certified English translation of educational records.
    Students in fully online programs are not eligible for I-20 or student visas.
  • Program Contact

    Program Coordinator: Lisa Kuhn

    Phone: (956) 665-7049

    Office: Edinburg Campus, HABE 2.136

    E-Mail: lisa.kuhn@utrgv.edu

  • Deadlines

    Deadlines:

    Applications will be accepted year round and prospective students are encouraged to apply at least 2 months before classes start to ensure a timely application review.  Applying early will also give prospective students the best opportunity to be considered for scholarships and other possible funding opportunities.

    *Note: This program only admits applicants during Fall, Spring and Summer I semesters.

  • Course Requirements

     
    Required Courses 16
    PHAS 7415: Bridge Clinical Track I 4
    PHAS 7416: Bridge Clinical Track II 4
    PHAS 7417: Bridge Clinical Track III 4
    PHAS 7418: Bridge Research Experience 4
     

    The Bridge Master of Science Physician Assistant Studies is designed for the graduated Physician Assistant to advance their undergraduate PA degree to the Master’s degree. This is a distance learning/online program, allowing graduates to continue working while earning their master’s.


    Course Descriptions:

    PHAS 7415: Bridge Clinical Track I
    This is an advanced clinical course designed to augment and update the existing clinical skills and knowledge of the primary care Physician Assistant. Learning objectives will focus on increasing the core competencies for the PA profession with focus on the medical knowledge competency in the area of medical concentration track the student has chosen.
    Prerequisite: Acceptance to Bridge program. Note: Only Bridge program students are eligible for this course.

    PHAS 7416: Bridge Clinical Track II
    This is an advanced clinical course designed to augment and update the existing clinical skills and knowledge of the primary care Physician Assistant. Upon completing this course, students will be able to understand and clinically apply the core competencies of interpersonal and communication skills as well as patient care in the area of medical concentration track the student has chosen. Evaluation of advanced case studies and discussions highlight this area of concentration.
    Prerequisite: Acceptance to Bridge program. Note: Only Bridge program students are eligible for this course.

    PHAS 7417: Bridge Clinical Track III
    This is an advanced clinical course designed to augment and update the existing clinical skills and knowledge of the primary care Physician Assistant. Upon completing this course, students will be able to understand and clinically apply practice base and system base practice competencies in the area of medical concentration track the student has chosen. Evaluation of “best practice” case studies and discussions highlight this area of concentration.
    Prerequisite: Acceptance to Bridge program. Note: Only Bridge program students are eligible for this course.

    PHAS 7418: Bridge Research Experience
    This course acquaints the student with the philosophy and principles of the research process with emphasis on scientific methods of inquiry. Students will have the opportunity to evaluate current literature from the medical journals in light of research design and data collection. This course introduces student to the concepts of evidence‐based medicine and medical research design, while stressing the examination of evidence from clinical research as a basis for clinical decision‐making. Physician Assistant students learn how to construct well‐built clinical questions based on patient problems and to perform medical literature searching strategies that yield optimal results. As a capstone, students research and prepare a written paper on a topic of relevance to clinical medicine using the principles of evidence‐based medicine. Students utilize data gathered during their clinical Track I, II, and III senior capstone (PHAS 7415, 7417, and 7418) to plan, formulate, write and report their findings.
    Prerequisite: Acceptance to Bridge program. Note: Only Bridge program students are eligible for this course.

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