Advanced Physician Assistant Degree Online

Advanced Physician Assistant Degree Online

Advanced Physician Assistant Post Professional Program

This program is available only for licensed Physician Assistants.

A.T. Still University’s (ATSU) Advanced Physician Assistant (APA) program offers the most direct path to APA credentials–even without a Bachelor’s degree (additional admission requirements apply). Practicing Physician Assistants can begin immediately to pursue a Master of Science in Advanced Physician Assistant Studies from ATSU’s Arizona School of Health Sciences (ASHS).

ATSU’s Master of Science in Advanced Physician Assistant Studies online is a post-professional program that offers concentrations in either Clinical Medicine or Education/Leadership, with flexibility for working professionals.

Current demand for Physician Assistants is at an all-time high. Graduates with a Physician Assistant degree take their place as esteemed healthcare leaders who serve a crucial role in meeting growing demand and solving community healthcare shortages. The Physician Assistant profession is rated number one by both PAs and the industry, according to’s list of Best Jobs in America 2012. Job mobility is even greater than that for an MD.

ATSU’s Advanced Physician Assistant Degree program has earned prestige for outstanding leadership and a prestigious curriculum that elevates Physician Assistants to the top tier of their profession.

  • Accreditation +

    • Higher Learning Commission Mark of Affiliation

      A.T. Still University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, 230 S. LaSalle Street; Suite 7-500; Chicago, IL 60604, Phone: 800.621.7440, Fax: 312.263.7492, Email:,

      Degree-granting authority for ASHS has been given by the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education, 1400 West Washington Rd., Room 260, Phoenix, AZ 85007. Phone 602.542.5709.

  • Career Advancement+

    • Students in the elite post professional ATSU-ASHS Advanced Physician Assistant online degree are practicing physician assistants who want to advance their careers in many exciting areas of healthcare including:
      • Advanced Physician Assistant (APA)
      • Cardiology Physician Assistant
      • Cardiothoracic Surgery Physician Assistant
      • Cardiovascular Physician Assistant

      • Family Practice Physician Assistant
      • Neurosurgical Physician Assistant
      • Orthopedic Physician Assistant
      • Primary Care Practitioner at rural and/or retail “mini” clinics

  • Student Insights +

    • As a Master’s degree is now the entry level degree of students coming out of PA school, I felt it important to ‘stay current’. After doing research of programs recommended by the AAPA and assessing each program I felt that ATSU was the best fit for me in terms of tuition, time in the program and content.
      ~Rodney Hamby, APA graduate

      The best part of the program for me was being able to work at anytime of the day at any place. During my second year I had my first baby and it was very easy for me to still attend school, work full time and be a new mom! I did also enjoy learning how other Physician Assistants practice in different parts of the country.
      ~Lori Singer, APA graduate

      Being an advance practice degree program we were all practicing PA’s and everyone had such a varied background. For once… I had a “peer group” and very much looked forward to our daily interaction. I would definitely recommend ATSU for any PA that wants to complete a Master’s Program.
      ~Sandy Beeman, APA graduate

Advanced Physician Assistant Degree Faculty

Faculty members comprise a supportive community of leaders in their respective fields. Not only do they teach both online and in the classroom, but they also provide students pursuing a physician assistant degree online with hands-on learning opportunities and real-world experience. They serve as mentors, advisers and researchers who are dedicated to furthering each student’s academic and career goals.

The world-class leadership of ATSU’s Advanced Physician Assistant degree program is reflected in its faculty, which includes a dean at Stark State College and the director at the Physician Assistant Institute in Conn. The Arizona School of Health Sciences dean is PA editor-in-chief of Clinician Review and former president of the Veteran Caucus of the AAPA. Supporting leadership for ATSU, a current commander in the U.S. Coast Guard is a member of the Board of Trustees and graduate of the Physician Assistant program.

  • Dean +

      • Randy D. Danielsen, PhD, PA-C, DFAAPA

        Dr. Danielsen is dean of the Arizona School of Health Sciences. Since graduating from the University of Utah Physician Assistant (PA) Program in 1974, Dr. Danielsen has distinguished himself as a clinician, PA educator, author, and editor. He received his BS in Health Science (cum laude) from the University of Utah in 1978, his Masters in PA Studies (MPAS) from the University of Nebraska with an emphasis on Internal Medicine in 1997, and his PhD from the Union Institute & University in 2003 with an emphasis on Medical Education. He completed sixteen years with A.T. Still University as academic coordinator (1995-1997), chair of physician assistant studies (1997-2004), and as dean of the Arizona School of Health Sciences (2004-2010) and recently returned as Dean of ASHS. He was honored in 2010 by A.T. Still University with Emeritus Professor status. He has served on the board of directors of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) and as a board member and chairman for National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

        Earlier in his career, Dr. Danielsen served as president of the Utah Academy of Physician Assistants, the Arizona State Association of PAs, and as chair of the Arizona Regulatory Board for PAs. Retired after 28 years of service in the US Air Force and Army National Guard with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Dr. Danielsen also is a former president of the Veterans Caucus of the AAPA and was honored with the Caucus’ Civilian PA of the Year Award in 2003.

        Dr. Danielsen was named Outstanding PA of the Year by the AAPA in 1993 and by the Arizona State Association of Physician Assistants in 2011. He currently serves as PA editor-in-chief for Clinician Review. Dr. Danielsen has published over sixteen peer-reviewed articles, eighteen journal editorials, two book chapters, and most recently his first book, entitled The Preceptor’s Handbook for Supervising Physician Assistants, published by Jones & Bartlett Learning. Recently he was selected as a Senior Consultant with the Academy for Academic Leadership.

  • Vice Dean +

      • Annlee Burch, PT, MPH, EdD

        Dr. Burch is Vice Dean of the Arizona School of Health Sciences. Her primary responsibility is to serve as Chief Operating Officer of the School under the direction of the Dean. In addition, she leads several University or School wide initiatives including the Diversity Initiative Task Force and the ASHS Adelante Project. In her role, Dr. Burch represents the School in the Dean’s absence.

        Dr. Burch received her Doctor of Education (EdD) from Columbia University, Teachers College in 2005. She received her Masters of Public Health (MPH) from Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health in 2002 and her Masters of Physical Therapy (MS) from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1989. She was a postdoctoral fellow with the Research Group on Health Disparities at Teachers College, Columbia University.

        Dr. Burch received her BA is in Psychology from the University of Rochester. Prior to her appointment as Vice Dean, Dr. Burch served as the Chair of Physical Therapy from 2008-January 2012. Prior to coming to ATSU, Dr. Burch was the Director of Physical Therapy at the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She has held administrative and/or faculty positions at the International Center for the Disabled in NY, NY, Mercy College in NY, and Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY.

  • Chair +

      • Albert Simon, DHSc, MEd, PA-C
        Physician Assistant

        Dr. Simon is a PA graduate of the Alderson Broaddus PA program in West Virginia. Prior to ATSU, he served as chair of the St. Francis University PA Program in Pennsylvania. His clinical practice experience includes internal medicine and occupational medicine. In addition to administrative duties, he teaches in the History and Physical Examination sequence.

  • Director +

      • Jim Burkett, M.S., PA-C, DFAAPA

        Mr. Burkett is a PA graduate from the Community College of Allegheny County and an APA graduate of ATSU. He has completed a PA Surgical Residency. His clinical experience includes interventional radiology, surgery, occupational and emergency medicine. In addition to his administrative duties, he teaches ethics and medical simulation classes.

  • Faculty +

      • Linda Wheelis
        Read Bio
  • Adjunct +

      • James Cawley, MPH, PA-C

      • Elliott Charrow, MS, - PA-C

      • Daniel Cervonka, DHSc., PA-C

      • Karen Crawford, M.Ed

      • Angela Kiselyk, MS, PA-C

      • Elizabeth Lopez, DHEd, PA-C

      • Daniel McDermott, MS, PA-C

      • Brooke Menzie, MS, PA-C

Advanced Physician Assistant Degree Admissions

  • Requirements +

    • The Advanced Physician Assistant program requires all applicants to meet the following criteria:

      1. Graduation from a PA program
      2. Minimum overall GPA 2.50/4.0 scale and minimum PA program GPA 2.5/4.0 scale
      3. Applicants must submit official transcripts to:
        A.T. Still University Attn: Online Admissions 5845 E. Still Circle Suite, 213 Mesa, AZ 85206
      4. An earned bachelor’s degree in Physician Assistant studies from a regionally accredited college or university, or an earned Associate or certificate in Physician Assistant studies to be eligible for the non-bachelor equivalency option. (Please contact an Enrollment Counselor at 877.469.2878 for more information about the non-bachelor PA equivalency option)
      5. Applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in English when applying to the Arizona School of Health Sciences, A.T. Still University. Written and spoken proficiency in the English language may be demonstrated by one of the following options:
        • Option 1 - English is your first language.
        • Option 2 - Graduated from a regionally accredited four year university or college in the United States (minimum BA or BS).
        • Option 3 - You are demonstrating your English proficiency by submitting acceptable scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).or the International English Testing Service (IELTS).

      Acceptable minimal scores for ASHS applications are:

      • Internet based total score = 80
      • Acceptable IELTS score are an overall band score of 6.5

      The TOEFL is administered by TOEFL/TSE Services, P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, NJ, 08541-6151, USA 609. 771.7100. Information is available at A.T. Still University’s institutional code is 0339. Please be sure to include this information when you submit your application packet. TOEFL Educational Testing Services P.O. Box 6151 Princeton, NJ 08541-6151 609.771.7100

      Technology Requirements

      All ATSU students are required to own a computer system. Minimum system requirements vary depending on program.

      Foreign Credential Evaluation

      Applicants who have graduated from a foreign college or university must submit acceptable evidence of U.S. degree/course equivalency. All course work taken at the foreign institution must be evaluated for American institution equivalence by one of the following services:

      • World Education Services P.O. Box 5087 Bowling Green Station New York, NY 10274-5087 phone: 212. 966.6311 fax: 212.739.6139
      • Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. P.O. Box 514070 Milwaukee, WI 53203-3470 414.289.3400
      • American Assn. of Collegiate Registrars & Admissions Officers One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 520 Washington, DC 20036-1135 202.293-9161
      • Josef Silny & Associates, Inc. International Education Consultants 7101 SW 102 Avenue Miami, FL 33173 phone: 305.273.1616 fax: 305.273.1338
      • ICD - International Consultants of Delaware (General) phone: 215.222.8454
  • Tuition +

    • Application Fee: $70
      Tuition: $402 (2015-2016 school year)
      Note: All fees and tuition are subject to change.
      The Education/Leadership concentration of the Advanced Physician Assistant degree is designed for the physician assistant who wishes to gain advanced training in the theory and practice of educating healthcare professionals.

The Family and Culture


  • Blackboard Demo Course +

    • ATSU has set up a demo course of our Blackboard
      Learning Management System for interested students.

      Please go to our guest demo site, and login with:

      Username: APAdemo
      Password: ASHSguest

      Connect Now

Advanced Physician Assistant Curriculum Overview

Courses offered in the Clinical Medicine concentration of the Advanced Physician Assistant degree program are designed to broaden the clinical knowledge and skill level of practicing physician assistants. In addition to the didactic course work, which may be completed 100 percent online, the Clinical Medicine concentration requires 400 hours of direct patient care. The physician assistant degree student may complete this at their place of employment.

Classes are concentrated, with students dedicating 10-15 hours of work per week, and the Advanced Physician Assistant degree program begins every quarter. This concentrated focus challenges students to meet the rigors of the comprehensive curriculum.

The Education/Leadership concentration of the Advanced Physician Assistant degree is designed for the physician assistant who wishes to gain advanced training in the theory and practice of educating healthcare professionals.

  • Clinical Medicine Concentration+

    • Elective Course Course Name (student select four) Credit Hours
      APA 501 Healthcare Delivery Systems 4.0
      APA 503 Ethical Issues in PA Practice 4.0
      APA 505 PA Professional Practice Issues 4.0
      APA 506 Evidence-Based Medicine & Clinical Research Design 4.0
      APA 507 Medical Writing 4.0
  • Required Clinical Courses+

    • Elective Course Course Name Credit Hours
      APA 620 Clinical Medicine I 4.0
      APA 621 Clinical Medicine II 4.0
      APA 622 Clinical Medicine III 4.0
      APA 623 Clinical Medicine IV 4.0
      APA 660 Clinical Practice I 2.0
      APA 661 Clinical Practice II 2.0
      APA 662 Clinical Practice III 2.0
      APA 663 Clinical Practice IV 2.0
  • Education/Leadership Concentration+

    • Elective Course Course Name Credit Hours
      APA 506A Evidence-Based Medicine for Educators 5.0
      APA 507A Medical Writing for Educators 5.0
      APA 630 Curriculum Development & Implementation 5.0
      APA 631 Leadership and Administrative Issues in Higher Education 5.0
      APA 632 Educational Concepts 5.0
      APA 633 Assessment & Evaluation 5.0
      APA 634 Current Topics in Education 5.0
      APA 637 Technology in Education 5.0

Course Descriptions

  • APA 501: Health Care Delivery Systems+

    • This course will survey the U.S. healthcare delivery system and review the financial issues that face our system. Particular focus will be on those issues that directly affect the practicing Physician Assistant. The student will undertake an in depth review of managed care, reimbursement, and other economic/financial issues.

  • APA 503: Ethical Issues in PA Practice+

    • In this advanced, intensive course, the student will review, analyze, and study the theories and themes of medical/bioethics. Emphasis will be given to the role of the practicing Physician Assistant in the integration of ethical practice with use of case study discussions.

  • APA 505: PA Professional Practice Issues+

    • This course is a review, discussion, and analysis of the issues that face the practicing Physician Assistant. The student will learn about the future of the PA profession, including economic trends, reimbursement, nonclinical roles, and legal issues.

  • APA 506: Evidence-Based Medicine and Clinical Research Design+

    • This course introduces students to the concepts of evidence-based medicine and medical research design, while stressing the examination of the best available evidence as a basis for clinical decision-making. The student learns to construct well-built clinical questions and to perform medical literature searches that yield evidence-based results. Methods for critically appraising the medical literature are emphasized throughout the course, as well as strategies for maintaining medical knowledge.

  • APA 506A: Evidence-Based Medicine for Educators+

    • This course introduces students to concepts of teaching evidence-based medicine and medical research design, while stressing the examination of the best available evidence as a basis for clinical decision-making. The student learns to construct well-built clinical questions and to perform medical literature searches that yield evidence-based results. Methods for critically appraising the medical literature are emphasized throughout the course, as well strategies for maintaining medical knowledge. This course also introduces students to concepts and techniques of teaching evidence-based medicine to students within the health professions.

  • APA 507: Medical Writing+

    • This course is designed to provide the practicing healthcare provider with knowledge and skills in medical writing such as articles for biomedical journals, case reports, reports of clinical studies, review articles, editorials, and book reviews. Topics include: the writing process, writing technique, common writing problems, choosing the right journal, and working with journal editors and reviewers. Students also investigate their chosen research topic through the development of a research proposal.

  • APA 507A: Medical Writing for Educators+

    • This course is designed to help students capitalize on knowledge gained in APA 507 by continuing to investigate their chosen research topic through the development a research proposal.

  • APA 620,621,622,623 Clinical Medicine+

    • These are advanced clinical courses designed to augment and update the existing clinical skills and knowledge of the Physician Assistant. Upon completion of these courses, students will understand and be able to clinically apply advanced principles of evaluation, diagnosis, and management of disease consistent with the physician assistant scope of practice in these critical areas. Evaluation of advanced case studies and dicussions highlight this area of concentration.

  • APA 630: Curriculum Development and Implementation+

    • Students explore such topics as Course Goals and Learning Objectives, Developing a Syllabus, Instructional Design Models, Instructional Delivery Methods and Evaluation Tools. Other topics covered are; Developing a Course Rationale, Refining Intended Learning Outcomes, Forming and Organizing Units of a Course, Developing General Teaching Strategies, and Planning Course Evaluations.

  • APA 631: Leadership and Administrative Issues in Higher Education+

    • This course is designed to provide the student with an introduction to the organization and management of health professions programs and to assist the student with developing skills necessary to contribute to the successful administration of a program. Also, Students will explore a variety of current topics in higher education, specifically PA or other health professions education. Some topics covered: Academic Law, Understanding Organizational Structure in Higher Education, Faculty – Administration, Contracts, Academic Rank & Tenure, and Budgets. Students will also consider and analyze case studies covering the following topics: Academic Dishonesty, Remediation, The Problem Student, and Instructor/Student Relationships.

  • APA 632: Educational Concepts+

    • This course is designed as an introduction to educational concepts. Students will gain an iunderstanding of educational philosophy, major learning style theories and their application within educational practice. Students will identify their predominant learning and teaching styles and explore how to incorporate various strategies to improve teaching effectiveness. This course examines the use of instructional design models to create instructional materials that focus on the needs of learners in the health professions. Some topics covered are: Adult Learning Theories, Pedagogy versus Androgogy, Cooperative Learning, Assessment and Evaluation.

  • APA 633: Assessment & Evaluation+

    • Student assessment and program evaluation are central to curriculum design. Student assessment seeks to determine how effectively students have learned content and skills. Program evaluation provides evidence of whether the instructional unit, program, or course has been effective. This course will address these two topics. Students learn about educational assessment models and explore issues and trends in assessment and evaluation that may shape curriculum design. Other topics include Testing & Student Assessment, Program Evaluation, and Issues & Trends in Educational Assessment and Evaluation.

  • APA 634: Current Topics in Education+

    • This course is intended to present a broad exploration of contemporary issues influencing higher education with an emphasis on medical education. Expertise will be fostered by exploring selected issues and trends in medical education and education as a whole. The student, whether new to academia or a veteran health professions educator, will expand his or her knowledge of critical issues confronting health educators through the course content.

  • APA 637: Technology in Education+

    • This course is designed to provide the student with an introduction to using educational technology in the traditional and online education classroom. This course will also assist with developing skills in use and application of various educational technologies to meet instructional needs. Some topics covered include: Using Technology in the Classroom, Investigation of Educational Administrative Software, and Online Education.

  • APA 660,661,662,663 Clinical Practice+

    • Students must document 400 hours of patient and hours logs for the entire program. Students are responsible for arranging clinical locations. In many instances, this will be in the PA’s current practice setting.

Learn More


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