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Doctor of Medical Science master’s equivalency option

Doctor of Medical Science master’s equivalency option

The master's equivalency option provides an opportunity for US licensed PAs with a bachelor's degree to qualify for admission to the Doctor of Medical Science (DMSc) program. To meet the master’s equivalency, the PA applicant must meet and document in a portfolio at least one (1) of the criteria below:

  1. An approved military or civilian post-professional PA residency or fellowship
  2. An approved medical specialty certificate program (e.g. public health certificate)
  3. A Certificate of Added Qualification (CAQ) offered by the NCCPA
  4. At least 15 credit hours of post-secondary education toward a master’s degree
  5. Currently certified by the NCCPA with a minimum of at least ten years of continuous certification maintenance

The following guidelines are used in determining the equivalency:

  1. Completion of a Certificate of Added Qualification (CAQ) offered by the National Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)
    • a. Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery
    • b. Emergency Medicine
    • c. Hospital Medicine
    • d. Nephrology
    • e. Orthopaedic Surgery
    • f. Pediatrics
    • g. Psychiatry

    Verification of equivalency: Certificate signed by the NCCPA.

  2. Completion of a PA specialty certificate, residency, or fellowship (3-month minimum) These programs allow the Physician Assistant (PA) with specific training for job advancement and increases in salary. Certifications, residency programs, and fellowships generally provide PAs with more in-depth coursework. Specialty certifications are specifically designed for working PAs to enhance their skills and proficiency in a field of their choice. The following are examples of certificate programs that will qualify but do not represent the only programs that will provide credit.
    • a. The Emory Critical Care Center NP/PA post-graduate residency is a one-year training program that teaches residents to become highly skilled in the multidisciplinary, collaborative and evidence-based management of complex and challenging patients in the intensive care unit.
    • b. YNHH Emergency Medicine APP Residency Program. The primary goal of this residency program is to provide an intense clinical and educational experience that will produce a highly competent provider of emergency medicine.
    • c. Mayo Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant Emergency Medicine Fellowship.
    • d. NP/PA Certificate of Advanced Education. The NP and PA Certificate of Advanced Education in Obesity Medicine offers physician assistants an opportunity to earn a certificate in obesity medicine and demonstrate to their patients an extensive knowledge of evidence-based obesity treatment approaches and an ongoing commitment to their health.

    Verification of equivalency: Signed certificate by the Sponsoring Organization documenting a minimum of a 3-month program.

  3. Minimum GPA of 3.0 (or Pass for P/F).
    Verification of equivalency: Official transcripts listing a minimum of 15 completed master’s-level credits and a 3.0 minimum GPA.

Frequently asked questions

Q: What is the approval process for the DMSc master's degree equivalency?

A: This equivalency option has been approved by senior leadership at A.T. Still University after consultation with the Higher Learning Commission.

Q: Will I still take the same courses as any other matriculant?

A: Yes, the equivalence option only waives the requirement of a master’s degree to qualify for admission to the DMSc.

Q: I completed a clinical certificate from The Point-of-Care Ultrasound Certification Academy™ which offers Clinical Certificates designed to help PAs demonstrate clinical proficiency in ultrasonography. Will this count?

A: Yes, this course is comprehensive, and you have 180 days to complete all of the Clinical Case Assessments and the Peer Evaluation.

Q: I completed a two-day training in ACLS and received a certificate. Will this meet the requirements for the master’s degree equivalency?

A: No. This does not meet the requirements of at least a 3-month equivalency training program.

Q: My master’s level work is not in healthcare or medicine, will it still count towards the master’s equivalency?

A: Yes, as long as it is from an accredited U.S. institution of higher learning and you earned a minimum of a 3.0 GPA (or Pass on all courses for P/F).