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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 licensed PAs, without a graduate degree, to qualify for admission to the Doctor of Medical Science (DMSc) program. PAs with an earned bachelor’s degree in physician assistant studies are eligible for admission if they meet one of the following criteria:

  1. A Certificate of Added Qualification (CAQ) offered by the NCCPA
  2. A PA specialty certificate program and/or PA residency or fellowship (3-month minimum)
  3. At least 15 credit hours of post-secondary education toward a master’s degree with a 3.0 minimum GPA

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).