ORANGE, Calif. – Chapman University’s Physician Assistant (PA) program has received accreditation provisional status. This allows the university to matriculate its first PA students, which is planned for January 2017. The accreditation provisional status is granted by the Accreditation Review Commission on the Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) for a new PA program that has not yet enrolled students. This status approves the opening of Chapman’s PA Program at the Harry and Diane Rinker Campus in Irvine for the two-year Master’s of Medical Science PA Studies degree program.

“We have been planning for this moment for several years and couldn’t be more pleased to launch this degree program,” said Janeen Hill, Ph.D., and founding dean of Chapman’s Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences under which the PA program is housed.  “Chapman’s continued growth in health sciences lays the foundation for the future of health care providers in Orange County and beyond,” continued Dean Hill.

Chapman University’s Master of Medical Science (MMS) Physician Assistant Studies Program curriculum is a 24-month, full-time, year round model. The first 12 months are didactic (classroom) and the second 12 months are clinical, where students will work in hospitals and other medical facilities in and around Orange County. Graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination through the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). Once nationally certified, graduates of Chapman University’s PA program will be eligible to apply to the California’s State Medical Board or another state board for a license to practice in the state. PAs can work in hospitals, medical centers, and private practices; as well as in specialties such as pediatrics, cardiology and others.

“PAs are the future of health care in this country,’ said Robert Young, director of Chapman’s PA program. “The team-based approach is the new paradigm in healthcare and our graduates will be well positioned to provide the necessary care to our aging population.”

Chapman will admit 25 students in the inaugural class, with an increase to 35 the following year, and capping out at 50 students per year starting in 2019. More information on Chapman’s PA program can be found at:

A physician assistant is a national certified and state-licensed medical professional. The Affordable Care Act, enacted in 2010, recognized PAs for the first time as one of three primary care providers: PAs, nurse practitioners and physicians. PAs practice medicine on healthcare teams with physicians and other providers; including diagnosing and treating patients, as well as prescribing medication.

According to the American Academy of PAs: “PAs are in heavy demand. Three quarters of PAs receive multiple job offers upon passing their initial licensing and certification exams. Studies show that the most financially successful hospitals maximize their use of PAs. The PA profession has been named by several top media outlets, including Forbes and USA Today, as the most promising job in America. The demand for PAs increased more than 300 percent from 2011 to 2014, according to the healthcare search firm Merritt Hawkins. As of January 2016, there were more than 108,000 certified PAs nationwide who interact with patients upwards of 350 million times annually.”

Chapman University’s new Master’s Physician Assistant program is located in Irvine, CA, in conjunction with the Physical Therapy program, Communication Sciences and Disorders, as well as the School of Pharmacy. Over the next five years, the PA program will work toward full accreditation. The accreditation process will continue as Chapman strives for full accreditation for the PA program.

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Chapman University Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant Studies Program sponsored by the Chapman University.

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.

About Chapman University

As an academically distinguished center of learning, Chapman University attracts extraordinary students and faculty from around the globe. Its ten schools and colleges foster a vibrant intellectual community, and provide extensive opportunities for students to learn, grow and discover alongside remarkable faculty. The University is home to some 8,000 students pursuing bachelor, master and doctoral degrees, and is alma mater to more than 40,000 alumni found throughout the United States and the world. Now celebrating its 155th year, Chapman is known for its distinguishing strengths in leadership and civic engagement, in the arts and entertainment disciplines, and in specialized sectors of technology and science. The University is comprised of its main campus in Orange, California, and the Rinker Health Science campus for graduate health science programs in Irvine, California. Visit us at

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