Master of Science Physician Assistant Studies




Carson-Newman University’s leadership has prayerfully sought God’s will in beginning a new graduate health profession program that will positively impact the community, region, and the world. In early 2018, Carson-Newman began the process of establishing a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) Program. The Physician Assistant (PA) Program will be a 24-month continuous curriculum with 12 months of pre-clinical education and 12 months of clinical education.


The C-N PA Program is currently in the accreditation process and will commence on May 2020 if provisional accreditation is received (see Accreditation Status section below). Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for physician assistants through the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) and will be able to apply for licensure through the Board of Medical Examiners in the state in which they desire to practice medicine.


Mission Statement

The mission of the Carson-Newman University Physician Assistant Program is to prepare and graduate well-trained, competent, patient centric medical professionals in a Christian community who are compassionate servant leaders and advocates for their patients, profession and community.

Program Goals


  1. Recruit a diverse and highly qualified cohort of students. 
  2. Deliver a curriculum that ensures all graduates possess the requisite knowledge and skills for entry to PA practice. 
  3. Prepare and graduate physician assistants as generalists with multi-potential medical skills needed in contemporary healthcare practice with a focus on primary care.
  4. Cultivate a spirit of community through the engagement of faculty, staff and students in service, scholarly and professional activities within our university, region and around the world.


Graduate Learning Outcomes



  1. Demonstrate an understanding for the medical, behavioral, and social knowledge necessary to evaluate and manage patients across all age ranges in both the primary care and specialty settings.


Interpersonal Skills

  1. Elicit an accurate medical history from patients.
  2. Deliver accurate patient education that encompasses verbal, non-verbal and written forms of information to the patient and their care team to promote disease prevention and health awareness.
  3. Communicate the findings of a clinical encounter in written and oral forms to all members of the health care team.


Clinical Reasoning and Problem-Solving Abilities

  1. Formulate a differential diagnosis following a clinical encounter.
  2. Order and interpret appropriate diagnostic studies to assist in the evaluation and treatment of the patient.
  3. Develop and implement an appropriate therapeutic management plan, either pharmacological or non-pharmacological.
  4. Make informed decisions about the care of patients consistent with up-to-date scientific evidence, patient preferences, and sound clinical judgment.


Clinical and Technical Skills

  1. Perform a detailed physical exam relevant to the medical history.
  2. Obtain informed consent and perform clinical procedures common to primary care to include: venipuncture, intravenous access, joint injections and aspirations, wound management, laceration repair, casting and splinting, strep screening, urinalysis, catheterization, and performing pelvic exams.



  1. Demonstrate professional behaviors consistent with the Carson-Newman values of citizenship and servant-leadership in all interactions with the patient, family/caregiver, and other members of the health care team.

Accreditation Status

Carson-Newman University has applied for Accreditation-Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Carson-Newman University anticipates matriculating its first class in May 2020, pending achieving Accreditation-Provisional status at the September 2019 ARC-PA meeting. 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 the 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 graduation of the first class (cohort) of students. In the event Accreditation-Provisional is not received, the Program will not commence, and students will not be enrolled. Deposits received from accepted students will be refunded in full.


This program is pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

College Rankings Best Baccalaureate College 2015 Yellow Ribbon Participating School