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Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant Studies Program

» Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant Studies Program

Crean College's Physician Assistant program offers the didactic and clinical curricular excellence that will confer a Master of Medical Science (MMS) degree.  Graduates are 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 are eligible to apply to the California’s State Medical Board or another state board for a license to practice in the state.

The program is housed in the new state-of-the-art Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine, California.  The Physical Therapy program, the new School of Pharmacy, Athletic Training, and Communication Sciences and Disorders are also be housed at this facility.  

The inaugural class matriculated January 2017. The second class matriculated Janurary 2018.

The ARC-PA awarded provisional accreditation status in September, 2016.

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. 

Chapman University is one of California’s oldest and most respected private universities, offering distinguished undergraduate and graduate degrees in the context of a liberal arts and sciences university. For more than 150 years, Chapman University has served as a symbol of educational access and excellence in the state of California.


+ - Upcoming Events

Our 2019 Admissions Cycle is now closed.  The 2020 CASPA Admissions Cycle will open on Thursday, April 25th, 2019 for the Class of 2021 that is scheduled to matriculate on Monday, January 6th, 2020.  Application deadline is 9/1/19.  We strongly recommend candidates submit their completed applications early due to our rolling admissions process. 

We look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming Information Sessions!   

Please click on any one of the dates below to register. 


Tuesday, 2/12/19 6-7pm


Thursday, 3/7/19 6-7pm


Tuesday, 4/9/19 6-7pm


Space is limited!

+ - MMS PA Studies Program Scholarship Recipients

The Chapman University PA Studies Program is pleased to be able to award a number of merit-based scholarships to incoming students who have demonstrated excellence in the following areas:

Academic Scholars: awarded to students with outstanding incoming academic profiles.

Academics: Koreena Yu; Stephen Cooley

Community Service: Riley Newcomb; Katie Cornella

Leadership: Lace Granatelli

Diversity: Daniel Villagran-Gonzalez


Academics: Diana Potterveld; Michele Byk. Alyssa Flanders

Community Service: Karny Kuehl; Vick Singh; Tiana Abou Chedid

Leadership: Mariah Montgomery

Diversity: Milinda Ajawara; Kimberly Gonzalez 

Academics: Karina Tran; Ashley Shewmake; Jarrett Lew; Julia Murphy

Community Service: Nylvia Martinez; Megan Brinkman; Elizabeth Dingbaum; Bryan Reed

Leadership: Shannon Pilcher; Andrew Johnson; Jenna Roux; Shea Pickering

Diversity: Andrew Grant; Evelyn Nguyen; Natalie Canales

Research: Stephanie Pham

+ - What is Accreditation Provisional?

Physician Assistant education is accredited by a national accreditation agency called the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Accreditation by this agency is to ensure that quality education is being provided to all students nationally. All new physician assistant programs apply for Accreditation Provisional in which they must submit an application and participate in an on-campus accreditation site visit. If a PA Program meets the national accreditation standards and Provisional Accreditation is awarded, the PA Program must participate in a self-study and another site visit when their first cohort of students graduates from the program. At this time a PA Program is awarded Continuing Accreditation if they meet the accreditation standards. Whether a PA student graduates from a Provisionally Accredited or a Continuing Accredited program, he or she will be graduating from a Nationally Accredited program.

For further questions regarding accreditation provisional and the accreditation process, please contact Chapman University’s PA Studies program or the Accreditation Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA), 12000 Findley Road, Suite 150, Johns Creek, GA 30097 (770) 476-1224.

+ - Mission

The mission of the Chapman University MMS PA Studies Program is to provide a personalized, exceptional medical education that inspires compassionate, collaborative, and analytical health care providers who enhance access to high quality care in the community.

Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences Mission Statement
The Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences engages diverse faculty and students in community outreach and learning, research, and evidence-based practice that emphasizes a bio-psycho-social perspective to the understanding of health, disability and disease; that fosters interdisciplinary collaborations and inter-professional practice; and that embraces technological innovations in the classroom, laboratory, and clinic.

Chapman University Mission Statement
To provide personalized education of distinction that leads to inquiring, ethical and productive lives as global citizens.

+ - Vision

The vision of Chapman University's P.A. program is to educate a highly competent, culturally sensitive, ethical, and insightful PA who is ready to take on the challenges of healthcare in both the primary and specialty care areas.  Chapman University faculty and staff will strive to inspire students with a personalized educational experience to become leaders who seek scholarly endeavors, and show a commitment to service in diverse communities.  Our graduates will practice evidence-based medicine as part of an interdisciplinary team while providing a positive impact to the global health system.

+ - Goals

  1. Provide an exceptional medical education that prepares students for success on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE). Measurement: Students will exceed the ARC-PA established pass rate currently set at 85% on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE).
  1. Prepare students for success in diverse supervised clinical practice settings. Measurement: Preceptor end of rotation evaluation of students will meet or exceed 3.5/5.  
  1. Prepare graduates for success as entry-level PAs. Measurement: Program will publish results of alumni employment survey taken 6 months after graduation for individuals actively seeking employment.”

+ - Our Faculty

Ari Babaknia, MD
Medical Director
Clinical Faculty
Gabriela Belinsky, MPAS, PA-C
Assistant Professor
Clinical Faculty
Michael Burney, EdD, PA-C
Program Director
Associate Professor
Clinical Faculty
Michael Cordia, MPAP, PA-C
Richard Granese, MD

Jennifer Grumet, MD
Admissions Director
Assistant Clinical Coordinator
Assistant Professor
Clinical Faculty
Brian Kolski, MD
Stephanie Saldivar, MSHS, PA-C
Director of Clinical Education
Assistant Professor
Clinical Faculty
Shay Seitz, MSHPE, PA-C
Mara Snee, PA-C, MPAP
Director of Academic Education and Assessment
Assistant Professor
Clinical Faculty
Stephanie Tanio, PhD.
Assistant Professor
Instructional Faculty
Associate Professor
Clinical Faculty


+ - Clinical Preceptor Information

Clinical preceptors play an essential role in the education of the next generation of physician assistants and are in high demand. Clinical preceptors, who open up their practices to students and spend time educating them on the proper clinical evaluation and treatment of patients, may include licensed physicians and other licensed health care providers such as PAs and nurse practitioners.

The main reward preceptors receive is the knowledge that they are helping to ensure that capable and competent health care providers are entering the U.S. health care delivery system. A full list of proposed benefits can be found in the links below.

Physicians may be interested in having students rotate at their sites if they are considering hiring a PA in the future. Students also have a better sense as to whether they want to work for a particular practice after spending considerable time there. Many PA students get their first job through a clinical rotation.

While students rotating at a clinical practice tend to slow down patient movement, they also can add value by providing current standard of care practice knowledge as well as patient education. With the correct teaming of the preceptor and student, it can be a worthwhile and educational experience for all involved.

Instructions: Below you will find the application to become a clinical preceptor for the Chapman University PA Studies Program. You do not need to complete both versions of the application. Version 1 is intended to be completed on your computer using Microsoft Word, and Version 2 is intended to be printed out and completed manually. Directions for completing and returning the application are at the top of the document.


+ - Clinical Affiliations

We are developing a strong clinical phase for our program by establishing clinical rotation sites with leading medical facilities in the state of California. Clinical rotations will take place at medical facilities throughout the state. If you are interested in either learning more about the role of a Preceptor or becoming a Preceptor for our program, please contact the PA Studies Program at (714) 744-2185 or at paprogram@chapman.edu

Some of our current clinical partners include:

University of California Irvine

  • Department of Medicine
  • Department of OB/GYN
  • Department of Surgery

Memorial Care Medical Group/Foundation

St. Joseph Hoag Health Alliance

  • Hoag Hospital, Newport Beach and Irvine
  • St. Joseph Hospital of Orange
  • St. Jude Medical Center
  • Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC)

St. Joseph Heritage Health Group

OptumCare Medical Group

AltaMed Medical Group

+ - Certificate and Licensure

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 for state licensure to the applicable state licensing body. Successful completion of the program does not itself ensure certification and/or licensure.

  • National Certification

National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants »

  • California State Licensure

Department of Consumer Affairs, Physician Assistant State Board

+ - Program Facilities

The PA Studies Program is housed in the new state-of-the-art Harry and Diane Rinker Health Sciences Campus in Irvine, California. The facility is equipped with an Interactive Learning Center, a Grand Rounds Auditorium equipped with 3D projection capabilities, Simulation and Standardized Patient labs, and two Physical Diagnosis exam rooms with a variety of medical equipment and simulators.

+ - Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Physician Assistant (PA)? 

PAs are licensed healthcare professionals who practice medicine with physician supervision (MD, DO).  PAs deliver a broad range of medical and surgical care and services to diverse patient populations in both the rural and urban settings.  Their focus is patient care in the primary care setting, and their duties include, education, research, and administrative activities. 

What type of jobs in medicine can PAs perform?

PAs work in all areas and subspecialties of medicine.  These include, but are not limited to primary care, surgery, family medicine, internal medicine, emergency medicine, pediatrics, women’s health, orthopedics, psychiatry, pain management, and gastroenterology.  PAs also work in areas such as higher education, government, military, administration, and research.

How did the PA Profession begin? 

In the mid 1960’s, physicians and educators recognized there was a shortage of primary care physicians.  Dr. Eugene Stead of the Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina selected four Navy corpsmen who had received considerable medical training during their military service and in Vietnam but who had no comparable civilian employment. In 1965 he put together the first physician assistant class and based the curriculum of the PA program in part on his knowledge of the fast-track training of doctors during World War II. 

What degree will I earn upon successful completion of the program?

Students who complete all requirements of the program will receive a Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MMSPAS).

How long is the program?

The program is 24 months in duration – 12 months didactic and 12 months of clinical.

How much does Chapman’s PA Studies Program cost?

You can find PA Studies Program cost here.

When does the program start?

Each new cohort begins in January.

How many cohorts are there each year in the program?

There is only one cohort accepted into the program per year.

How many students do you accept in each cohort?

The first cohort (January 2017) consists of 25 students, the second class (January 2018) will have 35 students, and every class after that will have 50 students.

Is there a part-time option?

No. The program is a 24-month, full-time, year-round educational experience. There is time off between each of the trimesters in both the didactic and clinical phases. 

Can I work while enrolled in the program?

As the PA Studies program is an intensive, full time program, we do not recommend that students work while in the program.

How do I apply to your program?

All applications must go through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). We do not accept applications or application materials sent directly to the college. We do not require a supplemental application in addition to CASPA.

What are the admissions criteria?

Check out our admissions criteria here.

Do I need a bachelor’s degree to be eligible for admissions?

Yes, a bachelor’s degree is required for entry into this program. An associate’s degree does not suffice.

Does Chapman’s PAS program accept international bachelor’s degrees?

Yes, we accept students who have earned their bachelor’s degree outside of the U.S. All Foreign Academic records must be translated to English and certified by University Language Services and submitted to CASPA. If foreign transcripts are in English applicants still need to submit the foreign transcript to CASPA and also have them evaluated by one of the following services: World Education Services(WES), International Education Research Foundation (IERF), and Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE). 

All foreign coursework and degrees must be evaluated for North American equivalencies with calculated GPA’s on a 4.0 scale by one these services and submitted to CASPA.  We will only recognize the degree, course credentials and GPA that they have evaluated. 

Depending on the circumstances, the applicant might have to begin with the language services because WES, IERF, and ECE will not evaluate the credential or coursework or calculate GPA without an English translation. All of these services are the responsibility of the applicant. 

Does Chapman accept PAS transfer students?

No, Chapman does not accept transfer students into the PA Studies program.

Must I complete all prerequisite courses before applying?

All science prerequisites must be completed and the grade needs to be reflected on your transcript at the time of submission, otherwise your application will be flagged as “does not meet minimum requirements.” Non-science courses can be “in progress,” but they must be completed by the time of matriculation, and priority will be given to applicants with all prerequisites completed. Applicants will be denied if they do not meet the minimum admission requirements.

I received passing AP credit in high school for one of the required prerequisite courses. Will you accept my AP credit?

We accept AP credit for the Pre-calculus or Calculus, Intro to Statistics, General Psychology, and Intro to Sociology requirements ONLY, and only if your undergraduate institution has awarded you credit for your AP scores (must be reflected on your undergraduate transcript). We do not accept AP credit towards any of the science prerequisites.

What is the minimum prerequisite GPA required?

We require a minimum overall GPA of a 3.2 and an overall science GPA of a 3.2. CASPA calculates those GPAs through their internal system of transcript evaluations.

My overall and/or science GPA is below 3.2, what should I do?

We recommend that you take additional courses in order to boost your GPA to meet the minimum before you apply. Applicants will be denied if they do not meet the minimum admission requirements.

Is a GRE score required for admission into the Chapman PA Studies Program?

Yes. The GRE must be completed within the last 5 years from the application deadline. A combination of the highest scores from separate sittings of the GRE exam will be accepted. No minimum score is required. Chapman University’s CASPA code is 3681. A department code is not needed. Applicants will be denied if they do not meet the minimum admission requirements.

What are Patient Care Experience hours?

Patient Care Experience (patient contact) hours are defined as an experience in a healthcare setting that involves patients, either paid or voluntary. You can see our list of approved patient contact hours here.

Are PA shadowing hours a required part of the application?

No; however, observational/shadowing hours are strongly encouraged and will be taken into consideration in determining whether or not you will receive an interview and potential admission into the program. Shadowing a PA will provide the student applicant with valuable patient contact in various sub-specialties of medicine.  We want to be assured that you understand the role of a PA as part of the healthcare team.

I only have shadowing experience. Will that count towards the 1,000 required hours of Patient Care Experience?

No, it will not. While shadowing a Physician Assistant is recommended and strongly encouraged so that you may have an understanding of the role of a PA, it is not sufficient when it comes to the Patient Care Experience requirement of 1000 hours. You also must acquire direct hands-on patient care experience. Applicants will be denied if they do not meet the minimum admission requirements.

When is the application deadline?

The deadline is October 1. Applications received after this date will be considered on a space available basis. You must apply through CASPA. 

When are application decisions made?

Application decisions are made on a rolling admissions model. While October 1st is the final deadline to apply, we would encourage you to submit your application early on in the process. Admissions offers will be made over a period of time and will cease when the class roster is full. Applicants will be denied if they do not meet the minimum admission requirements.

Am I guaranteed an interview if I meet the minimum requirements?

No, you are not guaranteed an interview if you meet the minimum requirements.  Your chance of being invited to interview depends on how competitive your application is in comparison to the applicant pool that year.

If I meet all admission criteria, does that guarantee a seat in the PA Program?

Seats in the PA Studies Program are limited, and so meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee a seat in the program. The PA Studies Program Admissions Committee will admit candidates who meet the admission requirements, have a successful interview, and present the best overall profile.

I have submitted my application to CASPA and I would like to check the status. Who can I contact?

To check your application status, you may log into your CASPA application and view the program status page. For transcript updates, you may log in to your application and check the status, or call our Admissions Coordinator at 714-744-2190.

If I get denied, can I reapply for the next cycle?

Yes, if you meet the minimum requirements, we would encourage you to boost your application and materials and resubmit an application through CASPA for the next application cycle.

If I receive an invite to interview, how long do I have to pick a date?

Interview seats fill up quickly.  It is recommended that you select a date immediately; keep in mind dates cannot be changed once selected. Your invite email will include a deadline and instructions to register.

After I am interviewed, when should I expect a response?

Responses indicating whether you are accepted, waitlisted, or rejected will be sent as soon as possible.

Is the Chapman University PA Studies Program Accredited?

Chapman University’s PA Studies Program has been approved for provisional accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on the Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Updates can be found on the Chapman University PA Studies Program website at http:/www.chapman.edu/physician-assistant. 

What is provisional accreditation?

Provisional accreditation, known as “Accreditation-Provisional” by the ARC-PA, is an accreditation status for a new PA program that has not yet enrolled students, but at the time of its comprehensive accreditation review, has demonstrated its preparedness to initiate a program in accordance with the Accreditation Standards.  Programs that have received “Accreditation-Provisional” status from the ARC-PA are considered to be accredited, and will receive future accreditation visits in the future to continue their accreditation as a program.

What happens if I am enrolled in the Chapman University PA Studies Program and it does not make full accreditation?

Students who are currently enrolled in the program will be allowed to complete the program, and will be eligible to sit for the national board certification through NCCPA, even if the Program fails to attain full accreditation status on subsequent accreditation visits.  On their website, the NCCPA states that "to be eligible for PANCE, you must graduate from a program accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) as a Physician Assistant Program. PA program graduates will be deemed to have graduated from an accredited program if their PA educational program was accredited at the time of their matriculation."



What is the Bridge Program?

The Bridge Program guarantees highly qualified Health Science majors at Chapman University the opportunity to interview for acceptance into Chapman's PA Studies program, contingent upon satisfactory completion of the Bridge Program Criteria.

Who should apply to the Bridge Program?

Only Chapman University students who are enrolled in the Bridge Program and meet the high eligibility requirements should apply.

What degree do I earn upon successful completion of the Bridge Program?

A Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences.

Am I guaranteed a seat in the graduate PA Studies Program upon successful completion of the Bridge Program?

No, you are not guaranteed a spot in the PAS Program. Upon successful completion of the Bridge program, you will be only be guaranteed an interview for the Chapman PA Studies Program.

Am I required to shadow a PA prior to applying to the Bridge Program?

No, but shadowing hours are strongly recommended to bolster your application. All observational hours are to be arranged by the student; the Bridge and PA Studies programs will not arrange or recommend observational sites.

Contact Us

Program Operations
(714) 744-7631
Fax: (714) 744-7911

Admissions Coordinator
(714) 744-2190
Fax: (714) 744-7911

Off-campus housing with pool.
Looking for off-campus housing near the Rinker Health Science Campus? Visit this page to learn more about off-campus housing.
Mike Burney

Program Director- Michael S. Burney, EdD, PA-C