Is the new program co-ed?

Yes. Although our residential college is for women, our adult degree program, and our graduate programs, have provided quality co-educational programs for more than 30 years.

What are the prerequisite courses?

*Note: All prerequisite coursework, and bachelors degree must be completed by September 1, 2015.

Required Courses
Credit Hours


Any biology course in addition to Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology; must include lab
Human or Vertebrate Anatomy


Must include lab
Human or Vertebrate Physiology


Must include lab


Must include lab


Must include lab
Organic Chemistry OR Biochemistry


Lab preferred


1 intro and 1 upper OR 2 upper level psychology courses; abnormal and developmental psychology are preferred.


Can be from biology, mathematics, psychology, or business. NOTE – if a psychology course is used to meet this requirement, it cannot also be used for the psychology requirement.
Medical Terminology


A medical terminology certificate could be used to fulfill the prerequisite requirement for this coursework.
What major should I pick as an undergraduate student preparing to apply to the graduate program?

There is no one major that is required, as long as the prerequisite coursework has been taken.

What is the minimum GPA?

You will need a minimum of 3.0 for your overall GPA, but we expect that most accepted students will surpass this minimum. In addition, all prerequisite courses must reflect a “C” or better to be accepted.

What GRE or MCAT scores do I need?

The GRE or MCAT scores will be considered along with other admissions requirements. There is no published minimum score.

How long is the PA Program course of study?

27 months, 15 didactic and 12 clinical.

Does the program allow students to waive courses or have advanced standing?

No. Students may not waive any course within the PA Program curriculum. Further, the PA Program does not provide advance standing.

Do you accept transfer of graduate-level coursework from other institutions?

Our courses are arranged in a lock-step sequence, therefore we cannot accept graduate transfer credits.  These courses may, however, be used to meet the prerequisite requirements.

What are my chances of getting in?

We expect interest to be high, but chances will vary depending on the number of applications each year. We anticipate a class size of 38 students in the first cohort and 40 students in the second and third cohort. Applicants are encouraged to visit the Physician Assistant Education Association ( for further information regarding PA program applicant demographics.

Do you accept international students?

Due to our current accreditation status, we are not able to sponsor visas for international students at this time. Students that are U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents are eligible to apply. MDCHS does consider coursework completed internationally, as long as the proper transcript evaluations (such as WES) are included with the application.

Will I be able to work while enrolled in the program?

Due to the rigor of the graduate programs, students are strongly advised against employment while enrolled in the program. No time will be granted for students to seek or maintain employment. Employment while enrolled in the program may lead to poor academic performance and failure and should not be pursued.

Who should write my references?

Three references are required. References can be professionals who have observed you in a patient care environment, college professors, or prior employers. References from family members or friends are not recommended.

Can students be employed while enrolled in the program?

Due to the rigor of the Physician Assistant  curriculum, students are strongly advised against employment while enrolled in the program. No time will be granted for students to seek or maintain employment. Employment while enrolled in the program may lead to poor academic performance and failure and should not be pursued. Further, students may not be employed by the program for any reason, including, but not limited to, clerical or other program work. Students may not be employed at clinical or shadowing sites in any capacity while enrolled in the program.

About the Profession:

Physician Assistants are academically and clinically prepared to provide health care services with the direction and responsible supervision of a doctor of medicine or osteopathy. The physician-PA team relationship is fundamental to the PA profession and enhances the delivery of high quality health care. Within the physician-PA relationship, PAs make clinical decisions and provide a broad range of diagnostic, therapeutic, preventive and health maintenance services. The clinical role of PAs includes primary and specialty care in medical and surgical practice settings. PA practice is centered on patient care and may include educational, research and administrative activities.

The role of the PA demands intelligence, sound judgement, intellectual honesty, appropriate interpersonal skills, and the capacity to react to emergencies in a calm and reasoned manner. An attitude of respect for self and others, adherence to the concepts of privilege and confidentiality in communicating with patients, and a commitment to the patient’s welfare are essential attributes of the graduate PA. The professional curriculum for PA education includes basic medical, behavioral and social sciences; introduction to clinical medicine and patient assessment; supervised clinical practice; and health policy and professional practice issues.

(Reprinted from ARC-PA, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. at

What do physician assistants do?

PAs perform physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret lab tests, perform procedures, assist in surgery, provide patient education and counseling and make rounds in hospitals and nursing homes. All 50 states and the District of Columbia allow PAs to practice and prescribe medications.

(Reprinted from AAPA, the American Academy of Physician Assistants, at

What is the accreditation status of the Mary Baldwin University/Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences program?

At its July 2017 meeting, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) placed the Mary Baldwin University/Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences Physician Assistant program sponsored by Mary Baldwin University on Accreditation-Probation status until its next review in March 2018.

Probation is a temporary status of accreditation conferred when a program does not meet the Standards and when the capability of the program to provide an acceptable educational experience for its students is threatened.

Once placed on probation, programs that still fail to comply with accreditation requirements in a timely manner, as specified by the ARC-PA, may be scheduled for a focused site visit and/or risk having their accreditation withdrawn.

Specific questions regarding the Program and its plans should be directed to the Program Director and/or the appropriate institutional official(s).

Why was Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences/Mary Baldwin University put on probation and what steps is it taking to correct this?

Institutions must maintain and update documentation related to the standards set by the accrediting body through the ARC-PA electronic portal. In preparing our materials, Mary Baldwin University failed to input important data.  Mary Baldwin University also failed to demonstrate it had sufficient supervised clinical practice experiences at the Portal review, three months prior to the clinical phase beginning in May 2017. An appeal process was immediately initiated after the July notification and was subsequently denied. Clinical site placements were not impacted nor were students delayed in their rotations. All citations have been rectified and reported to ARC-PA. Accreditation-Probation status will remain in place until the next review by ARC- PA Commission in March 2018.

What is ARC-PA?

“The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) is the accrediting agency that protects the interests of the public and PA profession by defining the standards for PA education and evaluating PA educational programs within the territorial United States to ensure their compliance with those standards” (

What is ARC-PA accreditation?

As defined by ARC-PA on their website,, accreditation of PA programs is an external review process that is administered by a non-government, voluntary organization. The organization grants recognition to institutions or specialized programs that meet established qualifications and educational standards. In order to ensure compliance with the standards, an initial evaluation is performed and is followed up with periodic evaluations. Accreditation also benefits society by providing reasonable assurance of quality educational preparation for professional licensure and practice.

What are ARC-PA’s accreditation statuses?

The ARC-PA recognizes the following categories of accreditation:

  • Accreditation – Provisional
  • Accreditation – Continued
  • Accreditation – Clinical Postgraduate Program
  • Accreditation – Probation
  • Accreditation – Administrative Probation
  • Accreditation Withheld
  • Accreditation Withdrawn
  • Voluntary Inactive Status

For more details on each category go to Accreditation Types and Review Cycle.

What does Mary Baldwin’s accreditation status mean to current and newly admitted PA students?

The status of Accreditation-Probation means that the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences/Mary Baldwin University Physician Assistant program is accredited. Students who graduate from the Mary Baldwin University PA Program are eligible to take the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam.

If I attend your physician assistant program, will I be able to get a job?

YES, because Mary Baldwin University’s PA Program holds an accreditation status “Accreditation-Probation”, program graduates are eligible for licensure in all 50 states.

Can Mary Baldwin University PA graduates take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE)?

Yes, Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences/Mary Baldwin University PA graduates can take the PANCE. The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) states, “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.”

Is Mary Baldwin University still admitting students in the PA program?

Yes. Our application deadline for the January starting program has closed for the CASPA 2017-2018 admission cycle, and qualified students that met our application deadline will be considered for admission in January.  Our next admission cycle will open on CASPA in April 2018.

When will Mary Baldwin University’s accreditation status change?

The next regularly scheduled site visit by ARC-PA is in December 2017. The program will be reviewed at the March 2018 ARC-PA Commission meeting and final results shared with the program in April.

What if I have more questions?

If you have any additional questions, you can contact the program director, Dr. Harold Felton, at