May 10, 2021  
Catalog 2015-16 
Catalog 2015-16 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physician’s Assistant (Professional Certificate)

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study, Credit - Listing by School

Physician Assistant Certificate

Collaborative Master’s Degree and Certificate Program

Certificate courses offered through CCBC Essex
Master of Science courses offered through Towson University Graduate School

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, Towson University Graduate School

Health Workforce Shortage Program
Selective Admissions Program

Students must be admitted to the Physician Assistant Program in order to register for these courses.

Semester Sequence

This is a full-time suggested schedule for a student who has completed any developmental course work and has no transfer credits.

Summer Session 1, Year 1

Summer Session 2, Year 1

Fall Semester Year 1

Winter (Mini-semester) Year 1

Spring Semester Year 1

Summer Session Year 2

Fall Semester Year 2

Winter (Mini-semester) Year 2

Spring Semester Year 2

Summer Session Year 2


Program Requirements and Electives - 97 Credits

Program Requirements:

All 200-level courses are offered through CCBC Essex. Higher-level courses are offered through Towson University.

Total Credits Required: 97

ACDV 101  is not required, since students must already have a Bachelor’s degree to be admitted into the program.

Total Credits Required at CCBC: 61

Total Credits Required at Towson University: 36

Program Description

Physician Assistants are highly skilled health care providers who practice medicine with the supervision of licensed physicians. This collaborative program of CCBC and Towson University Graduate School is designed for students who hold a bachelor’s degree prior to admission and prepares individuals with strong academic science backgrounds and clinical experiences for careers as Physician Assistants. Full-time, continuous enrollment is required throughout the 26-month program. The curriculum is approved by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education of Physician Assistants (ARC-PA). Individuals who successfully complete the program are eligible for certification by the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants.

Entry into the program requires admission to the Physician Assistant Program, CCBC, and the Towson University Graduate School.

Enrollees must successfully complete all requirements of the Physician Assistant (PA) program and the Towson University Graduate School. The PA Professional Certificate and the M.S. degree in PA Studies will be awarded upon successful completion of all 97 program credits which includes 36 graduate credits.

Tuition and fees for 200-level courses are paid to CCBC Essex. Tuition and fees for 600, 700 and 800 level courses are paid to Towson University. Applicants will pay appropriate application fees to both institutions.

All classes are taken at CCBC Essex. Students will register for 200 level courses with CCBC Essex and will register for 600, 700 and 800 level courses with the Towson University Graduate School.

Please log on to the Towson University Website ( for complete PA Program and course information.

At its September 2013 meeting, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) voted to place the Towson University CCBC Essex Physician Assistant Program on Accreditation - Probation until the next commission review in September 2015.

Probation is a temporary status of accreditation limited to two years and conferred when a program does not meet the Standards and when the capability of a program to provide an acceptable educational experience for its students is threatened.  Once placed on probation, a program that still fails 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).

School of Health Professions Policies

Students in the School of Health Professions are expected to conduct themselves according to an honor code; exhibit professional behavior; communicate effectively in English; provide proof of health insurance, immunizations, and a tuberculosis (TB) test; and submit to a criminal background check and random drug testing. Students are expected to pay the costs associated with these requirements.


Admission to this program is a separate process from admission to the college. Admission to the School of Health Professions programs is competitive and selective and is based on published criteria. Applications to the Physician Assistant program must be submitted to the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA),

Minimum Admission Requirements:

  1. Bachelor’s degree (science/biology discipline preferred)
  2. Acceptance to Towson University Graduate School (Submit CASPA Application before applying to Towson University)
  3. 3.0 GPA (last 60 undergraduate credits) – 3.2 GPA preferred (Applicants with a 2.75 GPA or above may be considered for conditional admissions)
  4. Four hundred (400) hours of patient contact or medical/health related experience or equivalent experience – 1400 hours preferred
  5. Completion of specific prerequisite courses with a minimum grade of “B”: Human Anatomy and Physiology, 8 credits; Microbiology, 4 credits; Essentials of Organic and Biochemistry, 4 credits; Statistics, 3 credits; Medical Terminology, 3 credits.

As the program requires full-time attendance (minimum 40 hours per week) throughout the 26-month program, students must complete financial preparation so that employment is not necessary during enrollment. No special consideration will be given to students who choose to ignore this warning.

Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this certificate, students will be able to:

  1. perform, order, and interpret diagnostic studies, including radiographs, imaging studies, electrocardiograms, and those tests necessary to assess complaints common to the ambulatory, hospitalized, and emergency medicine patient;
  2. demonstrate proficiency in basic clinical skills, especially those focusing on the diagnostic process and elements of clinical management, including eliciting patient history, physical assessment, recording patient data and case presentation, diagnosis and basic management plans, and performing basic clinical skills with actual patients in the clinical setting;
  3. operate as highly skilled health care providers who practice medicine with the supervision of licensed physicians through experience gained in the successful completion of ten clinical rotations in family practice, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, surgery, emergency medicine, community medicine, psychiatry, and two general elective areas in primary care and general medicine;
  4. apply principles of the practice of medicine covered throughout the program in a primary care or rural/underserved location and students will function as a full member of a medical team and be responsible for patient care from presentation through follow-up including diagnostic evaluation and patient management; and
  5. incorporate the knowledge, responsibilities, and standards essential to the professional practice of physician assistant.


Physician Assistant graduates:

  1. Promote the public’s interest and the patient’s needs before any other considerations.
  2. Serve as ethical health care professionals.
  3. Serve as advocates for patient needs.
  4. Provide patient education and preventive health care services.
  5. Demonstrate commitment to lifelong learning.
  6. Work with other health care professionals in providing coordinated health care.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study, Credit - Listing by School