Online Physician Assistant Schools and Classes

Learn about hybrid physician assistant master's degree programs, which include both online and on-campus components. Get info on choosing a program that meets your goals, and check the typical prerequisites for enrollment. Review common course topics included in a graduate physician assistant program. Schools offering Allied Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

You can take online physician assistant classes at the master's degree level; however, these programs typically require some in-person clinicals. Schools that offer medical practice at more than one facility may provide you with a more thorough education. Your classes will build on any previous training you have, allowing you to improve your career opportunities.

Schools Look for schools that offer clinicals at multiple locations and in a number of specialties
Degrees Master's degrees are available in a hybrid format
Classes Office management, patient assessment, medications, clinical practices, education and leadership

What Degree Programs Are Available Online in Physician Assisting?

Most online physician assistant programs are available at the master's level. These programs are typically offered in a hybrid format, requiring you to attend some on-campus training sessions and participate in clinical field work at a health care facility. Depending on the program, you can choose to concentrate your studies in areas such as clinical medicine or educational leadership. Schools that offer online master's degree programs in physician assistant studies include:

  • Yale University
  • Drexel University
  • A.T. Still University
  • University of Nebraska
  • Stony Brook University
  • University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • Oregon Health & Science University

What Do I Need to Get Started?

Prerequisites vary by school, but generally include a bachelor's degree in physician assisting and some practical or observational experience. Since most programs are designed for practicing physician assistants, you'll need a current state-issued physician assistant license. Depending on the program, you might also need to hold certification through the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). Before beginning the clinical portion of your program, you'll usually be required to obtain medical malpractice insurance, and some schools require you to secure a licensed physician to mentor you.

What Online Classes Could I Take?

A graduate curriculum in physician assisting enhances your undergraduate training in the field. Your online courses generally cover office management, patient assessment, medications and laboratory procedures. Specialized studies can include topics in clinical practices, education and leadership. Other topics you'll likely find covered in these programs include:

  • Pharmacology
  • Infectious diseases
  • Human anatomy
  • Healthcare ethics
  • Emergency medicine

Most or all of your coursework might be available entirely online, but you will spend considerable time during the program participating in clinical and laboratory practicums either at the school, a local health care institution or both.

How Do I Choose a Program That's Right for Me?

A variety of clinical training is important in this field. When looking for a program, consider enrolling in one that includes clinical practicums at more than one facility or with more than one type of physician. Along this same line, you'll want to ensure the program covers didactic training and practicums in multiple specialties, since this should make you more marketable to employers after graduation. If you live remotely and can't attend campus, make sure that no on-campus attendance is required and that you can complete your clinical training at a local facility. Some schools also offer special assistance to active, reserve and retired members of the military. You might also consider the length of program, whether it's full- or part-time, and the schedule of the clinical rotations, as this could affect your ability to work during the clinical portion of the program.

What If I've Never Taken an Online Course?

Though online learning has been around a while, if you've never taken an online course, look for schools that offer orientation sessions to introduce you to distance learning techniques and procedures. Online programs often allow you to study according to your own schedule, but some include deadlines for assignments and exams. If you need more flexibility in your studies, look for a program that allows extensions to the courses or program as a whole. You might prefer to take more courses on campus and take only one or two online until you adjust to this format.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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