Physician Assistant Schools in Illinois

Discover the Illinois-based schools offering physician assistant programs. Learn more about admission requirements, the work environment of full-time professionals, and the job prospects for those working in this field. Schools offering Allied Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Individuals aspiring to become physician assistants in Illinois will find a range of programs available. Physician assistants must have a master's degree from an accredited physician assistant education program. This role is highly demanding one, though has great job prospects across all medical specialties.

What Are the Educational Requirements to Become a Physician Assistant?

Those who aspire to become physician assistants must complete a physician assistant graduate program. Students admitted into these programs already hold a bachelor's degree in science. Most accredited physician assistant programs award a master's degree in the field. The courses typically touch on anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and other medical topics. Students will also be required to complete clinical rotations across a variety of health departments and facilities - which can include psychiatry, family practice, pediatrics, and surgery.

Through curriculums that provide both classroom-based learning and practical experience in a clinical environment, students can gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics among faculty members, the needs of patients, and procedures taken during emergency situations.

What Schools in Illinois Offer Degree Programs for Aspiring Physician Assistants?

Schools in Illinois offering master's degree programs in physician assistant studies often result in a Master of Science or a Master of Medical Science. These programs take at least 2 years to complete and can be found at the following institutions:

  • Dominican University offers a Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies
  • Northwestern University offers a Physician Assistant Program
  • Midwestern University offers a Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies
  • Rush University offers a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies
  • Southern Illinois University offers a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

What Are the Admission Requirements for these Programs?

To be eligible for a physician assistant master's degree program, prospective students will need a bachelor's degree from an accredited school. Generally, while no specific degree is specified, it is best to pursue one in science relevant to physician assistants.

Other requirements vary by school but can also include a minimum overall and science GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and prerequisite coursework in biochemistry, psychology, human anatomy, human physiology, statistics, and microbiology. Applicants may also be required to submit letters of recommendation from an accredited physician assistant, a healthcare supervisor from past related work experience, and/or a university professor.

What Is the Work Environment of a Physician Assistant?

Physician assistants work under the supervision of physicians, surgeons, and other clinical professionals to assess, diagnose, and prescribe patients with the proper medical treatment. As their work takes place in demanding healthcare environments, PAs are often on their feet for extended periods of time: running errands, tending to patients, or performing surgical tasks in operating rooms.

Most PAs work full time and on an on-call schedule. They are also likely to work nights, weekends, and on public holidays.

What Is the Job Outlook for Physician Assistants?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for physician assistants is expected to grow by 37% from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the all average for all jobs. This is because the demand for healthcare has increased, as a large chunk of the population continues to age (these including the baby boom generation). With old age comes a greater need for preventative healthcare and medical treatments, services provided by physician assistants.

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:

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