Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

DMU is producing leading health care professionals

Take charge and advance your health care career

Choose an M.S.P.A.S. degree from a well-respected program

Physician assistants are trusted medical experts on health care teams within hospitals, clinics, offices, long-term care residencies and other settings. These health care professionals diagnose illnesses, develop and carry out treatment plans, perform medical procedures and much more.

Through Des Moines University’s physician assistant master’s degree, you will receive rigorous preparation that will help you to lead and thrive in a growing profession focused on creating healthier lives for everyone. Because our physician assistant degree program provides vital medical and surgical knowledge required for success, our graduate students’ first-time PANCE pass rate is consistently above the national average.

With DMU’s ARC-PA-accredited master of science physician assistant program, you will gain a broad range of expertise and skills that set you up for success.


The Future of Health Care Education is Here

Welcome to the new home of Des Moines University.

Quick facts:



graduate student to faculty ratio for MSPAS degree program


graduation rate over the last three years


first-time pass rate on national certifying exam over the last five years


graduate employment rate for our physician assistant degree students from Class of 2019

Physician Assistant Master’s Degree Highlights

DMU’s Master of Science physician assistant program produces highly skilled and compassionate medical professionals who are equipped to tackle the most pressing health care situations. While earning an M.S.P.A.S. degree from DMU, you can expect to:

  • Learn From Well-Respected PA Professionals

    DMU physician assistant degree faculty members have decades of experiences as clinicians and educators, share a deep commitment to your success and are leaders at local, state and national levels.

    Our master of science physician assistant graduate program faculty practice in pediatrics and neurosurgery, volunteer with local and national physician assistant organizations, and serve on statewide physician assistant boards. This means you will have the chance to learn from exceptional teachers and leaders during your two years in DMU’s physician assistant degree program.

  • Gain Expertise in State-Of-The-Art Facilities

    As a physician assistant degree program student, you will be spending much of your time in cutting-edge research laboratories around campus.

    DMU’s Simulation Center brings clinical scenarios to life, using high-fidelity mannequins and equipment to portray various medical situations and conditions. The Surgery Skills Lab helps you to train in suturing, surgical instrumentation, dissection, IV placements and other clinical and surgical skills. Our anatomy lab provides cadaveric dissection at 43 stations—each equipped with technology that offers anatomical images and instruction.

  • Take Your Education Outside the Classroom

    Graduate students in DMU’s physician assistant master’s degree program take what they’ve learned in supervised clinical practice experience sites and apply it in core medical specialties and electives. Our program offers SCPEs in various settings, including global health experiences in Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, Rwanda and Vietnam.

  • Be Prepared to Enhance Health Care at All Levels

    Your program faculty advisor will guide, mentor and support you through the physician assistant master’s program. Get help preparing for your PA career with resume and CV building, mock interviews and training and other professional development opportunities.

University Partnerships

Des Moines University has partnered with other universities and colleges to create opportunities for students to receive a guaranteed interview and/or concurrently earn credit toward undergraduate and M.S.P.A.S. degrees.

What can you do with a physician assistant master's degree?

Physician assistant careers are consistently ranked as one of the best—and most needed—health care professions today and in the future, according to U.S. News & World Report. Graduates from DMU’s Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies work in a variety of settings, including general practice, primary care and specialty practice.

Physician Assistant Master’s Degree Faculty

DMU M.S.P.A.S. degree program faculty help graduate students develop clinical, communication and teamwork skills through hands-on procedures and assessments. These experts are leaders in the care and education of patients.


What physician assistant students are saying

“I was often asked during the pandemic if I still wanted to go into health care, to which I replied, 'It makes me want to pursue it more.' PAs were designed for times like this. They are able to step into any specialty where they are needed, and I was reminded why I am so passionate about a profession that can step up in times like these. I even wished I was already in the field, so I could step up, too.”

Elizabeth “Ebby” Dodge, P.A.'23

Explore Master of Science Physician Assistant Courses

DMU’s 26-month physician assistant master’s degree program focuses on clinical coursework and supervised clinical practice experiences.

And throughout the clinical portion of the M.S.P.A.S. degree program, you will complete capstone projects that allow you to design and execute a meaningful project. Past projects have involved the delivery of efficient patient care, community health education, assessment of health care needs and much more.

In the classroom, our master’s students complete courses such as:

  • Health System and Policy
  • Pharmacology/Therapeutics
  • Physical Diagnosis

Diversity at DMU: Your culture creates ours

Cultural competency is part of the personal and professional development that happens at DMU. Our campus environment is shaped by individuals who bring cultural differences, life experiences and distinct characteristics.

Diversity and Inclusion at Des Moines University

Welcome to campus: See for yourself what we're all about

DMU offers opportunities to get involved in experiences outside the classroom. We are committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all our students.

Living in Greater Des Moines: Your new favorite place

Besides being a great place to live and work, the greater Des Moines metro is a vibrant area with communities from all walks of life. Ethnic grocery stores, restaurants and year-round events ensure that there’s always something for everyone.

Living in Des Moines
Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant

DMU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Des Moines University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Des Moines University. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards. Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be September 2025. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy. The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website.

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