13 Best PA Schools in Southern California

PA schools in California

Are you having a hard time choosing from the many and acclaimed top PA schools in Southern California? This article contains a compiled list of thoroughly researched best PA schools in South California.

The Physician career is one of the most sensitive careers in the medical field. They work as much as doctors or surgeons. However, the doctors and surgeons can’t run all the medical responsibilities themselves.

This made the need for a PA a necessity and not an option. Also, dutiful assistants can only be produced by the best PA schools. Who are physician assistants? What are the best physician assistant schools in South California?

Who is a PA?

Basically, a PA/Physician Assistants is a medical personnel in the hospitals or healthcare centres who help doctors, surgeons, and other health professionals perform several minor tasks. 

The minor tasks performed by a physician assistant include:

  • Performing basic examination
  • Writing prescriptions
  • Counselling and educating patients
  • Giving treatments
  • Monitoring of patients in medical facilities. 

A reliable medical physician assistant can only be produced by good Physician Assistant schools. This made the search for the best PA Schools in southern California a worthy one.

What Do Physician Assistants Do?

The job descriptions of physician assistants are as diverse as those of their supervising physicians, Also, their function is regarded as critical to any healthcare team. The specific job descriptions of a Physician Assistant PA include:

To provide basic kinds of medicare to patients that don’t need the attention of a doctor. These medicare services include; diagnosing injuries and illnesses, prescribing medicine, conducting examinations, carrying out tests, administering treatment, and monitoring the progress of patients’ recuperation.

Physician assistants, who practice medicine under licensed physicians’ supervision, provide patients with services ranging from primary care to very specialized surgical care.

PAs obtain and record patient histories, conduct physical examinations, diagnose illness and develop treatment strategies, conduct and interpret lab tests, counsel patients on preventative health measures, perform various medical procedures, assist in surgical operations, and in most states can write prescriptions.

Meanwhile, a PA’s job, however, may depend on severity of the patient condition, anyway. A physician assistant may not attend to a very severe case that needs the attention of a doctor or surgeon where the doctor or surgeon is around.

How Do I Become a PA in Southern California?

This is a general tip on how to become a PA in Southern California. The common steps to follow include:

Earning your Physician Assistant Degree

Typically, this process takes about 2-3½ years to complete. You must enrol in an accredited PA programs by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) in order to meet the requirements.

Passing the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE)

It is an examination that certifies you as a Physician Assistant.

Getting Licensed

Get your licence! You can only get your license when you have met all the requirements for licensure. To ensure this, you have to check with the California Physician Assistant Board.

According to the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), getting your license in Southern California requires that you graduate from an accredited bachelor and physician assistant program. Also, it requires that you pass the PANCE exam. 

What are the Requirements to Become a PA?


What do you need to become a PA in Texas?

If you must become a physician assistant, there are specific requirements or criteria you must meet. This section will expose you to all the requirements and criteria you must have as an aspiring PA.

Basically, after your bachelor’s program, you will require a minimum of a master’s degree at the entry-level into this career. And you must get your certification from an accredited institution.

In a nutshell, you must have six years of intensive training to become a PA.

However, sometimes, most employers would not only require that you complete a master’s degree program, but they would also require that you also have at least one year of medical experience within a medical institution.

How Long Does it Take to Become a PA in Southern California?

How long do Physician Assistant programs take to complete?

A Physician Assistant degree can take between 2½-4 years if you are not already a physician assistant. The period unfunded the clinical components of the degree.

13 Best PA Schools in Southern California

There are many PA schools out there and this makes it difficult to choose the best one. If you want to become a PA in South California, here are the 13 best PA schools in Southern California to choose from.

1. California Baptist University – #1 Best PA Schools in Southern California

California Baptist University provides a qualitative two years of PA education in a conducive faith-based environment. It was founded in 1950 and recognised as one of the best PA schools in California. The school offers 80 majors, 50 minors, 5 doctoral programs, 30 masters, and 150 major concentration studies. Additionally, the medical faculty is known to be structured according to the world standard.

Also, you will be able to mix your studies with other scholarly activities and community services. Furthermore, the CBU PA program is housed in the new 11-acre Health Science Campus, where students can enjoy the best learning laboratories and study spaces.

Meanwhile, best of it is that, in 2018, the World Report and the US news ranked it as the best university in the region. Here are more info:

  • Program tuition & fees – $113,240
  • Total Enrollment – 11,045
  • Program Accreditation: ARC-PA
  • Accreditation Body: WASC Senior College and University Commission

2. Marshall B. Ketchum University – #2 Best PA Schools in Southern California

Marshall B. Ketchum Is one of the best physician assistant schools in California. It is a nonprofit private university based in Fullerton, California. It was initially established as a multidisciplinary institution in the year 2012. Also, in 2011, the college of pharmacy and PA studies was added to it.

The PA program runs for 27 months leading to a bachelor’s degree. After that, you can go for a master’s in medical science.

It has been ranked as one of the best private Physician Assistant schools in the region. Also, it has a low student-teacher ratio (8:1). This is combined with community service outings and a family-like atmosphere where faculty knows you personally by name and give you one-to-one attention when needed for you to do well in your studies.

You can combine your studies with community service opportunities like educating children, conducting health screening and serving at local food banks. Meanwhile, below are additional information you should know:

  • Tuition fee per year – $40,863
  • Total enrollment – 739
  • Accreditation Body: WASC Senior College and University Commission

3. Southern California University of Health Sciences – #3 Top PA Schools in Southern California

The Southern California University of Health Sciences was established in 1911, and it is known as the leader and pioneer of innovative chiropractic education.

The college is structured in a manner that students spend long hours in small groups learning basic science concepts and problem-solving skills. 

All graduates from this college tend to be sound in critical analysis, communication, professional therapies, integrative health care and outcome-focused studies. Here is more info:

  • Tuition fee per year – $37,006
  • Total enrollment–1,386
  • Accreditation Body: WASC Senior College and University Commission

4. Touro University California – #4 Top PA Schools in Southern California

Touro University California Is also one of the best physician assistant schools in California. It is a privately owned, Jewish funded private university. It was established in the year 1997. 

The is aimed at increasing access to better health opportunities by underserving populations. Also, it aimed at producing and recruiting quality physicians to serve the community. It is one of the best physician assej2istant schools in Vallejo, California.

Also, Touro University offers degree programs in professional courses like; nursing, education, pharmacy, public health, physician assistant studies and osteopathic studies. Also, it offers a dual program of Master of Physician Assistant Studies and Public Health.

Also, learning is student-centred as attention is entirely given to the students. More info:

  • Tuition fee per year – $30,140
  • Total enrollment – 1,378
  • Accreditation Body: WASC Senior College and University Commission

5. Western University of Health Sciences – #5 Top PA Schools in Southern California

Originally known as the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific. The Western University of Health Sciences was established in 1977 in Pomona, California. 

Also, the university offers a bachelor’s degree program in physician assistant, nursing, physical therapy, veterinary medicine, biomedical science and dental medicine. 

Besides the well-built and conducive learning environment, the school also offers different medical facilities such as:

  • Eye care facilities
  • Pharmacy
  • Travel health centre
  • Dental centre
  • Medical centre

Students of Medical Physician Assistant Studies from the Western University of Health are the best among the best in clinical sciences. They are also excellent in communication skills which is helpful for the dissemination of information to their patients.

The evidential proof of the success of her students has earned her one of the best physician assistant schools in the region.

  • Tuition fee per year – $23,556
  • Total enrollment – 3, 792
  • Accreditation Body: WASC Senior College and University Commission

6. Stanford University – #6 Top PA Schools in Southern California

Stanford University is another one if the best PA schools in California. It is not just any private university. It is a world-recognized and well-respected private university. Also, it was established in the year 1885. Initially, it was called Leland Stanford Junior University.

Also, Stanford University is known as a place of diverse undergraduates’ programs that lead to master’s and PhD programs. 

The Physician Assistant program offered by the school runs for 30 months. It is done in incorporation with courses like clinical anatomy and simulation lab. 

Meanwhile, only 25 -30 students are being admitted yearly into the PA studies at Stanford University. 

The institution offers world-class services to its PA students, and they are:

  • Counselling and health resources
  • Academic support
  • Career support
  • Wellness advising and student life
  • Housing support
  • Legal issues and dispute resolution support
  • Scholarship support

More info:

  • Tuition fee per year – $52,479
  • Total enrollment – 17,249
  • Accreditation Body: WASC Senior College and University Commission

7. University of the Pacific – #7 Top PA Schools in South California

The University of Pacific is a Methodist private university established in 1851. It is in San Francisco and Stockton, California. 

The institution offers various degree programs like; law, medical sciences, liberal arts, international studies, dentistry, education, engineering, music and pharmacy. 

Additionally, it offers a 27 moths PA program. And, students from this university are also trained in; physical examination, patient performance, counselling, provision of treatment, and completing medical histories. 

Meanwhile, his additional service earned it one of the best PA schools in the US.

Furthermore, the school has an acceptance rate of 72% and 66%, respectively. 

  • Tuition fee per year – $48,904
  • Total enrollment – 6447
  • Accreditation Body: WASC Senior College and University Commission

8. Dominican University of California

The Dominican University of California is an independent institution established in 1890 in San Rafael.

With over 130 years of preparing students for professional lives, it has earned it a reputation for being one of the best PA schools in the country. 

Its excellent involvement in research, academics, outreach and community services has earned it a reputable name.

Dominican offers more than 60 majors, minors and concentrations.

Physician assistants will be taught how to be insightful and professional enlighten individuals.

Meanwhile, the course runs for 28 months. Additionally, you will be given a chance to have a real-world experience by participating in nine clinical rotations.

Additionally, as a PA student, you will be well equipped with the knowledge of social responsibility and civil skills. These give her students a hedge over others. This institution is regarded as the best PA school in San Rafael.

  • Tuition fee per year – $37,420
  • Total enrollment – 1,837
  • Accreditation Body: WASC Senior College and University Commission, The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA)

9. Keck University School of Medicine

Keck University School of Medicine was established in the year 1885. The institution is among the best 10 physician assistant programs in the US.

Basically, Keck University is aimed at advancing physician assistant education and providing medication to medically deprived populations.

The admission process is a holistic one, so you must be diverse to get admission here.

The course runs for a 33-month calendar program. Meanwhile, the program takes place in various clinical facilities and employs primary care. 

Also, the faculty is student-centred at the ratio of 2:6:1.

  • Tuition fee per year – $22,176
  • Total enrollment – 748
  • Accreditation Body: WASC Senior College and University Commission

10. Charles R. Drew University

Charles R. Drew University is a nonprofit private university established in 1966. CDU PA program, which was the first PA program in the state of California, was first started in the school in 1971. This made it to be among the best PA school in California.

In addition to that, the school offer bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, associate degree and postbaccalaureate certificates. 

The instruction only accepts 26 PA students. This is done following the institution’s mission of proving individualised attention and adequate resource for each student.

Also, as part of the CDU PA program, there is usually heavy urban involvement to enhance diversities. 

Additionally, students are trained on the principles of community engagement, health equality and cultural sensitivity. They are also trained to be able to reach out to medically underserved communities.

Tuition fee per year – $46,272

Total enrollment – 48,321

Accreditation Body: WASC Senior College and University Commission

11. Chapman University

Chapman University is a privately owned institution that started in 1861. The institution offers diverse programs in education, technology, liberal arts, computer, business and medicine. 

Also, it offers both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Physician assistants. Meanwhile, the master’s Programme runs for a period of 24-month, full time, year-round cohort model. 

The institution aimed at producing exceptional PAs that can do well in clinical rotations and do well in collaborative health care.

Additionally, the students are also taught global ethics, culturally and ethical principles enabling them to make a positive global impact.

  • Tuition fee per year – $54,924
  • Total enrollment – 9,850
  • Accreditation Body: WASC Senior College and University Commission, and The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc (ARC-PA)

 12. Loma Linda University

Loma Linda University is also one of the best PA schools in California. It is an Adventist Private university located in Loma Linda, in California. The University was established in 1966. 

Basically, the institution is known as the best PA school in California and is passionate about raising PAs with the best Healthcare skills.

The PA program begins in the autumn quarter. It is broken down into phases. The first phase consists of 12 months of didactic practices. This first phase gives them a foundation of biological science. 

Meanwhile, the second phase, which consists of 12 months of clinical clerkship in different medical specialities. This gives them intensive patient care experience.

The school offers about 100 certificates and programmes. 

  • Tuition fee per year – $31,680
  • Total enrollment – 4,462
  • Accreditation Body: WASC Senior College and University Commission

 13. University of California Davis

The University of California Davis granted a public and land granted university located in Davis, California. 

The university was established in 1961 as the world’s leading PA institution. The university is one of the Rank 1 classified universities in the country due to its high standard of research. It is among the best PA schools in the world

Additionally, the institution offers several academic funding programs like scholarships, short term loans and long-term loans.

Also, it offers a major in Physician Assistant, veterinary and nursing.

The university is primarily aimed at producing students who are committed to excellence all around.

  • Tuition fee per year – $11,442
  • Total enrollment – 36,634
  • Accreditation Body: WASC Senior College and University Commission

Conclusion

The above ranking was done based on the best analytical software data from the US Department of Education College Scorecard. Basically, the physician assistant schools were ranked based on tuition per year, total enrollment and accreditation.

So, the above best physician assistant schools were not just handpicked. It was systemically done. If you have any further research to do in any institution, you can access their website to read more.

What are the best PA schools in South California?


1.       California Baptist University
2.       Marshall B. Ketchum University
3.       Southern California University of Health Sciences
4.       Touro University California
5.       Western University of Health Sciences
6.       Stanford University
7.       University of the Pacific
8.       Dominican University of California
9.       Keck University School of Medicine
10.   Charles R. Drew University
11.   Chapman University
12.   Loma Linda University
13.   University of California Davis

What Are The Easiest Pa Schools To Get Into In 2022?

If you are looking for the easiest PA schools to get into in 2022, here’s a compiled list of the best:

1.A.T. Still University Of Health Sciences Physician Assistant School
2. Midwestern University Physician Assistant School
3. Missouri State University Physician Assistant School
4. Marquette University Physician Assistant School
5. South University Physician Assistant School
6. The George Washington University Physician Assistant School
7.  University Of New England Physician Assistant School
8.  University Of Utah
9. Rosalind Franklin University Of Medicine And Science Physician Assistant School
10. Western University Of Health Sciences Physician Assistant School
11. Central Coast Campus
12. Thomas Jefferson University Physician Assistant School
13.  Loma Linda University Physician Assistant School
14.  Barry University Physician Assistant School

How long is PA residency in Southern ?

18 months.

Although the length of a PA residency may vary, it can go between 12-18 months.

Simply, a PA residency is an additional compulsory training beyond physician assistant schools.

This training provides physician assistants the discipline to focus on a specialty and receive fierce l, standardize training.

Is PA higher than RN?

Yes, PAs are often higher than Registered Nurses. However, there are factors which may go into salary. These includes specialty, experience and geographical areas.

Nevertheless, PAs are usually on top. A statistics by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the average salary for PAs in 2013 was about $90,000 per year. 

Is the PA program hard?

Not entirely. PA programs are only as challenging as conventional medical programs are, with rigorous coursework and clinical rotations.

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