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Physician Assistant Studies Program

Physician Assistant Studies Program

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Program Mission

The mission of the University of Southern Mississippi Physician Assistant Studies program is to provide a welcoming, supportive, and distinctive educational environment that nurtures student success, where students will attain their goal of to become excellent, compassionate, and forward-looking PAs.  With an emphasis on rural and underserved populations, our graduates will be prepared to provide excellent care for all people they encounter with professionalism and integrity.  They will have a sensitivity and understanding of the needs of underserved communities, rural communities, and diverse populations.

Program Vision

The Physician Assistant Studies program’s evidence-based curriculum will promote the development of ethical, clinically knowledgeable practitioners prepared to serve the diverse populations in Mississippi and throughout the country. Our graduates will be prepared to function in primary care and specialty care in both rural and urban settings and will promote and participate in transformation of the healthcare system to a model that provides compassionate and culturally responsive care to all.

Program Goals

  • Produce exceptional clinicians
    • Our program will prepare students with the knowledge and skills necessary to enter clinical practice as highly competent physician assistants and serve in a wide variety of communities.
  • Emphasize compassionate care
    • Our graduates will be prepared to provide compassionate care to all populations they encounter. With an emphasis on primary care for rural and underserved populations and communities, our graduates will provide ethical, inclusive, patient-centered care in any practice setting.
  • Promote evidence-based practice
    • Our graduates will be versed in evidence-based medicine, including its application to clinical practice, and will understand the importance of lifelong learning, continuing education, and the importance of adding to the body of knowledge through research.
  • Create a diverse learning environment
    • Our program will strive to provide a diverse learning environment, through fair and inclusive admission requirements, recruitment, and selection, that reflects the wider University of Southern Mississippi student body, the local population diversity, and enhances cultural competence and understanding of others.
  • Educate students in professionalism and leadership
    • Our graduates will be prepared to be collaborative leaders as a member of the interprofessional healthcare team, working with others to provide optimal medical care to patients and to transform and improve healthcare delivery locally and regionally while maintaining legal, ethical, and moral conduct
Why the Physician Assistant Studies Program?

The University of Southern Mississippi will offer a newly established, state of the art Physician Assistant Studies program on the breathtaking Gulf Park Campus.

In the clinic or in the hospital, Physician Assistants are dedicated to the compassionate care of everyone they encounter. Physician Assistants (PAs) are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide primary services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis and treatment, therapeutic intervention, across the age continuum for the whole range medical conditions.

120KAverage Salary
28%Annual Job Growth Rate
>38KNew PA Positions 2021-2031
What Will I Learn?

Students who want to become certified Physician Assistants must earn a degree from a ARC-PA accredited physician assistant program.

Accredited programs include formal instruction in areas such as clinical medicine and surgery, first aid and emergency care, assessment of injury/illness, human anatomy and physiology, therapeutic modalities, clinical research, clinical reasoning and decision making. Classroom learning is enhanced through clinical education experiences.



The University of Southern Mississippi Physician Assistant Studies Program has applied for Accreditation - Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The University of Southern Mississippi Physician Assistant Studies Program anticipates matriculating its first class in October 2025, pending achieving Accreditation - Provisional status at the June 2025 ARC-PA meeting and pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Accreditation - Provisional is to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding accreditation-provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

An accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability.

  • NCCPA/PANCE Exam Pass Rates (Not yet available)
  • Attrition Rate (Not yet available)
  • Graduation Rate (Not yet available)

Coming soon - USM PA Program

Contact Us

School of Health Professions

Elizabeth Harkins Hall

118 College Dr. #5122
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Hattiesburg Campus 

Campus Map



Chris Tuey

West Academic Building (WAB 112)

Gulf Park