Graduate Catalog

Physician Assistant Program

Randi Beth Cooperman, DHSc, MCMSc, PA-C; Associate Professor and Program Director

Program Overview

A Physician Assistant (PA) is a highly qualified health care provider who has been prepared, through a demanding academic and clinical curriculum, to provide health care services under physician supervision. PAs gather and evaluate medical data and participate in the process of clinical decision-making, diagnosis, and therapeutic management.

All students who successfully complete the Barry University Physician Assistant Program (Program) will be awarded both the Master of Clinical Medical Science degree and the Physician Assistant Certificate.

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Barry University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Barry 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remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards.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 March 2026. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

Mission and Philosophy

Vision Statement

Our vision is that our graduates will be PA leaders in health care technology and clinical practice.

Mission Statement

The Barry University Physician Assistant Program educates students in the practice of collaborative medicine and encourages life-long learning and professional development. It fosters a technology rich environment and clinical training experiences among diverse patient populations. The Program enables students to develop competencies required to meet the health care needs of contemporary society.

Educational Philosophy

The vast amount of information in medicine can never be mastered by any one person. However, it is each practitioner’s responsibility to learn as much as possible each day in order to develop the deepest fund of knowledge possible. The Program encourages its students to engage medicine as a life-long learning experience.

Course syllabi and lecture materials are meant to help the student obtain a broad overview of the identified topics. However, neither tests nor examinations for licensure, nor the patients whom a student may encounter in a clinical rotation, can exhaustively cover the content of any given area in medicine. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the student to study beyond the syllabus and course materials and to develop intellectually to every extent possible.

Program Goals

Upon graduation from the Barry University Physician Assistant Program, students will demonstrate proficiency in entry-level competencies listed below.

Program Objectives and Competencies of the PA Profession

Upon graduation from the Barry University Physician Assistant Program, students will demonstrate proficiency in entry-level competencies:

  1. Medical Knowledge
  2. Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  3. Patient Care
  4. Professionalism
  5. Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
  6. Systems-Based Practice

Admission Requirements

The successful candidate for admission to the Physician Assistant Program will have:

  • A Bachelor's Degree (any discipline) from an accredited institution;

  • An overall GPA and science GPA equal to or higher than 3.0;
  • Completed General/Inorganic Chemistry—6 credits (2 course);
  • Completed Organic Chemistry or Biochemistry - 3 credits (1 course);

  • Completed at least six semester hours (2 courses) Human Anatomy and Physiology - 8 credits (2 courses with labs), Kinesiology, Environmental Engineering and Exercise Science will not be accepted;
  • Completed four semester hours (1 course with lab) of Microbiology;
  • Completed three additional semester hours (1 course) of Biological Science. Acceptable courses are: General Biology, Zoology, Human Genetics, Histology or Cell/Molecular Biology;
  • Completed at least six semester hours (2 courses) In Behavioral or Social Sciences. Only Psychology, Sociology, Human Growth and Development are accepted towards the behavioral science prerequisite. Anthropology, Humanities and Criminology courses are not accepted;
  • Taken the Graduate Record Examination (GRE); the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) may not be substituted for the GRE. Applicants whose GRE scores are more than five years old from  matriculation must re-take the GRE and submit more recent scores. GRE scores must be sent to the university by ETS to institutional code 5053, program code 0634 before the application is submitted. Applications without official GRE scores will remain in pending status until they are received. GRE scores must be submitted no later than 30 business days after receipt of notification from Admissions Office;

  • Submitted official college transcripts from all institutions to CASPA for verification (prerequisite credits that are more than ten years old will not be considered);

  • Submit three letters of recommendation, (from clinical work supervisors or clinical coworkers, and academicians);
  • Evidence of prior experience in health care is highly recommended; and
  • Met the Program Technical and Professional Standards.

Applicants are required to have all prerequisite coursework completed with a C grade or higher prior to application submissions. Any submitted applications with pending prerequisite coursework (including labs) will not be considered. There are no deviations or waivers permitted for the prerequisite science requirement, regardless of educational background or professional experience.

Once offered a seat of provisional acceptance, ALL official (sealed) transcripts and admission documents must be mailed to Miami Campus for processing: Barry University Physician Assistant Program, 11300 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami Shores, FL 33161-6695 as we do not receive copies sent to CASPA.

In addition, though not a requirement for admission, students accepted Into the Program must complete a course in Medical Terminology prior to matriculation. Accepted students must either provide a grade for Medical Terminology on an official transcript or a Certificate of Completion in the course.

  • An interview is required and is extended only at the Invitation of the Admissions Committee.
  • The Committee strongly recommends that all documentation be complete prior to the interview.

Foreign-Born Non-U.S. or Non-Canadian Citizens

  • Applicants with foreign transcripts or non-grade transcripts must submit a degree equivalent evaluation with GPA provided (an original sealed report from a transcript evaluation service.) A list of transcript evaluation service providers may be found at www.naces.org;
  • Must have attended a college or university in the United States for a minimum of one year prior to application; and
  • Submit test scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), be able to express themselves clearly to others in spoken English, and have the ability to understand rapidly spoken colloquial English. Curriculum Descriptions

Selection will be made by committee and is based upon the above criteria. Candidates are evaluated in the context of the applicant pool for the year in which they seek to matriculate. Therefore, the admission process for the PA Program is highly competitive. Candidates are considered on the basis of their overall GRE, undergraduate and graduate GPA, health care experience, commitment to service, letters of recommendation, the interview, and their personal statement.

Individuals selected for admission must exhibit the necessary interpersonal skills, physical, psychological, and behavioral capacities to satisfactorily fulfill the rigorous requirements of the Program.

The curriculum leading to the Master of Clinical Medical Science degree, normally takes twenty-eight months to complete. Lecture content is delivered using interactive video conferencing between the two campuses. The first year involves didactic classroom courses (some with laboratories) in the basic and applied medical sciences. The next twelve months involve rotations in hospitals and other approved facilities. Students return to the campus for additional didactic courses and research for their final semester. Successful completion of the entire curriculum is required for graduation.

Special Considerations

As part of an agreement with the University Partnership Center at St. Petersburg College, up to four students per year, who graduated from St. Petersburg College and who are admitted into the program in St. Petersburg, will receive a tuition discount of 20%.

Advanced Standing and Transfer Policy

Due to considerable variation in physician assistant programs throughout the United States, students of other PA programs will not be accepted for transfer into the Program. In addition, applicants to the Program may not receive “advanced standing” based upon previous education or credits taken. Foreign medical graduates must complete the Program in its entirety.

Admission Procedure

 

All applicants to the Barry University Physician Assistant Program must apply through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Applicants may begin the application process by visiting the CASPA web site at https://caspa.liaisoncas.com. Applicants may apply to only one campus (Miami Shores or St. Petersburg). Applicants invited for interviews will be invited only to their first choice site. Due to the increasing competitiveness of our applicant pool, we look for significant academic/professional improvement in our re-applicants (i.e. gaining additional DPC hours, retaking the GRE, improving the Overall & Science GPA, gaining new references, continuing community service/outreach opportunities, etc.).

There are no transfers allowed to other locations.

The Program uses a rolling admissions process, i.e., it reviews applications as they are completed and makes decisions throughout the admissions cycle. For this reason, it is in the applicant's best interests to apply as early as possible and to check the CASPA site frequently until all requirements including references have been submitted, and the application is complete. Well-qualified applicants who apply late in the cycle may not be admitted because the class may already be filled. It is possible that the class will fill after applicants have been invited to, but not completed, their scheduled interview. In that event, applicants will be notified and have the option of cancelling their interview, or interviewing for the wait list. The Program does not reimburse candidates for any costs incurred for changes to or cancellation of travel related to interviews.

The CASPA application is the only application required for admission; there is no supplemental application. The application portal opens in mid-April, and it is in the applicant's best interest to apply as early as possible and submit all supplemental documentation (i.e., GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and evaluation forms) prior to September. All applications must be verified by CASPA. This may take four to six weeks and will be further delayed if CASPA has not received letters of recommendations and transcripts. CASPA must forward the completed applications to the PA Program by December 1st. The Admissions committee upholds and enforces all requirements and deadlines. There are no waivers or deviations accepted to the Admissions requirements. Applications that are received by the PA Program after December 1st will not be considered. Accepted applicants must submit an enrollment deposit of $1000 ten (10) business days from the offer of provisional acceptance. Deposits are non-refundable.

Inquiries or communications concerning admissions should be addressed to the Physician Assistant Program Admissions Office. Telephone inquiries will be answered if the applicant calls (305) 899-3130 or (727) 302-6609 but email inquiries are preferred (please e-mail paadmissions@barry.edu).

Progressions Requirements

The Program is continuous (no semester breaks) and sequential spanning twenty-eight months. Each semester’s successful completion is required to progress.

Extension of studies beyond the prescribed twenty-eight months is not possible. The exception is when a student requests a leave of absence for pressing personal, military, or family reasons, or must repeat a clinical rotation. The student may have the opportunity to return at a later date to complete the curriculum and, depending upon the length of the leave, may be required to complete remediation activities prior to continuing. These situations will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and are at the discretion of the program director and based upon faculty recommendations.

Academic Standing (calculated using a 0.00 to 4.00 scale)

A student must maintain a semester and cumulative GPA of 3.00 or above to be considered in good academic standing.

Probation Status Didactic

A student will be placed on academic probation if:

  • Achieves a semester GPA below 2.70

Probation Status Clinical

A student will be placed on academic probation with an F grade on a clinical rotation or a semester GPA below 2.70.

Dismissal Status Didactic

A student will be dismissed if:

  • Achieves a GPA less than 2.50 In any didactic semester or
  • Qualifies for academic or professional probation for two consecutive semesters or
  • Earns an F in any didactic semester regardless of GPA.

Dismissal Status Clinical

A student will be dismissed if:

  • Qualifies for academic or professional probation in two consecutive semesters,
  • Or achieves a cumulative GPA below 2.50,
  • Or a second F in any clinical rotation, consecutive or not consecutive, regardless of GPA.

Graduation Requirements

All candidates for the degree of Master of Clinical Medical Science in the Physician Assistant Program shall have:

  1. Satisfactorily complete all courses, rotations, and clinical requirements.
  2. Maintained acceptable professional standards (see Professional Conduct Code). 
  3. Fulfilled all responsibilities and financial obligations to the Program and the University.
  4. Completed a summative evaluation, written and practical during their final term. Each student must successfully complete a proctored examination of a standardized patient which includes assessment of their ability to provide care, demonstrate their clinical skills and medical knowledge, interpersonal and communication skills, and -professionalism.
  5. Achieve a grade of C or higher on the Primary Care Review course examination.

Recommendation for the Master of Clinical Medical Science degree is a discretionary right residing with the faculty and administration of the Program, but shall not be withheld arbitrarily. There is no contract, stated or implied, between the Program and the students, guaranteeing that a degree or certificate will be conferred at any stated time, or at all. Accreditation guidelines mandate that the Program evaluate each graduation candidate to determine the appropriateness of their graduation. If students are found lacking in appropriateness, remediation will be required in their final didactic semester. Such remediation could delay their graduation.

Students who have satisfactorily completed all program requirements are eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE).

Grading Policy

The grading policy for students in the Physician Assistant Program will be as follows:

A 90–100%
B 80–89.9%
C 70–79.9%
F Less than 70%

Notice of Right to Amend

The Barry University Physician Assistant Program reserves the right to withdraw, amend, or add at any time to these policies with or without prior notice and to make such changes applicable to current students, as well as new students. These policies are not intended to and do not create a contract or other binding obligation and may unilaterally be withdrawn, amended, or modified at any time with or without prior notice.

Master of Clinical Medical Science (M.C.M.Sc.) (124 credits)

First Year (59 credits)

Fall (18 credits)

PHA-530ATHE PA ROLE MODERN HLTH CARE

1

PHA-580CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY

3

PHA-585PHYSIOLOGY

4

PHA-590PGROSS ANATOMY W/LAB

6

PHA-605CPHYSICAL DIAGNOSIS I

3

PHA-621ACLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY I

1

Spring (21 credits)

PHA-510HUMAN GENETICS

1

PHA-535HUMAN BEHAVIOR/PSYCHIATR

3

PHA-602MED PATHOPHYSIOLOGY I

6

PHA-605DPHYSICAL DIAGNOSIS II

4

PHA-621BCLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY II

2

PHA-640PSURGICAL PRINCIPLES

2

PHA-701WOMEN'S HLTH/PED/GERIATRICS

3

Summer (20 credits)

PHA-552MEDICAL SPANISH

3

PHA-573RESEARCH IN COMMUNITY HEALTH

4

PHA-603MED PATHOPHYSIOLOGY II

3

PHA-605EPHYSICAL DIAGNOSIS III

3

PHA-621CCLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY III

2

PHA-649PGENERAL RADIOLOGY

3

PHA-705BEMERGENCY MEDICINE

2

Second Year (49 credits)

There will be eight six-week rotations, including Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Women’s Health, Pediatrics, Behavioral Health, Surgery, and an Elective rotation.

Following each rotation there will be End of Rotation exercises at Barry University.

Fall, Spring, Summer (49 credits)

PHA-727CLINICAL ORIENTATION

1

PHA-740PA ROTATION I

6

PHA-741PA ROTATION II

6

PHA-742PA ROTATION III

6

PHA-743PA ROTATION IV

6

PHA-744PA ROTATION V

6

PHA-745PA ROTATION VI

6

PHA-746PA ROTATION VII

6

PHA-747PA ROTATION VIII

6

Third Year (16 credits)

Fall (16 credits)

PHA-530BTRANSITION PA CLINICAL PRACT

1

PHA-553PBIOMED ETHIC/HLTH CARE DELIV

2

PHA-638THANATOLOGY

1

PHA-690CLINCAL THERAPEUTICS

2

PHA-695PRIMARY CARE REVIEW COURSE

3

PHA-806PLIBRARY RESEARCH

7

Note: An elective may be taken in the advanced didactic semester.