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Physician Assistant Studies students working on casts and splints

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

Augsburg’s PA Program is a full-time program (33 students per class) that provides a broad, case-based, primary care curriculum.  There is an emphasis on diverse and underserved populations throughout the curriculum. Our core mission is to train highly capable PAs who will serve the community with uncompromising commitment and compassion.

The Augsburg PA Program was established in 1995 and was the first accredited PA program in Minnesota.  Students are trained using an active-learning model which incorporates case-based small group discussions, in-lecture clinical vignettes, and hands-on skill-based workshops. In the Clinical Seminar Course, PA students are assigned reading material beforehand and then work with clinicians to synthesize, apply and justify the use of that medical knowledge in small group settings.

Augsburg PAs have a proven track record of success — graduates of our PA program consistently pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) at a rate that is higher than the national average: Augsburg’s Five-Year pass Rate Report.

In a recent graduate survey, 98 percent of respondents were employed within six months of graduation. Augsburg PAs continue to be innovative in identifying and creating new areas for PAs to practice medicine.


The mission of the Augsburg PA Program is based on a foundation of respect and sensitivity to persons of all cultures and backgrounds and oriented towards providing medical care to underserved populations. Students are well educated in current medical theory and practice, and graduates are encouraged to work in primary care settings. The program promotes dedication to excellence in performance, with the highest standards of ethics and integrity, and commitment to lifelong personal and professional development.


The Augsburg PA Program will educate students to:

  • Work in primary care (family medicine, general internal medicine, geriatrics, pediatrics and women’s medicine).
  • Possess the foundational knowledge required to support strong clinical and leadership skills.
  • Work with underserved and diverse populations of patients.
  • Practice collaboratively in a patient-centered team with a high degree of competence and professionalism.
  • Develop and maintain our alumni and community partner networks.

We demonstrate achievement of our goals by compiling data* from our graduating students specific to our goals:

  • Over 50% of our graduates work in primary care.
  • One-third of our graduates, self-reported they are serving in an underserved community.
  • Our graduates have a 100% first-time pass rate on national board examination (PANCE).
  • Our graduates are employed within an average of 3-4 months post-graduation.
  • Augsburg PA-C Alumni, community PAs, MDs, DOs, and NPs continually support the program by lecturing or volunteering as clinical instructors.

*Data obtained from surveying graduates from the classes of 1997-2016.


At its June 2019 meeting, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant Inc. (ARC-PA) placed the Augsburg University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Augsburg University on Accreditation-Probation until its next review in June 2021.

Probation is a temporary status of accreditation conferred when a program does not meet the Standards and when the capability of the program to provide an acceptable educational experience for its students is threatened.

Once placed on probation, programs that still fail to comply with accreditation requirements in a timely manner, as specified by the ARC-PA, may be scheduled for a focused site visit and/or risk having their accreditation withdrawn.

Specific questions regarding the Program and its plans should be directed to the Program Director and/or the appropriate institutional official(s).

Program Director (Dr. Alicia Quella, phone #612-330-1325 and/or email

Read the program’s response to the accreditation status.