6 Best PA Schools in Illinois-Tuition & Requirements

For more than a century, healthcare reformers have sought to treat more patients at a lower cost. The rapid increase in the number of physician assistants (PAs) during the previous decade has brought that aim within reach.

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Physician assistants operate under the supervision of medical doctors to treat and prevent illness and harm. PAs order tests, prescribe prescriptions, perform exams, offer preventive care advice, and even participate in surgery. 

In the United States today, around 93,000 physician assistants practice medicine. Within a decade, the figure is expected to rise to 120,000. It is the nation’s third fastest-growing occupation.

Today, physician assistants play an important role in our society’s attempts to provide high-quality health care to everyone who requires it.

Physician assistants work wherever doctors are found—and in many places where they are not, such as underserved rural and urban communities.

Read on as we have listed all the PA schools in Illinois and all you need to know about them.

Why Become A Physician Assistant?

Below are some of the perks of becoming a Physician Assistant. 

  • After two years of professional training, physician assistants can begin practicing. There are no residency requirements or entrance exams, such as the MCAT, for this career.
  • Many tasks that were previously performed only by doctors are now performed by physician assistants. It is one of the most gratifying, recognized, and necessary occupations in today’s society.
  • A physician assistant’s starting wage is $90,000 per year.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of medical assistant roles will increase by 31% by 2030.
  • As a physician assistant, you will be able to provide high-quality health care that improves the lives of others every day.

Where Will Your Physician Assistant Training Take You?

You might be surprised by the alternatives. Physician assistants can be found in almost any medical setting. They make significant contributions to the country’s most advanced and respected healthcare systems. 

They practice not only general medicine but also a variety of specialties. Whatever your interests are in the field of health care, your study as a physician assistant will prepare you to put your knowledge and talents to use for the benefit of patients. 

The List of Best PA Schools In Illinois 

According to ballotpedia, the higher education system in Illinois is made up of 184 colleges and institutions. There are 60 public institutions, 89 non-profit private schools, and 35 for-profit private schools among them.

Out of these 184 colleges and institutions, these are the best PA schools in Illinois. 

Dominican University of Illinois PA Program 

Dominican’s Physician Assistant Studies Program seeks to educate compassionate and skilled practitioners who want to serve patients with wholehearted compassion and dedication.

Students will be prepared in the classroom and in clinical settings to play an important part in positively improving the way our country provides health care.

Because of the school’s unique, relationship-centered approach to graduate education, you will develop not only professional skills but also a better awareness of team dynamics, ethical issues, and the particular needs of the people in your care. 

Anatomy, pharmacology, physiology, diagnostic procedures, evidence-based medicine, and other topics are covered by first-year students.

Hospital and clinical rotations in surgery, pediatrics, internal medicine, emergency medicine, and other specialized disciplines are completed by second-year students.

Dominican students have access to cutting-edge educational technology, such as virtual dissection tables. They learn how to use medical informatics to improve patient outcomes.

Click here for more information. 

Admission Requirements: To be considered for admission you must fulfill the following criteria. 

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university 

  • GRE scores

  • Minimum CGPA of 3.15

  • Complete CASPA application 

  • 750 hours of work in a healthcare setting. 

  • Hours of shadowing experience 

  • 3 letters of recommendation

  • Personal essay

  • Completion of prerequisite courses with a minimum grade of C. 

Tuition: Tuition and fees for the 24-month Physician Assistant Studies program are estimated to be $99,890. (subject to change for future cohorts). 

Midwestern University (Downers Grove) PA Program

Midwestern University’s PA Program examines individuals who demonstrate academic and professional promise for advancement as competent, compassionate members of the healthcare community. 

With around 1,400 applications submitted each year for 86 places, the admissions environment is exceptionally selective.

The application deadline is October 1, 2022, however, because the PA Program uses a rolling admissions procedure in which applicants are constantly admitted until all seats are filled, students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. 

Click here for more info. 

Admission Requirements: To be considered for this program, please ensure you have all requirements. 

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university 

  • GRE scores

  • Minimum CGPA of 3.00

  • Complete CASPA application 

  • Hours of work experience in a healthcare setting. 

  • Hours of shadowing experience 

  • 3 letters of recommendation

  • Personal essay

  • Completion of prerequisite courses with a minimum grade of C

Tuition: $180,996 is the estimated grand total for this program. 

Northwestern University PA Program 

The 108-credit hour curriculum of the Northwestern University PA Program leads to a Master of Medical Science degree.

The first year of the curriculum includes 23 mandatory courses. Students must complete 7 core clinical rotations, 4 elective clinical rotations, and the Master’s Project course during their second year.

The program takes a comprehensive approach to review applicant applications and does not favor any particular group or groups.

The most competitive applicants will have a track record of outstanding academic accomplishment, significant clinical experience, strong letters of recommendation, and superior interpersonal/communication skills as demonstrated throughout the interview process. 

Click here for more info. 

Admission Requirements: for the school to consider your application, please ensure you have the following requirements. 

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university 

  • GRE scores

  • Minimum CGPA of 2.80

  • Complete CASPA application 

  • 1000 hours of work experience in a healthcare setting.

  • 3 or more letters of recommendation

  • Personal essay

  • Completion of prerequisite courses with a minimum grade of C

Tuition: $94,771 for first year and $91,387 for second year. 

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine PA Program

Rosalind Franklin University’s Physician Assistant (PA) Program has graduated over 1,500 students since its commencement in 1991.

The faculty is dedicated to educating students through innovative and interactive classroom activities, team-based learning, high-quality clinical rotation experiences, and cutting-edge simulation.

The interprofessional focus of the PA Program, as well as that of Rosalind Franklin University, prepares students to work as members of effective healthcare teams in a variety of medical disciplines and settings. U.S. News and World Report have ranked the Physician Assistant Program 15th

Click here for more info. 

Admission Requirements: The following requirements must be taken seriously before application. 

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university 

  • Minimum CGPA of 2.75

  • Complete CASPA application 

  • 1000 hours of work experience in a healthcare setting.

  • 2 or more letters of recommendation

  • Personal essay

  • Completion of prerequisite courses with a minimum grade of C

Tuition: $53,262 for year 1 and $51,557 for year 2.

Rush University PA Program

Rush University’s PA program provides students with a creative 30-month curriculum that provides an exceptional educational experience.

To prepare students for clinical rotations, the first 12 months of the curriculum comprise lectures, small-group discussions, and case-based instruction.

This is followed by 18 months of clinical rotations in which students receive improved training in a variety of clinical practice areas.

The school’s substantial resources provide numerous advantages:

Opportunities for advanced practice training in a variety of clinical practice sectors prepare you to take on leadership roles in clinical practice, research, and service.

A comprehensive educational experience is provided by intensive academic, research, and clinical training.

Working with PA mentors throughout the training process improves the learning experience. 

U.S. News & World Report ranks the Rush University PA Program among the top in the US, and Intelligent.com ranks it among the “best practice training opportunities.” 

 Click here for more information. 

Admission Requirements: please ensure you fulfill all criteria listed below for your application to be considered. 

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university 

  • Minimum CGPA of 3.0

  • Complete CASPA application 

  • 1000 hours of work experience in a healthcare setting.  

  • 3 letters of recommendation

  • Personal essay

  • Completion of prerequisite courses with a minimum grade of C

Tuition: $12,795 / term 

Southern Illinois University PA Program

The program at the school employs evidence-based learning methodologies and one-of-a-kind clinical mentoring experiences to educate prospective clinicians for a career that places a premium on autonomy, medical knowledge, and critical thinking abilities.

The curriculum at the school includes an intensive study of disease as well as the diagnosis, treatment, and management of a wide spectrum of disorders.

Graduates of this program will receive a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies and will be eligible for national certification through the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. 

The master’s degree program lasts 26 months (7 semesters). The first year is completed in Carbondale on-site. The following months are spent at a rotating site that will be decided later in the program. 

For more information click here

Admission Requirements: to be considered for admission at this school, please make sure you fulfill the following requirements. 

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university 

  • Minimum CGPA of 3.2

  • Complete CASPA application 

  • Hours of work experience in a healthcare setting. 

  • 3 letters of recommendation

  • Personal essay

  • Completion of prerequisite courses with a minimum grade of C

FAQs

How Many PA Schools Are in Illinois? 

Illinois residents can now apply to one of six in-state colleges that offer recognized physician assistant master’s degree programs: Dominican University, Midwestern University, Northwestern University, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine, Rush University, or Southern Illinois University. 

How Long is PA School in Illinois? 

Programs for physician assistants typically need at least two years of full-time study. 

Is Northwestern PA school Hard to Get Into? 

The candidate pool at the school is extremely competitive. Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale. 

How Do I Become a PA in Illinois? 

  • Choose from a list of accredited Illinois physician assistant programs to obtain your license.

  • Obtain National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants certification (NCCPA).

  • Fill out an application for licensure with the Illinois Division of Professional Regulation.

  • Keep your PA license active. 

Are There Part-Time PA Programs? 

While there are just a few institutions that offer part-time options for their PA programs, there are a few to explore.

These are some examples: Pennsylvania Drexel University Physician Assistant Program, New Jersey Rutgers University Physician Assistant Program 

Is Rush University PA program Rolling Admissions? 

The PA program accepts students on a rolling admissions basis. This means that offers are made to fill seats in the class at each interview session.

It is feasible to fill all of the seats in the class before interviews under a rolling admissions method. 

Can You Work While in PA School? 

While enrolled in the program, students are highly discouraged from accepting or continuing outside jobs.

The program does not allow students to work. 

What Comes After a Physician Assistant? 

Some providers, on the other hand, want to advance from their existing position as a physician assistant (PA) to a Doctor of Medicine (MD).

To advance from PA to MD, you must apply to medical schools, enroll in an MD program, and finish resident training. 

Is a PA Higher Than an NP? 

Neither profession is considered “higher” than the other.

Both jobs are in the medical profession, but they have different credentials, educational backgrounds, and responsibilities. They also work in many specialties. 

Why Become a PA Instead of a Doctor? 

Physician Assistants regularly exhibit higher levels of job satisfaction, employment stability, and work-life balance than their MD counterparts, despite spending less time and money on education and having greater options to switch specialties. 

What Can a MD Do That a PA Cannot? 

Another significant distinction between an MD and a PA is that doctors can legally practice autonomously, whereas Pas must always be supervised. Both are capable of the following: Diagnose and treat patients. Do you have any suggestions on these PA schools in Illinois?

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