9 Best PA Schools in Virginia-Tuition & Requirements

Physician Assistants (PAs) are medical specialists that work alongside doctors as a team to provide treatment to patients. Under the direction of a doctor, PAs offer a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic services with autonomy in decision-making. 

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In rural, urban, or suburban medical and surgical practices, the PA’s duties also include providing general and specialized care. In this article, we have not only listed the PA schools in Virginia but also how you can become a physician assistant.

How To Become A PA In Virginia

Every day, Virginia’s physician assistants help save patients’ lives. Pas in the Old Dominion State contributes significantly to the state’s healthcare system by, among other things, providing advice on how to live healthier, ordering diagnostic tests and screenings, performing physical examinations, and aiding in surgery.

To learn more about the requirements to become a PA in the state of Virginia, read on.

1. Enroll In A Va-approved Pa School So You Can Get Your License.

The admission requirements and accreditation status of a program are the two most important aspects to consider when selecting a physician assistant program for licensure in Virginia. For the most part, PA schools require or strongly prefer individuals with:

  • Having a high-grade point average
  • Gained practical experience in the healthcare field, preferably with direct patient care
  • B.A. or higher

2. Get Your Physician Assistant Certification Through The National Certification Exam (PANCE)

In order to work as a PA in the state of Virginia, you’ll need to pass the PANCE, a five-hour exam.

Successful test takers receive the Physician Assistant-Certified (PA-C) designation from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). 

Students can sign up for the $475 PANCE, which covers the major organ systems and their ailments, beginning three months prior to their PA degree program graduation. Students can take the computer-based examination, which consists of 300 multiple-choice questions, at testing centers across the state of Virginia.

3. Submit An Application To The Medical Board Of Virginia For A Pa License.

The following must be included in your application for a PA license from the Virginia Board of Medicine:

  • Licensure Application
  • $130 application fee
  • Certificate of PA Program Education to be completed by the institution and sent to the Board
  • The NCCPA will transmit PANCE results and the PA-C to the Board.

In addition to the application itself, potential Pas may consider including the following materials:

  1. The PA Application Fee is $15 and covers the following:
  • Field of Expertise
  • Supervising Medical Facility or Doctor
  • Request for Prescriptive Authority
  1. Prescriptive Authority Request

Commonly, applications take between six and eight weeks to be processed. 

4. Virginia License Renewal

To maintain active status as a PA in Virginia, licenses must be renewed every two years in the PA’s birth month on odd-numbered years. This can be done either digitally or by mailing in a renewal application.

Physical therapists in Virginia must keep their NCCPA certification current and pay a $135 renewal fee. The PANRE, or Physician Assistant National Recertification Exam, is an exam equivalent to the PANCE that must be passed every ten years in addition to the required 100 CME credits every two years. 

How Much Do PAs Make In Virginia? 

According to Salary.com, as of the 26th of July, 2022, the average income for a Physician Assistant – Medical in Virginia is $112,697, with a normal range of $103,737 to $124,252.

Salary ranges might vary greatly based on the city and many other important aspects, like education, certifications, additional talents, and the number of years you have spent in your field. 

The List of Best PA Schools In Virginia 

Virginia is an old state with 86 colleges and universities, some of which are among the best in the country. However, these are the best PA programs in Virginia. 

Eastern Virginia Medical School PA Program

Training students in the medical arts and sciences in a welcoming, diverse community that prioritizes the care of its patients and promotes a strong dedication to clinical and community relationships is the goal of the EVMS Physician Assistant program.

The mission of the PA program is to develop graduates into competent leaders in clinical, research, and community service settings so that they may better serve the public.

Participation in an inter-professional collaborative education experience allows the program to generate graduates with a foundational understanding of the many EVMS programs and disciplines, as well as the importance of teamwork.

Click here for more information. 

Admission Requirements: To be considered for admission, ensure you have the following. 

  • Bachelor’s degree with minimum CGPA of 3.0 on 4.0 scale. 

  • Complete CASPA application. 

  • Official transcripts from previously attended institutions. 

  • Minimum of B in all prerequisite courses.  

  • 2 letters of recommendation

  • Personal statement

  • CASPer score 

  • Hours of direct patient care experience. 

  • Deadline for application is 1st of March.

Tuition: click here to see complete breakdown. 

Emory & Henry College PA Program 

The mission of the Emory & Henry College School of Health Sciences, which opened in 2014, is to educate caring, patient-focused, technically proficient health care professionals who not only give their patients the best care possible but also seek out and take advantage of leadership and service opportunities within their own fields and communities.

Why This Is One Of The Best PA Schools In Virginia

  • In the second semester, students begin engaging in clinical activities.

  • Program with a focus on students and a manageable class size

  • Student leadership involvement in program.

  • Priority is given to providing primary health care in underprivileged areas located in rural areas.

  • Healthcare with a focal point on behavior change and mindfulness practices.

  • Consistent use of collaborative, hands-on instructional methods.

  • Curriculum based on evidence, organized into modules by body system (course alignment so when studying for one course you are studying for other courses).

  • Exam items are mapped to their instructional and learning objectives in a fashion similar to that used on the NCCPA Physician Assistant National Certification Examination (PANCE), and the two exams share a lot of common ground in terms of structure.

  • Built-in, reliable methods of fixing problems.

  • There are also high-fidelity simulation mannequin hospital rooms and a cadaver lab in the brand-new 10-room simulation suite. 

Click here for more information. 

Admission Requirements: To be considered for admission, ensure you have the following. 

  • Bachelor’s degree with minimum CGPA of 3.0 on 4.0 scale. 

  • Complete CASPA application. 

  • Official transcripts from previously attended institutions. 

  • Passed all prerequisite courses. 

  • 3 letters of recommendation

  • Personal statement

  • GRE score 

  • 300 hours of direct patient care experience and 16 hours of shadowing experience. 

  • The deadline for application is the 1st of March.

Tuition: click here to see the breakdown. 

James Madison University PA Program 

There is a yearly limit of 32 students for admission into the JMU PA Program. The cohort begins classes in the fall semester.

Students are selected through a competitive procedure that comprises two different applications – one to the JMU Graduate School, and the second to the PA Program through CASPA.

To be considered, candidates MUST submit BOTH applications by the due date.

The application deadline for the starting term in the Fall of 2023 is April 28, 2022. Any qualified applicants who have applied to both CASPA and the JMU Graduate School by the July 15, 2022 deadline will be offered an on-campus interview.

Positions are made available on a rolling basis until the class is full. To be considered by the Admissions Committee, the CASPA application must be submitted by July 15 and verified by August 15. 

Click here to see more information. 

Admission Requirements: To be considered for admission, ensure you have the following. 

  • Bachelor’s degree with a minimum CGPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. 

  • Complete CASPA application. 

  • Official transcripts from previously attended institutions. 

  • Passed all prerequisite courses.  

  • 3 letters of recommendation

  • Personal statement

  • GRE score 

  • 1000 hours of direct patient care experience. 

  • The deadline for application is the 1st of March.

Tuition: $72,100 and $91,115 for residents and non-residents respectively. 

Radford University PA Program

Graduates of the Radford University Carilion Physician Assistant program are qualified to offer patient care, including diagnosis and treatment while working under the supervision of a physician.

Medical care provided by Pas is of great quality and efficiency, yet it doesn’t break the bank.

Students having a bachelor’s degree can enter the 27-month PA program. Through group projects with other master’s and doctoral students, students develop professional competencies.

Initially, students spend 15 months in classroom lectures before moving on to 12 months of clinical rotations under the watchful eye of faculty.

Students consistently outperform the national average on the PA National Certifying Exam, which graduates are allowed to take. 

Click here for more information. 

Admission Requirements: To be considered for admission, ensure you have the following. 

  • Bachelor’s degree with minimum CGPA of 3.0 on 4.0 scale. 

  • Complete CASPA application. 

  • Official transcripts from previously attended institutions. 

  • Passed all prerequisite courses.  

  • 3 letters of recommendation

  • Personal statement

  • GRE score 

  • 500 hours of direct patient care experience.

 

The deadline for application is the 1st of November.

Tuition: $81,200 and $82,697.50 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. 

Jefferson College of Health Sciences PA Program 

The goal of the Physician Assistant Program at Jefferson College of Health Sciences is to train professionals who are both skilled in the practice of medicine and compassionate toward their patients.

Available Degree Level: Master’s Program Duration: 27 Months

A maximum of 42 students can be accommodated in a single classroom. 

Click here for more information. 

Admission Requirements: To be considered for admission, ensure you have the following. 

  • Bachelor’s degree with a minimum CGPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. 

  • Complete CASPA application. 

  • Official transcripts from previously attended institutions. 

  • Passed all prerequisite courses.  

  • 3 letters of recommendation

  • Personal statement

  • GRE score 

  • 500 hours of direct patient care experience. 

  • The deadline for application is the 1st of November.

Tuition: $80,295 for both resident and non-resident students. 

University of Lynchburg PA Program 

The Master of PA Medicine (MPAM) degree is awarded by the University of Lynchburg’s 27-month PA Medicine program.

In June 2015, the University of Lynchburg’s MPAM program welcomed its first group of students.

Modern classroom space, a physical diagnosis lab, and simulation training are all features of the facilities that are close to campus that were created expressly to satisfy the needs of PA Medicine students.

The program will also make use of an anatomy lab with twenty-one cadaver stations, flat-screen monitors, and other amenities. In order to improve the education that students will receive, the faculty combine their expertise in higher education with their clinical practice. As guest lecturers, local medical professionals will also be present.

The University of Lynchburg’s main objective is to develop a robust program that draws excellent teachers and students who will fill the demand for trained Pas in the local, regional, and national markets. Students will be prepared for generalist roles through the program.

Additionally, students will receive leadership mentoring to promote professional development within their careers and industry advancement.

The program began accepting cohorts of up to 40 students in May 2019. 

Click here for more information. 

Admission Requirements: To be considered for admission, ensure you have the following. 

  • Bachelor’s degree with a minimum CGPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. 

  • Complete CASPA application. 

  • Official transcripts from previously attended institutions.

  • Passed all prerequisite courses.  

  • 3 letters of recommendation

  • Personal statement

  • GRE score 

  • Hours of direct patient care experience are recommended. 

  • The deadline for application is the 15th of January.

Tuition: $92,372 for 7 semesters. 

Mary Baldwin University PA Program 

The MSPA Program at Mary Baldwin University aims to intellectually and clinically prepare students for PA practice as kind, capable, and qualified clinicians who can work in a range of medical specialty fields and settings in partnership with certified doctors.

This is done in a setting that values diversity and respect for both oneself and others. The MSPA Program is dedicated to collaborative practice, inter-professional education, and leadership.

The purpose of the program is achieved in a vibrant, all-encompassing learning environment that prioritizes critical thinking, active learning and scholarship, creative teaching, and a strong commitment to service, particularly for students who live in underserved or underprivileged communities.

In fact, the Program maintains that serving mankind should be the main objective of medical education. 

Click here for more information. 

Admission Requirements: To be considered for admission, ensure you have the following. 

  • Bachelor’s degree with a minimum CGPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. 

  • Complete CASPA application. 

  • Official transcripts from previously attended institutions.

  • Passed all prerequisite courses.  

  • 3 letters of recommendation

  • Personal statement

  • GRE score 

  • CASPer score

  • Hours of direct patient care experience are recommended. 

  • The deadline for application is the 1st of October.

Tuition: $89,010 for 7 semesters. 

Shenandoah University PA Program

People with bachelor’s degrees can become physician assistants (Pas) through the Shenandoah University Physician Assistant (SUPA) Program, a graduate-level entry-level professional course of study.

The curriculum focuses on teamwork in the delivery of healthcare and serving medically underprivileged groups in order to prepare graduates for practice.

Graduate-level critical analysis, problem-solving, scientific inquiry, self-directed learning, and the efficient use of contemporary technology for professional practice, including components of research, leadership, education, and ongoing improvement of the PA profession, are all integrated into the program. 

Click here for more information. 

Admission Requirements: To be considered for admission, ensure you have the following. 

  • Bachelor’s degree with a minimum CGPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. 

  • Complete CASPA application. 

  • Official transcripts from previously attended institutions. 

  • Passed all prerequisite courses.  

  • 3 letters of recommendation

  • Personal statement

  • Hours of direct patient care experience are recommended. 

Tuition: click here to see the breakdown. 

South University PA Program, Richmond 

The Master of Science in Physician Assistant program at South University Richmond teaches basic medical theories and ideas and equips students with the information, abilities, and attitudes required to work under the direction of a physician as respected members of the healthcare team.

Physician assistants carry out tasks related to medicine such as evaluation, monitoring, diagnostics, treatments, counseling, and referral, among others. State legislation, the clinical setting, and the physician assistant’s training all affect the practice’s scope. Physician assistants are allowed to prescribe and/or dispense medication in numerous states.

After completing the MS in Physician Assistant program at South University’s Richmond campus, students will be well-prepared to carry out their anticipated competencies in an ethical, legal, safe, and efficient manner. 

Click here for more information. 

Admission Requirements: To be considered for admission, ensure you have the following. 

  • Bachelor’s degree with a minimum CGPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. 

  • Complete CASPA application. 

  • Official transcripts from previously attended institutions. 

  • Passed all prerequisite courses. 

  • 3 letters of recommendation

  • Personal statement

  • GRE scores 

  • Hours of direct patient care experience is recommended. 

Tuition: $90,000.00 for entire program

FAQs

What is the best PA program in Virginia? 

  • Eastern Virginia Medical School – Norfolk.
  • James Madison University – Harrisonburg.
  • University of Lynchburg – Lynchburg.
  • Emory & Henry College – Emory.
  • Radford University Carilion – Roanoke.
  • South University, Richmond
  • Shenandoah University PA Program 
  • Mary Baldwin University PA Program 
  • Jefferson College of Health Sciences PA Program 

Does UVA have a PA school? 

Yes, during their training, Pas perform more than 2,000 hours of clinical rotations in emergency medicine, psychiatry, general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, and family medicine. 

What is the hardest PA school to get into?

University of Pennsylvania 

Does VCU have a PA program? 

Yes, Students must submit a second application at the proper time to the physician assistant program of their choice.

Students must establish an academic major and should declare and maintain their pre-physician assistant career advisory track if they are interested in preparing for physician assistant programs.

What undergrad degree is best for physician assistants? 

Generally speaking, science-related undergraduate majors like biology are the best choices for physician assistants such as Chemistry, Biochemistry, etc. 

Consider taking the following courses as an undergraduate: 

  • Anatomy and physiology.
  • Biology.
  • Chemistry.
  • Math.
  • Statistics.
  • Microbiology.
  • Medical terminology.
  • Health care ethics. 

Is PA school harder to get into than med school? 

Compared to PA schools, medical schools have greater acceptance rates. Only 33% of applicants received acceptance letters from PA schools in 2016–17, compared to 41% for MD schools in 2018–19 and 35% for DO medical schools in the same year. 

Why is PA school so hard? 

The lives of their patients will be in the hands of Pas, hence they require extraordinary training. It is not easy to diagnose ailments and develop a successful treatment strategy.

Even while certain colleges may be simpler to get into, PA school is equally as demanding as a medical school to prepare them for that. 

How do I become a PA in Virginia? 

  • Locate Virginia Physician Assistant Programs that are Accredited for Licensure.

  • Take the PANCE and submit an application for a license as a physician assistant with the Virginia Board of Medicine.

  • As required, renew the Virginia PA license. 

How much do Pas make? 

In 2020, the median annual wage for physician assistants was $115,390. In that year, the top 25 percent earned $135,220, while the bottom 25 percent earned $95,730. 

How many PA schools should I apply to? 

Applying to no more than six PA programs is a reasonable rule of thumb. You should also choose target institutions that will help you achieve your goals and realize your aspirations. 

Is NP better than PA? 

Both NPs and Pas are capable of giving dependable care. While Pas are trained more in a medical style, NPs follow more of a nursing model with an emphasis on preventative health and education. 

What are my odds of getting into PA school? 

According to the most recent data, there are 31.6% of applicants accepted into PA schools nationwide in the US, compared to a 40% acceptance rate for medical schools.

There are four PA programs in Canada and over 290 in the US, each with unique standards and goals. 

How difficult is PA school? 

Physician assistant programs, like many other medical institutions, are notoriously difficult for most students to get into.

The average acceptance rate into a PA school is roughly 20%, according to the PAEA. 

Does the University of Richmond have a PA program? 

After completing the MS in Physician Assistant program at South University’s Richmond campus, students will be well-prepared to carry out their anticipated competencies in an ethical, legal, safe, and efficient manner. 

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