Master of Medical Science (MMS) Physician Assistant Studies

Program Overview

The Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant (PA) Studies Program at Frostburg State University (FSU) is a professional degree program intended to prepare students academically and professionally for responsibilities, services, and leadership as a Physician Assistant. This graduate education program consists of two phases spanning 24 months to include intersessions and summers with a total of 117 credits. Phase I (didactic phase) represents the pre-clinical year and spans the first 13 months, representing 74 program credits. Phase II (clinical field education phase) represents 43 program credits including ten diverse supervised clinical field experiences (Supervised Clinical Practice Experience or SCPEs) and a four credit summative capstone course over a period of 11 months. Categorical learning domains include human anatomy, basic medical sciences, clinical medicine, clinical assessment and diagnostics, clinical patient care skills and interventions, professional development, research, and multiple field practice experiences.

Frostburg State University is the program's sponsoring institution and operates the program at University System of Maryland Higher Education Center site located in Hagerstown, Maryland, where many of our graduate programs in Education are also housed. The program operates out of the USMH Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Health Sciences Center with over 8,000 sq. ft. of newly renovated space with state-of-the art teaching and learning space and equipment.

Visit the Department of Physician Assistant Medicine for more information.

Applications are being accepted for the Summer 2023 cohort according to the following schedule:

CASPA Opens Anticipated April 2022
Application completed and e-submitted to CASPA* No later than November 1
Supporting application materials due to CASPA (CASPA status of completion and verified required) November 1 (CASPA verification date)
Interviews June - December (January interviews may be held if the cohort has not been filled)
Acceptance invitation to those selected for admission Rolling admission - final decisions
Commitment response due Two weeks after admissions letter is received
Classes start May 2023

Please refer to the link to the right for more information on admission requirements and process. FSU will review applications and conduct interviews on a rolling basis. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to complete their application as early as possible.

Program Vision

Frostburg State University PA program will educate a PA workforce committed to excellence, compassion, and patient-centered care to serve rural and medically underserved areas in Maryland and beyond.

Program Mission

The Mission of the Frostburg State University's Physician Assistant Program is to educate students in compassionate patient-centered care. Students will learn best practices, use innovative technology, and work in interprofessional teams to deliver quality care, particularly in rural and medically underserved areas in Maryland and beyond. Frostburg State University Physician Assistant graduates will have a commitment to excellence, inclusivity, and community service.

Program Goals

Goal 1: Prepare Physician Assistant students with the core medical knowledge and skills to deliver quality healthcare, achieving first time PANCE scores at or above the national average.

  • 1st year PANCE rates - short of goal - 72%.  Detailed analysis of root causes has been ongoing
  • Overall pass PANCE rates- TBD
  • Graduation rates – 100%

Goal 2: Prepare students in the use of technology and interprofessional education opportunities to improve access to care and physical exam and diagnostic skills in all clinical setting.

  • Student exit interview to reflect how goal was met – Underway as a review of PANCE Pass Rate
  • Faculty survey to determine if goal was met– Underway as a review of PANCE Pass Rate

Goal 3: Prepare graduates to evaluate clinical data and research and make evidence-based decisions to provide safe, quality care for all patients.

  • Student exit interview to reflect how goal was met - Underway
  • Faculty survey to determine if goal was met - Underway

Goal 4: Prepare graduates to meet the healthcare needs of rural and medically underserved populations

  • 30% or more of clinical practice experience will be in rural or medically underserved clinical sites for all students

    • 100% of our first cohort had rotations in rural Maryland.
    • 100% of our current clinical cohort has rotated in a rural clinic after only 5 clinical rotations.
  • 20% of students will have 50% or more of their clinical site placements in rural or medically underserved areas

    • For our graduating cohort, 32% of the class was placed in rural settings for 5 or more rotations.

University Accreditation

Frostburg State University is one of 12 universities and 2 Regional Education Centers within the University of Maryland System and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the US Secretary of Education and the council for Higher Education Accreditation.

PA Program Accreditation

Programs that educate PAs are accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA), which serves as the only accrediting body for PA programs in the country. Seven national medical organizations cooperate with the ARC-PA to establish, maintain and promote appropriate standards of quality for entry level education of PAs. A PA graduate is not eligible to take the national certifying exam unless the PA graduated from a program that is accredited by the ARC-PA. A Physician Assistant graduate must pass the national certifying exam in order to practice in all states, the District of Columbia and all American territories.

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Frostburg State University Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program sponsored by Frostburg State University.

Accreditation-Provisional is 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 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.

Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.

The program's accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website. Additional accreditation information is there as well.

To find out more: