OCU’s new Physician Assistant program received accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education.
The program is scheduled to start in January with 36 students seeking their master’s degree. The program lasts 28 months, starting with 12 months in the classroom. The last 16 months, students will rotate through a series of one-month clinicals and travel across Oklahoma to work in a variety of medical settings.
“Students could work anywhere, from private clinics to emergency rooms, primary care, or pediatrics,” Clinical Director Nikki Fetters said. “The clinicals are intense. It’s about the equivalent of 30 hours in a semester.”
Dr. Dan McNeill, program director, started OCU’s PA program after retiring after 19 years as the program director at the University of Oklahoma.
“This graduate program will bring a new discipline to campus–-a training program in the practice of medicine,” McNeill said. “It’s in concert with the school of nursing, behavioral sciences and exercise science, adding strength to the diversity of our campus.”
Administrators reviewed applications this fall and accepted students to comprise the inaugural Class of 2018.
Of the 153 applicants, 87 were interviewed. The accepted applicants’ average GPA is 3.67.
“I want to apply for the PA school because I know the program would set me up to become a successful PA,” said Beth Braddock, cell and molecular biology junior. “The school is a tremendous addition, not just for OCU but for the state.”
Requirements for the program are a bachelor’s degree, three chemistry classes, including biochemistry, five additional science classes, and two psychology classes.
The selection committee does not favor OCU students, but applicants who received their bachelor’s degree from OCU and maintained a 3.2 GPA are guaranteed an interview.
There are only two PA programs in Oklahoma, both with the University of Oklahoma.
More information about OCU’s PA program can be found at okcu.edu/physician-assistant.