Physician Assistant Programs in Wisconsin

You have a few options if you are looking for physician assistant programs in Wisconsin, where there are four accredited facilities. Unfortunately, none are in the northern portion of the state. All are in the southern portion in cities such as Waukesha, Milwaukee, Madison, and La Crosse.

But that should not detract you from becoming a physician assistant, which the U.S. Department of Labor expects will grow close to 30 percent as a profession over the next decade.

To help you, I have compiled a list of physician assistant programs in Wisconsin.

Carroll University physician assistant program

Carroll University, which is in Waukesha, offers a Master of Science degree in two years.

This is a new program that started in 2011 and there is no Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam statistics yet. (The soonest data will be available will be in May 2013.)

But dont let that scare you off of this program. Its designed to prepare your to develop the skills and medical knowledge necessary to provide patient care.

To do that, youll spend your first year in classroom instruction, with supervised clinicals. The second year will then be dedicated to clinical rotations.

This is a full-time program, with 112 credit hours, and will provide no time for working.

If you are thinking of applying, youll need to get your application in by November.

Application requirements include reference letters, personal essay, GRE, GPA of a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale, a bachelors degree, along with verifiable community service or college activities; among other criteria.

Contact info: Carroll University, 100 N. East Ave., Waukesha, WI 53186; Phone: 262.547.1211; or

Marquette University PA program in WI

If you dont have a bachelors degree, the program at Marquette University in Milwaukee may be for you.

This program offers a pre-PA program for undergrads, which prepares you for their masters degree in physician assistant studies.

Although admission is not guaranteed if you do your undergrad studies there, there may be a chance for you to be one of the 50 people who get in because about 25 or so Marquette undergrads and about 25 or so external applicants are chosen each year.

Admission will be tough, though. In 2011, there were 600 applicants and only 11 percent were accepted. If chosen, though, youll be in the program for 33 months and complete 129 credit hours.

Selection will be based on your character and capacity for dealing with people in a clinical setting; healthcare experience totalling more than 200 hours; GRE for grad students or ACT/SAT for undergrads; letters of recommendations; interviews; among other criteria.

Deadline: Oct. 1

Contact info: Marquette University, 1700 Building, 1700 W. Wells St., P.O. Box 1881, Milwaukee WI 53201-1881; Phone: (414) 288-5688; FAX: (414) 288-7951

University of Wisconisn-La Crosse physician assistant program

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse PA program works in partnership with the Gundersen Lutheran Medical Foundation and the Mayo Foundation.

It offers a Master of Science degree in 24 months, which is divided into two phases: a 12-month pre-clinical and a 12-month clinical phase.

The pre-clinicals are done at the university, with the clinicals done in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa.

Admission will be challenging because the program accepts about 15 people yearly. But that does mean youll receive personalized attention, which will help prepare you and help you pass the PANCE.

From the last five years from 2007-2011, University of Wisconisn-La Crosse first-time PANCE test-takers had a 98.6 percent pass rate.

Selection is based on GPA, GRE scores, application, references, your background and future potential, healthcare experience, among other criteria.

Contact info: University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, 1725 State St. La Crosse, WI 54601; Phone:(608) 785-8000;

University Of Wisconsin Madison PA program

More than 900 physician assistants have graduated from the University Of Wisconsin Madison since 1975, when the program first began.

Offering a masters degree, the physician assistant program at UW-Madison offers two tracks: A 24-month on-campus program or a 36-month distance medical education program.

Clinicals will be done in culturally diverse and/or rural or underserved areas.

To be one of the 30 people accepted yearly to this program, youll need a minimum GPA of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, have solid health-care experience, be involved in community service, have strong references, and interview well.

If you are willing to work in a medically underserved location, that will bode well for you and youll have a higher chance at acceptance.

Contact info: UW-Madison Physician Assistant Program, Health Sciences Learning Center (HSLC site), 750 Highland Avenue, Room 1278, Madison, WI 53705; Phone: 608/263-5620; Fax: 608/265-4973;

I hope this article has helped you find the four accredited physician assistant programs in Wisconsin.