College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Physician Assistant Program

PA Program History

In the early 1990s, the report of the Indiana Health Care Commission noted that many areas of Indiana were medically underserved. During this same period, Methodist Hospital expanded its mission of "curing disease and rescuing from disaster" to include "delivering primary care services" and the Butler University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences recognized an educational void in Indiana. The creation of a physician assistant program, co-sponsored by Methodist Hospital and Butler University, was recognized as a way to address all of these issues and program development commenced in 1992.

The PA program admitted its first professional phase class of nine students in January 1995 and this class graduated in August 1996 with a BS in Health Sciences (BSHS). In 2004, The PA Program separated from Methodist Hospital in 2005 and moved completely to Butler University campus.  In that same year, the PA Program transitioned to a three-year (30-month) professional phase resulting in both the BSHS degree and the Master's of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) degree.  Enrollment increased to 50 students per class.   

Beginning with the 2015 summer school term (May) the PA Program will transition to a 24-month graduate only program awarding the MPAS degree.  The class size will increase to 75 students.  This transition is designed to address the cost of education, provide a very strong academic curriculum, and exceed accreditation standards.