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Butler University Bulletin

PA Degree Requirements

Students are required to complete 108 semester hours to be awarded the MPAS degree. The proper sequence of courses must be maintained.

The student is responsible for making certain that he or she has completed all required courses in the curriculum. The curriculum is offered in two sections (didactic and clinical) that are individually indivisible and to be taken in an uninterrupted sequence over two years. Therefore, it is expected that students first matriculated into the MPAS didactic year will maintain simultaneous enrollment in all courses offered as a component of each year’s curriculum. Students may not progress to the coursework in the next year of the program until they have successfully completed all courses within the current year. PA students must earn a grade of B- or better in all courses. PA students may be dismissed from the College following failure of any two MPAS-designated courses, in addition to not adhering to the policies listed in the COPHS or PA Student Handbook.

A PA student, after presenting a written request to the dean of the College (with a copy to the PA program director), may be granted an official leave of absence for personal, medical, or academic reasons for a period not to exceed one calendar year. If the leave of absence is approved, the dean provides written notification including applicable beginning and ending dates to the student, the University Registrar, and the director of the Office of Financial Aid. The student must notify the program director in writing of his or her wish to return to the program or to extend the personal leave at least 60 calendar days prior to the start of the next appropriate re-entry point. The student desiring an extension beyond one calendar year may be required to apply for readmission to the program. When a leave of absence is taken, the program director may require the student to repeat some or all of the courses completed prior to the leave of absence. In all leaves of absence, the student is required to complete the full curriculum to be eligible to earn the BS and/or MPAS degree.

Any student who is absent from clinical rotations for three months or more must perform and pass an observed history and physical examination (on a real or simulated patient) before being allowed to return to clinical rotations. The student will have two opportunities, evenly spaced over a two-month period of time, to pass this assessment. If unsuccessful, the student will be dismissed from the College.

For purposes of deferring repayment of student loans during a school-approved leave of absence, federal regulations limit the leave to six months. All questions regarding financial aid or student loans should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid.

Curriculum

The program reserves the right to change the curriculum at the discretion of the faculty. A student must successfully complete all courses in each didactic semester before being allowed to advance to the next semester. Only students admitted to and currently enrolled in the PA program of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences may register for courses offered as part of the curriculum numbered with MPAS designators. Such students also must maintain their eligibility to continue in the PA program.

Didactic Coursework, First Year (new course sequence summer 2017)

Summer Semester

Total Semester Hours (19)

Fall Semester

Total Semester Hours (19)

Spring Semester

Total Semester Hours (17)

Eligibility for Clinical Year

To qualify for clinical rotations, students must have successfully completed all didactic coursework, prerequisite coursework, and other requirements (e.g., physical examination, immunity status, BLS, ACLS) before beginning clinical rotations.

Clinical Year

The clinical phase of the program is largely composed of four- or eight-week core rotations. Core rotations include behavioral medicine, emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, general surgery, and women’s health. Pediatrics, also a core rotation, is three weeks in length. At the conclusion of each core rotation, students will be required to take an examination. There is not an associated exam with the elective rotation. There is one four-week limited-elective rotation. All questions regarding rotations for PA students should be directed to the Office of Experiential Education.

Advising and Registration

Students must participate in early advising for clinical rotations. Further, students must be officially registered for all clinical rotations/experiences for the professional liability insurance policy carried by the University to cover students in the clinical portion of the curriculum. Students participating on rotations/experiences without registering will be referred to the Academic and Professional Affairs Committee for appropriate action (e.g., warning, probation, suspension, dismissal).

End-of-Rotation Examinations

The Butler University PA program faculty utilizes the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) written End of Rotation (EOR) Examinations and endorses the objectives utilized to develop these exams as imperative to enter into practice as a physician assistant. Students will take an examination at the end of each supervised clinical practice experience.

In order to be permitted to sit for the required EOR exam, each student must:

Successfully complete the required rotation as scheduled

  • Complete patient encounter logs using E-Value by noon on the day preceding the EOR meeting
  • Complete the E-Value student evaluation of the preceptor by noon on the day preceding the EOR
  • Receive approval from the director of experiential education and/or program director

Failure to meet the above requirements may result in a report to the Academic and Professional Affairs Committee for appropriate action (e.g., warning, probation, suspension, dismissal).

Clinical Year Coursework

All rotations must be completed. Individual student rotation schedules will be determined by the director of experiential education and are subject to change at any time. Rotations are assigned within a designated radius of Butler University. Students are responsible for providing their own transportation to these sites. Topic lists are provided to direct student learning and should be used in combination with the objectives of the end-of-rotation examinations. Fifty-three credit hours over a variety of clinical rotation experiences are required in the final year of the program. 

Total Program Curriculum: 108 credit hours

Licensure and Experience Requirements

Physician assistants who graduate from an accredited program must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE), administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, and receive licensure from the state where they wish to practice.