Program History and Mission


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 PA (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 class of nine students in January 1995 and this class graduated in August 1996 with a BS in Health Sciences. In 2006, the program matriculated its first Master’s degree granting class. Graduates are awarded a Master of PA Studies degree with an optional second semester bridge to a doctor of medical science.

Today, the PA Program is operated solely by Butler University, and most aspects of didactic training occur on the Butler University campus. Beginning with the 2015 summer school term (May), the PA Program transitioned to a 24-month graduate-only program awarding the MPAS degree. The class size increased to 75 students. This transition was designed to address the cost of education, provide a very strong academic curriculum, and exceed accreditation standards.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Butler University PA Program is to produce graduates with a foundation in primary care to deliver high quality, patient-centered care in a wide variety of clinical settings.