Two PA students in lab
PA students at Chapman are immersed in a variety of simulation learning environments to prepare for clinical rotations in the community.

Chapman’s Physician Assistant Program Earns National Accreditation

The 10-year accreditation, the longest term available in the U.S., is a significant milestone for Chapman, which graduated its first class of PA students in 2018.

Chapman University’s Physician Assistant program has received a prestigious national accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).

ARC-PA awarded the Master of Medical Sciences (MMS) PA Studies Program a 10-year accreditation, the longest term available in the U.S. The distinction is a significant milestone for Chapman, which graduated its first class of PA students in 2018.

Excellence in Health Care Education

“Meeting the requirements of the ARC-PA standards validates all of the ongoing hard work, commitment, and excellence of the university and college administration, faculty, and staff. It also establishes a firm footing for Chapman’s PA program, showing that our education processes and procedures are externally validated and sound,” said Michael Burney, a family medicine PA and director of Chapman’s PA Program, which is housed in Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences.

The accreditation followed an extensive six-year process of self-studies conducted by faculty and staff and multiple site visits by the ARC-PA accreditors. 

Janeen Hill, dean of Crean College, credited the entire PA team for the accreditation success.

“All of this dedication and hard work is reflected in a 10-year accreditation. The PA program has and will continue to provide the region with extraordinary healthcare providers,” said Hill, Ph.D.

Ready to Train Future PAs

Since graduating its first cohort, the program has steadily expanded, preparing classes of practice-ready healthcare professionals who can enter the medical field after two years of training, quickly meeting an urgent need for midlevel health professionals.

PAs often serve in primary care but also work in specialties such as cardiology and dermatology. They can work in hospitals, medical centers, and private practices as well as in specialties such as pediatrics, cardiology and others.

‘We are committed to ensuring a strong PA education now and for years to come.’ — Michael Burney, a family medicine PA and director of Chapman’s PA program

The Crean College PA program is also buoyed by support from a $9 million gift from the Simon Foundations, which provides 10 full-tuition scholarships each year to underserved students.

The new status of national accreditation is a validation that serves all the program’s students and alumni, said Burney, Ed.D. 

“It gives reassurance to our alumni, students and potential students that we are committed to ensuring a strong PA education now and for years to come,” he said. 


Learn More

Learn more about Crean College’s MMS PA Studies program.