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    PA Studies

    Earn the degree Master of Medical Science (MMS) in just 27 months at Orange County’s first accredited PA Studies program.


Overview of Your PA Studies Program

Marshall B. Ketchum University provides the highest quality physician assistant education through excellence in teaching, patient care, research and public service. The School of PA Studies offers a 27-month, post-baccalaureate program leading to the degree, Master of Medical Science.

Didactic Phase

The didactic phase of the PA curriculum provides the foundation for clinical practice with instruction on patient assessment, applied medical sciences, and pharmacotherapeutics.

Coursework is organized into systems-based modules and taught in an organized and integrated sequence. Other courses include medical ethics, PA professional practice issues, and population health. Students will also participate in interprofessional education courses and will experience supervised patient interactions.

Clinical Phase

The clinical phase of the physician assistant program focuses on direct patient care in the various clinics, hospitals and health centers, and lets students experience a vast array of clinical opportunities, with diverse and challenging patient encounters. In order to graduate, students must successfully complete all didactic and clinical requirements, including the Master’s Capstone Project, as well as Summative Evaluations. All clinical rotations are secured and assigned to students by our clinical team. Students are not required to provide or solicit clinical sites.

Academic Requirements

The class size is approximately 40 students. All student cohorts follow the same academic schedule. Completion deadlines specific to each course are outlined in individual syllabi. The overall program curriculum does not permit students to matriculate on a part-time basis, nor does the curriculum lend itself to a decelerated learning schedule, thus all students are expected to complete the curriculum requirements within the 27-month program timeframe.

To successfully complete the School of PA Studies Master of Medical Science Program and graduate, a student must complete and pass each course, clinical rotation, Master’s Capstone Project, and multi-faceted Summative Evaluations. The School of PA Studies monitors student performance and progress on an ongoing basis.
The following is the grading scale for all courses in the School of Physician Assistant Studies:

  • P = Pass (≥ 80%)
  • F = Fail (< 80%)

Master’s Capstone Project

During the Master’s Capstone Course, students are required to complete the Master’s Capstone Project under the guidance of a faculty advisor. In teams of 3-4, students will identify a population health-care need and develop and implement a solution to address that need. Teams will use evidence-based principles to research the issue, then prepare and present a professional poster on their findings prior to graduation.


The MBKU faculty is comprised of principal faculty who provide the lecture, laboratory and clinical instruction to PA students, and adjunct and instructional faculty who will teach in their area of medicine/expertise. This blend of talented and diverse clinical experts provides students with an excellent theoretical background and clinical mentoring.

In addition to the faculty's primary goal of achieving excellence in teaching, faculty are also actively engaged in research and scholarly activities, and regularly participate in professional, educational and scientific organizations at local, state and national levels. 

Faculty are also involved in state and national leadership roles that help influence and facilitate policy and decision making to shape the future of physician assistant education and the profession.

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Master of Medical Science Degree

The degree Master of Medical Science will be conferred on students who are officially admitted to, and who satisfactorily complete, the 27-month professional curriculum in physician assistant studies.

Satisfactory completion of the MBKU program will academically qualify the graduate to sit for the PANCE. Upon passage of the exam, students are able to apply for a license in any of the 50 states.

Master of Medical Science degrees is conferred at the University’s Commencement Exercise, which is held each November at the conclusion of the fall quarter.

Transcript Requests

Requests for release of records for currently enrolled students must be made through the Office of Student Affairs.