U.S. News released its 2021 ranking of physician assistant programs. These rankings are based on peer assessment surveys completed by deans, other administrators and/or faculty at accredited degree programs or schools. All schools surveyed were sent an identical number of surveys.
Survey responses were on a scale of 1 (marginal) to 5 (outstanding). There was an “I don’t know” option for instances when the respondents didn’t have enough knowledge to rate a program. Schools had to be fully accredited and in good standing in order to be included in the ranking.
The Physician Assistant Survey was conducted on 170 physician assistant programs accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant. There was a 39% response rate to the survey.
U.S. News top 10 physician assistant programs in 2021
|Rank||School||Location||Peer Assessment Score
|1||Duke University||Durham, NC||4.2|
|1||University of Iowa||Iowa City, IA||4.2|
|3||Baylor College of Medicine||Houston, TX||4.1|
|4||University of Utah||Salt Lake City, UT||4.0|
|5||Emory University||Atlanta, GA||3.9|
|5||George Washington University||Washington, DC||3.9|
|7||University of Colorado||Aurora, CO||3.8|
|7||University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas||Dallas, TX||3.8|
|7||Wake Forest University||Winston-Salem, NC||3.8|
|10||Drexel University||Philadelphia, PA||3.7|
Why become a physician assistant?
As a PA, you will have many of the same responsibilities as a doctor. A PA is able to diagnose and prescribe treatments and medications. Rather than working independently, a PA is under a physician’s or surgeon’s supervision.
PA programs are approximately three academic years, and you will receive a master’s degree upon graduation. You will also complete more than 2,000 hours of clinical rotations which may include:
- Family medicine
- Internal medicine
- Obstetrics & gynecology
- General surgery
- Emergency medicine
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