Why Pursue a Post-Professional Masters Degree

  • Employment opportunities for physician assistants have expanded in recent years. The demand for PAs with advanced knowledge in clinical medicine, as well as administration, management, leadership, education, and research is evident. As a result, an increasing number of physician assistants are augmenting their proficiency in these areas.
  • The Stony Brook Post-Professional Masters Program is specifically targeted to capitalize on the clinical skills graduate PAs already possess and to increase their capacity, proficiency, and marketability in the field of medicine.
  • The vast majority of PA programs are currently offering the masters degree. As early as 2000, a blue-ribbon panel comprising the Degree Task Force of the Association of Physician Assistant Programs (now the Physician Assistant Education Association) noted that:
    • Standardization at the master’s level establishes degree equity with other professions with a similar level of responsibility in health care.
    • A masters degree most accurately reflects the rigor of PA curriculum and the evolution of the profession.
    • Graduate-level education provides additional avenues of career diversification for physician assistants.
  • In the most recent iteration of the ARC-PA Standards, the Commission: “encourages sponsoring institutions to recognize the evolution of the PA profession as one that requires a graduate level of curricular intensity…”.  This statement is reflective of what both leaders in the profession and our colleagues in organized medicine see as the appropriate degree level for physician assistants.
  • Our program seeks to insure that graduate PAs who have not yet earned their masters degree can do so in an affordable, high quality program that adds value to their existing knowledge and skills, and accommodates to their work schedules.