10 Physician Assistant (PA) Schools in Canada 2023 | Rankings

Canada has very good medical schools that train Physician Assistants (PA). If you are interested in treating patients as a PA in Canada, there are specific schools in Canada where you can learn this.

Moreso, the PA schools in Toronto, Canada, will teach you all you need. You will make a lot of money after passing out from the best PA schools in Canada.

These physician assistant PA schools in Canada will help you to know almost everything about healthcare delivery.

This read will help you know the PA schools in Canada.

About 650 Physician Assistants are working in health care settings in Canada. The first formally trained PAs graduated in 1984 from the Canadian Forces Medical Services School at Borden, Ontario.

Also, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) recognized the PA as a health professional in 2003. PA’s can perform medical functions such as ordering tests, prescribing medications and performing various medical procedures.

Besides, in the United States, PAs are licensed to practice medicine at their level. PAs in Canada are trained with the “medical model” and complete the qualifications for their certification in less time than a traditional medical degree. 

Who is a Physician Assistant in Canada?

Physician assistants are medical providers with the license to diagnose and treat illness and disease and prescribe medication for patients. However, they work as licensed physicians in physician offices, hospitals, and clinics.

Besides, Physician Assistants from a PA school in Canada may:

  • conduct physical examination
  • order and interpret tests
  • diagnose illnesses
  • develop treatment plans
  • coordinate care
  • perform procedures
  • prescribe medications
  • conduct clinical research
  • advise on preventive health care
  • assist in surgery

Though graduates from a PA school in Toronto, Canada, train to work in settings such as hospitals, clinics, academic administration, and other health facilities. Also, they assist physicians in the practice of primary care, including emergency medicine, surgery, and cardiology.

How much does a Physician Assistant make in Canada?

The average Physician Assistant salary in Canada is $86,132 per year or $44.17 per hour. Besides, entry-level positions start at $46,049 annually, while most experienced workers make up to $146,424 annually.

How long does a Physician Assistant go to a PA school in Canada?

Actually, one must earn a bachelor’s degree, which takes roughly four years and complete a physician assistant training program, which takes two years.

Many physician assistants attend PA schools in Toronto, Canada, with experience working in health care (as a nurse or paramedic, for example). As a result, some years will also be added to the timeline.

How can I become a Physician Assistant in Canada?

These tips will help you become a PA with no difficulties;

#1. Satisfy PA Admission Requirements

Firstly, check the admission requirements for the program and ensure you take the appropriate courses. Then, try and have the health care experience hours (not all PA programs require hands-on patient experience to apply). Also, achieve the minimum GPA to get in.

However, like many professional health care programs (i.e., physiotherapy, dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, OT, etc.), getting into the best PA schools in Canada is competitive. Make sure also to take steps to strengthen your PA admissions application.

#2. Apply before the deadline and attend a PA school in Toronto, Canada.

However, submit all the appropriate paperwork (GPA transcripts, supplementary applications, proof of English speaking competency level if applicable).

Well, you can check on their website for specific requirements and deadlines. In fact, only successful persons for the first stage of admissions come for an interview.

PA schools in Canada use the Multi-Mini Interview (MMI).  Successful candidates usually get a message shortly after which they get invitations to join the PA program.

#3. Complete a Physician Assistant program at an accredited Canadian PA school

PAs go through the same medical model that physicians undergo during their training. However, the first year similar to the first two years of medical school, involves intensive coursework in medical foundations across all body systems/areas of medicine. They include:

  • anatomy & physiology
  • cardiology
  • oncology
  • hematology
  • learning clinical skills
  • communications skills

However, the second year comprises clinical rotations across different areas and specialties of medicine. The core rotations in placements like family medicine, emergency medicine, psychiatry, general surgery, internal medicine – although this varies from school to school.

Also, evaluations for each rotation (lasting 4-12 weeks) completed by your clinical preceptor (a PA or physician). Besides, you may have to complete a written test.

NOTE: A physician assistant goes into practice after medical, but a physician must have to complete a residency immediately after medical school before practicing.

#4. Become a certified Canadian PA

However, if you complete a PA school in Canada, you will qualify to write the PA Entry to Practice Examination issued by the Physician Assistant Certification Council of Canada (PACCC).  You must be a CAPA member to write the exam.

Also, the exam takes place once a year, and you can write it in several cities. For the past few years the exam has taken place in late October. Thus, if you pass the exam, you receive the “CCPA” designation, the “Canadian Certified Physician Assistant” title.

#5. Apply for a Physician Assistant job, get the job, and practice

In fact, after getting your certificate, apply for positions that are listed on the CAPA website (members only). Also, you can search on google for “Physician Assistants jobs” in your area of choice. Besides, most hospitals and clinics post vacancies for on this job too.

However, PAs are trained as generalists. So, you can apply to job postings across different areas of medicine once you finish from any PA school in Toronto, Canada. PAs can switch specialties as well.

#6. Make sure that you maintain your PA certification with CPD/CME

To maintain your “CCPA” designation, you must be a member of CAPA and complete several Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours. The PACCC website has more details on maintaining your certification.

READ ALSO: 15 Best Canadian Medical Schools

How much do PA schools in Canada cost?

Like most college and advanced degree programs in the United States, the price of PA school is rising.

However, below is the current data supplied by the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), The Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA), and the most recent NCCPA Statistical Report:

  • The average cost of public resident tuition for a 27-month physician assistant program is: $79,941
  • The average cost of non-resident tuition for a 27-month physician assistant program is: $90,659
  • Average program length is 27 months

Besides, the average cost of PA program fees in a public and private institutions is as follows:

  • Physician assistant program fees at public institutions: $5,937
  • Physician assistant program fees at private institutions: $4,672

Is a PA higher than an RN?

Yes. This is because, as physician assistants perform many of the same duties as doctors, they are required to obtain more education and training than compared to most RNs.

Also, most PA programs need some years of healthcare experience to be admitted. However, most entry-level positions require a specific Master’s degree.

All PAs must earn licensure to practice, which happens after you pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE).

What courses should I take to stand out on admission to the best PA schools in Canada?

Honestly, the University of Manitoba is the only PA school in Canada that requires mandatory completion of the following courses:

  • Human Anatomy
  • Human Physiology
  • Biochemistry

These courses must be taken at an undergraduate level and account for three credit hours.

Finally, PA Consortium and McMaster University DO NOT have mandatory course requirements to apply to their programs. 

How do I calculate GPA for PA schools in Toronto, Canada?

For McMaster University, the minimum grade requirement to apply to McMaster is a 3.0 out of 4.0 on the OMSAS GPA Scale. The average of PA students that get in is usually higher than this.

Next, for PA Consortium, the minimum grade requirement to apply to PA Consortium is a 2.7 out of 4.0 on the OMSAS GPA Scale. However, the grades from graduate-level courses do not count towards your GPA calculation. 

Finally, for the University of Manitoba, the minimum cumulative GPA to apply is 3.0 out of 4.5 in the most recent 60 credit hours (full or part-time). This is calculated from your undergraduate university education. Grades from graduate-level courses do not count towards your GPA calculation.

PA Schools in Canada

#1. McMaster University – Hamilton, Ontario.

McMaster University (McMaster or Mac) is a public research University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. However, McMaster University resulted from the outgrowth of educational initiatives undertaken by Baptists as early as the 1830s. It was founded in 1881 as Toronto Baptist College.

Besides, the first year in PA school at McMaster University consists of clinical sciences and communication skills. Then, the second year in this PA school in Canada has:

  • Family Medicine: 12 weeks
  • Internal Medicine: 6 weeks
  • Surgery: 6 weeks
  • Psychiatry: 6 weeks
  • Emergency Medicine: 4 weeks
  • Paediatrics: 4 weeks

Application Requirements: Applicants need at least 2 years of university education (any program), a minimum GPA of 3.0, and no specific course requirements.

Address: 100 King St W, Hamilton, ON L8P 1A2, Canada

Tuition fee: 5,966.4 CAD (Residents), CAD 22,471.2 (International students).

Accreditation: Committee on Accreditation of Continuing Medical Education (CACME)

School website

#2. PA Consortium (University of Toronto, NOSM, Michener Institute) – Toronto, ON.

In fact, the PA Consortium combines three different institutions, each bringing skills in their respective specialties to make one comprehensive and diverse program.

However, the University of Toronto is with the Faculty of Medicine within the family and community medicine department. The PA Program is closely connected with primary care physicians and programs within the DFCM. All students who graduate from the PA Consortium program receive a University of Toronto degree.

Also, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine provides skills and experiences from rural and northern health care areas.

The Michener Institute of Applied Health Sciences provides access to simulation experiences and interprofessional relations in other health care settings.

In fact, these three institutions work together to make up the PA Consortium.

However, the first year in this best PA school in Canada involves online learning and “face to face” residential blocks in the first year. By the way, the second year is clinical clerkship.

Here, PA students complete rotations in different areas of medicine for several weeks at a time. However, they function as “clinical clerks” (similar, if not identical, to 3rd or 4th-year medical students in rotations).

Admission Requirements:

  • Canadian Citizenship or Permanent Resident Status required.
  • You must have at least 10 full-year courses (20 half-year courses) or the equivalent of 4 semesters full time of undergraduate university education from a recognized university.
  • Also, the student should have a minimum CGPA of 2.7, calculated on the OMSAS scale. All completed undergraduate studies will be considered in the calculation of the CGPA.
  • Finally, you need a minimum of 910 hours of health care experience. Health care experience can be obtained through employment, clinical placements as part of health care educational programs, or as a volunteer.

Tuition fees: 25,286.42 CAD (Residents), 87,792.42 CAD (International students).

Address: Medical Sciences Building, 1 King’s College Cir, Toronto, ON M5S 1A8, Canada.

Accreditation: Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) and the U.S. Liaison Committee on Medical Education.

School website

#3. University of Manitoba (Winnipeg, Manitoba)

The University of Manitoba is a public research university in Manitoba. It is one of Canada’s best physician assistant PA schools. Now, it is the only graduate-level PA Program in Canada. It is 48 weeks of didactic education, with 52 weeks (2200 contact hours) on clinical rotations.

However, this PA school in Canada accepts 15 students each year, with January 15 being the application deadline. 

Actually, the first year in this one of the best schools in Canada consists of medical sciences (Biochemistry, Anatomy, Pharmacology, Physiology, Genetics, and Microbiology).

Also, the second will need the student to do Adult Medicine (Paediatrics, Emergency, OB/GYN, Psychiatry, Infectious Disease, and Surgery).

Admission Requirements:

  • Firstly, you must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada.
  • Secondly, the student must have four years bachelor’s degree.
  • Thirdly, you need a 3.0 GPA / 4.5 GPA in your last 60 credit hours (whether it was in full time or part-time study).
  • Next, you should have a cv/resume.
  • Also, the applicant must have a statement of intent.
  • Then, you should have a self-declaration form.
  • Finally, the student must have three letters of recommendation.

Address: 66 Chancellors Cir, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2, Canada

Tuition fees: 4,400 CAD (Residents), 14,700 CAD (International students)

Accreditation: Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS)

School website

#4. Canadian Military PA Program

However, the Canadian Armed Forces adopted “Physician Assistant” as the role of senior medics bringing it to the attention of physicians across Canada in 1984.

Also, the Canadian Armed Forces officially changed the name of the Senior Medical Technicians or 6B medic to Physician Assistant in 1991. Besides, the Canadian Military PA graduates are the first formally trained Canadian PAs.

Thus, in June 2003, the Canadian Medical Association recognized Physician Assistants as unique health professionals. However, this resulted in a national educational accreditation process beginning.  In June 2004, the CMA Conjoint Accreditation Services accredited the Canadian Forces Health Services School PA Education Program. 


  • Firstly, you must be a citizen of Canada.
  • Secondly, the applicant must be 16 to 57 years of age.
  • Next, if you apply as a non-commissioned officer, you should have grade 10 to secondary IV (Quebec).
  • Also, for those applying for commissioned officers, you must have a bachelor’s degree.

Check out our: 13 Cheapest Medical Schools in the USA for Canadian Students

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Students with a bachelor’s degree in another subject do an online PA program?

Of course. Students with a bachelor’s degree in another subject can do an online PA program to enter the field. Some programs to get a Master of Science will require some on-campus learning, but there are some 100% online options for working Physician Assistants to upgrade their degrees.

What is the age requirements for online PA program?

The average age of first-year students ranges between 25 and 28 for all categories. The median age at application is 26 years old.
Physician assistants typically begin their careers like doctors do, with a four-year science degree that provides them with the foundational science and math courses they’ll need to learn medicine. Most times, Physician Assistants complete the same pre-medical program used by future doctors.

Can a doctor perform surgical procedures?

Actually, if the doctor the PA is working with certifies a physician assistant can perform certain surgical procedures, the PA is allowed to. In general, physician assistants may take up an assistant role during surgery. In general, surgeons will perform complex procedures. PAs will perform preoperative care and care for the patient after the procedure while recovering.

What is the average GPA for PA Schools in Canada?

The average GPA for PA school applicants is between 3.36 and 3.47. Most schools will require the above GPA.


Actually, becoming a Physician Assistant is one great way to render services to humanity. However, you must consider many factors before deciding which Physician Assistant PA school to attend in Canada.

In fact, one of such factors is to be certain that the program you’re enrolling in is fully accredited. Hence, if you carefully read this post, besides other factors, I am certain you will find the best Physician Assistant school that suits your need.

Interestingly, you can find some of the best PA schools here in Canada. Also, these Physician Assistant PA schools in Canada are actually one of the best in the US.



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Onwukwe Mina Chidiebube is a content marketer, scriptwriter, copywriter, and voiceover artist at Silicon Africa Technologies Limited.

Brought up in the sciences with a fundamental love for the arts, she wields a degree in Chemical Engineering and flexes her writing muscles, as seen in her articles at kiiky.com and writersgig.com.

She sees movies, reads, or listens to music when she is not writing.

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