Physician Assistant PA Schools In San Diego

Choosing to study physician assistant programs in any of the schools in San Diego California could help you prepare to examine, diagnose, and treat patients as part of a team in many areas of medicine. This is because PA schools in San Diego combine courses and clinical experiences to provide a solid foundation of medical knowledge.

Courses in PA schools can cover fundamental topics in science, pathology, human anatomy, clinical medicine, pharmacology, and medical ethics.

Students can also participate in supervised internship hours in various areas to gain hands-on experience and prepare for the various challenges they may face in the field.

Most graduate programs in auxiliary medicine are master’s degrees. However, advanced master’s degree programs for authorized PAs may also be available.

Check our best and accredited physician assistant schools in San Diego California to see which program might work best for you. You might even consider a PA program that accepts a low GPA.

What is a Physician Assistant?

A physician assistant is a health professional licensed to practice with the medical team. These qualified people are concerned with preventing and treating human injury and illness by providing a variety of health services under the direction of a surgeon or physician.

PAs work in all areas of medicine, including primary care and family medicine, emergency medicine, surgery, and psychiatry. Their specific responsibilities and activities depend on their specialty or the type of medical practice in which they work.

Therefore, it is important to consider your interests when selecting graduate programs in auxiliary medicine.

Physician assistants generally require a master’s degree from an accredited program and a state license to practice. To get a license, applicants must successfully complete the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

A physician assistant who passes the exam may then use the credential “Physician Assistant-Certified (PA-C).” Licensure requirements could vary by state, so you can contact your local licensing board for more details.

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Why Study Physician Assistant PA Programs in San Diego California?

The first you should know is that there are huge benefits to choosing to study PA in any of the accredited schools in San Diego.

Getting to study PA in any of the schools in San Diego, California has so many advantages that it’s hard to object to wanting to pursue this career.

But, if you need to be more convincing, here are nine reasons to choose to study PA in any of the schools in San Diego or California:

School Duration

Most PA programs last 23-28 months, depending on the school. This is, of course, after you have obtained your bachelor’s degree.

In comparison, medical school involves an additional four years of coursework after high school, then an internship/residency for at least three years, then a scholarship (if desired).

By becoming a PA, you will diagnose and treat patients shortly after graduating from PA!

Continuous Training

PAs must complete 100 hours of Continuing Medical Education (CME) every two years. It’s a great way to stay up-to-date on the latest practice guidelines, treatment, and the latest research. If you learn for a lifetime and are never satisfied with your knowledge base, this is the profession for you!

Fortunately, AAPA provides its members with many resources to obtain CME, including a subscription to JAAPA that will help you reach that level.

As a PA student, you will receive training according to the medical model, exposing you to many different facets of medicine. Its extensive training will allow you to recognize and treat diseases of all kinds. With this knowledge base, you will eventually be able to help volunteer at clinics in the United States and abroad. Many PAs continue to work with medical aid charities or as volunteers in underserved countries.

Job Market

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the PA job market will increase by 38% between 2012 and 2024. Other occupations are shrinking or being replaced by automation, but you can enter the PA field with considerable job security.


PAs practice in every state and in every medical setting and specialty, improving access and quality of medical care. Truly, whatever specialty you can think of, MAs are confident that they can help care for patients.

As a PA, you can practice in areas such as dermatology, pathology, cardiothoracic surgery, emergency medicine, and, of course, family medicine. Each specialty has its own responsibilities and practice guidelines, so even if you want to try a different specialty five years later, you can!

Competitive Salary

According to the 2018 AAPA Salary Report, the PA’s average salary is $105,000. And while your annual PA salary will depend on many factors, such as location, specialty, and years of experience, you can count on an excellent standard of living for you and your family.

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How Long Does it Take to Complete a PA Program in San Diego California?

The typical physician assistant program in San Diego lasts about 2 full years and usually requires at least 2 years of college and significant health care experience for admission.

However, students who want to study PA in any school in San Diego may wish to complete a bachelor’s degree while working part-time and in the summers in a position with patient contact. Such as a nurse’s aide/orderly or as an emergency medical technician.

PA schools in San Diego consist of classroom and laboratory instruction in the basic medical and behavioral sciences. Such as anatomy, pharmacology, pathophysiology, clinical medicine, and physical diagnosis. Alongside clinical rotations in internal medicine,
family medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, emergency medicine, and geriatric medicine.

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What Requirements Do I Need for PA School in San Diego California?

PA programs in any of the schools in San Diego California generally require applicants to complete at least 90 quarters of college units before enrolling in a PA program.

Prerequisite courses may include mathematics, sociology/anthropology, chemical physiology, microbiology, organic chemistry, humanities, physics, psychology, composition in English, and anatomy (may be taken at community college).

Most importantly, students should check the current admission requirements at each San Diego PA school they can apply to before planning their undergraduate work.

All programs recommend or require direct experience in patient care, often 1 to 2 years full-time, and the number and type vary by program.

This experience is also helpful in confirming a career choice and can have the added benefit of being translated into a strong letter of recommendation when the application is submitted.

Most programs require three letters of reference, as well as a personal interview, as part of the application process.

In addition, applicants for master’s programs must take the GRE general exam (graduate registration exam) and submit their scores directly to PA programs. GRE information and applications are available on Career Services and on the web at

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How Much Does it Cost to go to PA Schools in San Diego California?

According to PA Life, the average cost of a physician assistant program in San Diego was $79,941 for a state resident and $90,659 for an out-of-state student.

Fortunately, some programs are much cheaper than others and can offer students significant savings.

However, the average cost of attending public PA schools in San Diego costs approximately $41,210, while an out-of-state public school costs on average, much more at $60,934. While the averages for private schools are even higher.

On average, tuition fees for international students in private accredited PA schools in San Diego are approximately $66,014. While the average cost of tuition is $65,573 for PA students at private universities in San Diego, California.

If you plan to attend a private university for your physician assistant (PA) programs in San Diego California, tuition fees are almost the same regardless of your residence.

You know that the most cost-effective way to become a PA is through a state public university.

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How Much Do Physician Assistant PA in San Diego Earn?

According to, the median salary for Physician Assistant – Medical in San Diego, CA was $115,745, but the range is between $106,541 and $127,609. Salary ranges can vary depending on many important factors, including education, qualifications, additional skills, and years you have spent in your profession.

With more real-time and online compensation data than any other website, helps you determine your exact compensation goal.

To go further here is a brief detail of Physician Assistant (PA)s earnings by Experience Level:

A junior physician assistant (PA) with less than one year of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (including tips, bonuses, and overtime) of $97,295 based on 21 wages. An early career physician assistant with 1 to 4 years of experience earns an average compensation of $102,777 based on 48 wages.

A mid-career physician assistant with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $111,031 based on 19 wages. An experienced physician assistant (PA) with 10 to 19 years of experience earns an average compensation of $110,335 based on 42 wages.

At the end of their career (20 years and over), employees earn an average total compensation of $112,500.

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What Is the Job Outlook Of Physician Assistant in San Diego, California?

Job Outlook for PAs is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations. While job opportunities for PAs should be good, particularly in rural and central health centers in San Diego.

Employment Change

Specifically, the employment of physician assistants in San Diego, California, is expected to increase by 39% from 2008 to 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations.

The rapid growth in expected employment reflects the expansion of the health industries and the emphasis on cost containment, which translates into greater use of PA by health facilities.

Physicians and institutions are expected to use more PAs to provide primary care and assist with medical and surgical procedures, as PAs are profitable and productive healthcare team members.

This means physician assistants can exempt physicians from their routine duties and procedures. Healthcare providers will use more physician assistants as states continue to expand PA practice by allowing them to perform more procedures.

In addition to working in traditional offices, PAs in San Diego are expected to find more jobs in institutions such as hospitals, university medical centers, public clinics, and prisons.

Job Prospects

Basically, the job opportunities for PAs in San Diego should be good, particularly in rural and downtown clinics, as these settings are struggling to attract doctors.

Job offers will stem from job growth and the need to replace physician assistants who retire or permanently leave the profession. The opportunities will be greater in the states, allowing PAs to have a broader scope of practice.

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Accredited PA Graduate Programs in San Diego, California

It may be important to consider accreditation when looking for graduate programs in auxiliary medicine. Accreditation is an external review process that recognizes institutions and programs that meet established educational requirements and standards. Healthcare schools can be accredited on two levels.

First, there is institutional accreditation aimed at the school. This can help you evaluate the school and is also important if you apply for federal financial help.

In addition, some PA graduate programs earn accreditation at the program level. The Physician Assistant Education Accreditation Review Commission (ARC-PA) is the accrediting agency that protects the interests of the public and the physician assistant profession by establishing standards to train physician assistants and evaluate PA Programs in the United States to ensure compliance.

Approximately 200 programs were ARC-PA accredited in 2014. Most of these accredited programs were auxiliary master’s degree programs for physicians.

For more information on this type of accreditation and if certain graduate physician assistant programs are eligible, visit the CRA-PA website and speak directly with schools.

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What Accredited Schools offer Physician Assistant (PA) Programs in San Diego?

If you are asking if there are any PA schools in San Diego, then you are just in the right place.

Search for the best PA graduate programs by starting your search here. See the list on this page or customize your search using the menu bar. You can search for a Master’s program by Physician Assistant using the degree and type filter.

Or search for Physician assistant schools in a specific state. You can also consider online PA programs. However, remember that these are more common for advanced physician help master programs.

Whichever graduate program you choose, it is important to communicate directly with the school. Then they can answer questions about applications, costs, curriculum, etc. All you have to do is fill out the simple form on the page by clicking on the PA school link. So it could be one step closer to graduating from PA.

Best & Accredited Physician Assistant (PA) Schools in San Diego| 2023 Ranking

The 2023 Best Accredited Physician Assistant (PA) Schools in San Diego rankings are analyzing colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in Physician assistants. We looked at over 4 factors to determine the top and Best Accredited Physician Assistant (PA) Schools in San Diego for intending students.

You can go through our ranking method below:

Ranking Methodology

In selecting the Best and Top-Ranked Best Accredited Physician Assistant (PA) Schools in San Diego in 2023, we will consider several ranking factors. Note that this World Scholarship Forum Ranking of Best Accredited Physician Assistant (PA) Schools in San Diego is considering about 4 major factors, but we will explain some. They include:

Program Length: We consider these as one important criterion for ranking the Top and Best Accredited Physician Assistant (PA) Schools in San Diego in 2023. Because some of these universities can have a good number of programs they offer, but the time to complete the program might be longer than other schools.

Accreditation: This criterion is very much important because we can consider a school good with great programs but yet not have quality. So, we consider the body of accreditation and certification for each of these schools before ranking them. Whether they fall in the category of regional or national accreditation.

Graduation Rate: Here, we consider if these schools have a high tendency to graduate their students. Some can get enrolled but get stuck at the end. Also, we consider whether school graduates are employable by great institutions. These factors are equally very much important.

Exam Pass Rate: Here, we consider if these schools have a high tendency to graduate their students. And after graduation, what is their success rate in the license exam they are expected to take?

Point Loma Nazarene University (Physician Assistant, M.S.M.)

Program: Physician Assistant Program, M.S.M.

Graduation Rate: 99%

Exam Pass Rate: 98%

Program Length: 28 months

The Point Loma Nazarene University Physician Assistant Program is unique to the PA profession in several ways.

As a denominational university, its goal is to train competent clinical professionals who practice evidence-based medicine, demonstrate cultural sensitivity, and demonstrate their faith through community service.

The program integrates service experiences through the instructional and clinical phases, including a dedicated month each year that enables national, national, or international medical exposure through the extensive local networks and connections in Southern California.

Pending WASC approval, Point Loma Nazarene University has applied for provisional accreditation to the Board of Education Accreditation Review for the ‘Medical Assistant (ARC-PA).

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University of San Diego (College of Arts and Sciences)

Program: Pre-Physician Assistant Pathway

Graduation Rate: 99%

Exam Pass Rate: 98%

Program Length: 17 months

The University of San Diego College of Arts and Sciences offers the Pre-Physician Pathway. It is not necessarily a full-time program but a preparation for the real course.

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Best & Accredited Physician Assistant (PA) Schools near San Diego

Apparently, only a few physician assistant programs in California community colleges are available at the certificate degree level. Also, note that all the schools in this publication are approved PA programs in California.

Below, I summarize 10 accredited best PA schools in California ranking, requirements tuition, and program Duration for each school, respectively.

  • California Baptist University
  • Southern California University
  • Western University of Health Sciences
  • Marshall B. Ketchum University
  • Samuel Merritt University
  • Touro University California
  • University of California Davis
  • University of the Pacific
  • Loma Linda University
  • Standford University

Or better still, click the link below to see the details of all PA Schools in California PA Schools in California

PA Schools in San Diego FAQs

Who is a physician assistant?

Physician assistants are integral members of the healthcare team in many hospitals and clinical practices. The role of the physician assistant (PA) is to practice medicine under the direction and supervision of a licensed physician.

When was the first PA training?

The first PAs began training in 1967 at Duke University in North Carolina. The program assisted Vietnam veterans who had served as medics. It allowed them to transition into civilian life by gaining credentials to use their training and extraordinary experience.

What is the growth percentage of PAs?

With implementing the Affordable Care Act, further mandated reductions in resident training hours, and a widening shortage of primary care clinicians, new opportunities are arising for PAs in primary care and nearly every other field.
The 34% growth since 2006 reflects that PAs are becoming an attractive and economical alternative to physicians. The US Department of Labor projects an additional 39% growth in the need for PAs in the next 10 years.


I hope the article gives you all you need to know about Physical Assistant PA schools in San Diego.


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