Resources & Accreditation


The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the USC Physician Assistant (PA) Program, sponsored by USC. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.

Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be June 2029. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

PANCE Scores


Since the program’s inception in 1972, program graduates have performed well on the PANCE. The Primary Care Physician Assistant Program at USC’s first-time test taker five-year average pass rate is 95%. Official NCCPA five-year summary report of National Board Pass Rates for first=time test takers:
Download the report.


Please visit the USC Course Catalog for information about the courses in the PA Program curriculum, by clicking here.

NHSC Scholars

About the National Health Service Corps (NHSC)
The National Health Service Corps is an organization that offers scholarships to full-time students in approved NHSC eligible health professions. Here’s how it works:
A student applies to become an NHSC Recipient, and if awarded, that student receives tax-free payment of tuition, required fees, other reasonable education costs and a monthly living stipend. In exchange, the student then provides care at a NHSC approved site in a high-need Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA).
For more information about the National Health Service Corps click here.

Primary Care Physician Assistant Program NHSC Recipients
At the Primary Care Physician Assistant Program at USC, we are proud of every one of our NHSC Recipients. We know that to receive a NHSC award is an accomplishment. Each scholar has demonstrated their ability to achieve and maintain good grades while in school and, more importantly, has displayed their commitment to primary care and working in an underserved community. Collectively among the classes of 2011-2020, 38 of our students were selected as National Health Service Corps Scholars, and one student was selected as a Native Hawaiian Scholar.

Credentialing and Practice Requirements

In order to practice in California (excluding federal employment) the PA must successfully complete an accredited physician assistant program, pass the examination given by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) and be licensed by the Physician Assistant Board of the Medical Board of California. Physician assistants maintain national certification by earning 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years and re-certifying every six years. The Medical Board of California must approve supervising physicians. Specific questions regarding eligibility for or denial of California licensure should be directed to:

Physician Assistant Board
State of California, Department of Consumer Affairs
2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1100
Sacramento, CA 95815
Phone: (916) 561-8780

National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)
12000 Findley Road, Suite 100
Johns Creek, GA 30097-1409
Phone: (678) 417-8100

Note: The ability to obtain a state PA license may be compromised by a criminal record.

Professional Organizations

Additional information on physician assistant training and practice, relevant legislation and resources on PA education and training programs can be obtained through the following resources:

American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)
2318 Mill Road, Suite 1300
Alexandria, VA 22314-1552
Phone: (703) 836-2272

California Academy of Physician Assistants (CAPA)
3100 W. Warner Avenue, Suite 3
Santa Ana, CA 92704
Phone: (714) 427-0321

Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA)
300 N. Washington Street, Suite 710
Alexandria, VA 22314-2544
Phone: (703) 548-5538

Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA)
12000 Findley Road, Suite 275
Johns Creek, GA 30097
Phone: (770) 476-1224
Fax: (770) 476-1738

Society for the Preservation of Physician Assistant History

Keck PA magazine