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remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards.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.
The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at https://www.arc-pa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Accreditation-History-U-of-Southern-Cal-153.pdf
*Attrition rate calculation: Number of students who attritted from cohort divided by the entering class size.
**Graduation rate: Number of cohort graduates divided by the entering class size.
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 92%. Official NCCPA five-year summary report of National Board Pass Rates for first-time test takers:
Download the report.
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 1100Screen-Shot-2021-01-27-at-1.38.09-PM.png
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.
USC Licensure and Certification Information
Many USC degree and certificate programs satisfy education requirements for licensure or certification in various health and professional areas. This website provides students with ready information about USC programs that satisfy education requirements for licensure or certification.
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