"Growth in Utah’s population, coupled with a shortage of physicians, has created high demand for new medical providers. UVU is proud to serve our community by taking the lead in preparing physician assistants who will strengthen our regional healthcare workforce."

President Astrid S. Tuminez

Utah Valley University has applied for provisional accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). UVU anticipates matriculating its first class in January 2020, pending achieving Accreditation – Provisional status at the September 2019 ARC-PA meeting. Accreditation – Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA standards or when a program holding Accreditation – Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

Utah Valley University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

If UVU’s program fails to receive provisional accreditation at the September 2019 ARC-PA meeting, it will not matriculate a class in January 2020. For more information, visit Accreditation Review Commission website.

Best value in PA education in Utah

Abundant interprofessional opportunities

Part of the vibrant UVU community

Teaching institution, faculty focus primarily on student learning

Utah Valley University is known for its commitment to student success. Through experiential learning and a deep connection to the community, students are able to reach beyond their academic and career goals. UVU promotes a culture of respect, support, and engagement.

Utah Valley University is a teaching institution which provides opportunity, promotes student success, and meets regional educational needs. UVU builds on a foundation of substantive scholarly and creative work to foster engaged learning. The university prepares professionally competent people of integrity who, as lifelong learners and leaders, serve as stewards of a globally interdependent community.

Program Vision

  • Become a leader in PA education
  • Empower physician assistants who value and engage in lifelong learning
  • Graduate clinicians who are adaptable in the changing face of medicine and advancements in medical technology
  • Create an environment that fosters the patient/provider relationship
  • Increase access to quality healthcare
  • Recruit high achieving students from diverse backgrounds reflective of the undergraduate academic population at UVU

Program Goals and Measurement of Success

Graduate students who demonstrate preparedness for the PANCE with a first-time pass rate at or above the national average

  • First-time program test takers will pass at a higher rate than the annual national PANCE first-time pass rate.

Prepare graduates to practice within the program's service region which includes the UVU service region, central, and southern Utah

  • Students will complete at least half of their SCPEs within our service region.
  • More than 50% of program graduates will work as physician assistants within our service region - data gathered through graduate surveys and NPI database.

Prepare students to function effectively as members of an inter-professional healthcare team

  • All students will participate in interprofessional learning activities with students from the other UVU health professions programs including respiratory therapy, dental hygiene, nursing, public and community health, and emergency services and >50% of students will report increased comfort working in interprofessional teams on activity/course evaluations.
  • Based on preceptor evaluations of student performance in the clinical setting, the average student score in the area of "team-based care" will be >3.*
  • Based on graduate surveys, the average graduate rating of preparedness to work in an interprofessional setting/delivering team-based care will be >3.*

Promote cultural awareness in the provision of care to a diverse patient population

  • All students will participate in a cultural awareness workshop during one of the post-clinical activity sessions.
  • Based on preceptor evaluations of student performance in the clinical setting, the average student score in the area of "caring for patients from diverse populations" will be >3.*
  • Based on graduate surveys, the average graduate rating of being prepared by their education to "adequately care for patients from diverse populations" will be >3.*

*Based on standard Likert scale.

Technical Standards

In order to be admitted to and matriculate in the Physician Assistant Program at Utah Valley University, all students must possess the physical, mental, and emotional capacities to complete the entire curriculum in order to achieve the Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree. This curriculum requires demonstrated proficiency in a variety of cognitive, affective and psychomotor skills. All students admitted to the Physician Assistant Program (“PA Students”) must meet the technical standards at the time of their admission and throughout their enrollment in the program.

Technical Standards

The curriculum requires demonstrated proficiency in a variety of cognitive, affective and psychomotor skills. Therefore, all students admitted to the Physician Assistant Program (“PA Students”) must possess the following abilities and expectations at the time of their admission to the program and throughout their enrollment in the program:

  • Observation: PA Students must have the ability to observe and participate as appropriate in the lecture hall, the laboratory, and in the spectrum of clinical environments. This includes all outpatient, inpatient, emergency department, and operating room settings. They should also possess the ability to use their other somatic senses as needed to enhance their ability to accurately observe and interpret these situations.

  • Intellectual ability and capacity: PA Students must be able to learn, analyze, synthesize, problem solve, reason and come to logical conclusions both in the didactic and clinical phase. They are expected to remain alert and attentive at all times in didactic and clinical settings.

  • Communication: PA Students must be able to practice effective, professional verbal and non-verbal communication skills with other students, faculty, preceptors and patients. This includes building trust, being sensitive, and using discretion with personal and sensitive information in all situations. Additionally, PA students must have the ability to work effectively in groups with other students and with other healthcare professionals.

  • Motor: PA Students must be able to complete a full physical exam and basic clinical procedures and manipulate the equipment, instruments, apparatus, or tools required to collect and interpret data appropriate to the domain of study, practice or research. They must be able to respond to emergency situations in a calm and timely manner. And, they must always adhere to universal precautions in all clinical settings.

  • Behavioral: Enrollment in a PA program can be stressful and requires the ability to handle a significant workload. All PA Students must have the physical and emotional stamina to commit to their education and maintain a high level of function. PA Students must also be able to accept criticism and have the ability to appropriately modify their behavior. They must understand the legal and ethical aspects of the practice of medicine and function within both the law and ethical standards of the medical profession.

Admitted students who have a disability and need accommodation should initiate discussions with the Director of Accessibility Services as soon as the offer of admission is received and accepted. Preference is given to veterans and Utah residents.