Best 10 Physician Assistant Schools In California

Suppose you are passionate about providing care for sick people and looking for physician assistant schools in California where you can be enrolled as an international or domestic student, then, you are at the right place.

In this article, we have provided you with a comprehensive list of the best schools in California that offer programs for physician assistant students.

California has a welcoming attitude towards international students providing them with certificates and has the best educational system. The city of California is beautiful & exciting and not only does California has the best physician assistant schools, its public universities often outrank the Ivy League in terms of academic excellence.

What Is A Physician Assistant?

A Physician Assistant is a type of mid-level healthcare provider, they are often found in positions of Clinical Officers, Assistant doctors.

They are sometimes called PAs, they practice medicines with physicians, surgeons, and other healthcare workers, their duties vary depending on the supervising doctors,  the major roles physician assistants play include the following;

  • Making rounds( checking on patients)
  • Doing patient exams
  • Helping doctors in surgery
  • Diagnosing illness
  • Writing prescriptions
  • Creating and managing patient treatments plans
  • Offering advice to patients on preventive care and best health practices

Physical Assistant focuses on patient education, and care for the patient and are known as skilled practitioners that manage chronic health issues. Most times people tend to confuse nurse practitioners and physician assistants as being the same thing, the truth is they do the same thing but they have different education and training.

Nurse practitioners’ studies advance nursing and focus on the patient-centered model, but PAs, after receiving training similar to medical students, can choose to dive into different specializations like; surgery, pediatrics, Radiology, Obstetrics, gynecology, Emergency medicines, Dermatology, etc.

There are lots of job opportunities for Physician assistants all over the world, with good pay. Physician assistant schools in California provide their interning students with jobs where they earn over $136,920 a year and can perform physical examinations, order x-rays, and laboratory tests, perform routine diagnoses, and many more in hospitals and labs.

How To Enter Physician Assistant Schools In California

Physician assistant schools in California are quite competitive and difficult to get into, the average acceptance rate to get into a physician assistant school is over 20%. There are a few schools with low GPA requirements that favor students with low GPAs and schools with high GPA requirements.

Here are a few basic requirements needed for a student to gain admission into a Physician assistance school in California;

  • Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in any major with a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • To strengthen your application, you must have at least 500hrs of clinical experience
  • Applicants pay a non-refundable form fee to the school’s account
  • They are to submit letters of recommendation to the school’s account
  • They are expected to have completed courses in basic science and general education with a credit on each.
  • Applicants are to ensure that they pass the schools screening test

Average Cost Of A Physician Assistant School In California

Physician assistant schools in California are quite expensive but are worth it, becoming a Physician Assistant automatically means that you will be in high demand, and having a degree in Physical Assistant confers the wealth status of graduates.

Physician Assistant programs can get overwhelming and difficult due to the need to equip their students with the best education and training by conducting challenging tests, clinical experiences, and many more. The cost of attending a PA school in California is between $75,000 and $80,000 for domestic students. The cost of attending as an international student is $95,000.

 Physician Assistant Schools In California

According to my findings, I have developed a list of the best physician assistant schools in California where one can study and in return will help enhance their skills in improving their lives and that of others, providing its students with opportunities and practical experiences.

In this article, I have done my best to attach the cost, duration, and admission requirements for each school. So, here they are.

  • University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Stanford School Of Medicine
  • Keck School Of Medicine Of USC
  • Touro University California
  • Samuel Merit University
  • University Of California-Davis
  • Western University Of Health sciences
  • University Of La Verne
  • Southern California University Of Health Sciences
  • Chapman University

1. University Of Southern California

This is a school in California that offers programs for Physician assistant students it prepares students to participate in integrative healthcare teams. Graduates from this school are recognized as innovative leaders and undergraduates are exposed to integrated healthcare providers.

The cost of studying in this school is $15,574 every term and the admission requirements for studying in this school require that students are to submit their high school results, they are to also provide personal documents with a passport photograph attached to it, pass the school’s entrance examination, etc.

2. Stanford School Of Medicine

Standford school of medicine is a  university in California that offers Physician assistant programs, the acceptance rate of the school is 4% admission officials consider the applicant’s GPA before giving out admission.

They offer the following degree programs; MD programs, PA programs, Ph.D. programs, Masters’ degree programs, dual degree programs, etc The school is consistently ranked among the top medical schools in the USA.

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3. Keck School Of Medicine Of University Of Southern California

This is a medical school that offers physician assistant programs in California, the school strives to provide excellence in education both in classrooms and by promoting diversity and equity.

They offer educational programs on professional degree programs, master’s degree programs, Ph.D. programs, post-doctoral programs, undergraduates programs, and clinical & residency fellowship programs.

In years past, the school has received recognition for its innovative admission efforts, they participate in the centralized America Medical College Application Services (AMCAS). This application service requires that students of Keck School Of Medicine submit their materials as early as possible to avoid further delay.

Admission requirements include the following;

  • Letters of recommendations
  • Official transcripts must be submitted within 14 days of the primary application deadline
  • Once the receipt of a candidate’s AMCAS application and MCAT test score is verified, the office of admission will invite the candidate over for a supplementary application.
  • During that process, students are to submit a $100 processing fee with a supplemental application which is made available for applicants who received approval from the AAMC fee assistance program.

The estimated cost of attending this school for the newly admitted undergraduate students is $85,648.

4. Touro University California

This is a university under Jewish auspices and was established under the universal values of commitment to social justice, intellectual pursuit, and service to humanity. Touro University California also known as TUC helps to provide graduates with educational excellence in the field of health science, public health science, and education.

Applications for physician assistant programs are processed using the central application service for physician assistants (CASPA). The admission rate of the school is very low, during admission, only 6% of applicants are accepted into the program.

The total cost of attending school in this physician assistant school in California yearly is $54,495.

5. Samuel Merit University

This school provides its students with high-quality health science education and focuses on community engagement, the department of physician assistant programs prepares its graduates for the practice of medicine in various communities.

The program duration for studying a physician assistant course in this school is 27 months. Students in this school are trained to become physician assistants that help their patients to live stronger and healthier lives.

Admission requirements include;

  • Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Applicants are to submit three letters of reference (preference is given to letters from physicians and family friends will not be considered)
  • Applicants must have at least a minimum of 1000 health care experience
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of  2.8
  • All prerequisites must be completed by the time of application

Students offered admission pay a nonrefundable deposit fee of $350 to secure their seat in class and the total cost of the tuition fee in a semester is $21,654.

Over 96% of graduates from this school find job opportunities in their field within 6 months they left school.

6. University Of California-Davis

This is a physician assistant school in California that provides excellent patient care and creates strong productive partnerships within communities. The school is ranked the 10th best university in America.

The school offers various programs on M.d degree, dual M.D programs, Ph.D., M.P.H, health informatics, etc To gain admission into this physician assistant school in California as a freshman student you are to take the following steps;

  • Applicants who are California residents must have a GPA of 3.00 or even higher while those that are not residents are to have a GPA score of 3.40 or even higher
  • SAT tests for all freshman students are free tho they are not usually needed but are used in situations when students didn’t meet up with AG scores.

For other information concerning the cost of tuition fees, admission requirements, etc, check out the link below.

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7. Western University Of  Health Sciences

This is a physician assistant school in California that helps educate tomorrow’s health care professionals by making use of a scientific, humanistic, and compassionate approach. The school offers various programs for master’s degrees and doctoral degrees.

The written examination of certification as a physician assistant is administered by National Commission on Certification Of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) and to practice as a physician assistant one must apply for and receive a license from a physician assistant board.

8. University Of La Verne

The University of La Verne is a physician assistant school in California that prepares its students for life after tomorrow by challenging them to be creative thinkers, people of integrity, and also how to communicate with their patients effectively.

This school ensures that international students that intend to study here have a smooth transition by helping them out in navigating immigration paperwork, and travel resources and providing good employment opportunities for them to practice as physician assistants.

The total cost of tuition fee for a semester is $22,925.

9. Southern California University Of Health Sciences

This is a physician assistant school in California that offers innovative physician assistant programs, education in this school goes beyond lecture halls, lectures, and textbooks. Students here spend a lot of time in clinics, where they meet real patients, and learn from practicing professionals in the health sector

Admission requirements for this school include;

  • Students are to apply online for an application form.
  • Applicants are to submit documents containing a statement of their personal history, reasons why they are going in for the program, a summary of their academic background, and a statement that shows they understand the field.
  •  Applicants are to submit their transcripts results
  • International applicants are to submit an international credential advantage package.

Physician assistant students of various programs in this school must make a non-refundable deposit of either $50,$250, or $1000 depending on the type of program you are going in for.

10. Chapman University

Chapman University is a physician assistant school in California that build its students to think about the challenges they will face after school. In this physician assistant school in California, you can earn your master’s in physician assistant within two years.

Chapman University gives its students ample practice experience and they provide their students with six patient rooms that include the exam rooms, emergency stimulation room, and interactive classroom.

The cost undergraduate tuition fee in this school for full-time rate is $30,145 while the part-time cost is $1,875.


Although choosing the best physician assistant school can be a bit stressful in California due to its ranking, therefore it’s advisable to prepare early,  get good GPA scores and keep them, make research to know what school fits the criteria you are looking for in a physician assistant school and get clinical experience.

It is also very important to find out if the school you choose is accredited and recognized by the National Commission on Certification Of Physician Assistants.

Physician Assistant Schools In California- FAQs

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