Physician Assistant

The Howard University Department of Physician Assistant will offer an entry-level Master's in Physician Assistant Studies program that will prepare culturally and clinically competent healthcare providers who will have a positive impact on today's healthcare workforce and beyond.

Our Mission

The mission of the Howard University Department of Physician Assistant is to educate and cultivate compassionate, competent, and culturally diverse physician assistants committed to increasing access to health care in medically underserved communities.   The program will provide an exceptional educational opportunity and experience for professional and ethical students of high academic potential, with an emphasis on underrepresented minorities in medicine focusing on Black students and other minority students.  The program faculty is dedicated to preparing, empowering, and training healthcare professionals who are inclusive in their delivery of care to meet the needs and have an impact on healthcare disparities in diverse populations.

Dionne M. Soares, MPAS, PA-C Phone:

Program Goals

  1. Educate culturally competent Physician Assistants who will contribute to the healthcare provider workforce, inclusive of underserved communities.

  2. Recruit and retain qualified and disciplined students, inclusive of those from multicultural and diverse backgrounds underrepresented in medicine.

  3. Create, develop, and maintain an educational environment which fosters interprofessional and interdisciplinary team collaboration to provide optimal patient care.

  4. Cultivate and prepare physician assistant students to successfully pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE).

  5. Prepare physician assistant students to be clinically efficient, knowledgeable, compassionate, competent, and professional members of their healthcare teams.


The Howard University Physician Assistant Program has begun the process of applying for Accreditation-Provisional status from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The Howard Physician Assistant Program has not yet received accreditation. The Physician Assistant Program plans to enroll its first student cohort for matriculation in Fall 2023, pending receipt of Accreditation-Provisional status at the March 2023 ARC-PA Commission 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.  

If the Howard​ University Physician Assistant Program is not awarded Accreditation-Provisional status, the program will not process any applicants for admission.  


3325 Paddocks Parkway
Suite 345
Suwanee, Georgia 30024
Phone: 770-476-1224


PANCE Pass Rate

The graduates of the Howard University Physician Assistant Program must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) before becoming a certified Physician Assistant (PA-C). This certification examination is required for licensure in all states. The National Board of Medical Examiners and the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) jointly develop the exam.  

The program report will be available here, once the first cohort completes the exam.

Admissions Requirements

  • All applicants for the Howard University Physician Assistant Program will need to apply and complete an application through Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). For assistance or questions specific to the CASPA portal, please contact CASPA at 617-612-2080 or email ( 

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited or internationally recognized higher education institution  

    • An academic evaluation by a NACES member is required from all international students who have studied outside of the United States. All transcripts from non-US post-secondary educational institutions must be sent directly to the evaluation agency by the issuing institution. This is a requirement before admission can be granted. The academic evaluation requirement cannot be waived. Moreover, if your records are in a foreign language, an official English translation is required. We highly encourage you to select a NACES member with electronic delivery. Evaluations will not be accepted via email/fax.  

  • Cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher on a 4.0 GPA scale  

  • Science GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 GPA scale  

  • Successful completion of the required prerequisite courses with grade of “C” or higher within 7 years of application 

  • Documentation of a required minimum of 800 hours of direct patient care experience (paid or volunteer) 

    • Prior direct patient care healthcare work experience recommended, but not required  

    • It is recommended that students obtain direct patient care hours in different medical settings, e.g., hospice, assisted living facility, hospital, underserved areas/countries, etc.  

    • To obtain strong direct patient care experience, students are encouraged to obtain certification credentials, e.g., paramedic, nurse's aide, phlebotomist, medical assistant, radiologic technologist, EKG tech, EMT (I or Basic), LPN, dental hygienist, or clinical laboratorians (the student MUST be performing phlebotomy, and must have direct patient interaction, not just with their specimens), or behavioral health technician.  

    • All required direct patient care hours must be completed by the application deadline. 

  • Documentation of a minimum of 40 hours of shadowing a practicing Physician Assistant (Encouraged, not required) 

  • A written personal statement 

  • Three letters of recommendation: One letter of recommendation must be from one of the following individuals:  

    • Academic Professor  

    • Employer/Supervisor 

    • Practicing Clinician (PA/NP/MD/DO) 

  • Completion of criminal background check and drug screening 

    • Please be advised that all students accepted into the Master of Science program will be required to complete a background check and drug screen within 90 days of matriculation and prior to the start of the clinical phase. The background check and drug screen are conducted by an outside agency. 

  • Participation in the program interview process  

  • Applicants who are not U.S. citizens are required to submit official test scores for either Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) The following minimum score is required for admission: 90.  Howard’s school code is: 5297

    • The requirement will be automatically waived for the TOEFL/IELTS requirement for international students who are from a nation where English is an official language or who have studied in the United States for at least four years.  


Admission Prerequisites

  •  General Biology I + II with lab (8 credits) 

  • General Chemistry I + II with lab (8 credits) 

  • Organic Chemistry with lab or Biochemistry with lab (4 credits) 

  • Microbiology with lab (4 credits) 

  • Statistics (3 credits) 

  • Psychology (3 credits) 

  • Social Sciences (3 credit hours – sociology or anthropology or African American Studies) 

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I + II with lab (8 credits) 

  • Medical Terminology (2 credits) 

Advanced Placement

The Howard University Master of Science Physician Assistant Program does not award or grant advanced placement.

All courses in the curriculum are required for program completion.