The physician assistant works with the supervision of a licensed doctor of medicine or osteopathy and carries out many of the tasks previously performed only by physicians. These tasks include performing physical examinations, requesting and carrying out various laboratory and diagnostic tests, performing certain therapeutic procedures and providing patient education/ counseling. The physician assistant, as part of the physician's team, will be able to provide patient care services in any health care setting, hospital, nursing home, office or clinic in which the physician functions professionally.

This certificate program is a dual admission program with Cleveland State University (CSU) which requires that students have completed a bachelor's degree program prior to program entry. Eligible students will be required to also apply for admission to the Master’s of Science in Health Sciences program at CSU. The program will require that students be enrolled and take coursework simultaneously in the MSHS program at CSU. To be admitted to the program, the students must have taken courses in the following areas as part of the bachelor's program: General Chemistry +Lab, Organic Chemistry + lab, Microbiology (one semester), Anatomy and Physiology I, Anatomy and Physiology II, Elementary Probability/Statistics I, General Psychology (one semester) English Composition (one semester). Students who have not completed coursework in these areas as part of their bachelor's program, may complete these courses at Tri-C prior to applying for admission to the program.

Cuyahoga Community College is no longer accepting applications for the Physician Assistant Program.

Program contact: Learn more

Learn more about how certificate credits apply to the related degree.

Program Learning Outcomes

This program is designed to prepare students to demonstrate the following learning outcomes: 

  1. Apply medical knowledge about established and evolving biomedical, clinical and cognate sciences to perform patient care by the physician assistant.
  2. Provide care that is compassionate, appropriate and effective for treating health problems and promoting health by the development of a diagnostic and therapeutic plan, accurate documentation of medical records and the performance of appropriate medical and surgical skills.
  3. Utilize interpersonal and communication skills that facilitate effective, empathetic and caring interactions with patients, their families and other health professionals.
  4. Demonstrate a commitment of professional service, adherence to ethical principles (patient privacy and confidentiality), sensitivity to the cultural diversity of patients and maintenance of personal health and well-being.
  5. Investigate and evaluate patient care practices, appraisal and assimilate scientific evidence and improve their practice of medicine by practice-based learning, self-evaluation and the development of strategies for self-improvement.
  6. Demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and systems of health care and the ability to call on system resources such as administrative and management skills to provide care that is of optimal value.

Suggested Semester Sequence

Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterCredit Hours
PA-1200 History and Physical Exam Techniques I 3
PA-1240 Clinical Anatomy 4
PA-1550 Physician Assistant Profession 1
PA-1590 Introduction to Clinical Medicine 2
Graduate MSHS coursework 4
Graduate MSHS coursework 3
 Credit Hours17
Second Semester
PA-1210 History and Physical Exam Techniques II 3
PA-1250 Clinical Pharmacology 4
PA-1360 Adjuncts to Diagnosis 3
PA-1600 Clinical Medicine I 4
Graduate MSHS coursework 4
Graduate MSHS coursework 3
 Credit Hours21
Summer Session
PA-1222 Basic Technical and Surgical Skills II 2
PA-1350 Electrocardiography 1
PA-1620 Clinical Medicine III 4
Graduate MSHS coursework 1 4
Graduate MSHS coursework 3
 Credit Hours14
Third Semester
PA-1232 Advanced Technical & Surgical Skills 2
PA-1370 Behavioral Medicine 2
PA-1610 Clinical Medicine II 4
PA-2302 Patient Management 2
PA-2501 Emergency Medicine 4
Graduate MSHS coursework 3
 Credit Hours17
Fourth Semester
PA-2611 Preparation for Practice 2
PA-2942 Field Experience I 4
PA-2972 Field Experience Seminar I 1
Graduate MSHS coursework 3
Graduate MSHS coursework 3
 Credit Hours13
Summer Semester
PA-2952 Field Experience II 4
PA-2982 Field Experience Seminar II 1
Graduate MSHS coursework 3
 Credit Hours8
Fifth Semester
PA-2960 Field Experience III 2
Graduate MSHS coursework 3
 Credit Hours5
 Total Credit Hours95