Physician Assistant Studies (M.S.)

For the first time in their lives, many individuals now have access to insurance through The Affordable Care Act, which means more licensed health care providers are needed to treat them. Physician assistants represent one of the fastest-growing professions in this country, and Towson University/CCBC-Essex offers one of the nation’s oldest programs.

Physican Assistant Student


Physician assistants are highly skilled health care providers. This collaborative program offered through the Towson University/CCBC-Essex is designed for students with completed bachelor’s or master's degrees. Full-time, continuous enrollment is required throughout the 97-credit, 26-month program.

The application deadline is September 1. For information about applying to the program, see the Application and Admissions Information Booklet (PDF).  View degree requirements in the Graduate Catalog.

Professional Accreditation

The program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant Inc. (ARC-PA).  The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Towson University/CCBC-Essex Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Community College of Baltimore County.  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remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards.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 Towson University/CCBC-Essex September 2023.  The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy. 

NCCPA Examination Performance

Individuals who successfully complete the program are eligible for certification by the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). Graduates of the Towson University/CCBC-Essex PA Program have consistently scored well on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE), and have achieved a 100% first time pass rate for the Classes of 2014 and 2015, surpassing the national exam pass rate average.

For more information please view the NCCPA 5-year exam pass rate (PDF).

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Why Towson University?

A Strong Alumni Network

Join a strong network of successful alumni around the country. More than 1,000 program graduates are employed in a wide variety of medical settings in regional, national, and international locations.

 A History of Success

The oldest and most established program in Maryland, the CCBC-Essex Physician Assistant Program began in 1972 as a cooperative effort with the Johns Hopkins University and Franklin Square Hospital. Now a collaborative effort of CCBC-Essex and Towson University, the program has undergone a dynamic evolution in its 40-year history. 

A Vital Role

Make a direct impact on patients and their families. Working as part of the medical team, physician assistants practice medicine by performing patient histories and physical examination, ordering or performing laboratory tests, and analyzing medical data to formulate diagnoses and develop care management plans.