The Best Physician Assistant PA Schools in Minnesota | 2024


Minnesota is a state in the upper midwestern United States known for its lakes and forest. Also, the state has been ranked as one of the safest places to live and study.

Desiring to become a physician assistant is a very fascinating and credible feeling. I mean, it’s a beautiful idea to want to genuinely care for people who are sick as a full-time profession. But just like medical school, it’s a rigorous journey you wish to embark on.


However, the benefits packages and career outlook that come with the profession make the whole journey, in the end, a rewarding experience.

If you live in Minnesota and you are looking to pursue a career as a Physician Assistant, in this article, we will show you some of the best P.A. schools in Minnesota where you can acquire your training.


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Are There PA Schools In Minnesota?

Over the years, Minnesota’s population has witnessed a drastic increase, and as such, there are few physician assistants to aid physicians in handling medical crises with such a large population.

There are about 5 notable schools in the whole of Minnesota that offer Physician Assistant programs. 


So, if you live in Minnesota and you are looking to enroll in a P.A. school soon, here is a list of P.A. schools you can pursue P.A. programs.

  • Augsburg University
  • Bethel University
  • Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  • St. Catherine University
  • College of St. Scholastica

How Do I Get Into Physician Assistant Schools In Minnesota?

The institution you apply to for your P.A. program will help make or mar your career as a physician assistant. Aspiring P.A.s understand the need to select good schools and schools acknowledged by the ARC-PA.

Over time, prospective P.A.s face difficulty getting into the P.A. school of their choice because they fail to have the proper knowledge and meet the admissions standards set by each institution.

To be considered for admission into any P.A. school in Minnesota, you must have the following requirements.

  • Acquisition of a high school certificate with a strong foundation in sciences like; as biology, chemistry, physics, English, etc
  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or University
  • Master’s degree in a medical-related course. It could be in any of these courses or pathology, human anatomy, physiology, clinical medicine, and pharmacology.
  • A minimum of 3.0 GPA and above
  • GRE or TOEFL iBT test scores
  • Transcripts
  • Personalized Essay
  • Personal Statements
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • At least 500 hours of healthcare experience

How Long Are PA Schools in Minnesota?

Unlike medical schools, P.A. schools operate for a short duration. On average, P.A. programs in Minnesota usually take 2 years to complete. 

As you may expect, this duration includes both classroom and clinical work. All PA programs must provide 2,000 hours of clinical rotations, preparing students for real-life situations.

Can Physician Assistants Practice Independently In Minnesota?

A Physician Assistant (PA) is trained to care for patients by recording medical histories and physical examinations, prescribing medications, and following up on patients during their treatments. 

As a general rule, physician assistants carry out their duties under the supervision of a certified physician.

However, Minnesota is one of the many states in the U.S. that does not allow the independent practice of physician assistants. Also, they will no longer be required to be attached to a single physician to practice medicine.

What are the Best PA (Physician Assistant) Schools In Minnesota?

A solid educational foundation as a physician assistant will boost your career pursuit as the knowledge gained during your P.A. program will help you excel in the profession.

Minnesota has five (5) leading P.A. schools that have produced outstanding physician assistants in the medical field. Graduates of the programs are usually guaranteed employment opportunities before the completion of their program.

Let’s take a look at the best P.A. schools in Minnesota.

  • Augsburg University
  • Bethel University
  • Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  • St. Catherine University
  • College of St. Scholastica

Augsburg University – Minneapolis

Tuition: $92,500

Augsburg University was the first institution in Minnesota to commence the physician assistant program, and today, it is among the top 100 PA programs In the United States.

The University mandates that during the 27-month program, each student receives training using an active-learning model that integrates hands-on-skill workshops and small-group interactions. 

To its credit, Augsburg’s P.A. department has experienced tremendous success as 100% of its students have passed the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam.

Admission Requirements

  • CASPA Application
  • Bachelor’s degree in any field from an accredited institution
  • A minimum of 3.0 GPA
  • Completion of Prerequisite courses
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • 2,000 hours of healthcare experience

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Bethel University – St. Paul

Tuition: $95,000

Bethel University’s P.A. program is undeniably one of the best in Minnesota. The University’s Master of Science in Physician Assistant program assists students in becoming qualified and compassionate physician assistants.

The 27-month program concentrates on initiating healthcare programs and preparing its students to work closely with senior physicians in the medical field.

The curriculum of this program is fully interested in helping its students to be up to date with the medical system by providing a state-of-the-art training facility that uses technologies to embrace learning. 

Admission Requirements

  • A CASPA Application
  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or University 
  • A minimum of 3.25 GPA
  • Completion of prerequisite coursework
  • Transcripts
  • 200 hours of healthcare experience

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Mayo Clinic College of Medicine – Rochester

Tuition: $95,910

The Physician Assistant (P.A.) The program at Mayo Clinic is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed as physician assistants in the line of duty. The institution’s education model focuses on active learning to engage students in the evidence-based clinical awareness required for high-quality patient care.

After completing this program, graduates will receive a Master of Health Sciences degree in P.A. studies, certifying them as competent to work in any area of specialty chosen.

Admission Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree. A four-year undergraduate degree from an accredited U.S. college/university (or equivalent), including all Mayo Clinic PA Program prerequisite courses, completed at the time of application
  • All prerequisite courses must have a grade of C and above.
  • Cumulative and science GPA of 3.50 or higher
  • TOEFL iBT scores 
  • At least 500 hours of direct patient care experience
  • At least two half-days of PA shadowing
  • 3 letters of recommendation

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Catherine University – St. Paul

Tuition: $92,620

St. Catherine University is one of the best P.A. schools in Minnesota. After completing the P.A. program, graduates have conferred a Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS). 

During the 28-month program, students will be taught how to oversee and manage healthcare teams and hazards. The program also provides a supportive environment that incites hard work and research among the students.

Admission Requirements

  • A CASPA Application
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • A minimum of 3.0 GPA and above
  • Prerequisite courses with a minimum of grade C
  • GRE and TOEFL iBT test scores
  • 2 recommendation letters
  • 1,000 hours of healthcare experience
  • Transcripts

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College of St. Scholastica – Duluth 

Tuition: $96,237

The College of St. Scholastica is one of Minnesota’s few schools offering physician assistant programs. Aspiring P.A.s will be trained and equipped with the necessary skills to bridge the gap created by the lack of physicians and their assistants in Minnesota.   

A unique feature of the College of St. Scholastica’s P.A. program is that students can pursue a Physician assistant program without a degree. 

However, to do this, candidates must complete a Pre-Physician Assistant program before they can proceed to the Master’s program.

Admission Requirements

  • A CASPA Application
  • Minimum of 3.0 GPA
  • Minimum of grade C in prerequisite courses
  • GRE & TOEFL iBT scores
  • 3 recommendation letters
  • 750 hours of healthcare experience

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What Are The Easiest Minnesota Physician Assistant Schools To Get Into? 

Since each P.A. school is allowed to set its own admissions requirement, aspiring P.A.s are faced with the difficulty of meeting specific standards, resulting in a low acceptance rate.

However, there are P.A. programs, despite having admissions standards, that create an exception for students who can not meet up to work their way through it.

The most accessible P.A. schools to get into in Minnesota are:

  • College of St. Scholastica
  • Augsburg University

How Much Does A Physician Assistant Make In Minnesota?

In Minnesota, the average base salary of a physician assistant is $106,669 per year. This Salary varies based on certain factors such as work experience, location, company, educational level, etc. It could range from $81,927 – $138,883 per year.

The highest paying cities for Physician Assistants in Minnesota are:

1. Crookston, MN

Average Salary: $131,914 per year 

2. Baxter, MN

Average Salary: $123,314 per year

3. Minneapolis, MN

Average Salary: $113,717 per year 

4. Grand Rapids, MN

Average Salary: $112,275 per year

5. Duluth, MN

Average Salary: $ 112,162 per year

What are the Best Physician Assistant Programs In Minnesota? 

When searching for the best physician assistant programs in Minnesota, aspiring P.A.s should consider alums’ ratings and opinions and check if the institution is accredited and has up-to-date medical features.

Attending good P.A. schools is essential in defining one’s career as a physician assistant. Prospective P.A.s are advised to apply to schools that fit your schedule, providing them with the knowledge needed to excel in healthcare delivery. 

Let’s take a look at the best P.A. programs in Minnesota 

  • College of Saint Scholastica Physician Assistant Program
  • Saint Catherine University Physician Assistant Program
  • Bethel University – Minnesota Physician Assistant Program
  • Augsburg University Physician Assistant Program
  • Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences Physician Assistant Program

What are the P.A. Schools In Minnesota That Don’t Require Gre? 

The Graduate Records Examination (GRE) is one primary admission requirement by most P.A. schools. The GRE is a standardized test that P.A. schools use to evaluate the students applying for its programs. 

However, the GRE has proven to be a nightmare for most students as they dread writing the exams. If you fall into this category, there’s no need to worry! 

Some Physician Assistant schools in Minnesota have ruled out the GRE prerequisite. Nonetheless, students who apply to these schools should ensure they are ready to do all the work, as research has shown that these P.A. schools are highly competitive.

The following are schools that do not require the GRE 

  • Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences
  • Augsburg University
  • Bethel University

Are there Physician Assistant Master’s Programs In Minnesota? 

A master’s physician assistant program is designed to teach aspiring P.A.s how the healthcare system operates and the types of services they will be rendering.

P.A. schools in Minnesota confer a Master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies after completing their programs. Graduates of the program have been provided with advanced knowledge needed in any area of specialization chosen.

Some of the Master’s P.A. programs in Minnesota include

  • St. Catherine University – Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) Program
  • University of Minnesota Rochester – Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program 
  • Bethel University – M.S. Physician Assistant Program
  • College of St. Scholastica – Master’s in Physician Studies Program 
  • Augsburg University – Master’s in Physician Studies Program 

See Also: Obama Foundation Scholars Program

Are there Online Physician Assistant Courses In Minnesota For International Students? 

Choosing the study package that suits you as a student is essential to the success of your studies. In recent times, modes of classroom learning have been narrowed down to online and on-campus formats.

In Minnesota, there are no online physician assistant courses for international students.

However, if you are interested in applying for a P.A. program as an international student, several on-campus programs will meet your needs once you have their admission requirements.

You may like to check out: Best Medical Schools in the U.K. for International Students

What are the Cheapest PA Schools In Minnesota? 

Searching for P.A. schools that offer quality Education and training at a subsidized fee is like looking for a needle in a haystack. 

The average cost for a 27‐month physician assistant program: 

  • Public Resident Tuition – $50,289
  • Public Non‐Resident Tuition – $88,677
  • Private Tuition – $91,639

In Minnesota, the tuition and other expenses incurred during the program are expensive and beyond the average tuition cost. Aspiring P.A.s are advised to check out the institution’s financial aid plans.

Check Out: Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University 

What are the Accredited PA Programs In Minnesota? 

Physician Assistant programs are designed to help prepare students who intend to become physician assistants with the relevant knowledge and skill needed to practice in a medical setting. 

One crucial factor to consider when applying to P.A. schools in Minnesota is the institution’s accreditation status. P.A. schools that the Accreditation Review Commission has not accredited on Education for the Physician Assistants (ARC-PA) cannot produce students who will be legally licensed to practice in Minnesota.

The accredited P.A. Programs in Minnesota are

  • St. Catherine University
  • Bethel University
  • Augsburg University
  • Mayo Clinic College of Medicine & Science
  • College of St. Scholastica

How To Become A Physician Assistant In Minnesota 

The Physician Assistant profession is one of Minnesota’s fast-rising and lucrative jobs. Resident and international students seeking to become physician assistants may like to consider the North Star State.

The following steps will help you learn more about becoming a Physician Assistant in Minnesota.

Select Among the Physician Assistant Programs in Minnesota for Licensure

In Minnesota, there are notable institutions that offer physician assistant programs to both resident and non-resident students. The onus of choosing the right P.A. school lies in the hands of prospective P.A.s.  

Furthermore, admission requirements into the P.A. program usually include completing a bachelor’s degree in any field and having the prerequisite courses.

However, it is also essential to ensure the P.A. graduate program you are applying to is certified by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). PracticingPracticing legally in Minnesota without graduating from a program with this accreditation is impossible.

Pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE)

Its parent agency endorses the PANCEIts parent agency endorses PANCE, the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA), which will accredit students with the Physician Assistant-Certified (PA-C) credential once they pass the PANCE. 

The PANCE is a computer-based test comprising 300 multiple-choice questions. Prospective P.A.s can register for the PANCE three months before the completion of their program. 

Apply for Licensure in Minnesota

Graduates who pass the PANCE can proceed to apply for a Physician Assistant License and be able to practice in the North Star state legally.

P.A.s must submit an application packet to the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice in Minneapolis. This packet must include:

  • $280.50 application fee
  • Verification of P.A. program education, to be sent directly to the Board from the institution
  • NCCPA certification, to be sent directly to the Board from the NCCPA
  • Two recommendations from healthcare professionals, one being a physician

A Notice of Intent to Practice must be submitted before a P.A. begins their actual practice in the state.

Maintain the Minnesota PA License

All Minnesota PA Licenses expire on the 30th of June every year. Also, the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice will mail out a Notice of Intent to Practice and a Delegation Agreement to the P.A. in time for these to be completed, along with an annual registration fee of $148.50 by the end of June. 

Furthermore, P.A.s must maintain 50 credits of continuing medical education Category 1 courses every two years or maintain their NCCPA license (PA-C) to be considered for recertification by the state. Renewals can also be made online.

As P.A.s widen their scope of practice, they may find it helpful to join professional organizations such as the Minnesota Academy of Physician Assistants (MAPA) and university medical boards.

See Also: How to Become a Nurse in Florida

Physician Assistant Certification Council of Minnesota 

The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) is the only credible certification provider and council for physician assistants in the United States. The NCCPA covers all federal states, including Minnesota.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many P.A. schools are in Minnesota?

There are five (5) credible P.A. schools in Minnesota.

Are there P.A. schools in Minnesota that do not require GRE?

Yes. Bethel and Augsburg University are some institutions that do not require the GRE.

Can I work during P.A. school?

Students are strongly discouraged from accepting or continuing outside employment while enrolled in the program. Students are not permitted to work for the program.

Why become a P.A. instead of a doctor?

Physician Assistants have high levels of job satisfaction, job stability, and work-life balance while spending less time and finances on school and having more opportunities to switch specializations than their M.D. colleagues.


Attending the best P.A. schools will be the bedrock of your career. Physician Assistant schools are challenging because you must learn so much quicker. Students must work hard and be focused on avoiding making mistakes.

We hope this information provided helps you make the right decision.


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