PA Doctorate

New Doctor of PA Studies at Pitt

If you’re ready to become a leader in practice-based learning and contribute to health care at a higher level, you might be interested in the University of Pittsburgh’s Doctor of Physician Assistant Studies (DPAS) program.

Pitt’s DPAS is one of the latest doctoral degrees designed for practicing Physician Associates. This fully online curriculum is designed to advance a PA’s career in multiple areas of health care and education. Doctoral PAs will promote and advocate for the profession, support their colleagues, and better serve their patients by enhancing their care.

Mary C. Allias EdD, PA-C is the DPAS program director and the Director of Didactic Education. As a Pitt DPAS student, Dr. Allias says that “you will study, develop, implement, and analyze self-designed projects that can help you provide better, more accessible care, improve efficiency among your team, close gaps in care, and mitigate health disparities in your own practice setting.”

What is a Doctor of Physician Assistant Studies?

The DPAS will be a 12-month post-professional program delivered completely online. Graduates will be expected to:

  • Identify their own strengths and deficiencies and recognize the limits in their knowledge and expertise.
  • Analyze and adopt new knowledge demonstrated to improve outcomes.
  • Make goals to address gaps in knowledge and skills
  • Use performance data to identify areas for improvement.
  • Develop a capacity for ongoing quality improvement.

The program will have two electives: Administration and Academics. There is no elective in clinical practice. 

The 42-credit program requires 30 transfer credits for a total of 72 credit hours and was designed to be completed at the conclusion of a PA Masters without needing to relocate. All DPAS students will proceed sequentially through the program as a cohort. Fully customizable internship experiences are required each term. 

Doctor of Physician Assistant Studies Curriculum Overview

Semester 1 – Summer Term

  • PAS 3001 – Core Concepts of Scholarly Practice, 4 credits
  • PAS 3002 – Examining Supporting Evidence, 4 credits
  • PAS 3003 – Internship Experience 1, 6 credits

Semester 2 – Fall Term

  • PAS 3004 – Personalized Elective (Academic or Administrative), 4 credits
  • PAS 3005 – Scholarly Practice Capstone Phase 1, 4 credits
  • PAS 3006 – Internship Experience 2, 6 credits

Semester 3 – Spring Term

  • PAS 3007 – Scholarly Practice Capstone Phase 2, 8 credits
  • PAS 3008 – Internship Experience 3, 6 credits

Higher Education Creates Opportunities

Dr. Scott Massey, who has written for The PA Doctor previously, will serve as Vice-Chair for Research and is also the Associate Director of the PA Studies Hybrid Program, as well as an Associate Professor. 

The total cost of the Doctor of Physician Assistant program is $20,196. Pitt is now accepting applications for summer 2022.

How does Pitt’s DPAS compare to other PA-specific doctoral programs? 

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