Best 10 PA Schools in Florida in 2021

May 5, 2021 | Staff Writers

PA Schools in Florida
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1. Florida State University

Florida State University has the top-ranked program out of all the PA schools in Florida. Its affordable tuition and high educational quality put it above the rest of the schools on this list. The PA program at FSU is relatively new, but it has already become well-respected in the field. Its Master of Science in Physician Assistant Practice takes students roughly 27 months to complete. Florida State University is known for having exceptional facilities, and its simulation lab allows students to practice their skills before they get real clinical experience.

  • Tuition per semester: $9,333 resident; $12,667 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 94% 

2. University of Florida

The University of Florida may have been narrowly edged out by its in-state rival, but it’s still one of the best PA schools in Florida. The program awards a Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies. As with the other schools on this list, admission requires the completion of a bachelor’s and the completion of several STEM classes. Applicants with at least one year of relevant professional experience will have a better chance of getting in.

This program takes two years to complete. The first year is focused on lectures and laboratory classes. The second year is comprised of 12 clinical rotations in various specialties, including intensive care and pediatric medicine.

  • Tuition per year: $6,381 resident: $23,659 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 87%

3. Florida International University

Florida International University in Miami offers one of the top physician assistant programs in the state. Its Master’s in Physician Assistant Studies is run by the school’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. This program features an interdisciplinary focus to prepare students to practice in many different specialties of medicine.

Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree and math and science prerequisites. The prerequisites must have been completed less than five years ago. There are 45 spots in the program, making it one of the larger programs on this list. However, FIU receives far more applications than they can accommodate, so admission is highly competitive.

  • Tuition per year: $6,565 resident; $18,963 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 72% 

4. Florida Gulf Coast University

Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers is one of the state’s newer public universities, but it is already well-known for its excellence in the health sciences. It offers an elite Master’s in Physician Assistant studies. As with all PA programs, applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree and various science and math classes.

The PA program at FGCU has a fairly traditional structure. Students spend the first 15 months in the classroom. The next 12 months are composed of 12 month-long clinical rotations at various practices throughout the Southwest Florida area.

  • Tuition per year: $6,518 resident; $25,162 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 51%  

5. AdventHealth University

AdventHealth University is the first private institution on our list. AHU is a Christian-affiliated university, though it accepts students of all faiths. As its name suggests, this institution focuses on the health sciences. Its Master of Physician Assistant Studies is one of the top programs in the state. This program admits 30 students per year. New students start in the summer.

The PA program at AHU has a similar structure to the other programs on our list. It is 27 months long. The first 15 months are focused on classroom instruction, while the final year is focused on clinical experience.

  • Tuition per year: $12,840
  • Graduation rate: 52% 

If you’re looking for the best PA schools in Florida, our services can help you find the one that meets your criteria.

6. South University

South University has several locations in Florida. It offers a leading Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies. This program is offered at both the West Palm Beach and Tampa locations. As with the other schools on this list, graduates of the program at South are eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE). Completing their degree and passing the PANCE will qualify graduates for licensure in all 50 states.

  • Tuition per year: $17,014
  • Graduation rate: 36% 

7. Keiser University

Keiser University is a small private university with multiple campuses in Florida. It is known for its health sciences programs, specifically its physician assistant program. The school’s Master’s in Physician Assistant is offered at the Fort Lauderdale campus.

Keiser’s program is slightly shorter than most of the other programs in this list, as it is 24 months long. The first 12 months focus on classroom instruction and laboratory experience, while the last 12 months focus on clinical experience. Students complete nine rotations in various specialties. They must work 40 hours a week during these residencies.

  • Tuition per year: $21,008
  • Graduation rate: 50%  

8. Barry University

Barry University is a private university in Miami. It offers a top physician assistant master’s degree at its Miami campus and at St. Petersburg College in a partnership with SPC. This unique dual-campus program requires Barry to offer some classes through interactive videoconferencing.

  • Tuition per year: $30,014
  • Graduation rate: 62% 

9. Gannon University

Gannon University offers a solid physician assistant program. Its unique program allows students to enter as college freshmen and earn both a Bachelor’s in Health Sciences and a Master’s in Physician Assistant Science in five years. The 5-year entry-level program is only available at the Erie Campus. They also offer a 2-year post-baccalaureate Master of Physician Assistant Science Degree at the Ruskin campus.

  • Tuition per year: $32,270
  • Graduation rate: N/A

10. Nova Southeastern University

Nova Southeastern University is known for focusing on the health sciences. It offers a top-notch master’s-level physician assistant program. Students graduate with a Master of Medical Science – Physician Assistant degree. This large program has approximately 75 students admitted each year, with 14 full-time faculty members to ensure that students receive the personalized attention they need to thrive. Nova also offers a unique dual PA/MPH (Master’s in Public Health) program.

  • Tuition per year: $32,110
  • Graduation rate: 62%

Our Ranking Methodology

Our rankings are determined by ratings that each school gets from our formula. Our formula takes into account each school’s yearly tuition rate and graduation rate. Several of the schools on this list are public and have different tuition rates for non-resident and resident students. We only took these schools’ resident tuition rates into account. Our formula works by taking the yearly tuition rate and adding a multiplier that is equivalent to the rate of students who enrolled at the university but did not end up graduating. Example: College #1 has a yearly tuition rate of $20,000 and a graduation rate of 60%. Its rating would be 28,000 (20,000 x 140%). Low ratings are indicative of a high-quality school. 

Students looking for the best PA schools in Florida can find the right program through our site.

Representatives of the schools on this list can contact us if they have any questions or corrections.

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