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School of Medicine Columbia

  • PA Class of 2026 Group Shot

Our Program

The PA program at the USC School of Medicine Columbia is a program that while young--founded in 2017 with an inaugural class of 20 students--plays an integral role in providing healthcare to the state of South Carolina.

Our Mission

We educate and train highly competent, compassionate, and collaborative PAs to deliver patient-centered care as part of an interprofessional team.

Our Vision

We contribute to a healthier community by providing quality medical care.

Our Values

  • Belonging - We create a safe and welcoming environment where stakeholders can thrive without judgment or discrimination. 
  • Integrity - We uphold professional and academic standards. 
  • Respect - We treat each other with respect in all interactions. 
  • Resilience - We transcend adversity through teamwork. 
  • Service - We engage with our community to support their health and quality of life.

Our Path Forward

  1. Enroll diverse and highly qualified students who reflect the dynamic population of South Carolina and the nation.
  2.  Encourage professional involvement and interprofessional collaboration.
  3. Maintain a level of first-time PANCE pass rates that meets or exceeds the national average.
  4. Train graduates to practice evidence-based medicine and patient-centered care.

View and download the full version of the Physician Assistant Program Goals and Outcomes.

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Columbia Physician Assistant Program sponsored by University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Columbia.  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remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards.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 June 2031. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy. 

The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at

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Our Competencies

Students of the USC Physician Assistant Program will build their knowledge and skills throughout their didactic, clinical, and summative training to achieve the following program competencies:

  1. Demonstrate the knowledge to evaluate and manage common clinical problems in patients across the lifespan in a variety of healthcare settings.
  2. Discern among acute, chronic, and emergent disease states. 
  1. Communicate and interact effectively with patients, families, and members of the interprofessional team across a broad range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.
  2. Elicit an appropriate medical history.
  3. Accurately document patient encounters in the medical record.
  1. Apply an understanding of indications, contraindications, techniques, risks and benefits of common medical procedures.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to perform common medical procedures.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to perform and interpret a detailed physical exam relevant to medical history.
  1. Demonstrate professional behavior in congruence with the AAPA ethical code of conduct.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to search, interpret, and evaluate medical literature in application to professional development and patient care.
  1. Apply clinical acumen and medical decision-making skills, create, and refine the differential diagnosis to determine the most likely diagnosis.
  2. Utilizing and interpreting appropriate physical exam findings and diagnostic and laboratory studies, formulate a treatment plan to include pharmacologic therapy and patient education.
  3. Develop a patient-centered management plan with consideration to social determinants of health in an effort to increase access to care and patient compliance.

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You can keep up with our program's growth on Facebook and Instagram.

Licensure Information

Each state has its own individual licensing boards along with their own Physician Assistant licensure requirements. The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia Physician Assistant Program sponsored by the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia.  Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.   Graduates are eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) and apply for professional licensure in the state of South Carolina. However, we cannot confirm that the program meets the requirements for professional licensure in other states. Students living outside of South Carolina should click here for information regarding state licensure specific to individual states throughout the United States.

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