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Top 8 Accredited PA Schools in Illinois

Are you considering the top PA programs in the US? Try the PA Schools in Illinois. In numerous public and private colleges around Illinois, master’s level PA training programs are the most common.

An associate degree program at a two-year institution is available to students having 1,000 hours of work experience.

Additionally, candidates seeking master’s degrees might need to have accrued a specific amount of hours in the medical field. Additionally, candidates for graduate programs must hold a bachelor’s degree and obtain the required GRE (Graduate Record Examination) score.

All Physician Assistant programs typically need completion of the prerequisite courses. Students engage in substantial clinical experience as part of the curricula, in addition to classroom activities and lab work.

Who is a Physician Assistant?

A physician assistant, or PA, is a skilled mid-level healthcare professional who works under the direction of a recognized physician.

In other terms, a physician assistant is a health care provider who is qualified to practice medicine under the supervision of a licensed health care professional.

Typically, the PA is well trained and only needs to carry out their duties when the supervising doctor is present. They are also aware of how to do so.

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Qualifications to work as a Physician Assistant in Illinois?

In Illinois, physician assistants who practice must be licensed. Candidates need to pass the National Physician Assistant Certification Exam in order to get certified by the National Physician Assistant Certification Commission (PANCE).

Individuals must complete a program for physician assistants or surgical assistants that has been certified by the Accreditation Examination Commission for the Training of Physician Assistants in order to be eligible for the PANCE (ARC-PA).

How Long does it take in Illinois to Become a PA?

Although getting to a nurse is not quite as difficult as getting to a nurse, you still need to prepare if you want to become a PA. Depending on where you are in your schooling, it may take you a while to become a physician assistant.

The typical length of a PA program is 24 to 27 months. As a result, becoming a physician assistant will take you roughly two years. A three-year part-time option is available from some schools if you want to work while enrolled in a PA program.

How much do Physician Assistants make in Illinois?

A physician assistant (PA) is a trained medical professional who typically works in a hospital, clinic, or medical office.

Physician assistants in Illinois made an average annual salary of $83,770 and an average hourly wage of $40.28, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Physician assistants’ income potential mostly hinges on their ability to use their experience as a springboard for greater compensation offers.

In other words, compensation ranges might vary significantly depending on the city and a host of other significant aspects, such as your level of schooling, your professional experience, your certifications, and other talents.

Accredited PA Schools in Illinois

Here is a list of accredited PA schools in Illinois that you can choose from. This comprises a succinct summary of the schools, information on their tuition, student-to-teacher ratio, and a list of relevant programs they offer.

  1. Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
  2. College of Health Professions, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
  3. College of Health Sciences, Rush University
  4. Southern Illinois University Carbondale
  5. City Colleges of Chicago – Malcolm X College
  6. College of Health Sciences, Midwestern University – Downers Grove
  7. University of Mount Union
  8. University of St Francis

1. Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University

PA Schools in Illinois
PA Schools in Illinois

Every year, 30 new students are admitted to Northwestern University’s medical assistant program in Evanston. Candidates must have earned a bachelor’s degree, meet the prerequisite academic requirements, and submit acceptable GRE scores in order to be considered for admission.

Although it is not necessary, the school advises that applicants have at least 1,000 hours of relevant healthcare experience or six months in order to offer themselves an advantage during the admissions process.

This two-year program, which is ARC-PA approved, combines academics with clinical training and a master’s project. Freshmen learn about subjects like pediatric healthcare, pathology, genetics, and geriatric healthcare through a combination of lectures and group discussions.

Clinical rotations are the main focus of the second year. Seven of these five-week rotations are devoted to the necessary medical disciplines, including women’s health, pediatrics, and internal medicine. Students are given the opportunity to select the three four-week elective rotations in which they are most interested.

  • Cost of tuition: $54,620
  • 10:1 student-to-teacher ratio
  • 10 related programs total.

2. College of Health Professions, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

PA Schools in Illinois
PA Schools in Illinois

Candidates must finish the necessary coursework, submit their GRE results, letters of recommendation, and certificates from their bachelor’s degree in order to be admitted to the master’s program for medical assistants at the RFUMS in North Chicago.

Also advised is previous inpatient care experience. Each year, the school receives about 1,900 applications, but only accepts about 70.

Normally, two years are needed to finish this curriculum. Students can participate in lectures, simulations, and laboratory classes during their first year. Students were required to participate in seminars and complete eight clinical rotations last year.

The past six weeks have been devoted to a variety of disciplines, including family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, surgery, and women’s health. Students can select the clinical settings that work best for them because two of these rotations are electives.

95% of the class of 2012 passed the PANCE on their first try, making them eligible to take it as graduates of this ARC-PA-approved program.

  • Cost of tuition: $35,479
  • 12:1 student-to-teacher ratio
  • 10 related programs total.

3. College of Health Sciences, Rush University

This Chicago-based school offers a 33-month master’s program in medical assisting that is ARC-PA recognized. There are 12 months of classroom instruction and 21 months of clinical practice.

Students might finish an advanced degree in fields like orthopedic and cardiothoracic surgery during this period.

This program’s entry standards are comparable to those in the area. Candidates must have satisfactory GRE scores and a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA in order to be considered.

Rush University, on the other hand, also demands inpatient care experience for admittance. To achieve the minimal requirements, you need to have at least 1,000 hours of experience. However, in order to be competitive, prospective students should have at least 1,500 hours of experience.

  • Cost of tuition: $36,788
  • 3:1 student-to-teacher ratio
  • 10 related programs total.

4. Southern Illinois University Carbondale

At this Carbondale University, prospective medical assistants can finish ARC-PA recognized medical assistant programs. Two routes lead to a master’s degree in medical assistant studies at the institution.

For working medical assistants who already hold a bachelor’s degree in this subject, the Masters’ Completion Program (MCP) is a one-year curriculum. The majority of courses can be taken online, but you might also need to go on campus.

Healthcare ethics, best practices, and research techniques are taught to MCP students.

Those having a bachelor’s degree in science or medicine can enroll in the standard 26-month program. The GRE, MCAT, or MAT must have been passed, and candidates must have finished all prerequisite courses.

The first year after admission, the students finish their on-campus student research projects. Clinical rotations, which make up the second portion of the program, may necessitate students’ relocation to another Illinois city.

The last stage entails an eight-week preparatory period in a clinic of your choosing. Graduates also earn a diploma for their medical education.

  • Tuition: $15,626, in-state; $32,528, out-of-state
  • 16:1 student to teacher ratio

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5. City Colleges of Chicago – Malcolm X College

This Chicago two-year college offers a medical assistant associate program for interested students. However, as of April 2013, this program’s ARC-PA accreditation was placed on hold until its subsequent review. The complete accreditation may now be reinstated or withdrawn.

Admission to the program is granted to candidates who have accrued at least 1,000 hours of verifiable professional experience and 50 credits of the program’s prerequisite courses.

Students will finish 78 credits in two years after being admitted. Courses in pathophysiology, pharmacology, and gross anatomy are offered throughout the first year.

The students get supervised clinical experience in a variety of medical specialties in their second year, including pediatrics, surgery, internal medicine, and emergency medicine.

57% of the 23 students who received their diplomas in June 2012 passed the PANCE on their first try.

  • Tuition: $1,752, in-district, $4,608, in-state, and $5,772, out-of-state tuition fees
  • 41:1 student to teacher ratio

6. College of Health Sciences, Midwestern University – Downers Grove

Only graduate programs, including the ARC-PA accredited Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies, are available at this Downers Grove university. A bachelor’s degree and passing all prerequisite classes are needed for entry to this program.

Students must submit their GRE scores in addition to meeting the minimal GPA criteria. Additionally, it is strongly advised that candidates have prior healthcare expertise.

This master’s degree can be earned in 27 months of full-time study. Anatomy, physiology, immunology, genetics, biochemistry, and neurosciences courses take up the majority of the first year.

Following that, the students conduct ten rotations in clinical settings over a period of 15 months, covering everything from surgery and geriatrics to internal medicine and women’s health.

Six months after graduating, 96% of the class of 2011 found work, and 100% of this cohort passed the PANCE the first time.

  • Cost of tuition: $43,883
  • 13:1 student-to-teacher ratio
  • 7 Programs in total.

7. University of Mount Union

The University of Mount Union has a very high standard. For those who desire to advance their education, Mount Union provides a selection of top-notch degrees.

Using courses that enhance and develop your leadership and profession-related abilities, Mount Union graduate training equips you for the success of your career regardless of your prior knowledge or experience.

The institution provides a doctor of physiotherapy and a master of science in medical assistant courses on the campus. The university also grants an online Master of Education with a concentration in sports coaching, curriculum and instruction, educational leadership, and primary license in Ohio.

  • School Fee: N/A
  • Teacher-to-student ratio: N/A
  • 3 total programs.

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8. University of St Francis

With its main campus in Joliet, Illinois, the University of St. Francis is a private congregation of the Third Order of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate University. With over 1,300 students on the main campus, it enrolls more than 3,900 students in sites across the nation.

There are two physician assistant degree programs offered by the University of St. Francis. Located in a sizable suburb, it is a modest private institution. 31 students earned master’s degrees in the field of medical assisting in 2015.

  • Cost of tuition: 32,320
  • Ratio of Acceptance: 51.7%
  • Student to Teacher Ratio: 21:1
PA Schools in Illinois
PA Schools in Illinois

Low GPA PA Programs in Illinois

It is unfortunate that all PA programs in Illinois require a higher-than-average GPA if you want to enroll in a PA program but are seeking for a school with low GPA requirements.

Basically, getting into a PA program with a low GPA frequently requires perseverance, drive, and an honest belief that the deck is not rigged against you.

Illinois PA schools demand a 3.0 GPA as a minimum entrance requirement. That is a lot better than average. As a result, Illinois does not offer any PA programs that accept students with low GPAs.

In other words, the approval committee is willing to accept you if you can convince them that you are qualified despite having a low GPA.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is PA program in Illinois?

Programs to become a physician assistant typically need at least two years of full-time study.

What kind of PA is compensated the highest?

Cardiovascular/cardiothoracic surgery is the PA specialty with the highest salary. With an average of eight years of experience, the median pay for this speciality is $147,200.

Can a PA become a Doctor?

You must apply to medical schools, enroll in an MD program, and finish residency training in order to change your status from PA to MD.

How difficult is PA school?

PA school is incredibly challenging. Physicians Assistant colleges can be highly challenging, just like the majority of medical institutions. Nearly 20% of applicants to PA schools are accepted on average.


Planning ahead for your PA training is crucial. As crucial as the training itself is finding Illinois Physician Assistant Schools that are accredited.

Therefore, you should familiarize yourself with the course and experience criteria of your fascinating programs as recommended by the institutions, in addition to fulfilling basic educational needs like earning your bachelor’s degree.

Having these crucial components in order is a requirement because PA programs are quite competitive.



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