South College Asheville

Physician Assistant Studies

Welcome to the South College Asheville Physician Assistant Program!

Welcome to the South College Asheville Physician Assistant Program!  We are so glad that you have come to our website seeking information.  We are a new physician assistant program that is located in the Biltmore Village area in the city of Asheville, NC.  Our beautiful Western NC region is home to a multitude of outdoor activities, art, music, and is a haven for ‘foodies’.  Please explore our website to learn more about the program.

Here Are Some Fast Facts About Our Program:

  • We are a 27 month program with a 15 month didactic curriculum and a 12 month clinical curriculum.
  • Our student cohorts start in January and graduate in March.
  • Our maximum class size is 85 students per year.
  • Our program requires successful completion of a total of 163 credits with 88 credits in the didactic curriculum and 75 credits in the clinical curriculum earning students a Master of Health Science in Physician Assistant Studies degree.
  • Our prospective student application is managed through CASPA.
  • We schedule PA Program classes based on a 4 day week with 1 additional day per week for student catch-up, information assimilation, studying for exams, project completion or special seminars.
  • We are a welcoming community working to increase diversity in our profession and to create a program environment that is accepting and inclusive.

Link to our Supplemental Application:


Mission of the South College Asheville Physician Assistant Program

The mission of the South College Master of Health Science in Physician Assistant Studies program is to educate highly qualified physician assistants, preparing them to become competent, compassionate, and comprehensive healthcare providers for clinical practice in rural and urban areas, focusing on underserved communities.

Endeavoring to provide students with a comprehensive evidence-based medical education that focuses on the future delivery of excellent healthcare, the program promotes the importance of health maintenance, health education, the prevention of disease, and the need for a lifelong path dedicated to continuous learning and self-assessment. The faculty strive for educational excellence as they prepare physician assistant students to think critically, communicate compassionately, and understand the importance of collaborating in interdisciplinary healthcare teams to meet patient and family needs within an ever-changing healthcare delivery system.

Mission of South College

Goals of the South College Asheville Physician Assistant Program

The program has six primary goals that are designed to achieve our mission for educating the next generation of highly qualified physician assistants.

  1. Select highly qualified and diverse applicants for admission into the program.
  2. Provide students with an educational curriculum that promotes lifelong learning skills/evidence-based medicine skills in preparation for clinical practice.
  3. Prepare students to pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) at a rate at or above the national average.
  4. Prepare students to practice patient-centered care and embrace cultural inclusion and diversity.
  5. Ensure that graduates possess the technical skills needed to practice medicine.
  6. Provide a curriculum that fosters interprofessional education and team-based health care.

Please see the Program Self-Assessment web page for more information.

Information Sessions

Please find our information session dates below. Email Meredith at to sign up. The information session will be from 5:00pm – 6:30pm eastern time.

  • March 20th
  • April 24th
  • May 15th
  • July 24th
Program Competencies of the South College Asheville Physician Assistant Program

Analyze indications for screening examinations, vaccinations, and other preventive care. Utilize evidence-based medicine in patient care. Select the most appropriate pharmacologic treatment based on clinical diagnosis, accurately write a prescription, and provide the appropriate patient education to include the contraindications, adverse effects, and potential interactions. Formulate a health maintenance and preventive care plan that considers the impact that lifestyle and behavioral factors have on the health and well-being of patients. Utilize medical knowledge of acute and chronic conditions including etiology, anatomy, pathophysiology, incidence, risk factors, clinical presentation, differential diagnosis, and treatment strategies to effectively manage a patient across the life span.


Provide culturally competent, patient-centered education allowing for shared decision-making. Utilize empathetic communication skills to strengthen patient trust and improve outcomes. Communicate effectively with patients, families, caregivers, and the interdisciplinary team.


Collaborate as an effective member of the interprofessional healthcare team respecting professional roles and maintaining communication. Apply strategies for optimizing patient safety and reducing medical errors. Synthesize appropriate methods for the preservation of patient autonomy and patient confidentiality with consideration of the laws and policies that govern medical practice. Create individualized care plans to meet the needs of patients, recognizing socioeconomic and cultural factors that influence access to care.


Utilize patient centered interviewing skills to elicit a comprehensive and a problem-oriented history. Perform an accurate and patient centered physical examination relevant to the chief-complaint and recognize normal and abnormal findings. Formulate and deliver concise and accurate oral patient presentation to facilitate patient care. Provide accurate, thorough, and complete documentation of patient encounters, incorporating all necessary components, with attention to medicolegal implications. Perform procedural skills commonly used in clinical practice and provide the appropriate patient education.


Formulate an accurate and comprehensive differential diagnosis utilizing relevant clinical information elicited from patient history and physical examination findings. Order and interpret laboratory and other diagnostic studies for acute and chronic patient care. Establish a diagnosis based on patient history, physical examination, and interpretation of clinical and diagnostic data. Formulate individualized, comprehensive management plans relevant to the patient presentation for a variety of acute, chronic, and emergent health conditions. Recognize conditions that require referral to or consultation with specialists. Effectively triage patients based on their clinical presentation, recognizing emergent versus non-emergent medical conditions.

ARC-PA Accreditation Status

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the South College Asheville Physician Assistant Program sponsored by South College.

Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation-Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation on the first class (cohort) of students.

Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.

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

South College Regional Accreditation

South College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award degrees at the doctorate, educational specialist, master’s, baccalaureate, and associate levels. Questions about the accreditation of South College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (