College of Health Professions

Physician Assistant studies (M.S.)

Physician Assistants are highly skilled health care providers who practice medicine with the supervision of licensed physicians. This collaborative program of CCBC and Towson University is designed for students who hold a bachelor's degree prior to admission. The program prepares individuals with strong academic backgrounds and clinical experiences for careers as Physician Assistants. Full-time, continuous enrollment is required throughout the 97-credit 26-month program. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant Inc. (ARC-PA ). Individuals who successfully complete the program are eligible for certification by the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). Graduates receive a Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree from Towson University and a professional certificate from CCBC Essex.


The oldest and most well established program in Maryland, the Essex Physician Assistant Program began in 1972 as a cooperative effort with the Johns Hopkins University and Franklin Square Hospital, with separate tracks at each institution.  Both tracks were integrated as one in 1976.  Now a collaborative effort of CCBC Essex and Towson University, the program has undergone a dynamic evolution over its 40-year history.  More than 1000 program graduates are employed in a wide variety of medical settings in regional, national, and international locations.


The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Towson University CCBC Essex Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Community College of Baltimore County. 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remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards.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 September 2023. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy .

Top Reasons Students Choose the Towson/Essex Physician Assistant Program

Solid reputation built on over 40 years of excellence in PA education

  • Master’s Program initiated in 2001
  • Master’s program focusing on leadership and education with reasonable and affordable tuition and fees
    • Instate tuition and fees for entire program very affordable compared to other Maryland PA programs
    • Students work closely with faculty on completion of projects and research
    • Leadership opportunities
  • Excellent student faculty ratio
  • Towson/Essex PA program Class PANCE Pass Rates Compared to National PANCE Pass rates 2008-2012:

  • 100% placement rate for all graduates seeking employment as a physician assistant
    • Assistance from the program and faculty
    • Local employers seek Towson-Essex graduates
  • Experienced  faculty members
  • Excellent clinical instructors and top-notch teaching sites
    • Affiliations with all of the major medical teaching institutions in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area including: 
      • The Johns Hopkins Medical Center
      • LifeBridge Health
      • Greater Baltimore Medical Center
      • University of Maryland Medical Center
      • St. Joseph's Medical Center
    • Participation of private physician offices
    • Managed healthcare organizations
    • Clinical instructors dedicated to producing the best PA's



Upcoming Information Sessions:

Information sessions for Fall 2015 will be held in the Liberal Arts Building the following dates:

Thursday, October 15 room 3110 @ 6pm


Tuesday, November 17

room 4310 @ 6pm

Please call 443-840-1158 for information regarding session schedule and registration.

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