Feature graphic

PA students attend a procedure workshop

PA Program Distance Education Option - 3 Year

Attention Distance Education Applicants:

The UW-Madison PA Program admission process has recently been bound by federal regulations dictating distance education. Due to these federal regulations, we cannot accept distance education applications from residents of the following states as "placement of students in practica, internships, clinical placements, student teaching, or field experiences must be immediately curtailed by programs offered through the University of Wisconsin":


This is a fairly recent development and one that is completely out of our control. We are more than happy to accept applications from residents of the above states to the campus option of our PA Program. Please click on the following link for more details: http://wcet.wiche.edu/advance/state-approval

This only applies to the DISTANCE EDUCATION Option. You may still apply for the CAMPUS option.

Program Snapshot

The UW-Madison Physician Assistant (PA) Program's distance learning option allows students to stay in their home communities while completing PA education. This unique opportunity makes PA education more accessible, especially for students from rural, urban, and underserved communities. It also gives students deep clinical experience in their communities, so they may better serve them after graduation. Please review our Distance Education "Frequently Asked Questions" for more information about our Distance Education Option.

    Three-Year Flexible Curriculum Structure

  • Your first summer semester requires you to attend classes on campus with fellow didactic students for a period of 12 weeks.
  • The remainder of your two year didactic study will be in your home community via asynchronous lecture capture. During this period you will be required to return to campus for mandatory multiple day training periods twice a semester.
  • The third year will be community-based clinical instruction, which includes 5 eight week rotations in various medical specialties.
  • Sample Distance Education Degree Plan.


We accept up to ten students each year for the community-based learning program. Qualifications include:

  • A desire and stated request to be part of this innovative opportunity;
  • Competitive in all areas of traditional admissions criteria;
  • Demonstrated interest in serving home community; and
  • Evidence of potential for success in this method of delivering instruction.

Wisconsin residents who meet admissions criteria and currently reside in a medically underserved community are given preference in the application process. Consideration will be given to all applicants expressing an interest in serving a medically underserved community or population.

Proven Strengths and Successes

  • Our well-organized program is supported by state-of-the-art technology, committed faculty and staff, and engaged students.
  • Our dynamic primary care-oriented curriculum emphasizes population/public health, evidence based medicine, genetics, family medicine, cultural
    competency, global and rural health, and clinical research methods and design.
  • Community mentors help students stay connected, serve as professional role models, and act as supplementary educational resources.
  • Ninety eight percent of community-based learning graduates have passed the NCCPA national board exam on the first attempt.
  • Ninety percent of the community-based learning graduates are working in or near their home communities.

We invite you to apply or contact us to schedule a student advising session.