The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program at Christian Brothers University trains physician assistants (PAs) to better serve patients in the community, region, state, and nation. We’ve partnered with nationally-renowned medical facilities to offer exceptional clinical experiences during both phases of the program, with an orthopedic thread.

Our emphasis is on evidence-based primary care and preventive medicine, the provision of health care to the medically underserved, and the use of information technology in medicine. The program promotes interdisciplinary team care, patient advocacy, and the delivery of primary health care for all patients.

Your training will provide you with the knowledge and experience to examine patients, diagnose injuries and illnesses, and provide treatment as a general practitioner. After graduation, you must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) and apply for state medical licensure to work with a supervising physician or surgeon.

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Contact the CBU PA Program

Phone: (901) 321-3388
Mailing Address: Physician Assistant Studies, Christian Brothers University • 650 East Parkway South • Memphis, TN 38104 

KAREN CHAFFIN, Administrative Assistant: 321-3388
DR. GARY TOOLEY, Interim Director: 321-4122


Why Become a Physician Assistant?

Physician assistants enjoy a great work-life balance and a high level of job satisfaction. PAs perform services the supervising physician might provide, and can work with a relatively high degree of autonomy. Also, PAs are the only medical care provider who can change their area of practice from one medical specialty to another without additional formal training or certification.

Career & Salary Outlook

The PA profession is seeing tremendous growth. U.S. News & World Report ranked physician assistant (PA) as the 3rd best job overall and the 2nd best healthcare job in 2020. Salaries have been rising with demand – the median PA salary has gone from $104,131 in 2016 to $115,000 in 2018, according to the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) 2018 Statistical Profile of Certified Physician Assistants Annual Report.

PA Program Structure

The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program is based on active-learning, student engagement, and an integrative approach.

  • Coursework: 15 months
  • Clinical rotations: 14 months
View the Physician Assistant Curriculum


Applications will be accepted beginning April 30, 2020 through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) for the cohort starting January 2021.

Program Mission

In keeping with the university’s institutional goals, the program embraces educating minds, touching hearts, and remembering the presence of God.

Our mission is to educate and prepare diverse and exemplary individuals to become caring, competent, ethical, and professional physician assistants who can practice clinically in a wide variety of settings and positively affect their patients, the community, and the health care system through evidence-based and preventive medicine, leadership, life-long learning, utilization of information technology, the provision of health care to the medically underserved, interdisciplinary team care, patient advocacy, and the delivery of primary health care for all patients.

PA Program Goals


The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA), 12000 Findley Road, Suite 150, Johns Creek, GA 30079 accredits Physician Assistant programs in the United States.

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Christian Brothers University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Christian Brothers University.

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 of 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.

Additional Information

PA Resources and Links


CBU is located on a 75-acre wooded campus in midtown Memphis, Tennessee — about four miles east of downtown and close to major medical centers. The physician assistant program is a graduate program in the CBU School of Sciences.

The Physician Assistant Studies Program offices are located on the upper level of Barry Hall.