August 7, 2019
TO: All current applicants and interested parties in the LMU Harrogate PA Program
RE: Entry-level doctorate degree application
Over the past eight months, the LMU Harrogate Physician Assistant (PA) Program made ready tentative plans to convert from an entry level Master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies to an entry level Doctorate degree. An important part of any change in curriculum or degree offered by a PA Program is to seek permission from the national accrediting body, the Accreditation Review Commission on the Education of Physician Assistants (ARC-PA), through a formal application and review process. The LMU Harrogate PA Program submitted the required forms in April of this year seeking this degree change. The ARC-PA Commission reviewed the application in June 2019.
The Program received a response in late July of this year. The ARC-PA notified the program that, as a member of the Council of Higher Education (CHEA), the accreditation of doctoral degrees is beyond the scope of the authority granted to the ARC-PA. See below:
CHEA-Recognized Scope of Accreditation for ARC-PA:
Programs preparing individuals for entry into physician assistant practice located in institutions in the United States that are accredited by recognized regional accrediting bodies. ARC-PA accredited programs are located in institutions offering associate, baccalaureate or master’s degrees in conjunction with the PA credential award. (2015) .
Therefore, the request to transition to an entry-level doctorate was denied.
In summary, the LMU Harrogate PA Program will NOT be starting an entry-level doctorate PA program since there is no ability for the ARC-PA to grant accreditation to doctoral level programs. The current Master’s degree program will continue in its current form with the next class beginning in May 2020. Applications already submitted to the program through CASPA do not need any further changes.
Applicants interested in LMU’s current SACS-COC approved Doctor of Medical Science Program can explore the School of Medical Science, Doctor of Medical Science website for more details.
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