Comprehensive information for McMaster’s Physician Assistant Education Program (PAEP) is available at:
Admission to this program is not available directly from secondary school. Students must complete at least two years of post-secondary experience prior to admission to this program.
Physician Assistants (PAs) are health care professionals who work under the supervision of a physician. The goal of the PA program is to graduate physician assistants who are ready to enter the health-care workforce as adaptable, knowledgeable, and competent health practitioners dedicated to life-long learning.
The mission McMaster’s Physician Assistant Education Program is to educate energetic, innovative, committed, and caring individuals to become role models in a new health care delivery model practicing medicine under the supervision of a physician to expand health care access for the people of Ontario.
In 2008, McMaster University became the first institution in Ontario to launch a Physician Assistant Education Program. The inaugural class of 21 students pioneered a new role in health care provision in the province. The PA program will lead to a health professional, second entry degree: Bachelor of Health Sciences (Physician Assistant) degree. The 24-month condensed program is taught using inquiry and problem-based learning which enhances each student’s ability to think critically, solve problems, demonstrate initiative and independence in practice through entrustable professional activities, and promote lifelong learning.
With an understanding that Indigenous learners can face specific barriers or challenges when pursuing higher education, schools and programs within McMaster’s Faculty of Health Sciences have facilitated admissions streams for applicants with Indigenous North American (First Nations, Inuit or Métis) ancestry. This process is intended to provide equitable access to Indigenous applicants and aligns with the intent of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action.
In alignment with the Faculty of Health Sciences Facilitated Indigenous Admissions Program (FIAP), applicants wishing to apply through McMaster’s FIAP need to complete the supplementary self-identification application in addition to McMaster University and program specific application processes.
The FIAP self-identification application is submitted to McMaster’s Indigenous Health Task Force (IHTF) through the Indigenous Students Health Sciences (ISHS) Office by February 1st, 2024
For further information on the FHS Facilitated Indigenous Admissions Program (FIAP), click on the link https://ishs.mcmaster.ca/admissions/self-identification
The mission of the McMaster University Physician Assistant Education Program is to educate energetic, innovative, committed, and caring individuals to become role models in a new health care delivery model practicing medicine under the supervision of a physician to expand health care access for the people of Ontario.
Physician assistants (PAs) are health care professionals who work with physicians to provide health care. Under the overall supervision of a physician, PAs take histories, conduct physical examinations, order and interpret tests, diagnose and treat illnesses, counsel on preventive health care and may assist in surgery. A PA’s practice may also include education, research, and administration.
PAEP graduates work in a variety of medical settings, including clinics, hospitals, and community settings. Graduates may also be interested in research, medical education, quality assurance, management, or administrative roles. Graduates may also choose to be employed in more than one setting depending on personal preferences (specialty of choice, combination of part time roles, role flexibility, etc.)
PAEP graduates are eligible to challenge the National Certification Exam through the Physician Assistant Certification Council of Canada (PACCC).
The program recommends all graduates register with the Canadian Physician Assistant Association (CAPA). CAPA is the professional body representing PAs and PA practice in Canada.
Average entering GPA
8.6 on a 9-point scale
Graduates weighted average in employer satisfaction
Pass rate for the National Certification Exam.
In the second year of the program, students will undertake approximately 48 weeks of supervised clinical placements. Core experiences will take place in family medicine, pediatrics, geriatrics, internal medicine, surgery, emergency medicine, and psychiatry. Placements will take place in Hamilton, in the expanded McMaster campuses of St. Catharines and Kitchener/Waterloo, as well as in the broader Ontario community. Elective placements will round out the balance of the clinical year and will allow students to pursue additional career interests.
Please refer to the Physician Assistant website for additional information.
- full teaching hospital on campus
- full range of health-related institutions located in the Hamilton region, ranging from community based programs to highly specialized tertiary care services
- new clinical skills and surgery simulation laboratories that work as “flight simulators” for health sciences students
- teaching rooms in the Michael G. DeGroote Centre for Learning & Discovery with the latest smart board and video conferencing technology
- student lounge and home base in the Health Sciences Centre
- Health Sciences library with two storey reading pavilion, study group rooms, electronic resources and e-classroom