The UW–Madison Physician Assistant distance learning option is a rigorous three-year program that allows you to stay in your home community while completing the majority of your education.

Is this Program Right for You?

The UW–Madison Physician Assistant (PA) program’s distance learning option is a unique opportunity that makes PA education more accessible, especially if you are from a rural or urban underserved community. You will get deep clinical experience in your community, so you can better serve patients after graduation.


More than 80% of your PA education occurs in the place where you live, as you watch videos recorded in front of classes on the UW-Madison campus each week. As a distance student, you are required to spend the first summer semester on our UW–Madison campus as well as make two campus visits lasting three to four days each semester. This blended approach provides you with the flexibility to learn from home while creating supportive relationships with faculty and fellow students.


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


Employment of PAs is projected to grow nearly 40% in the next decade. Aging populations, widespread chronic disease, and a shortage of physicians increase the demand for quality care provided by Physician Assistants.


The UW–Madison Physician Assistant Studies program is as demanding as most medical schools. Our courses are intense and difficult, but the rewards are profound—to you and to the people whom you seek to serve.


What You Learn

  • Demonstrate and integrate medical knowledge, interpersonal skills, patient care, practice-based learning and improvement, and systems-based practice
  • Synthesize and apply concepts of advanced technology, evidence-based medicine, competency-based training, and scholarly activity

Where & How You Learn


  • Online and in your community; mandatory on-campus, 12-week summer session and two campus visits lasting three to four days each semester


  • Instruction provided through a combination of on-campus residency components and asynchronous distance education (recorded lecture capture with the option to live-stream)
  • Complete one year of full-time, community-based clinical instruction in your community; this includes five 8-week rotations in various medical specialties

Apply Now

All applicants must:

Apply now or visit program website.


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