Accreditation & Outcomes

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the University of South Dakota Physician Assistant Program sponsored by the University of South Dakota. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA standards. 

Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2023. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the standards and ARC-PA policy. The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website, which can be viewed here.

Graduates from the program are eligible for the national certification examination administered by the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

NCCPA PANCE Exam Performance Summary Report Last 5 Years

University of South Dakota PA Program Annual Student Attrition Data

Program Competencies

  1. Medical Knowledge
    Demonstration of the pathophysiology, etiology, risk factors, epidemiology, signs and symptoms, differential diagnosis, diagnostic work-up, patient management, surgical principles, health promotion, and disease prevention for a variety of medical conditions.
  2. Interpersonal and Communication Skills
    Demonstration of interpersonal and inter-professional communication skills that effectively and compassionately articulate medical information.
  3. Clinical and Technical Skills
    Demonstration of the delivery of patient-centered assessment, evaluation and management, as well as education and/or counseling for health promotion. Graduating students must also demonstrate the ability to appropriately and safely perform procedures, diagnostic interpretation, or other clinical techniques within the scope of practice of a physician assistant.
  4. Clinical Reasoning and Problem Solving
    Demonstrate the ability to interpret and integrate an evidence-based approach to clinical practice through clinical reasoning, and decision-making processes to improve patient care practices.
  5. Professional Behaviors
    Demonstrate a high level of professionalism through personal behaviors, sensitivity to others, and/or accountability essential to patients, society and the profession.