The UW-Madison PA Program strives for excellence in PA education and the outcomes listed below demonstrate our achievements in meeting and exceeding programmatic goals.


  • 97% first attempt pass rate on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination, five-year average
  • 98% of program graduates employed at six-months post-graduation
  • 67% of students considered “Mission Match”
  • 10-year continued accreditation with zero citations

Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) pass rates

  • Goal: Maintain a five-year average first attempt pass rate at or above the national average
  • Outcome: 97% first attempt pass rate on the PANCE, five-year average
  • Detail: The UW-Madison PA program has an exceptional pass rate on the PANCE with a five-year first attempt pass rate of 97% compared to the national average of 95% (classes 2017-21).

*Data, including a breakdown by cohort, is compiled and analyzed annually to address comparability of outcomes between the main campus and the distant campuses.

Employment at six months post-graduation

  • Goal: 95% employment for graduates by six months post-graduation, for those who are actively seeking employment
  • Outcome: 98% of program graduates employed at six-months post-graduation
  • Detail: An employment survey is sent to alumni post-graduation and follow up continues for one year. For the classes of 2018-20, 98% were employed, of those employed:
    • 66% practice in Wisconsin
    • 26% practice in primary care
    • 34% practice in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA)/Medically Underserved Population (MUA)
    • 27% practice in a rural area
    • 70% of alumni from the wisPACT@UW-Stevens Point at Wausau cohort practice in a HPSA/MUA or rural area and nearly 50% practice in primary care

*Data, including a breakdown by cohort, is compiled and analyzed annually.

Mission Match

  • Goal: 50% of our students meet "Mission Match" criteria
  • Outcome: 67% of our students are considered "Mission Match" for the class that matriculated in 2021.
  • Detail: "Mission Match" is:
    • Student from a Health Professions Shortage Area (HPSA) or Medically Underserved Community (MUC)
    • Student from an environmentally and/or economically disadvantaged background
    • Student that is a veteran of or currently serving in the military
    • Student that is considered to be part of an underserved population

We currently partner with local and state-wide organizations to recruit students from rural, urban, and underserved communities, and train them for primary care or specialty practice in those communities.

Diversity is central to the mission of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health and to the UW-Madison Physician Assistant Program in meeting the health needs of the people of Wisconsin and beyond. As such, we will recruit, admit, and graduate a diverse student body, maintain an open, inclusive, and respectful learning environment, and employ a curriculum that embraces individual differences and enhances cultural humility.


  • Goal: Maintain continued accreditation
  • Outcome: 10-year continued accreditation with zero citations earned in 2015
  • Detail: The goal of the UW-Madison PA Program is to maintain an accredited program that ensures graduates will have the requisite knowledge and skills for entry to PA practice. The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the University of Wisconsin-Madison PA Program sponsored by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. 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 September 2025. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy. The UW-Madison PA Program has held continuous accreditation status since 1975. The program accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website.

Encourage scholarship

  • Goal: Encourage scholarship with faculty, staff, and students
  • Outcome: Over the past 3 years the UW–Madison PA faculty and staff were invited to present posters and give presentations 42 times at various local, state and national conferences, published eight journal articles, and were awarded over $1.3 million in grants.
  • Details: The goal of the UW-Madison PA Program is to encourage scholarship through faculty and staff development activities, grant funding opportunities, and leadership in professional organizations. Faculty and staff have recently presented on topics to include: wilderness medicine, hunting for illnesses associated with wild game meat in our at-risk patient population, anti-racism in medicine, motivational interviewing and medication assisted treatment. A collaborative article titled, "Wellness Now! Two Physician Assistant Programs' Experiences Incorporating a Wellness Curriculum," can be found in The Journal for Physician Assistant Education's December 2021 edition.

In addition to faculty scholarship students of the PA Program are also required to write a literature review capstone paper and create a poster of their work that is highlighted at the annual UW-Madison PA Program Student Capstone Symposium the week of commencement. Students are also encouraged to present their work at their spring Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants (WAPA) Conference.

Faculty and staff have been recognized at state and national levels including: WAPA PA of the Year awarded to Amy Parins in 2019, Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) Administrative Staff Support Award awarded to Michelle Ostmoe in 2018, PAEA Rising Star Award awarded to Kevin Wyne in 2017, and PAEA Master Faculty Award awarded to Virginia Snyder in 2013.