In order to successfully complete the requirements of the physician assistant curriculum, each student admitted to the program must be able to perform certain cognitive and technical skills. This necessitates the use of the senses (sight, smell, audition and touch); the ability to effectively communicate, and the use of coordination, balance and motor strength. In addition, candidates must also have the ability to develop the intellectual capacity, bedside manners, and technical skills that are required to successfully perform the functions of a competent physician assistant. Candidates who are accepted as students in the physician assistant program must meet the following standards.


The student must have sufficient vision to be able to observe demonstrations, experiments, laboratory exercises, visual presentations and computer-facilitated instruction. The student must be able to differentiate between normal and pathological states and distinguish between colors. The student must be able to observe patients closely and at a distance. The student must be able to utilize the complimentary use of smell, touch and hearing.


The student must be able to speak, hear, read and write in order to elicit and exchange information with patients, family members, and other health care providers. The student must be able to perceive verbal and non-verbal cues as they pertain to patients' conditions. The student must be able to facilitate the flow of information with respect and sensitivity towards faculty, patients, families, and other members of the health care team.


The student must have the motor control and coordination to perform physical examinations through inspection, palpation, auscultation and percussion in order to elicit information. The student must be able to perform laboratory procedures, clinical skills and diagnostic maneuvers, with and without the use of equipment. The student must be able to bend, manipulate, lift lightly and assist patients.

Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative

The student must have the ability to comprehend, memorize, interpret, analyze and synthesize information presented in the classroom, laboratory and clinical settings. The student must also be able to measure, calculate, formulate, reason and make diagnostic and therapeutic decisions. The student must be able to assimilate and integrate information through a variety of modalities such as classroom instruction, group interaction, research, individual study, and presentations. The student must be able to integrate the use of computer programs and web-based resources into learning.

Behavioral and Social Attributes

The student should have the deportment to facilitate sensitive, empathetic, mature and effective relationships with patients, their families, peers and other members of the health care team. The student must have the emotional health for full utilization of his or her intellectual capabilities, to exercise good judgment, to promptly complete all responsibilities and assignments attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients. The student should be able to recognize limitations of his or her education and training and be willing to seek consultation when appropriate. The student should be able to recognize, handle and/or assist in life-threatening situations. The student must have the humility to accept constructive critique and the perseverance to complete an arduous course of study.

As part of the educational program, all students will be required to interact and perform physical examinations on patients of all genders, simulated and real. Pelvic and breast examinations will be performed on anatomic models during the first year and on real patients during the second year. Students admitted to the program who are unable to meet this requirement, must inform the program upon acceptance so that reasonable arrangements can be made, if possible.

Contact the Department of Physician Assistant Studies

Chair: Heather Ontiveros
Department Secretary: Daphne Paramo
Graduate Admissions Counselor: Raymond Lopez
Email: (for admissions and application questions)
Phone: (951) 552-8138

Mailing Address:
8432 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504

Physical Address:
Health Science Campus
3532 Monroe Street
Riverside, CA 92504