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PA: Certificate vs. BS vs. Master's - the Difference?

Discussion in 'Clinicians [ RN / NP / PA ]' started by Kate6058, May 14, 2007.

  1. Kate6058

    Kate6058 7+ Year Member

    Apr 13, 2007
    Hi, everyone. I have a question for anyone who may know - is there a difference in job opportunity, career advancement, or rate of pay among the three certifications of Certificate, BS, or MS? I'm thinking of applying to PA programs and already have a BS, so ideally I'd like the MS, but some of the programs I'm interested in only offer certificate programs at this time. Would it be more to my benefit to go for a Master's or does this not matter in the PA field?
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  3. core0

    core0 Which way is the windmill 7+ Year Member

    Look over on there are lots of posts on this subject. The short answer is that PA education is competency based and they are all taught the same. There are some areas like academic settings where it may be helpful to have a master's (or if you want to practice in Arkansas or Ohio). You may have financial aid issues in a certificate program if you already have a bachelors. Finally look closely at the certificate programs, most of them have a distance learning option that allows you to get your master's at the same time as your certificate.

    David Carpenter, PA-C
  4. PhysioMan

    PhysioMan 's Hater 2+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2007
    core0 is dead on. I could not get Federal Grants (free money) because I have a B.S. going for a Cert. PA Program. Doesn't make sense but hey, it is the Government...:confused:
    My Program also has a Master's option with a University if that is what you want. Or you could go for the online Master's through UNMC while you are working as a PA-C...Decide what state/locality you desire to work in and use that as a guide to what type of degree you need. What type of degree you want (not need) is more of a personal issue if the place/setting you will work at just cares about the PA-C after your name. Competency-based profession is the way of the PA-C...Degree-based profession is against the spirit of the PA-C but unfortunately a materializing reality.:thumbdown:

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