The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Wake Forest University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Wake Forest University. 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remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards.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 2032. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at

The Physician Assistant Program is a graduate-level program that awards a Master of Medical Science (MMS) degree after 24 months of study. The Wake Forest PA Program is approved by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) for 64 students at our Winston-Salem campus and up to 32 students at our expanded campus at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. Accreditation for the Boone cohort was granted in September 2013, and the first students enrolled in June 2014. The Boone campus has also been approved by SACSCOC.

Attrition Rates

Graduate Classes Class of 2019 Class of 2020 Class of 2021 Class of 2022 Class of 2023 
Maximum entering class size
(as approved by ARC-PA)
96 96 96 96 96
Entering class size 89 90 90 90 89
Graduates 84 86 85 88 85
*Attrition rate 6% 4% 6% 2% 4%
**Graduation rate 94% 96% 94% 98% 96%

*Attrition rate calculation: Number of students who attrited from cohort divided by the entering class size

**Graduation rate: Number of cohort graduates divided by the entering class size

Graduation Rates

For detailed information on our Graduation Rates, see Goal #2 below.

PANCE Pass Rates

The most recent PANCE pass rate information is available: PANCE Pass Rate (pdf)

PA Program Goals

Program Competencies

Wake Forest PA Program structures its curriculum based upon these competencies:

  • Medical Knowledge
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  • Patient Care
  • Professionalism
  • Practice Based Learning
  • Systems Based Practice

The Wake Forest University School of Medicine PA Program guides students through the acquisition of key learning outcomes which form the basis of the competencies necessary to practice medicine successfully as PAs. In addition, the Program emphasizes in its core objectives the demonstration of leadership and professionalism as well as scholarship and intellectual curiosity.

Our program utilizes the “Competencies for the Physician Assistant Profession” which were collaboratively developed and adopted by the four major PA organizations: National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA), the Accreditation Review Commission for Education of the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA), the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) and the American Academy of PAs (AAPA).

In addition, curriculum content is informed by the NCCPA blueprint for the PA National Certification Exam (PANCE) so that our graduates are prepared for the entry-level requirements for the profession.

Curriculum Resources