The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Duke 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remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards.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 in 2028. 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
We recognize our responsibility to the public and to potential and enrolled students to clearly show our data, goals, and outcomes for the last five years as provided below:
Goal #1: Prepare graduates with the requisite medical knowledge and skills to enter into clinical practice.
- Outcome measure: Five-year first-time PANCE pass rate that meets or exceeds the national average.
- Rationale: As a highly successful program, we continuously seek to improve our curriculum to prepare students with the requisite knowledge and skills to pass the PANCE and enter clinical practice.
- Actual Outcome: The Duke PA Program 5-year (2016-2020) first-time PANCE pass rate is 97% versus the national average of 95%.
Goal #2: Matriculate highly qualified applicants that successfully graduate from the program.
- Outcome measure: Five-year rolling graduation rate of 97% or greater.
- Rationale: As a nationally top-ranked program and the birthplace of the PA Profession, we understand that graduates need to be able to meet program expectations, achieve learning outcomes, and successfully graduate to carry on the Duke PA traditions of excellence and service.
- Actual Outcome: 99% PA student graduation rate over the past 5-years (2016-2020).
Goal #3. Support students through all phases of their PA education by holistic academic and professional means.
- Outcome measure: Deceleration rates will be 2% or less.
- Rationale: We recognize that not every student will be able to proceed from semester to semester with a class cohort as scheduled. Illness, life events, and academic challenges will occur and the PA Program seeks to keep students on track to complete the program with the class they were originally enrolled.
- Actual Outcome: In the past five years (2016-2020), <1% of PA students have been decelerated, meaning they have graduated with a later class than that in which they were originally enrolled.
Goal #4. Guide new program graduates with the process of securing employment and gaining entrance into the healthcare workforce.
- Outcome measure: 95% of program graduates will secure employment as a PA within 9 months of graduation.
- Rationale: Not all graduates seek employment immediately, and some will face challenges of varied regional job markets that may influence position availability. We encourage graduates to enter the work force to improve access to care, and provide supportive processes to facilitate their employment.
- Actual Outcome: As of March 2021, 90% of graduates who completed the program in August 2020 are employed as PAs. While we do not have specific data at this time, we believe the COVID pandemic may have impacted job placement for the class of 2020, which was below the program's goal of 95%.