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The Utah Physician Assistant Program (UPAP) at the University of Utah, School of Medicine is one of the oldest PA programs in the country, and has held continued accreditation since 1971. We are proud of our heritage that includes the MEDEX model and co-sponsorship of the Utah Medical Association, the largest constituency association in the state of Utah. As a program created from the MEDEX model, UPAP is committed to training PAs who will be prepared to meet the challenges of providing high quality care to patients in medically underserved and rural communities. The program has refined its curriculum and format to provide the best combination of didactic and clinical training to accomplish this mission. UPAP has been consistently ranked as top a Top 10 PA Program in the country by the US News and World Report since rankings have been provided in 2004. We are honored to be part of the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine with campuses located both in Salt Lake City and St. George, Utah. Our PA program is the oldest, continuously accredited program in the western United States.

Distant Campus in St. George, Utah

The University of Utah Physician Assistant Program received accreditation by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) in April 2018 to establish the distant campus in St. George, Utah in the Russel C. Taylor Health Science Center at Dixie State University and adjoining to Dixie Regional Medical Center, a level II trauma center that is the major medical referral center for Northwestern Arizona, Southeastern Nevada, and Southern Utah.

The University of Utah PA Program in St. George has a matriculating a class of 16 students. Candidates may apply to the St. George campus in the current CASPA application cycle. Requirements for candidates interested in the St. George campus will be the same as those for the Salt Lake City campus. Please visit our admissions webpages for requirements.

Mission & Vision


To improve the quality of health and access to care, with a commitment to the medically underserved, by educating students to become highly proficient, socially conscious, and accountable physician assistants (PAs) in the primary care model. 


The University of Utah Physician Assistant Program will steadfastly be a leader in PA education by providing an innovative and equitable academic and clinical environments to inspire graduates to fulfill our mission, while also contributing to the growth and advancement of the profession.

To achieve our vision, the University of Utah Physician Assistant Program will:

  • Sustain and foster inclusion and diversity that integrates social accountability and justice throughout our program development, and the recruitment and retention of diverse students, staff, and faculty
  • Promote primary care as a means to improve health equity
  • Create life-long, self-directed learners
  • Collaborate and lead in local, national, and international communities.

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Accreditation Status

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Utah Physician Assistant Program sponsored by University of Utah School of Medicine and the Utah Medical Association. 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 March 2026. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

Program Director

Jared Spackman
Jared Spackman, MPAS, PA-C

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