Physician Assistant Program

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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. Located within the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine, the program is co-sponsored by the Utah Medical Association. 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, and the program has refined its curriculum and format to provide the best combination of didactic and clinical training to accomplish this mission.

Distant Campus in St. George, Utah

The University of Utah Physician Assistant Program has applied to the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) to establish a distant campus in St. George, Utah, in the health sciences facilities on the campus of Dixie State University. Final approval from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) is also pending. 

The U of U PA Program in St. George anticipates matriculating a class of 16 students in May of 2018, pending final approval by ARC-PA. 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 intergrates 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


Jennifer Forbes, PA-C faculty member in St. George Utah for being selected for the first cohort of Mental Health Outreach Fellows.

PA Anniversary