Butler University’s Physician Assistant program continues to climb in the national rankings, moving up to 37th in the U.S. News & World Report ratings of the Best Physician Assistant Programs.
Since 2013, Butler’s program—the longest-accredited program in the state of Indiana—has moved up 60 places in the rankings. The most recent report, released in 2015, had Butler ranked 40th.
“These rankings are based on reputation, a survey of other leaders in the PA field,” says Butler College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Dean Robert Soltis. “The fact that we’ve gone from 97th in 2013, to 70th in 2014, to 40th in 2015, to now 37th is really impressive.”
PAs have many of the same responsibilities as doctors and work in collaboration with a physician or surgeon. A PA can diagnose a patient, order tests and procedures, and prescribe treatments.
Soltis attributed the boost in reputation to faculty members becoming more visible among their peers and colleagues.
“They’re publishing, they’re making more appearances at national meetings,” he says. “Professor Jennifer Snyder’s been President of the PA Education Association. So some is just the visibility—you get your reputation from people seeing who you are and what you do.”
The Physician Assistant program also has a 99 percent pass rate on the PA certification examination over the past 5 years, a 100 percent job-placement rate within six months of graduation over the past three years, and a championship in the Indiana Academy of PA Student Challenge Bowl for three of the past four years.
As the profession has increased in popularity in the past few years, Butler’s PA program has grown. In 2016, the program switched from three years to two years, and the class grew from 50 to 75.
Soltis says the PA ranking is another reflection of the many happenings in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Earlier this year, Butler moved up to fourth in the nation for the highest passing rates for Pharmacy students taking the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination.
“We’ve got good things happening in our programs in both pharmacy and PA,” he says.