Skip to main content

The clinical phase of the UNC Physician Assistant program promotes and encourages student development in the areas of professionalism, evidence-based learning, skill mastery and inter-professional teamwork. Building upon the twelve-month didactic curriculum in basic and clinical sciences, students will successfully complete supervised clinical practice experiences (SCPEs) otherwise referred to as clinical rotations. In addition, students will participate in clinical seminars interspersed throughout the clinical year by returning to campus for “call back” sessions to engage in interactive activities focusing on medical education, professionalism topics, healthcare leadership, and issues impacting current PA practice. The clinical phase builds upon the foundation required to empower students as they transition into professional practice following graduation.

Requirements for student placement in clinical sites include, but are not limited to, current criminal background check, urine drug screen, and required site immunizations. The UNC PA program is required to notify sites of any adverse findings, and inability to place a student due to same may delay or prevent graduation from the program.


Over the course of the twelve-month clinical phase students will complete ten SCPEs in addition to the Clinical Seminar courses (3), a master’s Capstone project, a PANCE review workshop, and summative program assessments.

SCPEs include seven core rotations and three electives (see course descriptions below). The UNC PA program is partnered with the UNC Health network of hospitals and clinics located throughout North Carolina in addition to numerous other clinical sites with the goal of providing students the best possible clinical and educational experience. All clinical sites are selected and reviewed annually in accordance with program, university, and accreditation requirements with affiliation agreements mandated and approved by UNC. It is the responsibility of the program to provide clinical sites and students are not required to provide or solicit such sites. SCPEs also must provide students hands on clinical experience and may not be observational only (limited only to shadowing).

Students should be prepared to live away from their local residence for a minimum of two SCPEs. Travel to clinical rotation sites may be throughout the state of North Carolina. Housing and transportation for clinical sites located outside of the Chapel Hill area are the responsibility of the student. AHEC (Area Health Education Center) housing may be available for placements greater than 60 miles from the PA program but is not guaranteed.

Clinical Phase Courses

Students will complete 43 course credits for the clinical phase.

  • Family Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics
  • Women’s Health
  • Behavioral Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Medicine Electives (I, II and III)
  • Clinical Seminar I
  • Clinical Seminar II
  • Clinical Seminar III

Prior to starting SCPEs students will successfully complete BLS, ACLS, and PALS (offered by the program).

Additional Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Visiting Student Opportunities