Physician Assistant Program

Developing caring physician assistants

The Physician Assistant Program is a 28-month graduate program leading to a Master of Science degree (M.S.) in Physician Assistant Studies.

As the first PA program in the state of Arkansas, we are very excited about the potential impact of this program on the local community, the people of Arkansas and worldwide mission fields.

The Harding University Physician Assistant Program has had 411 graduates since our inception in 2005. Program graduates are practicing throughout Arkansas and at least 15 other states in a variety of settings which include Primary Care, Urgent and Emergent Care, Orthopedic, Dermatology, Geriatrics, Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Oncology, Rheumatology, Surgery specialties, Mental Health, Urology, and Pediatrics.

US News & World Reports Best Health Care Jobs lists PAs as #2. 

Bureau of Labor Statistics (April 2018) lists PAs as top 20 fast growing occupations

This is such an exciting time for our students.

Class of 2020:

The Class of 2020 is eagerly awaiting their graduation in December but first they are finishing up their last few rotations, including their Preceptorship rotation.  This class has been a part of history where the medical community has stepped up and faced challenges they never thought they would.  Our students took these challenges head-on and worked in their rotations throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.  We are very proud of them and their hard work and look forward to the Class of 2020 soon becoming Physician Assistants, carrying on the HUPA mission!

Class of 2021

After an intimate White Coat Ceremony, this class of students, who just finished their didactic year, are now off onto the next phase of their HUPA experience - clinical rotations! They were an incredible group, learning through their online courses throughout the heart of Covid-19.  These students had to be adapable and ready for constant changes.  They embraced these changes and came to campus the beginning of July, ready to tackle labs and simluations one after the other in Covid-style. We are proud of this group as they proved their competency throughout this time.  We wish them the best in their rotations!

Class of 2022

We welcome the Class of 2022 to the HUPA Program!  They started Orientation Monday, August 17th and came in with smiling faces (even with masks on you can see when someone is smiling!) and an enthusiastic attitude to start the program, despite starting PA school in the middle of a pandemic.  We are excited to have them on campus and look forward to working with them over the next 28 months!


Virtual Informational Sessions

If you have an interest in learning more about Harding's PA Program, please sign up for one of the virtual informational sessions below!


Thursday, September 24, 2020 @ 6 PM (CDT)

Wednesday, September 30, 2020 @ 1 PM (CDT)

Monday, October 12, 2020 @ 6 PM (CDT)

  • Tech requirements: Computer with camera and audio. We will be using Google Meets. 
  • Registration required: Here 
  • Virtual meeting information provided to you after registration.


On October 24th, 2008 the Center for Health Sciences was officially dedicated during Homecoming activities. Our official building name is Henry & Grace Farrar Center for Health Sciences.

We are located at the corner of Dr. Jimmy Carr Dr (Remington) and E. Park. GPS coordinates which should work with both Google maps and Mapquest are: 35.245067, -91.728389.

Google Maps will find us at Farrar Health Sciences Center, E Park Ave, Searcy AR.

Please stop by to visit if you are in the area.  Take a look at our map for more details and driving instructions.

All classroom based instruction is provided on the Harding main campus located in Searcy. There is no distance learning option available.

In the unlikely event of loss of accreditation and/or closure of a program, the University is committed to teaching out all currently matriculated students, including those in the PA Program. This may involve allowing them to complete their education at Harding University or assisting them in enrolling in an accredited program in which they can continue their education.

PA Program Brochure PDF

Accreditation Status

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued to the Harding University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Harding 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 September 2024. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

Updated (7/17)

Faculty Positions

Physician Assistant Program

Harding University College of Allied Health

The Physician Assistant Program at Harding University is full-time, 12-month faculty positions; rank will be commensurate with applicant experience. Positions are available immediately and the search will continue until all positions are filled.  Individuals appointed to the faculty will have the unique and stimulating opportunity to participate in the continuing development of Physician Assistant Program didactic curricula and supervised clinical experiences with a focus on Christian education. The Program was the first training program of its kind in the state of Arkansas.

Multiple faculty positions are available in the PA program.  Each new faculty member will be responsible for participating in the teaching of the program’s core curriculum, advising and mentoring students, assisting with the hands-on practical training of students in various clinical skills needed in clinical practice, maintaining clinical competency through practice at the program’s affiliated clinic site, conducting scholarly activity in the faculty's area of expertise, and engaging in service to the college, university, and community.

Though the emphasis of the program curriculum is preparation for primary care, applicants from a variety of clinical backgrounds will be considered.  Qualified applicants should possess a minimum of Masters Degree in Physician Assistant studies or similar field.  Three years of clinical experience and one year of teaching experience preferred.  PA applicants should be NCCPA certified and eligible for licensure as a Physician Assistant in the state of Arkansas.  Applicants with other clinical training should have corresponding professional certification and be eligible for professional licensure in the state of Arkansas. Candidates must be able to demonstrate a commitment to Christian education.

Interested individuals should send a personal statement describing their teaching philosophy, three letters of professional reference, a transcript documenting their professional degree training along with any other graduate or professional degrees awarded, and curriculum vitae to: Michael Murphy, MD, Professor and Director, Physician Assistant Program, Harding University, Box 12231, Searcy, AR 72149-5615. E-mail:

Harding University is a private Christian institution of higher education supported chiefly by the fellowship of the churches of Christ. Located in Searcy, Arkansas, 50 miles northeast of Little Rock. The campus is comprised of 44 buildings on 350 acres in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains.  Outdoor recreational opportunities abound in Arkansas, living up to the state’s motto – The Natural State. The surrounding region offers many cultural and arts events: performances of symphony orchestras or ballet, museums of history and art, theatrical productions and opera, and numerous music (especially bluegrass), craft and cultural festivals.

Contact Us

Fax: 501-279-4811

Mailing address:
Harding University
Physician Assistant Program
Box 12231
Searcy, AR 72149-5615