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Master of Physician Assistant Studies

Location: Boston
Start Term: Fall 2023
Application Deadline: September 1, 2022

As a PA, you will work as an integral member of the healthcare team to deliver compassionate care to all patients.

During this three-year graduate program, you will study the medical and behavioral sciences, learn through interprofessional education and participate in clinical rotations.

The program consists of four semesters of didactic courses and labs, followed by three semesters of supervised clinical rotations. These clinical rotations allow you to explore multiple areas of interest and gain experience in a range of specialties that include emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, surgery and many options for two elective rotations.

When you graduate, you’ll have the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver high-quality medical care with confidence.

Application Process

The Physician Assistant Studies program at MCPHS participates in the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). All applicants are required to apply online through this service. The following items must be submitted directly to CASPA:

  • Application with the application fee
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  • Three recommendation letters, two are required for verification. A recommendation from a healthcare professional is strongly encouraged
  • Personal Statement
  • MCPHS Specific Statement of Intent

Admission Requirements

The Physician Assistant Studies - Boston Program does not award advanced placement.

  • Baccalaureate degree (BS or BA) from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university or recognized international equivalent (external applicants)
  • Students with international coursework must submit a course-by-course evaluation from the World Education Service (WES)
  • Proof of English language proficiency is required if your degree is earned outside of the U.S. and if English is not your primary language spoken
  • Minimum overall CASPA verified GPA of 3.0
  • Minimum overall CASPA science verified GPA 3.0
  • Minimum prerequisite GPA 3.0
  • Minimum 250 hours of patient care experience required
  • PA shadowing experience (recommended)
  • Successful completion of faculty interview (by invitation only)
  • Completion of prerequisite coursework (detailed below), completed at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university

Additionally, the following prerequisite courses must be completed by all applicants:

Linked courses are available through the MCPHS School of Professional Studies.

Prerequisite courses (as indicated above) must have been completed at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university with a grade of C or better. Math and science courses must be taken no more than ten years prior to the anticipated date of matriculation to MCPHS. Any applicant with more than two outstanding (grade not yet earned/course not yet taken) prerequisite courses at the time of application is ineligible for review.

Students with international coursework must submit a course-by-course evaluation from the World Education Service (WES).

Undergraduate students in the Premedical Health Studies track who complete all prerequisites and admission requirements as internal applicants are granted an interview in their third undergraduate year. These applicants compete with the external applicants who have also been granted an interview. If they are offered admission to the program, the first year of the PA program is applied towards their undergraduate degree from MCPHS.


Year I-Fall*

PAS 514 Principles of Professional Practice 2
PAS 515 Genetics 1
PAS 516
Introduction to Psychiatry
PAS 517
Human Physiology and Pathophysiology I 3
PAS 518 Clinical Pharmacology I 3
PAS 533
Evidence Based Medicine
PAS 534 Introduction to Public Health 2

Year I-Spring

PAS 520 Clinical Pharmacology II 3
PAS 524 Gross Anatomy (w/lab) 5
PAS 527 Human Physiology and Pathophysiology II 3
PAS 535 Electrocardiography 2
PAS 525
Diagnostic Methods 2

Year II-Fall

PAS 500 Clinical Year Introductory Seminar I 0
PAS 551 Clinical Medicine I 5
PAS 552 Clinical Medicine II 5
PAS 536
Patient Assessment I
PAS 537 Clinical Management of the Patient I 2
PAS 538 Physical Examination I & Lab 4

Year II-Spring

PAS 501 Clinical Year Introductory Seminar II 0
PAS 540 Physical Exam II: Skills and Procedures with Lab IV 4
PAS 546
Patient Assessment II
PAS 547
Clinical Management of the Patient II 2
PAS 553 Clinical Medicine III 5
PAS 554 Clinical Medicine IV 5

Year III-Clinical Rotations**

PAS 600 Internal Medicine 5
PAS 601 Pediatrics 5
PAS 602 Psychiatry 5
PAS 603 Surgery 5
PAS 604 Emergency Medicine 5
PAS 605 Women's Health 5
PAS 607 Family Medicine 5
PAS 608 Elective I 5
PAS 606 Elective II 5

*Competencies during the fall semester: Medical Terminology.

**Beginning in the first summer session following the second year, each student begins a series of required clinical rotations for a duration of 45 weeks. Summer I and II, 15 s.h.; Fall semester, 15 s.h.; Spring semester, 15 s.h.

Total credits to complete degree requirements: 111 s.h.

As an integral part of Master of Physician Assistant Studies program, supervised clinical rotations allow students to apply and reinforce their clinical and patient management skills. Students complete a series of 9 required clinical rotations, each 5 weeks in duration. Rotations capitalize on healthcare institutions throughout Boston, New England and beyond. The breadth of clinical settings offers the future physician assistant the ability to acquire skills and competencies in a variety of settings.

The program has clinical affiliations with a variety of clinical sites in Massachusetts, New England, and throughout the US. Some international clinical sites are also available. Learning experiences occur in a variety of settings, ranging from hospital-based to private practices to suburban clinics.

Rotations in the required curriculum may be scheduled at some distance from the campus. This is necessary to provide a range of diverse learning experiences and ensure availability and quality of clinical rotation sites. Students are responsible for providing their own housing and transportation to and from the clinical sites and campus. Housing and travel costs for the clinical year vary widely depending on the site and location. Physician Assistant students are not responsible for identifying or arranging their own clinical sites. However, the possibility exists for students, if they so choose, to coordinate, with the program, a maximum of two self-identified clinical rotation sites. To ensure quality educational training the sites must be approved by the Physician Assistant Studies Program and University and proper protocol must be followed to arrange for self-identified clinical rotations.

Clinical Rotations
PAS 600 Internal Medicine 5
PAS 601 Pediatrics  5
PAS 602 Psychiatry  5
PAS 603 Surgery  5
PAS 604 Emergency Medicine  5
PAS 605 Women's Health  5
PAS 607 Family Medicine  5
PAS 608 Elective I  5
PAS 606 Elective II  5

Our students learn from faculty who are leaders in their fields and are committed to the success of each student. Discover our full list of Boston campus Physician Assistant Studies faculty

Vision Statement

The MCPHS Boston PA Program is an innovator in PA education that prepares its graduates for current and evolving PA practice. Our graduates will demonstrate respect for patient dignity, diversity, and autonomy by advocating for healthy lifestyles and equitable healthcare delivery for all people. Our graduates will be empathetic and compassionate members and leaders of healthcare teams whose goal is holistic patient health.

Mission Statement

The mission of MCPHS PA Boston is to provide graduates with the knowledge and skills needed to participate in and lead interprofessional healthcare teams while providing quality and compassionate medical care to diverse patients across the lifespan.

Program Goals

The goals of the Master of Physician Assistant Studies program are:

  1. Provide students with a strong foundation in the basic and clinical sciences enabling them to provide high quality preventive care, medical management and patient education in a wide variety of practice settings.
  2. Facilitate active learning and clinical decision making skills.
  3. Foster interpersonal and professional qualities essential to providing patient care in an ethical manner.
  4. Develop skills to function as a competent member of an interprofessional team.
  5. Instill the value of lifelong learning and promote service to the profession.

Download the PANCE 5 year report.

Download the overview of program goal success rates.

Technical Standards

A candidate for the MCPHS University Boston Physician Assistant Studies program must have, at a minimum, skills in five categories: observation, communication, motor, intellectual, and behavioral/social. Reasonable accommodation for persons with documented disabilities will be considered on an individual basis, but a candidate must be able to perform in an independent manner. The following skills are required with or without accommodation:


Candidates must have sufficient capacity to observe in the lecture hall, the laboratory, the outpatient setting, and at the patient's bedside. Sensory skills to perform a physical examination are required. Functional vision, hearing, and tactile sensation are required to properly observe a patient's condition and to perform procedures regularly required during a physical examination such as inspection, auscultation, and palpation.


Candidates must be able to communicate effectively in both academic and healthcare settings. Candidates must show evidence of effective written and verbal communication skills. Candidates must be able to communicate with patients in order to elicit information, describe changes in mood, activity, posture, and perceive nonverbal communications. Candidates must be capable of completing, in a thorough and timely manner, appropriate medical records, documents, and plans according to protocol.


The ability to participate in basic diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers and procedures (e.g., palpation, auscultation) is required. Candidates must have sufficient motor function to execute movements reasonably required to properly care for all patients. Candidates must be able to move freely about patient care environments and must be able to move between settings such as clinics, classroom buildings, and hospitals. In addition, physical stamina sufficient to complete the rigorous course of didactic and clinical study is required. Long periods of sitting, standing, or moving are required in classroom, laboratory, and clinical experiences.


Candidates must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize. Problem solving, one of the critical skills demanded of physician assistants, requires all of these intellectual abilities. Candidates must be able to read and understand medical literature. In order to complete the Physician Assistant Studies program, candidates must be able to demonstrate mastery of these skills and the ability to use them together in a timely fashion in medical problem-solving and patient care.

Behavioral and Social Attributes

Candidates must possess the emotional health and stability required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, and the prompt completion of all academic and patient care responsibilities. The development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients and other members of the healthcare team is essential. The ability to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in clinical practice, flexibility, compassion, integrity, motivation, interpersonal skills, and concern for others are all required. Candidates must be able to function effectively under stress and have the ability to accept constructive criticism and handle difficult interpersonal relationships during training.

ARC-PA Student Attrition

Class Year of Graduation

Maximum entering class size (as approved by ARC-PA)

Entering class size


Attrition rate*

Graduation rate**

Class of 2019






Class of 2020






Class of 2021






*Attrition rate calculation: Number of students who attritted from cohort divided by the entering class size.
**Graduation rate: Number of cohort graduates divided by the entering class size

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation - Continued to the MCPHS University–Boston Physician Assistant Program sponsored by MCPHS University. Continued accreditation is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.

Continued 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 2022.

The program's accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website here.


Physician Assistant Program: Boston


Hear from faculty and see students in action at the MCPHS PA school in Boston.

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Student Spotlight: Russell Horgos, Premed/MPAS

Russell Horgos, BS/MPAS

Before transferring into MCPHS's Premed/MPAS Pathway Program, Russell Horgos attended community college to begin working towards his dream degree.