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Master of Physician Assistant Studies

Location: Boston
Start Term: Fall

As a PA, you assist doctors, nurses, and other practitioners in the delivery of compassionate patient care, acting as an essential and valuable member of the greater healthcare team.

During this three-year graduate program, you'll build on your bachelor’s degree as you study the medical and behavioral sciences, learn through interprofessional education, and participate in clinical experiences throughout New England and beyond.

The program consists of four semesters of didactic classwork, followed by three semesters of supervised clinical rotations in a variety of settings. These clinical rotations allow you to explore multiple interest areas and gain experience in a range of specialties that include women's health, internal medicine, psychiatry, pediatrics, emergency medicine, and surgery.

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

For admission to the program, applicants must have:

  • Baccalaureate degree
  • Minimum overall 3.2 GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Minimum overall science GPA 3.2 on a 4.0 scale
  • Minimum prerequisite GPA 3.2 on a 4.0 scale
  • 250 hours of patient care experience
  • Successful completion of faculty interview (by invitation only)

MCPHS Pre-Med PA pathway students:

  • Pathway students with an anticipated graduate program start term of Fall 2021 or later must also meet the above requirements as well as those of their pathway curriculum. Current pathway students with an anticipated graduate program start term of Fall 2020 or earlier should contact the internal admission counselor for pathway requirements.

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

  • General Biology I (3 credits)
  • General Biology II with lab (4 credits)
  • Anatomy & Physiology I & II (6 credits) (Acceptable substitutions include Anatomy & Physiology I and II or one semester’s equivalent of Anatomy and one semester’s equivalent of Physiology.)
  • Microbiology with lab (4 credits)
  • 3 Semesters of Chemistry (one lab required), minimum 10 semester hour credits. At least one semester must be an Upper Level Chemistry course (3 credits). Acceptable upper level courses include Organic Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Biochemistry, or any 200 level or higher Chemistry course.
  • Psychology (3 credits)
  • Statistics (3 credits) (Acceptable substitutions include basic statistics, biostatistics, psychological statistics, economic statistics)

Prerequisite courses (as indicated above) must have been completed at a regionally accredited 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.

Please note: MCPHS University gives priority interview consideration to students currently in our Premedical and Health Studies Pathway Program. MCPHS University receives over 1500 applications each year. We interview approximately 260 external candidates who best demonstrate the ability to be successful in the program and show clear understanding of the role of the PA through written narratives and patient contact experience.


Year I-Fall*

PAS 514 Principles of Professional Practice 2
PAS 515 Genetics 1
PAS 516
Primary Care Psychiatry
PAS 517
Human Physiology and Pathophysiology 3
PAS 518 Clinical Pharmacology I 3
PAS 529
Research Methods I
PAS 534 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 539 Research Methods for PAs II 1
PAS 535 Electrocardiography 2
PAS 525
Diagnostic Methods 2

Year II-Fall

PAS 551 Clinical Medicine I 5
PAS 552 Clinical Medicine II 5
PAS 536
Patient Assessment I
PAS 537 Clinical Therapeutics I 2
PAS 538 Physical Examination I 2
PAS 538L Physical Examination I-Laboratory 2

Year II-Spring

PAS 540 Physical Examination II: Skills and Procedures 2
PAS 540L Physical Examination II: Skills and Procedures Lab 2
PAS 546
Patient Assessment II
PAS 547
Clinical Therapeutics II 2
PAS 553 Clinical Medicine III 6
PAS 554 Clinical Medicine IV 4

Year III-Clinical Clerkships**

PAS 600 Medicine I 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 Medicine II 5
PAS 608 Elective I 5
PAS 606 Elective II 5

*Competencies during the fall semester: Library Modules and Medical Terminology.

**Beginning in the first summer session following the second year, each student begins a series of required clinical clerkships 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 and the New England area. 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 to coordinate, with the program, a maximum of two out-of-network clinical 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 out- of-network clinical rotations.

Clinical Clerkships
PAS 600 Medicine I 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 Medicine II  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

Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) Performance

Download the first time PANCE pass rates for the five most recent graduating classes here.

Success at Meeting Program Goals

To foster student success, PA Boston has established program outcome goals that are based on the Competencies for the Physician Assistant Profession. We track our success at meeting these goals by surveying our graduates. The graduate survey asks many Likert-type questions and graduate responses are averaged.

Summarized below are graduate survey response data for our last five graduated classes. Below the goal is a table that breaks the goal into its component parts and reports data by class year. Data for the classes of 2015 through 2018 are based on a 1-5 point scale (5 is the best) and data for the class of 2014 are based on a 1-4 point scale (4 is the best).

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.

Class of Basic Clinical
Science Foundation
Provision of
Preventive Care
Provision of
Medical Management
Provision of
Patient Education
2018 4.2 4.2 4.3 4.5
2017 4.5 4.3 4.4 4.6
2016 4.3 4.2 4.2 4.4
2015 4.3 4.2 4.2 4.6
2014* 3.0 2.9 2.8 3.1
* = 4 point scale.

2. Facilitate active learning and clinical decision making skills.

Class of Facilitation of
Active Learning
Facilitation of Clinical
Decision Making Skills
2018 4.7 4.3
2017 4.7 4.4
2016 4.5 4.3
2015 4.7 4.4
2014* 3.0 2.7
* = 4 point scale.

3. Foster interpersonal and professional qualities essential to providing patient care in an ethical manner.

Class of Possession of
Interpersonal Qualities
Possession of
Professional Qualities
Fostering and
Provision of Ethical Care
2018 4.5 4.5 4.6
2017 4.5 4.6 4.6
2016 4.4 4.4 4.5
2015 4.5 4.6 4.6
2014* 3.0 3.0 3.0
* = 4 point scale.

4. Develop skills to function as a competent member of an interprofessional team.

Class of Possession of Interprofessional Team Practice Skills
2018 4.5
2017 4.5
2016 4.4
2015 4.5
2014* 2.9
* = 4 point scale.

5. Instill the value of lifelong learning and promote service to the profession.

Class of Value of
Lifelong Learning
Commitment to
Professional Service
2018 4.5 4.5
2017 4.5 4.6
2016 4.4 4.4
2015 4.5 4.6
2014* 2.9 3.0
* = 4 point scale.

The annual tuition for the Accelerated Master of  Physician Assistant Studies program is:

  • Pre-professional phase: $33,600 (per combined fall and spring semesters )
  • Professional Year Rate (4th year): $39,500 (per combined fall and spring semesters)

For more detailed information, visit:

Tuition and Fees

Payments, Withdrawals and Refunds

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.

Vision Statement

The goal of physician assistant education is to provide graduating physician assistants with the tools necessary to work within the healthcare system as part of a medical team. Physician assistants are essential in order to increase patient access to medical care. The goal of a successful PA program is to teach PA students a method of collecting practical, relevant, and comprehensive patient information and to communicate that information to other medical team members in order to establish the most accurate and complete clinical assessment and create the best treatment plan. PA students learn to take a detailed and pertinent history from patients and family members in order to appreciate and document the complex and subtle details needed to create an accurate diagnosis. Students learn to appreciate and describe abnormal physical exam findings. With a strong foundation in pathophysiology and clinical medicine, PA students determine which diagnostic studies are necessary for obtaining pertinent clinical information and interpret the results of laboratory tests and radiographs. By demonstrating facility with these tools, the PA will improve the quality of life of those they serve.

Mission Statement

The mission of MCPHS University Boston-PA Program is to provide each student with the knowledge and skills to provide quality and compassionate medical care, function as a highly valued member of a health care team, and serve as a patient advocate.

Program Goals

The goals of the Master’s in 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.

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.


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.