Physician Assistant

Physician Assistant Studies (MS)

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OverviewMission, Vision and Goals| Open House Information

Application deadline - September 1st


Physician Assistants (PAs) are health care providers who practice medicine with physician supervision. They are highly sought after members of the health care team who provide diagnostic and therapeutic patient care. PAs are dependent practitioners who perform a broad range of medical tasks and procedures with the supervision, but not necessarily in the presence, of a supervising physician. The PA scope of practice is authorized by state law and determined by the supervising physician.

PAs take medical histories, perform physical examinations, order diagnostic tests/studies, diagnose, develop and implement a treatment plan in consultation with the supervising physician, prescribe medication in all states, advise and educate patients on health promotion and disease management, provide inpatient hospital care for patients and assist in surgery. They provide care both in teaching institutions and in hospitals where there are no physician residents and are employed in health centers, multi-specialty medical group practices, emergency rooms, college health services, physician's offices, and nursing homes.

Northeastern University's Bouvé College of Health Sciences has been training physician assistants since 1971, making us one of the most experienced programs in the nation. Since its founding, Northeastern's PA Program has been accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) and its predecessors. The program last received full re-accrediation in 2008; the next re-accreditation review is scheduled for July 2014.  The program continually conducts self-review to ensure compliance with all ARC-PA guidelines and standards.  The 2011 US News and World Report Graduate Rankings list Northeastern University's Physician Assistant Program as #13 in the nation.

The program is a full-time, 24-month graduate program that provides an opportunity to earn a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies. Graduates of the PA program take the PA National Certifying Examination (PANCE) after graduation. Certification is required for initial licensure/registration in all states. The pass rates for first-time takers of the Northeastern PA Program compare very favorably with the national rates.  Northeastern's PANCE scores for the previous 5 years are at the  National Commision on the Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

Mission Statement:  The mission of the Northeastern University Physician Assistant Program is to prepare students to become exceptional clinicians and leaders within the health care community.

Vision:  Our vision is to be a leader in physician assistant education by utilizing technology-enhanced education and interprofessional clinical learning experiences.

General Program Goals:

  • Attract individuals from diverse backgrounds to the Physician Assistant Program.
  • Prepare students to become effective members of an interprofessional team and leaders in health care and the community.
  • Graduate competent medical practitioners who are in high-demand by employers.
  • Prepare students as critical thinkers and lifelong learners.

The Northeastern University Physician Assistant Program Goals Report highlighting our successes and achievements in meeting our program goals can be found here.  

Core Values:

  • Diversity:  The Northeastern University Physician Assistant Program embraces diversity and fosters a culture of respect that affirms inter-group relations and builds community.
  • Integrity:  The Northeastern University Physician Assistant Program believes that excellence in health care is founded on honesty, integrity, compassion and the highest ethical standards.
  • Engagement:  The Northeastern University Physician Assistant Program promotes commitment to lifelong learning, community service and engagement in emerging health care issues nationally and globally.

Open House Information

The program is unable to offer tours of campus.  However, the Bouvé College of Health Sciences Graduate School schedules several open houses and information sessions during the academic year.  A representative from the PA Program is always in attendance at these events.  Please see the Graduate School Open House web page to access the schedule for the next academic year or contact their office at 617-373-2708.

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Contact Info

Physician Assistant
202 Robinson Hall
Tel: 617.373.3195