Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)

The University's Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) is a professional degree program that immerses students in science and clinical coursework, clinical skills training and supervised clinical practice.

Why choose this physician assistant program?

The MPAS program offers students from Nevada's colleges and universities the opportunity to obtain an advanced degree in medicine in less time than it takes to earn a Doctor of Medicine degree. This full-time, 25-month program takes place at the University's Redfield Campus.

Students who complete the physician assistant master's degree program gain the knowledge to perform physical exams, order and review medical testing, diagnose and treat illnesses, assist in surgeries, counsel patients and families on preventive health care, and much more, as part of a physician-PA health care team.

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine offers a high-quality educational experience and exceptional faculty, which can boost students' career prospects upon graduation. Because MPAS students do not have to complete a residency program after their education, graduates can immediately begin working in the health care industry after passing a national certification exam.

Because of the dire lack of primary care providers in its rural and underserved urban communities, Nevada presents numerous career opportunities for physician assistants. National career prospects for physician assistants are also strong. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 30 percent growth rate in the number of physician assistants from 2014 to 2024 -- more than three times the national average for all occupations.

How do I apply?

All applications are handled through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Applicants must provide with their application:

  • Personal statement (submitted through CASPA)
  • Three letters of recommendation from any person able to describe the qualities that make the student a desirable candidate for the PA program and why the student suits the profession
  • Official transcripts from each institution attended (submitted through CASPA)
  • Basic Life Support (BLS) Certification - the student is responsible to maintain a valid certification for the entire duration of the program

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required.

All applicants must have completed the following prerequisites:

  • Bachelor's degree (any major) from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning in the U.S.
  • 2.75 minimum GPA
  • 2,000-hour minimum paid, direct hands-on clinical patient care (student practicum or shadowing experience are not accepted; health care hours are subject to verification)
  • Anatomy and physiology, two semesters (lab preferred, must be human anatomy - animal or comparative anatomy courses are not accepted)
  • General biology, one semester (microbiology with lab strongly recommended)
  • General chemistry, one semester (biochemistry recommended)
  • General statistics, one semester (quarter accepted)

For more details on applying and deadlines, see the School of Medicine's MPAS admissions page.

Is funding available?

PA school is a significant financial investment. It is important students take this responsibility seriously. Outside employment is highly discouraged while enrolled in this program, due to the rigorous study requirements, and research and teaching assistantships are not offered within the program.

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine works with the University's Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to arrange scholarships and financial assistance. A FAFSA must be submitted in order to receive assistance.

The Nevada Health Service Corps (NHSC) offers opportunities for student loan forgiveness to qualifying graduates. The NHSC was created to designate areas of underservice within the state and match practitioners to those areas of need. Visit the Nevada Health Service Corps/Nevada State Office of Rural Health website for additional information.

What's next?

All MPAS applications are handled through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants -- please visit the site for more details on applying. You may also email or call (775) 784-4843 if you have questions about the program.

More Info