Curriculum & Courses
Physician Assistant Studies (MS)
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. The Physician Assistant Studies (MS) program is a full-time, 24-month graduate program that provides an opportunity to earn a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies.
- Anatomy and Physiology 1
- Physical Diagnosis and Patient Evaluation 1
- Pharmacology 1
- Professional Issues for Physician Assistants
- Principles of Medicine 1
- Principles of Psychiatry
- Anatomy and Physiology 2
- Physical Diagnosis and Patient Evaluation 2
- Pharmacology 2
- Clinical Lab and Diagnostic Methods
- Principles of Medicine 2
- Principles of Surgery
- Clinical Neurology
- Principles of Pediatrics
- Health Care Delivery
- Principles of Medicine 3
- Principles of Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Principles of Orthopedics
- Aspects of Primary Care
- Emergency Medicine and Critical Care
- Aging and Rehabilitation Medicine
- Research Design
Completion of an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) with a grade of 70% or better is required for progression to the clinical year.
Clinical rotations are a critical part of PA training. After successfully completing the didactic portion of the program in the first year, the subsequent 12 months are spent in clinical rotations. Rotations are assigned at a variety of medical settings. Because of Northeastern’s recognized focus on practice-oriented education and the PA Program’s longevity and reputation in the field, we can offer students a wide variety of clinical opportunities at hospitals, clinics, private practitioner’s offices, and multispecialty clinics. All students experience a broad diversity of patient populations and practice sites.
Students do not need to find their own clinical placements. We have long-standing relationships with many sites and supervisors and are able to place students in rotations. Free housing is usually provided for distant rotations. Every student receives an individualized rotation schedule and completes a 5-week clinical rotation in each of the following areas of medicine. The sequence varies for each student.
Family Practice Medicine
Obstetrics and Gynecology
Only the elective rotation is chosen by the student and may be done in any medical specialty either in this country or abroad. The Clinical Coordinator must approve all elective rotations to ensure they fulfill learning objectives and provide adequate supervision.
Completion of a schlolarly project by the end of the second year is required for graduation.
Academic Requirements for Enrolled Students
- Students are expected to maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 (“B”) in all course work. If the cumulative GPA falls below 3.0, students are placed on academic probation. Only two courses may be repeated in meeting the GPA of at least 3.0 (“B”) required for the degree. “Satisfactory” and “Unsatisfactory” grades are not included in the GPA.
- Students must receive a grade of “C” or better in each individual course. If a course grade is below “C,” students are placed on academic probation even if the GPA is above 3.0.
- Students must obtain a GPA of at least 3.0 (“B”) in each semester. If the GPA for any semester is below 3.0, students are placed on academic probation.
- Students who receive a grade of “F” or “U” in a course may make up the course based on their advisor’s recommendation and permission of the Program Director. Students are not permitted to repeat a course more than once. As didactic courses are offered only once each year, students may have to wait at least one year to repeat a failed course or one in which they received a grade of “U.” In some cases, this could mean that students may not continue in the Program because they have not completed a prerequisite. Course credits earned in the Program are valid for a maximum of four years unless an extension is granted by the PA Program Director.
- To be removed from probation, students must clear any deficient grades; maintain a 3.0 GPA in all future semesters without receiving an “I,” “F,” “U,” or “W” grade; meet the requirements listed above; and petition for removal from probationary status. Students who do not meet these requirements are subject to dismissal. Readmission to the program is at the discretion of the Program Admissions Committee.
- An “I” (Incomplete) grade will be changed to a letter grade when the deficiency that led to the “I” is corrected to the satisfaction of and in the manner prescribed by the course instructor. A grade of “I” must be cleared within one calendar year from the date of its initial recording on a student’s permanent record. Students must sign an Incomplete Contract with the Program as required by the Registrar’s office and complete the terms specified prior to clearing the “I”.
- Students are permitted to decelerate in the event of a formal leave of absence. A leave of absence is granted at the discretion of the Bouvé College Dean of Graduate Studies and is limited to one year in duration. The student must petition the Bouvé College Dean of Graduate Studies to return to the Program. The Program itself does not participate in the granting of a leave or in reinstatement. After a return from the leave of absence, the student must repeat in its entirety any course for which a final grade was not entered.
- A letter grade is given for each clinical rotation (applied study). The clinical grade includes a review of the student’s clinical performance and professional conduct as determined by the preceptor at each site. A grade of at least “C” in each clinical rotation is required. If a student fails a rotation, repeating it is at the discretion of the preceptor and Program Director. A student may repeat only one rotation during the entire PA Program.
- Students must have at least a 3.0 GPA to enter their second year (Semester 4). In addition, students must complete and pass formal an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) to progress to the second year. Students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA during the clinical year or be placed on academic probation. In order to graduate, students must pass all end-of-rotation exams as well as a comprehensive exam at the completion of their second year. Passing for all exams is above 2 standard deviations from the mean.
- Students are also required to successfully complete a Scholarly Paper/Capstone Project of publishable quality prior to graduation. A passing grade for the Scholarly Project is 70% or higher.
- Students must have at least a 3.0 GPA upon completion of the Program to receive the Master’s degree.