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Physician Assistant Studies, MPAS

Earn a master's degree online as a PA at UNMC

Program Description

This online Physician Assistant master's degree program enables practicing PAs to earn an advanced degree without putting their practice on hold.

Advance your education and professional goals. Qualified candidates work with an adviser to develop a plan of study that tailors the student’s clinical and educational background with their professional goals.

Special Accreditation

The online master of Physician Assistant Studies degree advancement option is a post-professional education program that provides the practicing PA with additional knowledge and skills beyond the baccalaureate-level physician assistant program, transitioning students to the master’s level.

The program utilizes distance learning as its method and requires no physical presence or resident time on the UNMC campus.

It is, therefore, neither a residency program nor an entry-level program. Consequently, it is not accredited by, or being considered for accreditation by the ARC-PA since the ARC-PA does not currently consider "transition" programs under their purview.

The Physician Assistant Studies degree program is an integral part of the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s educational programs which are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, a regional institutional accrediting agency.

Delivery Format

Home Campus: University of Nebraska Medical Center

Method of Delivery: 100% Online - what's this?Program can be completed fully at a distance. Courses are asynchronous, meaning students and instructor may access content at any time and do not have to be connected to the Internet at the same time. If your program includes an internship or practicum, experiences may be completed in the student's local area.

All online courses are accessed via the Internet and use a learning management system. Technology requirements may vary by program and course, but all campuses have basic recommended requirements. High-speed Internet is required.

Interaction with professors and other students may include:

  • E-mail
  • Online discussion boards
  • Phone or video conferencing
  • Other forms of electronic and print communication

Supplemental materials for some courses may include:

  • Printed material and scanned documents
  • Digital resources accessed through university libraries
  • Videos accessed via the Internet, CDs or DVDs
  • Other media

To be successful, students taking online classes should be reasonably comfortable using a computer and the Internet. Learn more about online student tips for success.

View specific UNMC technology requirements >

Students are required to write papers, complete projects, conduct research, communicate with professors and students online, work independently on assignments and with coworkers on group projects, do case presentations, take quizzes and exams, much as students on campus are required to do.

Academic Year 2015 - 2016

Tuition rates are effective for the academic year listed.  Tuition is subject to change.

Nebraska Resident:

 TuitionDistance Ed. FeeTechnology FeeLibrary FeeTotal
Per credit hour$323.00$25.00$0.00$4.00$352.00
3 credit hour$969.00$75.00$0.00$12.00$1,056.00


 TuitionDistance Ed. FeeTechnology FeeLibrary FeeTotal
Per credit hour$323.00$25.00$0.00$4.00$352.00
3 credit hour$969.00$75.00$0.00$12.00$1,056.00
Note: All students pay one distance education tuition rate; non-resident rates do not apply.

Per semester costs:

$50.00 Registration fee per semester (each semester enrolled)

$75.00 Technology fee per semester (each semester enrolled)

Financial Aid

Degree advancement students are considered part-time. Students enrolled in a DAO program may be eligible for financial aid including loans and deferment of student loans during this program.

Once you have been accepted into the program the UNMC Financial Aid Office is available to assist you. Students who wish to be considered for financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Military and veterans' benefits are also available.

Plan of Study

The online master of Physician Assistant Studies degree program consists of 36 semester credit hours of didactic courses, in addition to educational methodology and clinical experiences intended to be completed over five semesters.

Students must choose either the clinical track or the education track for their program of study.

In order to complete the program in five semesters, students must complete one didactic course each semester combined with one course from the clinical track or one course from the education track. The courses required to complete the program are listed below:

Didactic Courses

  • SAHP 626 Health Care Ethics & Critical Thinking – 3  credit hours
  • SAHP 631 Health Care Management – 3  credit hours
  • PHAS 680 Health Care Policy – 3  credit hours
  • PHAS 682 Clinical Inquiry and Writing – 3  credit hours
  • PHAS 790 Masters Project – 4  credit hours

Clinical Track Courses

  • PHAS 785 Advanced Supervised Clinical Practice I – 4 credit hours 
    • (4 credit hours of clinical practice = 160 hours per semester in a specialty concentrated area.)
  • PHAS 786 Advanced Supervised Clinical Practice II – 4  credit hours
  • PHAS 787 Advanced Supervised Clinical Practice III – 4  credit hours
  • PHAS 788 Advanced Supervised Clinical Practice IV – 4  credit hours
  • PHAS 799 Advanced Supervised Clinical Practice V – 4  credit hours

Note: To complete the clinical track of this program, students are required to complete and document a total of 800 clinical hours (160 hours each semester) in a specific concentration area. Your concentration area should be based on the type of clinic/practice in which you are employed (i.e., family medicine, geriatrics, internal medicine, etc.). Each semester is 14-16 weeks in length.

Education Track Courses

The Education Track courses are currently under development and pending approval. The first course – Instructional Design in Higher Learning – was offered during the Fall 2012 semester. Students interested in the Education Track may begin the track now or contact the program for more information.

  • Instructional Design in Higher Learning – 4 credit hours
  • Education Theory in Medicine – 4 credit hours
  • Leadership in Clinical Education – 4 credit hours
  • Supervised Teaching Practice I – 4 credit hours
  • Supervised Teaching Practice II – 4 credit hours
  • Supervised Teaching Practice: to complete the education track of this program, students are required to complete and document a total of 320 clinical teaching hours (160 hours in each of two semesters) in a supervised situation. This can be associated with a formal institution of higher learning or can be other forms of community education/patient education.

Education goals and objectives have been established for several concentration areas. See the program website for a full list >  

The applicant should select the one that best matches his/her clinical practice. The applicant whose specialty is not listed should contact the program.

University of Nebraska online programs have the same quality instructional faculty as on campus; individuals from a variety of backgrounds, who embody the combined qualities resulting from research experience and professional/field experience.

View a list of Allied Health faculty >


Guidelines for Admittance

Applicants to the online master of Physician Assistant Studies must:

  • Graduate from an accredited PA program and possess a baccalaureate degree from an institution of higher learning accredited by an agency recognized by the US Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation;

  • Present a professional PA program GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale;

  • Present evidence of current or prior certification by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA);

  • Identify an approved supervisor who agrees to be your preceptor for the duration of your enrollment in the program;

  • Present evidence of personal professional liability coverage; and

  • Provide evidence of current state PA license (military or federal employees exempt).    

Applicants will be considered without regard to age, sex, race, color, national origin, religion, political beliefs, or disability. 

Application Checklist

For a detailed description of the steps to application, visit the MPAS How to Apply page >

Application Deadlines

For the most current application deadlines and instructions, please see the UNMC Physician Assistant How to Apply page.

Applicants will be considered without regard to age, sex, race, color, national origin, religion, political beliefs, or disability.


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