Pacific gives you an edge in Physician Assistant Studies.

Physician assistants (PAs) are healthcare professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician collaboration. In an interprofessional setting, Pacific PA students will become proficient in the full array of skills involved in completing medical histories, performing physical examinations, performing clinical skills and procedures, providing treatment, and counseling patients.

The Program, located on Pacific's Sacramento campus, matriculates 45 students each January.

High PANCE pass rates
 

Elective clinical rotations and specialty tracks


Advanced clinical skills and procedure training

Interprofessional education

Pacific’s PA program provides numerous opportunities for interprofessional education through involvement with Pacific’s highly regarded health-related schools, the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy, and the School of Health Sciences through student clinical training experiences at community hospitals and clinics.

Examination

In addition to successfully completing their program, Pacific PA students are required to pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) as required by regulatory agencies in order to enter into practice.

Please visit the CASPA website for more information and to apply.

PA Admissions

Read our Admissions information for everything you need to know about prerequisites, how to apply, and more.

PA student on computer

The MPAS degree program is a full-time graduate level program with an integrated curriculum that contains both didactic and clinical educational experiences. The program is 27 months (7 academic semesters), starting with a year of didactic instruction followed by clinical application educational experiences and summative evaluation. During the first year, students build a strong academic foundation of medical knowledge in preparation for clinical training. The clinical education portion of the curriculum consists of 12 – four-week clinical rotations (nine core rotations and three elective rotations) which occur in various healthcare settings. Students have the option to choose a specialty pathway for electives. This specialty pathway allows students to spend up to three additional rotations in a specialty. Currently developed specialty pathways include:

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Family Medicine
  • General Surgery and Surgical specialties (orthopedics, cardiothoracic surgery)
  • Medicine Subspecialties — hospitalist, cardiology, oncology

An interprofessional team approach to patient care is vital in today’s health care environment. The curriculum provides numerous opportunities for interprofessional education with other Pacific health-related programs (Dentistry, Pharmacy and Physical Therapy) and through clinical training experiences in community hospitals and clinics
 

The PA program contains a comprehensive interprofessional education curriculum that includes multiple interactions with various health professions. University of the Pacific’s curriculum includes various educational modalities to prepare students for interprofessional practice. Curriculum developed by faculty published in the area of interprofessional education. 

  • IPE Curriculum Snapshot 
  • Patient safety and communication focused events that include all SHS programs, School of Pharmacy and School of Dentistry. 
  • Longitudinal IPE curriculum with the School of Pharmacy: PA and pharmacy students are groups for various educational events throughout the curriculum.  IPE Curriculum involves multiple educational modalities including cross teaching and community outreach. 
  • Integrated courses 
     

Sacramento Campus Tour

PA white coat ceremony students
More elective rotations, more clinical possibilities
Why choose PA Studies at Pacific?

The program’s clinical curriculum includes three elective rotations offering a variety of educational opportunities. Pathway tracks allow students to focus experiences to a single specialty. Remote electives facilitate knowledge of telemedicine and PA practice outside of the clinic. Varied electives strengthen knowledge deficiencies and allow for specialty exploration.

About the Physician Assistant Studies Program

Career Paths

Medical Spanish

According to US Census data (2015), over 25% of Californians speak Spanish and nearly half of the spanish-speaking population speak little to no English. Education in medical spanish meets a need in our communities. Medical Spanish is a required curriculum component integrated into the clinical skills course series. Skill reinforcement occurs through standardized patient interactions and rural clinical rotation placements. 

High-tech learning

  • Hi-fidelity simulation provide ‘real world’ preparation
  • Point of care ultrasound (POCUS) integration from anatomy through diagnostic imaging
  • Virtual reality anatomy immersion experiences and 3D anatomy software enhances learning for visual learners

Preparation starts on day one

  • Curriculum based on the PANCE topic blueprint
  • Exam question format and time allotted (1min/question) equates to PANCE 
  • PANCE preparatory courses provided
  • Nationally standardized assessment usage
  • Licensure process guidance
  • Resume writing and interview skills training
     
Outstanding Student
Pacific PA grad on frontlines of pandemic fight

Tatiana Mudrenko ’19, cross-trained for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly lost her father to the virus.

Tatiana Mudrenko

Student Outcomes

PANCE Exam Performance Summary Report (PDF)

The inaugural class matriculated January 2017 and completed training in spring 2019. Data and metrics on the inaugural class are available below.

Specialty Practices

Specialty Percentage of Graduates
Family Medicine/Primary Care 30%
Surgery 26%
Emergency Medicine 19%
Dermatology 9%
Psychiatry 5%
Critical Care 2%
Pain Management 2%
Pediatrics 2%
Sports Medicine 2%
Urology 2%
Total 100%

 

State of Practice

State Percentage of Graduates
Arizona 2.3%
California 83.7%
Idaho 2.3%
Illinois 4.7%
Massachusetts 2.3%
Nebraska 2.3%
Oregon 2%
Total 100%

 

See how our graduates rated Pacific's PA program in a 2019 survey (pdf).

What do our graduates say?

See what the first cohort of Pacific PA graduates have to say about their experience during their white coat graduation ceremony.

Pacific’s PA faculty are at the top of their field and are here to serve you.

Mission

The mission of the Physician Assistant Program at University of the Pacific is to provide students with a superior, learner-centered educational experience that will produce compassionate health care professionals committed to life-long learning and leadership in their careers and communities.

Vision
Our graduates will be leaders in transforming the delivery of health care.

Values

  • Excellence: producing superior quality work in academics and practice
  • Professionalism: demonstrating integrity and character in all aspects of life
  • Discovery: developing a passion for life-long learning and critical-thinking
  • Humanism: recognizing that every person deserves to be treated with respect and dignity
  • Service: displaying compassion by investing in others

Students enrolled in the MPAS Degree Program are governed by University and Program policies and procedures. Every attempt is made to provide a complete handbook that provides an accurate overview of the Program policies and curriculum. The University and Program reserve the right to modify the handbook during enrollment.

Student Handbooks:

Accreditation Information

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the University of the Pacific Physician Assistant Program sponsored by the University of the Pacific. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards. 

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 March 2031. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy. 

The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at http://www.arc-pa.org/accreditation-history-university-of-the-pacific/.

PA students looking at skeletons
Attend an event
Are you interested in learning more?
Visit us in Sacramento

University of the Pacific Department of Physician Assistant Education 3200 5th Avenue Sacramento, CA 95817 916.739.7365

Physical Address
Department of Physician Assistant Education Muddox Building, 2nd Floor 3455 5th Avenue Sacramento, CA 95817 Map ›

Note: Do not submit application materials to these addresses. All applications must be submitted through CASPA.
 

From Sacramento International Airport (SMF)

Take I5 South to Sacramento, Take exit 518 for US-50 East. Take exit 7 for 34th Street. Turn right on 34th Street to 5th Avenue. Turn left on 5th Avenue, building will be on your left.

From San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

Head northwest on US-101 North. Keep right at the fork to continue on I-80 East, follow signs for Bay Bridge/Interstate 80. Partial toll road. Continue on 1-80 East to Sacramento. Keep left at the fork to continue on I-80BL E/US-50E/Capital City Freeway, follow signs for Sacramento/South Lake Tahoe. Continue on US-50 East. Take exit 7 for 34th Street. Turn right on 34th Street to 5th Avenue. Turn left on 5th Avenue. The building will be on your left.

From Stockton

Follow CA-99N to exit 297 for 12th Avenue in Sacramento. Keep right at the fork to continue to 12th Avenue. Turn left at 33rd Street. Turn right on 5th Avenue. The building will be on your left.
 

Street parking is available on 33rd, 34th, and 35th Street and along 5th Avenue. All street parking is subject to California Vehicle Code (VCV) and City of Sacramento parking regulations.

The closest parking lot to the Program is Lot 5. All students, faculty, and staff are required to display a University-issued parking permit on their vehicle when parked in a campus parking lot. Visitors are required to display a University issued visitor's permit on the dashboard of their car in plain view. Visitor's permits can be obtained from Sacramento Campus Public Safety anytime day or night. Call 916.739.7200 for assistance from Public Safety. The University of the Pacific assumes no responsibility for damage or theft of vehicles or contents while parked on its property.
 

Take the next step

We take a hands on approach with our students. This means we want to get to know you throughout your discovery and application process. Help us connect with you by taking the next step. 

Non-Discrimination Disclosure

The Program is an equal opportunity institution of higher learning and is firmly committed to nondiscrimination in its delivery of educational services and employment practices. In compliance with all applicable federal and state laws, such decisions will be made irrespective of the individual's race, color, religion, religious creed, ancestry, national origin, age (except for minors), sex, marital status, citizenship status, military service status, sexual orientation, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic condition), disability and/or any other status protected by law. For further information, please see the University’s policy

Contact Us

Contact Image
Physician Assistant
916.739.7365 paprogram@pacific.edu

3200 Fifth Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95817