Master Physician Assistant Program

Masters Physician Assistant

The Master Physician Assistant Program

The Master Physician Assistant (MPA) program at Samuel Merritt University strives to serve the University and the medical community by preparing graduates who are interdependent medical providers, demonstrate commitment to the community and the profession through active leadership, manifest critical and cre­ative thinking, utilize effective communication skills, and who possess the educational foundation for contin­ued growth and development in a changing world of diverse cultures.

The MPA program has adopted the following goals:

  • To educate highly skilled, knowledgeable Physician Assistants who contribute to the provision of high quality health care to all individuals in a wide variety of clinical settings
  • To provide rigorous didactic and clinical education in the basic and behavioral sciences and medical disciplines necessary to produce excellent clinicians
  • To enhance appreciation for social and cultural effects on the delivery of health care through exposure to a wide variety of clinical settings reflecting the diversity of patients and the communities in which they reside
  • To equip students with an understanding of health policies and delivery systems to promote their participation as health care leaders in identifying solutions to community and professional endeavors
  • To educate students in the current information exchange systems and their associated technologies to enhance their productivity as students and professionals
  • To support and encourage service to the profession and leadership activities through involvement in Physician Assistant professional organizations.

Why Choose the Physician Assistant Program at Samuel Merritt University?

  • 95% first time pass rate on the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination (PANCE) for all graduates. Average national first time pass rate over same period = 94%.
  • Accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant; next review September 2018.
  • Small class sizes. The SMU PA Department admits an annual class of 44 students.
  • Campus Location: Oakland, CA with clinical placement sites in the greater Bay Area.
  • Opportunity to participate in community health with under-served patients and international rotation experiences.
  • Extensive use of high fidelity medical simulation technology throughout the curriculum.
  • The MPA program is committed to the education of highly skilled, knowledgeable physician assistants who contribute to the provision of high quality health care to all individuals in a wide variety of clinical settings.

The 27-month (7 semester) Physician Assistant program enrolls just 44 students each fall. Because of the small class size, admission to the program is highly competitive. We encourage students who are interested in the program to attend an information session either in-person or via webinar to learn more about the program and the admission process. 

Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students

In July 2016, Samuel Merritt University (SMU) was awarded $7.8 million in scholarship money for disadvantaged students who will join the University's mission to diversify the healthcare workforce and improve outcomes in underserved communities. The federal assistance, known as the Scholarship for Disadvantaged Students (SDS) program, will be available to students from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. Under this program, the University will award up to $30,000 per year to each recipient, depending on need. New and continuing students are eligible to receive this scholarship. 

More information about the scholarships

Applying to Samuel Merritt University

CASPA opens: Early April

Application Deadline: October 1

Interviews: December through January

Admission Notifications: Immediately following each interview date

For more information about the Physician Assistant program please contact the Office of Admission at 510-869-1550 or