Admissions & Tuition

Physician Assistant Studies (MS)

Please review the FAQ section of our website before completing your application.

Admissions and Selection Process

The mission of the Northeastern University Physician Assistant Program is to educate and inspire compassionate clinicians from diverse backgrounds to become accomplished leaders and innovators in all aspects of healthcare. As global citizens, we are dedicated to access, equity, and inclusion. We are committed to developing future physician assistants who can advance diversity by providing culturally informed care to people across race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, class, age, ability, and nationality.

A class of 52 students matriculates once each year in August. The CASPA application cycle opens in late April, and our application deadline is August 1 of the year prior to planned matriculation. We do not have early decision or rolling admissions. Early application submission does not guarantee early review of your application. All applications will be fully reviewed and equally considered as long as they are submitted to CASPA by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on August 1 and verified by CASPA by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on August 31. The admissions process has 3 phases.

  • Review of the CASPA applications
  • Personal interviews
  • Final selection of class

Northeastern University’s Physician Assistant Program does not award or grant advanced placement or course credit to any admitted students regardless of previous education or work experience. All applicants must meet the Program’s rigorous criteria for admissions. Admissions decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, genetics, nationality, veteran’s status, disability, or age. The admissions process is competitive. During the 2021-2022 application cycle, we had approximately 1700 CASPA applications.

REVIEW OF CASPA APPLICATIONS

The Northeastern University Physician Assistant Program reviews applications holistically. All components of the CASPA application are considered in selecting candidates for a personal interview. No one specific application component will ensure admission to the program. The holistic review considers the following:

  • Admissions prerequisites.
  • Academic achievement including overall GPA, science GPA, and academic rigor
  • Patient care hours and reflections of clinical experience in relation to future goals in healthcare in the CASPA and Northeastern essays
  • Evidence of alignment with the program’s mission, vision, program goals, and core values in the CASPA and Northeastern essays
  • Letters of recommendation (at least two clinically-related)
  • Overall impression of the application

PERSONAL INTERVIEWS

Approximately 180 candidates are interviewed. Interviews will be conducted virtually and are usually scheduled in mid-October. Applicants selected for personal interviews will be notified via email a few weeks prior to the date of the interview. The low-stress, two-day interview process provides applicants the opportunity to:

  • meet with program leadership for an overview of the program
  • meet with PA students and/or recent graduates
  • meet with a program graduate to discuss what the professional life of a PA is like and how well the program prepared them for the work
  • virtual tour of campus
  • interview one-on-one with 3 members of the Admissions Committee including program faculty and alumni

During the personal interview the admissions committee not only considers all components of the CASPA application but also evaluates applicants regarding:

  • Patient care reflections of clinical experience in relation to future goals in healthcare in the CASPA essay, Northeastern essay, and personal interview
  • Evidence of alignment with the program’s mission, vision, program goals, and core values in the CASPA essay, Northeastern essay, and personal interview
  • Overall impression of the candidate

FINAL SELECTION OF CLASS

Final selection of the class will be conducted by holistic review of the candidates who were interviewed. This selection will be based upon all components of the CASPA application review, the personal interview, and interdisciplinary program interest.

Applicants will receive email notification regarding their status by late December. All admissions decisions are final. Those offered a seat in the program will have two weeks to respond. A deposit of $1000 is required to secure your place in the class and will be applied to your first term’s tuition.

It is VERY important to review the FAQ section of our website before completing your application.

CASPA Application:

Northeastern University’s PA Program is a participant in CASPA (Centralized Application Service for PAs). CASPA allows you to apply to multiple participating programs, verifies your application for accuracy, processes the application, and forwards it to your designated PA programs. The deadline for submission to CASPA for the Northeastern University PA Program is August 1 of the year prior to planned matriculation.

Please note that it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all materials have been submitted to CASPA and that the application is complete. Northeastern University will not provide interim updates regarding application status. Applicants will receive email notification regarding their status by late December.

Northeastern presently offers three degree options that appear on the CASPA portal: the traditional MSPA Program, the dual degree MSPA/MPH Program, and the dual degree MSPA/MSHI Program. Please make sure you choose the one correct option for your desired course of studies when you apply via the Northeastern CASPA portal. You may apply to only one degree option. Prerequisites are the same for all three options.

Information on the CASPA application process can be found on the CASPA web site.

The CASPA application portal for matriculation in August 2023 will open on April 28, 2022. The class matriculating in August 2022 has already been selected.

Remember to choose only one of the three degree options that are available before starting your CASPA application:

                            OR

                            OR

 

Additional Northeastern Application Material:

Be sure to carefully read the information below before completing your CASPA application.

In order for your application to be considered complete and be reviewed for any of the three options, the program must receive the following material:

  • Northeastern $75 Application Fee

    Northeastern University requires a $75 application fee for all students applying to the University regardless of which of the three degree options you choose. This fee is in addition to the CASPA application fee and is nonrefundable.

  • Please use the Northeastern application fee payment portal where you can pay by credit card and complete the payment form
  • The $75 Northeastern application fee is waived if you are a current Northeastern senior in a bachelor’s degree program or an alumnus/a who earned a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern. However, you still need to complete the form in the payment portal. Click on whichever fee button reflects your status.
  • If you received a fee waiver from CASPA, we will accept it in lieu of Northeastern’s $75 application fee. At the same time you submit you CASPA application, please send an email to the program at [email protected] with a copy of your CASPA waiver. You still need to complete the form in the payment portal. Click on whichever fee button reflects your status.
  • You are required to include your CASPA ID number on the Northeastern Application Fee payment form. Therefore, you must start your CASPA application before submitting your Northeastern application fee.

3 References (submitted online)

  • NUPA requires that at least two of the three required references submitted to CASPA be from individuals with whom you have worked in a clinical environment. The two clinically related references can be from any combination of health care professionals with whom you work including, but not limited to, PAs, MDs, NPs, RNs, PTs, OTs, EMTs, RTs, ATs, etc. Practice managers, EMT supervisors, and others in similar supervisory roles are also acceptable. The evaluators should comment on your clinical background including an assessment of your clinical performance, the type of duties you perform, and your ability to relate to patients and others on the health care team.
  • References from shadowing experiences will not be accepted as a clinical reference as you are observing rather than actually performing patient care duties yourself.
  • We will only accept references included with the CASPA application. References sent directly to the PA Program will not be considered.
  • CASPA allows a maximum of 5 references

We will notify you via email when your CASPA application has been verified. Your CASPA application will not be reviewed until has been verified and we have received your $75 Northeastern Application fee. Receipt of your $75 Northeastern application fee cannot be acknowledged via email until you submit your CASPA application.

TUITION, FEES, AND REQUIRED EQUIPMENT FOR PA STUDENTS

Tuition for students beginning the program in the fall of 2021 is $16,825 per term, for a total of $50,475/year. The Double Husky Scholarship is available to students starting with the class matriculating in August 2021 in the Physician Assistant Program. Additional fees are also listed below and are subject to change annually.

For students applying to either of the dual degree options (MSPA/MPH or MSPA/MSHI), please contact the individual MPH or MSHI programs for information on additional tuition and fees incurred throughout the duration of the dual degree option.

Physician Assistant Program Tuition Year 1 Year 2 Total 2-Year Estimated Cost
$50,475*
($16,825 per term)
$50,475*
($16,825 per term)
$100,950
 
Textbook/Required Lab Materials $350 $350 $700
Criminal Background Checks $82 $82 $164
Student Center Fee $175 $175
Student Recreation Fee $155 $155
Student Activities Fee $42.50 $42.50
Travel/Parking/Housing Fees at Clinical Rotations $3,500 $3,500
Two PA Program Patches $5 each = $10 $10
Two Short White Jackets $20 each = $40 $40
Stethoscope $200 $200
Metric Tape Measure $5 $5
Reflex Hammer $4 $4
Pen Style ECG Calipers $21 $21
Tuning Forks $17 $17
Diagnostic Set $615 $615
Suture Pad $80 $80
Suture Kit $20 $20
TOTAL ESTIMATED COST $52,291.50 $54,407 $106,698.50
*Potential Fees – May not apply to all students
Fee Type Year 1 Year 2 Total 2-Year Estimated Cost
International Student Fee $350 $350
On-Campus Parking Fee $2,316 $2,316
Student Health Insurance $2,299 $2,299 $4,598
University Health and Counseling Services Fee $225 $225 $450
End-of-rotation Exam Retests for Underperformance $300 $300
TOTAL POTENTIAL ADDITIONAL FEES $5,190 $2,824 $8,014
Optional Medical Equipment
Fee Type Year 1 Year 2 Total 2-Year Estimated Cost
Penlight $11 $11
Sphygmomanometer $144 $144
Nylon Medical Bag $30 $30
TOTAL OPTENTIAL MEDICAL $185 $185

*These fees represent current expenses. Fees are expected to increase annually. Updated amounts for the upcoming academic year will be made available as soon as they are determined. More detailed information is available at University Fees and Graduate Student Fees websites.

By law, all students in Massachusetts are required to have health insurance. If a student does not elect to take the Northeastern University student health insurance plan ($2299 for the 2021-2022 academic year), evidence of other comparable health insurance coverage must be provided. More information about the Northeastern University student health insurance plan can be found here.

Information about financial aid is available through The Office of Graduate Student Financial Services (617-373-5899). There are several types of need-based financial aid in the form of government loans as well as a Northeastern loan available only for physician assistant students.

Working while attending the program is not feasible. There are no graduate assistantships or Lifetime Learning Memberships available for PA students. Information about procedures regarding refunds of tuition and fees is available through The Office of Student Financial Services website.

Northeastern University participates in the federal government’s Yellow Ribbon Program for veterans. Information about the program (including eligibility, benefits, and how to apply) can be accessed on university’s Yellow Ribbon website.

The John D. O’Bryant African-American Institute offers a graduate fellowship to students of African origin who demonstrate high standards of leadership and have a record of community service.