Featured Associate: Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS)

About the Program

In 2002 MCPHS acquired the Notre Dame College (New Hampshire) PA program, which had first been accredited in 1998 and which enrolled its first class in 1999; MCPHS—Manchester campus graduated its first class of Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) students in December 2002. Our accelerated program offers a 24-month curriculum with a January entry date and December program completion date. While based on the Manchester campus, the program has a satellite on the MCPHS—Worcester campus with an identical curriculum, and faculty on each campus who deliver synchronized distance education using technologically sophisticated, interactive videoconferencing. This technology allows students to interact with students and faculty on the other campus, in real time. At both the Worcester and Manchester locations the first year is dedicated to didactic and laboratory learning. Laboratory courses and small-group activities are facilitated by physician assistant studies faculty located on each campus. The second year is dedicated to supervised clinical practice experiences (clinical rotations) in a wide variety of patient-care settings and disciplines within the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region, with additional options across the country and internationally.

Program Mission

The program educates and inspires future generations of physician assistants to become compassionate clinicians who demonstrate professionalism; practice collaborative, evidence-based medicine; and advocate for patients and their communities.

Program Response to COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the program pivoted quickly and effectively to provide a hybrid learning experience for our students, with high-quality education and comprehensive academic advising and support that foster student success. Our online didactic lectures are complemented by hands-on, skills-based training and simulation experiences delivered by experienced clinically trained faculty. These simulations employ case-based learning, patient actors, and simulator mannequins in the laboratory setting on each campus.

Interprofessional Education

Interprofessional education (IPE), is a vital part of preparing future healthcare leaders. Team-based patient care is the future of healthcare, and MCPHS stresses collaboration across disciplines as a core value in its programs of study. Each year, IPE Day brings together students from various disciplines for an event filled with discussion, learning activities, presentations, and more. This year, despite COVID-19, students from all nine health profession programs across the MCPHS Worcester and Manchester campuses, including our PA students, participated in a virtual IPE Day. During this IPE students completed self-paced activities on the theme of substance use disorder and the opioid crisis.

Student Leadership

Promoting student leadership and advocacy work is a priority for our program. Through student government organizations our students demonstrate commitment to community involvement, including but not limited to annual health supply and food drives, participation in soup kitchens and health fairs, public health awareness fundraiser events, health profession career presentations, and much more.

For more information on the MCPHS Accelerated MPAS Manchester/Worcester Program, please visit our website at

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