Physician Assistant Studies, MS

School of Medicine

Program Description:

The Physician Assistant Studies program mission is to educate Physician Assistants to be competent providers of primary care medicine with a special focus on the medically underserved and/or rural populations of New Mexico.

This program is housed in the Department of Family and Community Medicine within the School of Medicine. Instruction is provided by various departments and faculties of the Health Sciences Center. Small group tutorials are actively used in the professional curriculum. The 27-month program consists of didactic and clinical instruction. Students can expect to have several clinical clerkships in rural and underserved areas of New Mexico. Upon successful completion of the curriculum, a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies degree is awarded.

Program Accreditation Status

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the University of New Mexico Physician Assistant Program sponsored by the University of New Mexico. 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remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards.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 September 2024. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

Specific questions regarding the program and its plans should be directed to the program director and/or the appropriate institutional official(s).

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must have a B.A./B.S. degree or higher and the Graduate Record Exam by the August 1 application deadline. They must complete all prerequisites prior to the application deadline and receive a grade of C or higher. A minimum gradepoint average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, calculated on the most recent 60 college credits, as well as a science grade point average of 3.0, calculated on the science prerequisites and highly recommended science courses, are required. Course numbers listed below refer to the University of New Mexico courses.




BIOL 123 and BIOL 124L

General Biology with lab


CHEM 121 and CHEM 123L and CHEM 122 and

CHEM 124L or CHEM 131L and CHEM 132L

General Chemistry with lab


BIOL 237, 247L and BIOL 238, 248L

Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II for the Health Sciences with lab







STAT 145

Introduction to Statistics





PSY 200

Statistical Principles


Communication Skills: (all English courses must be taken in the U.S.)



English (writing or literature)



Highly Recommended for All:

  • Regional language

  • Biochemistry

  • Organic chemistry

  • Integrated organic and biochemistry

  • Nutrition

  • Microbiology

  • Genetics

Clinical/Community Experience

We strongly recommend that applicants have worked a minimum of six months in either a patient care setting or a significant community care environment. Hands-on patient care experience is preferred.

Application for admission is made through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) at The CASPA application, payment, official college transcripts and three letters of reference must be received at CASPA by the August 1 application deadline each year for the class starting the following June. Applicants are encouraged to check the status of their CASPA application on a weekly basis. 

For questions or technical assistance call CASPA at (617) 612-2080, Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm eastern time or email to The University of New Mexico Physician Assistant Program will send a supplemental application after the CASPA application is submitted, if all requirements are met. A separate application to The University of New Mexico is required upon acceptance into the program, if not currently enrolled. Admission to the Physician Assistant Program is based on evaluation of those applicant qualities and experiences which advance the program’s mission. For this reason residents of New Mexico are given primary consideration for admission. The criteria for evaluation also include academic and personal record, letters of recommendation and, if selected, a personal interview.

Contact Information:

Kathy Johnson: Academic Coordinator
(505) 272-9678

For information on financial aid
The office of Student Financial  Aid Allied Health Financial Aid Coordinator
The University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-2081
(505) 272-8008