Print Options

A Practical Solution

Because of the advantages of having a master's degree, physician assistants are seeking ways to further their education. Recognizing that returning to a college campus for postgraduate study is impractical for most working physician assistants, the University of Nebraska Medical Center Physician Assistant Program offers a degree advancement option (DAO) to enable practicing PAs to advance from the bachelor's degree to the master's degree. Now in its third decade, this program has provided master’s degrees to thousands of practicing PAs.

This program provides an opportunity for practicing physician assistants with a bachelor's degree to obtain a professional postgraduate master's degree in as little as five semesters at a reasonable cost and without any required travel. The program can be completed in 5 semesters. However, students are allowed up to five years to complete the DAO. Upon completion of the program, physician assistants are awarded the Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree.

MPAS DAO CME Credit

The Degree Advancement Option curriculum meets the requirements for AAPA category II CME credit on an hour per hour basis. 

Features of the Program

Students in the Degree Advancement Option

  • Acquire new competencies and skills by completing 800 hours of advanced supervised clinical practice at their place of employment,
  • Learn current concepts in the areas of health care policy and medical ethics,
  • Improve research skills by investigating a medical topic and presenting the results in a scientific paper.
  • Select the option of the education track and study instructional design, education theory and leadership, and complete 320 hours of teaching in a supervised environment

General Information

  • Successful candidates earn the professional degree - Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS).
  • Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
  • Approved by the Regents of the University of Nebraska and the Nebraska State Department of Education.
  • Approved for military tuition assistance, and VA educational benefits.
  • Options for study are available in almost every medical specialty or the education track can open opportunities in academia or community health promotion.

Degree Completion

Upon successful completion of all requirements by the deadline dates set by the Program, graduates of the MPAS DAO are welcome to participate in the graduation ceremonies in Omaha, Nebraska (May and December only). Graduates will be awarded the Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree. 

MPAS DAO Website

MPAS DAO Courses and Practice Concentrations

The MPAS Degree Advancement Option consists of 36 semester credit hours of didactic courses and either educational methodology or clinical experiences intended to be completed in five semesters. Please note, the program cannot be completed any sooner than 5 semesters. Students must choose either the clinical track or the education track for their program of study. In order to complete the program in five semesters, students must complete one didactic course each semester combined with one course from the clinical track or one course from the education track. UNMC has Fall, Spring and Summer semesters. The courses required to complete the program are listed below.

Didactic Courses
CAHP 626HEALTH CARE ETHICS AND CRITICAL THINKING3
CAHP 631MANAGEMENT IN HEALTH CARE3
PHAS 680HEALTH CARE POLICY3
or PHAS 681 CANADIAN HEALTH CARE POLICY
PHAS 682CLINICAL INQUIRY AND WRITING3
PHAS 790MASTERS CAPSTONE4
Clinical Track Courses 1
PHAS 785ADVANCED CLINICAL PRACTICE I4
PHAS 786ADVANCED CLINICAL PRACTICE II4
PHAS 787ADVANCED CLINICAL PRACTICE III4
PHAS 788ADVANCED CLINICAL PRACTICE IV4
PHAS 789ADVANCED CLINICAL PRACTICE V4
Education Track Courses 2
HPTT 601FOUNDATIONS OF HEALTH PROFESSIONS EDUCATION3
HPTT 602INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONS EDUCATION3
HPTT 623LEADERSHIP IN HEALTH PROFESSIONS EDUCATION3
PHAS 768SUPERVISED TEACHING PRACTICE I4
PHAS 769SUPERVISED TEACHING PRACTICE II4

Education goals and objectives have been established for the following practice areas. The student should select the core area that best matches his/her clinical practice, and identify any further focus of concentration if desired. The applicant whose concentration is not listed below should contact the program.

Core Areas and Concentrations (Clinical Track ONLY)

(available concentrations are listed under each core area)

Family Medicine

  1. Dermatology
  2. Emergency Medicine
  3. Family Medicine
  4. Obstetrics/Gynecology
  5. Urgent Care

Internal Medicine

  1. Allergy/Immunology
  2. Cardiology
  3. Critical Care
  4. Dermatology
  5. Endocrinology
  6. Gastroenterology
  7. Geriatrics
  8. Infectious Disease
  9. Internal Medicine
  10. Nephrology
  11. Neurology
  12. Occupational Medicine
  13. Oncology/Hematology
  14. Ophthalmology
  15. Pulmonology
  16. Radiology
  17. Rheumatology
  18. Sleep Medicine

Pediatrics

  1. Neonatology
  2. Pediatrics
  3. Pediatric Cardiology
  4. Pediatric Orthopedics
  5. Pediatric Pulmonology

Psychiatry

  1. Pain Management
  2. Psychiatry

Surgery

  1. Anesthesiology
  2. Bariatric Surgery
  3. Burn Management
  4. Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgery
  5. Neurosurgery
  6. Orthopedics
  7. Otolaryngology
  8. Physiatry
  9. Plastic Surgery
  10. Rehabilitation
  11. Trauma Surgery
  12. Surgery
  13. Urology