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The Northwestern University PA Program curriculum is 24 months in duration and consists of 108 credit hours of coursework culminating in a Master of Medical Science degree. There are 23 required courses in the first year of the program. During the second year,  students must complete 7 core clinical rotations and 4 elective clinical rotations, as well as the Master’s Project course. 

Curriculum highlights include:

  • 5:1 student-to-faculty ratio during the first year
  • Small group, student-driven Problem-Based Learning (PBL) representing approximately 25% of classroom time
  • A full year of cadaver-based, dissection Anatomy Lab
  • Early clinical exposure via the Education-Centered Medical Home (ECMH) Program
  • A Medical Spanish course during the Spring Trimester of the first year
  • Interprofessional Education (IPE) programming with Northwestern students from the MD, Physical Therapy, Prosthetics & Orthotics, and Genetic Counseling programs
  • Clinical rotations opportunities within the Northwestern Medicine system, including at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, one of the top academic medical centers in the nation
  • Grant-supported elective international clinical rotations

Learn more about our program structure, courses, methodologies and facilities via the links below.

  • Competencies
    Get a full review of the knowledge, skills and attitude competencies required to succeed in our program.
  • Timeline
    The curriculum for the PA Program is broken into a didactic year and a clinical year; learn more.
  • Courses
    Browse a course-by-course list of our offerings.
  • Problem-Based Learning
    We take a problem-based learning approach in both our lectures and small groups.
  • Clinical Rotations
    Students will complete rotations at these Chicago-area sites throughout their clinical year.
  • Facilities & Resources
    Explore the resources that complement students' classroom instruction and case-based learning.

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