Program Mission, Vision and Core Values

The Physician Assistant Program is in concert with the USF’s Franciscan mission and values of respect, compassion, service and integrity.

The University of St. Francis offers its master of science in Physician Assistant Studies program in the land of enchantment—New Mexico—within the city of Albuquerque that offers a rich diversity of cultures, exciting attractions and a magical landscape.

The Physician Assistant program at USF’s Albuquerque Campus is a full-time, 27-month program. The program consists of 15 months of didactic classroom basic medical sciences, behavioral and social sciences, clinical preparatory sciences and professional practice issues. This is followed by 12 continuous months of supervised clinical learning experiences. Students must complete the entire 27-month program at the University of St. Francis. Upon successful completion of the entire program of study, the student will be awarded a Master of Science degree.

The mission of the PA program is to educate highly qualified Physician Assistants preparing them to become competent, compassionate and comprehensive health care providers for practice in medically underserved areas. Our vision is that our graduates will be leaders in the health care community, continuously striving for excellence in their professional endeavors while providing for the health care needs of the medically underserved.


Program Goals

Guided by our vision and values, we achieve our mission by:

1. Selecting highly qualified candidates, with an interest in medically underserved populations, for admission to the program.
We achieve this goal by capturing CASPA data and through the oral interviewing process:

  • Class 2018

Cum GPA: 3.56
Sci GPA: 3.46
Average HCE (hours): 1924
NM Res: 9/33
Other Rural Res: 6/33
Mission Trips: 8/33

  • Class 2017

Cumulative GPA: 3.49
Sci GPA: 3.37
Average HCE (hours): 1200
NM Res: 8/34
Other Rural Res: 3/34
Mission Trips: 13/34

  • Class 2016

Cumulative GPA: 3.5
Sci GPA: 3.8
Average HCE (hours): 1000
NM Res: 9/34
Other Rural Res: 4/34
Mission Trips: 7/34

All candidates expressed interest in helping the underserved during interviews.


2. Providing a comprehensive and rigorous medical education that enables students to become competent healthcare providers.
We achieve this goal by collecting graduating GPA and PANCE First-Time Pass Rate:

Graduating GPA 2016: 3.53/4 PANCE First Time Pass Rate: 100%
Graduating GPA 2015: 3.62/4 PANCE First Time Pass Rate: 100%
Graduating GPA 2014: 3.46/4 PANCE First-Time Pass Rate: 97%
Graduating GPA 2013: 3.44/4 PANCE First-Time Pass Rate: 100%
Graduating GPA 2012: 3.49/4 PANCE First-Time Pass Rate: 83%


3. Preparing students to serve diverse populations in a variety of clinical setting, with an emphasis on the medically underserved of New Mexico. We achieve this goal by the following:

  • Our clinical rotation experiences may take the student from rural communities to large cities, private clinic practices to inpatient hospital; all students are required to participate in two rural or inner-city, underserved rotations
  • Curriculum emphasizes primary care
  • Windshield Survey Projects surveying two contrasting neighborhoods in Albuquerque or surrounding communities
  • A representative of the student Community Service Projects this year… school supply drive for children of To’Hajiilee reservation, food drives and volunteering at Roadrunner Food Bank, Teddy Bear drive for local Children’s Hospital, nursing home visits, Thanksgiving food drive for needy families, “Adopt a Soldier” care packages, blood drives, Influenza immunization clinic


4. Instilling the value of lifelong learning and promoting leadership roles in the profession and community.
We achieve this goal by the following:

  • Student poster presentations of their master’s project at Capstone Day
  • Student and faculty attendance at national and state conferences; weekly journal club
  • Student representatives to NMAPA, SAAPA, HOD
  • Faculty involvement: NMAPA Region V Board Member, NMAPA President, NMAPA Legislative Committee, New Mexico Medical Board Task Force, New Mexico Medical Commission panel