Physician Assistant Degree Advancement Option


Enrollment in the DAO program has declined steadily over time as the number of master’s trained PAs has risen. As such, UNMC plans to sunset this program and will stop matriculating new students into the DAO program after the 2021 fall semester. Students matriculating in fall 2021 will have three years to complete the program. We will work closely with currently enrolled students in the DAO program to ensure they finish their plans of study no later than the 2024 fall semester.

Master of Physician Assistant Studies

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.


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:

General Information

View the Technical Standards for CAHP distance education programs.