A Student's Perspective

Where students live

Most physician assistant students live in Boston--in any of its 23 neighborhoods--while many others have chosen to reside in the surrounding suburbs such as Brookline, Cambridge, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Newton, Somerville, Quincy, Waltham, and Weston. Some live farther away in towns such as Chicopee, Dartmouth, Lexington, Reading, Westford, Westwood, Weymouth, and many more.

 Map of where students live

The MBTA (public transportation) has bus, subway and commuter lines that serve not only Boston and its suburbs but other towns and cities as well. In addition to public transportation, many students drive or bike to class. However, parking around Boston is difficult, particularly in the area around the Tufts Health Sciences Campus.

The First Semester Workload

The first semester of physician assistant school can be a challenging adjustment. Here is what the first year students had to say about their first semester workload:

A typical week

  • 29 hours of class per week
  • 4 hours of studying each night
  • 1 hour of grand rounds each week
  • Group projects each week

Other requirements

40 hours of community service completed in the first year

Life Outside of School

There are many local opportunities, and Tufts is within 60 miles of Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Western Massachusetts.

  • Weekly yoga
  • Lunch buddies
  • Socials with Med Students
  • Volunteering
    • Sharewood Clinic
    • Barbara McInnis
    • Pine Street Inn
  • Access to outdoors
    • Running
    • Walking
    • Biking
    • Skiing
  • Museums
    • Children's Museum
    • Museum of Fine Arts
    • Aquarium
  • Sports fans
    • Red Sox
    • Patriots
    • Bruins
    • Celtics
    • Revolution

Class of 2017 Student Testimonials

What made you choose the Tufts University School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program?

"Tufts University School of Medicine has an incredible reputation that is well-known around the world. The Physician Assistant Program continues to maintain the high standards for which the university as a whole is known. From the fascinating hustle and bustle of downtown Boston, to the eager teaching attitude of the faculty, Tufts has definitely been the right choice for me." -Joel B. (Sacramento, CA)

"The curriculum, the faculty, the emphasis on community, and the sheer number of opportunities that come with getting a medical education in the heart of Boston." Ashley R. (Warwick, RI)

What do you like best about the program?

"The faculty and staff members are one of the best parts of this program. They help the program run like a well-oiled machine and take into account any feedback and concerns that we as students may have. There is a positive energy within the program which creates a conducive learning environment for the students." -Caitlin S. (Chicago, IL)

"Tufts did an excellent job hand-picking its class members. The class I am currently a part of has the most supportive and engaging students. The camaraderie shared between the classmates is what makes studying in such an intense program possible." -Haili D. (Quincy, MA)

What do you do for fun outside of class?

"As a class we have gotten together many times around the area to have dinner, go to Red Sox games, or take study breaks around the city. Personally, I love bike riding around Medford, going to local restaurants with friends, finding all the farmers markets around Boston, and going to Sky Zone." -Taylor F. (Lawrence, MA)

"Intramural sports in Boston are a great way to have fun while meeting new people! Some students from our class are forming a co-ed softball team and signing-up this fall." -Haley K. (Gainseville, FL)


Explore the Program

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"Deciding on Tufts to pursue my physician assistant education was a great choice. Right in the heart of Boston, innovative research and health care institutions are right in our backyard! The resources at Tufts are amazing - I love spending time in the simulation center or attending rounds at Tufts Medical Center!” – Allison Ruhe, PA-student 2015

Are You Qualified?

A pen filling out a survey.

Before applying, an applicant must meet non-academic, or "technical" standards, the essential functions that an applicant must be able to perform in order to be admitted to the PA Program, to progress satisfactorily, and to graduate. They must also meet academic prerequisites such as course work, patient care and tests.

PHPD Admissions

136 Harrison Avenue
Suite 142
Phone: 617.636.0935
Fax: 617.636.0898