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Cost of Attendance

Tuition & Fees

The Atkinson Physician Assistant Education Program fiscally operates as a self-supported program without state fund allocation. As such, the cost of attendance is the same for all learners regardless of in-state or out-of-state residence.

Standard UC San Diego graduate tuition rates and fees do not apply to learners who matriculate into the PA program. Tuition and fees are set by the Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer and are subject to change as determined by the program following an annual review process. All revisions in tuition and fees will correlate with the fiscal year, which begins annually on July 1. Tuition and fee payments are due every quarter. The Program does not require a security deposit at matriculation.

The UC San Diego Health Sciences Financial Aid Office will publish the cost of attendance on its website and maintain updates as needed. To comply with ARC-PA standards, the Program will link its own website to the financial aid office’s Financial Aid Budgets page.

Additional Expenses

Learners are responsible for expenses associated with laptop/computer, housing/living expenses, transportation, parking, health insurance, and professional expenses related to the National Certifying Examination for Physician Assistants. Although these costs are not part of UC San Diego’s tuition/fees, they have been included in the financial aid budget to ensure learners receive aid for these additional costs.


For UC San Diego information regarding cancelation of registration, withdrawal from a program, and fee refunds, please refer to Registration Fees and Schedule of Refunds.

Estimated Cost of Attendance

The Estimated Cost of Attendance table breaks down anticipated program expenses based on the rate of tuition and estimated fees that will be applied for the entire 29- month curriculum for the Class of 2026 (2024-2026).

2024 Academic Year Summer Fall Winter Spring Total
Tuition $ 16,939 $ 16,939 $ 16,939 $ 16,939 $ 67,756
Systemwide and Campuswide Fees $ 906 $ 763 $ 326 $ 803 $ 2,798
Room and Board* $ 6,375 $ 6,375 $ 6,375 $ 6,375 $ 25,500
Books, Supplies, Misc Fees $ 1,830 $ 80 $ 80 $ 80 $ 2,070
Misc/Personal $ 507 $ 507 $ 507 $ 507 $ 2,028
Transportation $ 1,845 $ 1,845 $ 1,845 $ 1,845 $ 7,380
Totals $ 28,402 $ 26,509 $ 26,072 $ 26,549 $ 107,532
2025 Academic Year Summer Fall Winter Spring Total
Tuition $ 16,939 $ 16,939 $ 16,939 $ 16,939 $ 67,756
Systemwide and Campuswide Fees $ 763 $ 763 $ 326 $ 803 $ 2,655
Room and Board $ 6,375 $ 6,375 $ 6,375 $ 4,250 $ 23,375
Books, Supplies, Misc Fees $ 80 $ 80 $ 80 $ 80 $ 320
Misc/Personal $ 507 $ 507 $ 507 $ 338 $ 1,859
Transportation $ 2,095 $ 2,095 $ 2,095 $ 1,480 $ 7,765
Totals $ 26,759 $ 26,759 $ 26,322 $ 23,890 $ 103,730
2026 Academic Year Summer Fall Winter Spring Total
Tuition $ 16,939 $ 16,939 $ - $ - $ 33,878
Systemwide and Campuswide Fees $ 763 $ 763 $ - $ - $ 1,526
Room and Board $ 4,250 $ 4,250 $ - $ - $ 8,500
Books, Supplies, Misc Fees $ 580 $ 80 $ - $ - $ 660
Misc/Personal $ 338 $ 338 $ - $ - $ 676
Transportation $ 1,230 $ 1,230 $ - $ - $ 2,460
Totals $ 24,100 $ 23,600 $ - $ - $ 47,700

*Room & Board is based on off-campus and on-campus housing figures. Amounts will be significantly lower for those living at-home with family.



The PAE Program requires that all students carry health insurance coverage throughout the entire curriculum. Add $4,005/year to the cost of attendance if you plan to use the UC San Diego Student Health Insurance Plan (GSHIP).*

WI24 tuition includes $103 for one-time document fee and $40 for disability insurance

WI24 books and supplies incldues $1750 for lab coat, diagnostic fee, and professional org fee

FA24 tuition includes $40 for disability insurance

SU24 and SU25 tuition is different because campus based fees are less, no university center/gsa, or caps fees during summer

FA25 tuition includes $40 for disabiity insurance

Books and Supplies of $80 per quarter based on estimate from PA program

PA2 Transportation includes additional $250/quarter for distant rotations based on estimates from PA program

PA3 Winter books and supplies includes $500 for PANCE exam registration



Some or all instruction for all or part of the Academic Year may be delivered remotely. Tuition and fees have been set regardless of the method of instruction and will not be refunded in the event instruction occur remotely for any part of the Academic Year. Figures for tuition and fees represent currently approved or proposed amounts and may not be final. Actual tuition and fees are subject to change by the University of California as determined to be necessary or appropriate. Final approved tuition and fee levels may differ from the amounts presented. Any changes to tuition and fees will be disseminated on the program website to enrolled and prospective learners and in writing to enrolled learners as soon as the change occurs. 

Financial Aid & Institutional Support

Each learner admitted to the Atkinson Physician Assistant Education Program is encouraged to apply for financial aid and support to the dedicated UC San Diego Health Sciences Financial Aid Office for the Atkinson Physician Assistant Education Program. Federal FAFSA applications should be completed every year while enrolled and prior to enrollment so prospective learners are ready to apply for a financial aid package when admitted. Specific details about financial support are provided to individuals as part of the admission offer.

General Financial Aid Information

Information about various financial aid resources available for clinical education, i.e., grants, scholarships, loan programs, and short-term loans, is provided through the UC San Diego Health Sciences Financial Aid Office & Atkinson Physician Assistant Program Financial Aid. Both federal and state resources provide a range of flexible repayment options, including, but not limited to, income-based and income-contingent repayment plans, as well as loan-forgiveness benefits. Other forms of assistance, such as short-term and interest-free loans, are also available to enrolled students. A financial aid counselor in the financial aid office can answer questions regarding these programs and discuss how to best meet your financial aid needs. Learners are encouraged to seek private scholarships and external funding. For more information, visit the page in this policy for scholarship opportunities specific to the physician assistant profession. There are also several online scholarship databases. As a self-supporting degree program, enrolled learners are not eligible for California-state-supported fellowships such as the College Tuition Fee Waiver for Veteran Dependents. Learners are eligible for all other types of scholarships, fellowships, and financial aid opportunities.


PA Foundation

PA Foundation Scholarship
AAPA Past Presidents Scholarship
AAPA Rural Health Caucus Scholarship
NCCPA Endowed Scholarship
Ron Pace Memorial Scholarship
Timi Agar Barwick Scholarship for Humanism in Medicine
William H, Marquardt Community Health Access Scholarship
Joyce Nichols Memorial Scholarship
Women in Philanthropy Scholarship

Link: pa-student-scholarships/

National Health Service Corps

The National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program

Indian Health Services

Indian Health Services scholarships for American Indian and Alaska Native Students

Department of Veteran Affairs

Department of Veteran Affairs Health Professions Scholarship

Navy Health

Navy Health Professions Scholarship
Link: and-pa-programs#health-professionsscholarship- program-hpsp

Society of Army PAs

Society of Army PAs Scholarship
Link: sapa-scholarship-programs

California Academy of PAs

CAPA scholarships and grants

Physician Associates for Latino Health

Physician Associates for Latino Health Scholarship Grant Link: palh-scholarship-grant-criteria

African Heritage Physician Associate Caucus

The Prentiss l. Harrison Memorial/African Heritage PA Caucus Scholarship
Link: scholarship-information

Association of Physician Assistants in Oncology

Association of PAs in Oncology Scholarship

American Association of Surgical Physician Assistants

Susan and Tom Lusty Memorial Scholarship

Society of Emergency Medicine Physician Assistants Scholarship

Paul S. Robinson, PA-C Memorial Scholarship
Link: robinson-award/

Physician Assistants in Orthopedic Surgery

The Susan Lindahl Memorial Scholarship

The Society of Physician Assistants in Otorhinolaryngology / Head & Neck Surgery

SPAO-HNS Student Scholarship

California Latino Legislative Caucus Foundation

Scholarship Program

Loan Repayment

Armed Forces Reserve Loan Repayment Program

All branches of the military offer loan-repayment programs which provide for repayment of educational loans in exchange for service in the military.

Provides monthly stipend in addition to school loan-repayment of up to $40,000 per year for six years and $10,000 the seventh year with a $250,000 lifetime cap to physician assistant students/graduates who are members of the Army National Guard.

Disadvantaged Health Professions Faculty Loan Repayment Program

Health professions faculty from disadvantaged backgrounds. Individuals serve on the faculty of an accredited health professions college or university for 2 years.

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) Extramural Loan Repayment Programs

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announces a program that provides for the repayment of educational loan debt of health professionals from disadvantaged backgrounds. Individuals who qualify must have an educational loan debt equal to 20% of their income and agree to conduct clinical research as employees of the NIH. Qualified applicants include individuals with a professional or doctoral degree, come from a disadvantaged background, and a non-federal employee at the time of application. The program will pay up to $35,000 per year for two years. Those with a professional or doctoral degree are eligible.

Indian Health Services Loan Repayment Program

The LRP awards loan-repayment to health professionals practicing in specific health profession disciplines who are willing to commit to an initial two-year service obligation while working in health facilities serving American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Up to $40,000 in education loans. Eligible applicants include Registered Nurses, Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants.

National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Programs (LRP)

If you commit at least two years to conducting qualified research funded by a domestic nonprofit organization or U.S. federal, state, or local government entity, NIH may repay up to $35,000 of your qualified student loan debt per year, including most undergraduate, graduate, and medical school loans. Loan-repayment benefits are in addition to the institutional salary you receive for your research. Applicants must have a health professional doctoral degree from accredited institution, with one exception: The Contraception & Infertility Research LRP is open to individuals with a doctoral degree, as well as nurses, physician assistants, graduate students, and postgraduate research fellows training in health professions.

US Navy Health Professions Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP)

The Health Professions Loan-Repayment Program (HPLRP) provides an incentive to new accessions to enter the Navy, and current active-duty medical personnel to extend their active-duty commitment through the payment of professional educational loans. The maximum yearly loan repayment is $40,000, minus ~25% federal income taxes, which are taken out prior to lender repayment.

NHSC Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Programs

To combat the nation’s opioid crisis, HRSA launched the NHSC Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan-Repayment Program (SUD Workforce LRP). The program supports the recruitment and retention of health professionals needed in underserved areas to expand access to SUD treatment and prevent overdose deaths.

California State Loan Repayment Program

The California State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) increases the number of primary care physicians, dentists, dental hygienists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, pharmacists, and mental/behavioral health providers practicing in federally designated California Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA).

Health Professions Loan Repayment Program

Those awarded the Health Professions Education Loan Repayment may receive up to $20,000. If awarded, recipients agree to a two-year service obligation practicing direct patient care at a qualified facility in California. Qualified facilities include those designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources Administration (HRSA) as a medically underserved area (MUA), health professional shortage area (HPSA), county, state, or veteran’s facility.

National Health Services Corps Loan Repayment Program

Full-time at an NHSC-approved site with HPSA score of 14 or above can receive up to $60,000 in loan repayment for committing to serve at site for at least two years. Full-time at an NHSC-approved site with HPSA score of 13 or below can receive up to $40,000 in loan repayment for committing to serve at the site for at least two years. Half-time at an NHSC-approved site with HPSA score of 14 or above can receive up to $60,000 in loan repayment for committing to serve for four years, or up to $30,000 for two years of service. Half-time at an NHSC-approved site with HPSA score of 13 or below can receive up to $40,000 in loan repayment for committing to serve for four years, or up to $20,000 for two years.

National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program

The NHSC Scholarship Program provides scholarships to health profession students pursuing careers as primary care providers in exchange for their commitment to serve in high-need, underserved communities. The scholarship includes tax-free payment of tuition, required fees, other reasonable educational costs, and a taxable monthly living stipend.

Note for UC San Diego learners: This scholarship requires an accepted offer of admission and enrollment by September 30 of every year, making it difficult for Atkinson PA learners to apply. However, this scholarship often allows learners to apply in the second year of enrollment to offset costs for said year. Inquire with the NHSC for details on applying after enrollment.

US Armed Forces Loan Repayment Programs (Army)

The Active-Duty Health Professions Loan Repayment Program can help you repay up to $120,000 of those loans.

Campus Housing

The Atkinson Physician Assistant Education Program has secured guaranteed campus graduate and family housing for potentially 10 learners in the inaugural cohort through the School of Medicine Housing Priority Program. For more information, contact the UC San Diego HDH for Graduate and Family Housing. 

Information on applying for campus housing will be available in Winter/Spring 2024.

Graduate & Family Housing