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Pathologists' Assistant Program

Earn a master’s degree as a Pathologists’ Assistant in two years through the only program of its kind in the Southern United States, one of only 13 programs in the US

The Pathologists’ Assistant program at Tulane University School of Medicine is a two-year, full-time professional program that currently accepts 8 students per academic year. The program begins in January of each year.

The Admission Committee will review complete applications and consider shadowing experience in surgical and autopsy pathology settings, work experience, letters of recommendation, pre-requisite courses, and grade point average. While academic achievement is important, knowledge of the profession, the ability to communicate, and personal qualities including motivation, integrity, and professionalism are equally important. Consequently, the Admission Committee will give great weight to letters of recommendation, work and shadowing experience, personal interviews, and grades.

Once accepted, students will take two years of didactic and clinical courses. Our students receive a broad range of clinical exposure in surgical pathology, clinical pathology, and autopsy pathology under the guidance of experienced pathologists’ assistants, anatomic, clinical, and forensic pathologists, as well as laboratory specialists. The professional curriculum is arranged with the presumption that students devote their full time and energy to their university experience. Students are encouraged to limit their outside employment during the program.

What is a Pathologists’ Assistant?

  • A Pathologists’ Assistant (PA) is a highly trained, certified allied healthcare professional who is trained to provide various services in anatomic pathology under the direction of a licensed, board-certified or board-eligible Anatomic Pathologist. Pathologists’ Assistants are academically and practically trained to provide accurate and timely processing of laboratory specimens including comprehensive macroscopic examination of all surgical pathology specimens. PAs also perform postmortem examinations including prosection, composing the clinical history, recording the macroscopic anatomic findings, submitting tissue sections for microscopic examination, and assisting with the provisional anatomic diagnosis. PAs play a critical role in the delivery of healthcare services in both surgical pathology and autopsy pathology.
  • See the American Association of Pathologists’ Assistants (AAPA) website for the full scope of practice of a Pathologists’ Assistant including surgical pathology, autopsy pathology, and laboratory operations.