Cal State San Bernardino will host a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, April 26, at 10 a.m. to celebrate the renovation and expansion of the building that will house the developing 27-month Master of Science in Physician Assistant (MSPA) program. 

Renovation of the 15,600-square-foot building, as well as construction of a 2,500 square-foot addition began in early February. The project will create classroom, laboratory and clinical space to support a cohort of up to 50 MSPA students and is expected to be complete in spring 2025.

California State Sen. Richard Roth (D-Riverside), who has advocated tirelessly on behalf of CSUSB to receive state funding to launch the program, will attend the ceremony. Since 2021, he has successfully obtained more than $16 million to support the program, including hiring personnel and creating the new facility, making CSUSB the first inland Southern California public university to offer the program.

“We are extremely grateful to Senator Richard Roth and Congressman Pete Aguilar for the vital role they have played in making the MSPA program a reality,” said CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales. “As the first of its kind in the region, the program will fill a critical unmet need by preparing physician assistants who will increase equitable health care, advocate for patients, and ultimately, transform the health of all communities, including the rural and underserved, throughout the Inland Empire.”

The need for primary care providers (PCPs) is especially crucial in the rapidly growing and ethnically diverse San Bernardino-Riverside County region, where the shortage of PCPs is particularly severe, with just 41 per 100,000 patients – far fewer than the federally recommended range of 60 to 80 per 100,000 patients. Currently, the Inland Empire has a shortfall of 1,500 PCPs.

The renovated building and addition will include an MSPA classroom, patient assessment lab, clinical exam center, anatomy and clinical skills lab, student lounge, and student study. The capital project was made possible with $10 million in state funding, and $2 million from federal Health Resources & Services Administration grant funding last year, which was secured by U.S. Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-San Bernardino, along with U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., as part of the federal fiscal 2023 appropriations package.

Visit the MSPA webpage for more information on the program, including program mission, goals, accreditation status and admissions requirements. Prospective students can begin applying to the program when the national CASPA application (Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants) opens on April 25.

Contact the university’s Facilities Planning, Design, and Construction at (909) 537-5136 with any questions on construction impacts or other information related to the project.

Accreditation Status of MSPA Program

Cal State San Bernardino has applied for Accreditation-Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). CSUSB anticipates matriculating its first class in August 2025, pending achieving Accreditation-Provisional status at the March 2025 ARC-PA meeting.

Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation - Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

Contact the university’s Facilities Planning, Design, and Construction at (909) 537-5136 with any questions on construction impacts or other information related to the project.