Master of Science in Pathologists Assistant (MPA)

Program Overview

The Master of Pathologist Assistant Program, a comprehensive, hands-on learning experience that equips you with the essential skills and knowledge to become an integral member of the healthcare community. This innovative program is designed specifically to train students on cutting edge technologies of diagnostic medicine, helping them become proficient in critical aspects such as surgical pathology, autopsy pathology and laboratory management. With a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration, professional development, and ethical practice, our program paves the way for the next generation of pathologists’ assistants, ensuring that they are well-prepared to address the increasingly complex challenges of modern diagnostic pathology. The program is designed and executed in collaboration with King Fahad Medical City.

Employability Prospects

With the increasing demands of the healthcare industry, Pathologists' Assistants are sought-after professionals. Graduates of the Master of Science in Pathologists’ Assistant program can expect strong employment prospects.

They can work in a variety of healthcare settings, including:

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  1. Hospitals: Assisting pathologists in the examination and analysis of body tissues and fluids.
  2. Private Pathology Laboratories: Providing diagnostic services and managing laboratory operations.
  3. Medical Research Centers: Assisting in research and development related to disease diagnosis and prevention.
  4. Medical Schools: Serving as instructors for medical students in histology and pathology labs.
  5. Forensic Pathology: Assisting medical examiners and forensic pathologists in post-mortem examinations.

The healthcare sector of Saudi Arabia is continuously expanding. Accordingly, the demand for Pathologists' Assistants is expected to grow significantly over the next decade, promising a strong job market for graduates. Alfaisal University is the first and only university in the region to offer this program.

Course Overview

The Master of Science in Pathologists' Assistant program provides comprehensive theoretical and practical training in pathology. Here's an indicative list of subjects covered in the program:

  1. Gross Human Anatomy and Physiology: This is a comprehensive introductory course to integrative organ system physiology and homeostatic regulatory mechanisms.
  2. Histotechnology and Laboratory Management: This course focuses on the laboratory skills and management aspects required to function in a clinical or research histology facility including specimen acquisition and fixation, tissue processing, embedding, sectioning, and staining. Paraffin based techniques with H&E/special stains are introduced.
  3. General Mechanism of Disease: The course serves as a transition from the foundational modules to the organ systems courses. It focuses on the general mechanisms of disease, introducing students to microbiology and infectious disease, principles for discriminating healthy from unhealthy conditions and predicting clinical manifestations.
  4. Organ System Pathology I and II: This course is a comprehensive introduction to integrative organ system pathology. Organ system pathology including interrelationships of structure and function are reinforced throughout the course. The flow of the course is intended to interphase with topic material being taught concurrently in autopsy and surgical pathology techniques.
  5. Autopsy Pathology and Toxicology: This course will provide a detailed understanding of post-mortem examination procedures, toxicology, including cause of death determination and report writing. Students are exposed to basic concepts of the medicolegal investigation of death in a four-week rotation where the students receive "hands on" instruction in forensic autopsies.
  6. Surgical Pathology (I-IV): Students will learn how to prepare and examine surgical specimens for diagnosis and treatment planning through clinical rotations.
  7. >Pediatric Pathology: This rotation during the second year of study provides the student with didactic and practical experience in pediatric pathology dissection.
  8. Research Methodologies: This course is designed to understand fundamentals of research, characteristics of research, research designs, methods of sampling, data collection, processing and analysis, ethical considerations and use of literature review, sources of information and organization of information.
  9. Biomedical Ethics: This course is designed to introduce to the basic principles and methods of analysis from ethical theories applicable to contemporary moral problems in biomedical research and professional practice.
  10. Research Capstone Project (A/B): The intent of this course is to enable to the student to learn to pursue a chosen topic through a literature search, collection and analysis of data, project report preparation and defense.

By the end of the program, students will not only gain a thorough understanding of the role and responsibilities of a Pathologists' Assistant but will also be trained to perform these duties under the supervision of a certified pathologist.


Male and female, Saudi and non-Saudi.


Two-year, 42-credit program with a total of 4 semesters.

Admission Criteria

The MPA program is available to any university graduate in a health related profession, and others approved by the university. The entry requirements specific for the MPA program (in addition to the Alfaisal Graduate School requirements) are as follows:

  • Applicant must be a graduate of an allied health science program with majors in laboratory sciences.
  • The applicant must be registered and be appropriately classified with the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties ‘Mumaris’.
  • Other applicants planning to change their careers through this program may be considered by the program admission committee if they have similar or relevant backgrounds and are able to demonstrate strong interest in their applications.
  • A bachelor's degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution accepted by MOE.
  • A satisfactory scholastic average - usually a minimum grade average of “very good” in the bachelor's degree.
  • If the applicant is a non-Saudi, then they should have an official residency (Iqama).
  • If the candidate did not study their first degree in English, then they are expected to have English language proficiency with a minimum score as below:

    Band score of at least 5.5


    Band score of at least 65

  • An interview with potential candidates will be conducted to learn more about their background, interests, and motivations. This may be done in-person or virtual.
  • The graduate study application must be accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee to Alfaisal University.
The same study plan is also available in the Graduate Catalogue
To learn about the application process and the admission requirements

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