Life at MBKU

At MBKU, we know that the best health care providers are well-rounded ones. Our students have diverse interests and use their free time to explore, broaden their educational experience and make connections with their classmates.

Students in classroom studying together

Studying Together

MBKU students comprise our Southern California College of Optometry, College of Health Sciences’ School of Physician Assistant Studies and soon, College of Pharmacy. Our interprofessional education (IPE) model means students learn to approach complex medical cases as a team of disciplinary perspectives. Studying together is the foundation of this model, bringing the multifocal approach out of the classroom into team-based problem solving. Students are most often found studying in the M.B. Ketchum Memorial Library, or the Essilor Student Center. Learn more about IPE.

Serving Together

Serving Together

Opportunities to serve abound at MBKU, located in the diverse and populous region of Southern California. Optometry and PA students come together to provide a range of health services to underserved populations in the local communities. Programs also encourage students to lead and serve in volunteer capacities within the respective professions. The MBKU campus has hosted several events such as the Children’s Vision program, as well as Grace Miller Day focused on children’s health education. Learn more about volunteer opportunities.

Sharing Together

Sharing Together

On occasion, the serene MBKU campus loosens its necktie to allow students from all programs to share in social traditions such as the welcome back bar-b-que and annual talent show. The Patricia Hopping Commons as well as the Ernest A. Hutchison Memorial Amphitheater play host to a variety of events that foster the student spirit of MBKU. Most events are organized by the MBKU Student Association Government, individual class leadership, or are a part of the Student Achievement Center’s Stress Recess program. Student clubs and organizations also hold events. Learn more about campus events.

Hear From Our PA Students

Our students are involved with the National PA Society, National PA Week, MBKU Student Association Board, intramural sports, volunteer opportunities and community service. Hear why some students chose MBKU:

Lizzy Bergman photo I chose MBKU because I love the people here! Everybody really cares about your progress and success as a student. They have worked hard to create a warm & welcoming environment where collaboration is emphasized over competition. And nothing beats living in sunny Southern California! —Lizzy Bergman
Lizzy Bergman
Albuquerque, NM
Meghan Dean photo I knew I wanted to go to MBKU from the moment I stepped on campus.  Not only was I greeted by the beautiful California sunshine, but also by the smiling faces of the entire SPAS faculty. I have felt at home from day 1 and that feeling has not changed a bit over my 1st quarter here. The faculty is incredible as is the material we are privileged to be learning. The School of Physician Assistant Studies at Marshall B. Ketchum University is the best professional and educational decision I have ever made. —Meghan Dean
Meghan Dean
Valencia, CA
Jennifer DeMossR photo I chose to go to MBKU because I decided to a join a family, not just a PA program. Each faculty member and staff of MBKU is welcoming, respectful, and truly cares about the success of the students. I couldn't have picked a better program. I come to school every day knowing that my MBKU family is there to support me and help me become the best PA ever! —Jennifer DeMoss
Jennifer DeMoss
Riverside, CA
Maricela Galaviz photo I love MBKU's PA Program and am absolutely glad I chose to come here! MBKU offers an excellent learning environment where professors go out of their way to assure everyone excels in the courses. Additionally, it is great to see everyone-students, professors, and administrators- work together to achieve success. Being part of the first class has been a great and exciting opportunity and I couldn’t have been happier with my decision to attend MBKU. —Maricela Galaviz
Maricela Galaviz
Ventura, CA
Michelle Sakaue photo I chose to attend MBKU because of its small class size. Coming from a large university, I knew I wanted to be part of a program where there was opportunity for individualized attention and establishing close relationships with faculty. Also, because of its small class, I've really gotten to know my classmates and am excited to be part of this crazy adventure we call PA school! —Michelle Sakaue
Michelle Sakaue
Santa Cruz, CA
Lynda Truong photo Without a doubt, I am extremely happy and honored to be a part of the MBKU family. I appreciate the effort and time the faculty put into ensuring students the most challenging yet fun and rewarding experience during one of the hardest times of our lives. The program is well rounded and there is a great sense of community that far exceeded my expectations. I could not imagine a better program than that at MBKU. —Lynda Truong
Lynda Truong
Murrieta, CA
Eugene Yamamoto photo We've all heard going into this career path that these two years in school would be the biggest hurdle to overcome in our lives. The curriculum was as difficult as I had imagined and the schedule tight, but if there were ever the environment, faculty, and classmates to get me through it I couldn’t imagine any program better than MBKU’s. —Eugene Yamamoto
Eugene Yamamoto
Irvine, CA

FAQs: For Students, By Students

Our student-panel has answered some of your most burning questions about Student Life:

  What do SCCO students do for fun?
Bridget Anderson photo Southern California has some of the best cuisine. There's so much diversity that there's always a new place to go try out. Plus, we have the mall just down the street, plenty of movie theaters, the beach is close by, and Disneyland just 15 minutes away! It's hard to get bored around here. —Bridget Anderson
Bridget Anderson
Class of 2016
Tulsa, OK
Jessica Bartl photo A lot of us are really into Pinterest...  Once we had a 'Pinterest Potluck' where everyone had to make or bake something from their pin boards to share at girls night!  It was fun to see all the things I’d pinned in real life! —Jessica Bartl
Jessica Bartl
Class of 2016
Buffalo, MN
Nicole Kohan photo I love having a group of my closest friends over for a themed potluck. This last Halloween we all went to the pumpkin patch in Anaheim hills to pick out pumpkins, then went back to my house to decorate them and eat lots of yummy food!  —Nicole Kohan
Nicole Kohan
Class of 2015
Orange, CA
Anita Koo photo We are fortunate to be in an area that is just a drive away from many tourist attractions in Hollywood and amusement parks! Many students have annual passes to Disneyland and Universal Studios. I plan on getting a pass to a different place every year! I also enjoy dancing, so my classmates and I have tried out the local salsa and line dancing clubs. Its always a good time! —Anita Koo
Anita Koo
Class of 2016
San Jose, CA
Julie Lam photo My class gets along extremely well, even though some of our backgrounds are so different. We do things from class trips to Vegas to class potlucks or just going out to downtown Fullerton or Disneyland. We all study and work really hard for most of the year, so any time we can have a little fun we'll definitely take it! —Julie Lam
Julie Lam
Class of 2015
Irvine, CA
Samuel Levin photo I'm a big beach guy and love surfing, so I spend as much time as possible throughout Newport and Malibu. I'll go surf after class and then study in Newport while waiting for traffic to clear. It's a nice routine. —Samuel Levin
Samuel Levin
Class of 2016
Encinitas, CA
  What are students’ favorite study spots?
Maggie Francisco photo I like to study at coffee shops; the library is too quiet and home has too many distractions (the TV, my bed, etc.).  I found a Starbucks close to my place that has a nice vibe and isn’t too crowded. I like it because I can crack down and study hard when I want to, but when I want a break I can grab a snack, people watch, or just chat with my study-buddies. — Maggie Francisco
Maggie Francisco
Class of 2016
Castro Valley, CA
Kevin Kwok photo I like to study at home. I find libraries too quiet and coffee shops too loud. I’m most comfortable at home where there’s unlimited food and coffee, which eliminates time-wasting food runs. —Kevin Kwok
Kevin Kwok
Class of 2016
Walnut, CA
  How much free time should I expect to have?
Hoanha Ly photo Fall quarter of first year is definitely when you have the most free time to explore the city, hang out, and socialize. After that, you need to prioritize and "make" free time in a sense, especially during a tough quarter. SCCO does a great job with giving students some time to relax before exams starts in the 3rd-4th week of each quarter. —Hoanha Ly
Hoanha Ly
Class of 2015
Elk Grove, CA
  Can I commute from home?
Myron Jimenez photo I chose not to commute from Los Angeles because of the traffic factor. I like the convenience of living near campus and not having to deal with traffic. —Myron Jimenez
Myron Jimenez
Class of 2016
Inglewood, CA
  I’m not from California and I’ve never been far from my hometown.  What is it like to be so far from home?
Katie Powers photo Living in a new state for the first time is really empowering. I am more introvert than people realize, but placing myself in a completely new environment has really allowed me to be myself right from the get-go. The first few months of school were such a good growing experience that I can look back on and remember making those realizations about myself. — Katie Powers
Katie Powers
Class of 2016
Portland, OR