student using stethoscope on patient

Physician Assistant Studies, M.S.

Physician Assistants (PAs) are academically and clinically prepared to practice medicine autonomously in teams with physicians and other healthcare providers. PAs perform diagnostic, therapeutic, preventative, and health maintenance services. The role demands intelligence, sound judgment, intellectual honesty, the ability to relate to people, and the capacity to react to emergencies in a calm, reasonable manner. PAs practice medicine in a variety of settings in all states, U.S. territories, and around the world.

PAs are educated in areas of basic medical science and clinical disciplines. They are trained in the medical model with clinical experiences in family medicine, internal medicine, surgery, emergency medicine, orthopedics, geriatrics, pediatrics, women’s health, behavioral medicine and psychiatry. In addition, PAs are educated in pharmacotherapeutics, the chronic care model, health maintenance and disease prevention.

The Master’s of Science in Physician Assistant Studies is a full-time program. The three-year (30 months on-site) program encompasses 98 credits distributed over four traditional semesters of didactic education, followed by 48 weeks of intense clinical clerkships. Our curriculum map is available on our website.

The program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant Inc. (ARC-PA) The next ARC-PA review is in September 2019.

For information on the combined Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences/Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program, view Department of Life Sciences.

Technical Standards for Admission and Matriculation

The New York Institute of Technology Physician Assistant Program is committed to the admission and matriculation of highly qualified students and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or disability. Regarding disabled individuals, the college will not discriminate against such individuals who are otherwise qualified, but the college will expect that all applicants meet minimal technical standards as set forth herein. These standards reflect what has been determined as reasonable expectations for PA students and graduate PAs in performing common and important functions, keeping in mind the safety and welfare of patients. View our program’s technical standards used for admission and matriculation of PA students as well as for the granting of a PA degree. These standards do not reflect what may be required for entry-level employment of the graduate PA.

In addition to tuition costs and fees, PA students will be responsible for costs associated with books, medical equipment, laptop, smartphone, lab coats, and Basic and Advanced Cardiac Life Support certification courses. See our program website for more information on the cost of attendance. It is often impossible to use public transportation to reach clinical clerkship sites. Prospective applicants are advised to budget for transportation costs, including mileage, tolls, and parking.

Academic Rigor
Master’s of Science in PA Studies is a full time and academically rigorous program. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that students do not work while enrolled in the program.

Academic Criteria
The Master’s of Science in PA Studies program is a minimum competency based graduate-level curriculum. The following criteria must be met throughout the program:

  • Satisfactory professional conduct
  • Maintenance of minimum semester GPA as outlined in the PA Studies Student Handbook
  • Grade of C or higher in every course
  • Students who receive a grade below a C are considered to have not completed the course successfully and as a result are given an F in the course

Academic policies are further delineated in the PA Studies Student Handbook, available on the School of Health Professions website.

Successful completion of all prior coursework is required to continue in the program.

Academic Probation
Students will be placed on academic probation for any or all of the following:

  • Professional misconduct
  • GPA below 3.0 in any semester
  • Cumulative GPA falls below 3.0
  • Fails a didactic course (grade below a C)
  • Fails a clinical clerkship

Grade Appeal
Students may appeal an assigned grade by following the procedures outlined in the School of Health Profession’s grade appeal policy.

Academic Dismissal/Failure
To maintain satisfactory academic standing as a PA student, a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 must be maintained. The college identifies students that fall below a 3.0 GPA and places them on academic probation until the GPA reaches 3.0 or above. For more detailed information on policies of dismissal/failure, please refer to the PA Studies Student Handbook. The program maintains the right to periodically update the policies in the handbook and students will be informed of such changes should they occur.

Graduation Requirements
Students are recommended for graduation upon satisfactory completion of all academic and clinical education requirements. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation. The following are also required for graduation:

  • Successful completion of all didactic courses
  • Successful completion of all required clinical clerkships
  • Satisfactory standard of professional conduct
  • Bursar account clearance

Clinical Education
PA students must have successfully completed all prior didactic coursework in order to be placed in clinical education. All PA students will participate in a total of 48 weeks of clinical clerkship education located in a variety of clinical settings and must successfully complete all clerkships to be eligible for graduation. Students are expected to be on site ideally between 40 and 60 hours a week, with the exception of certain specialties where taking calls may substantially increase the total number of hours on site to up to 80 hours on average weekly. Students may be assigned to work day, evening, night, or rotating shifts. Students are expected to be available on any day for preceptor (clinical supervisor) requests, including weekends and holidays, within the assigned rotation start and end dates.

The student will not adjust the clerkship schedule. Students are discouraged from working elsewhere as the clinical experience is demanding in time. There are specific clinical learning objectives that must be met for each clerkship. Applicants to the School of Health Professions should be aware that certain legal issues and/or convictions may preclude a student from being accepted by clerkships, internships and/or field work and impact the student’s ability to complete the required program courses and qualify for graduation, certification and/or licensure. For full policies and procedures, refer to the PA Studies Student Handbook and Senior Year Orientation Manual.

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Admission Requirements

The program accepts new students every academic year (beginning in September). The admission process is highly competitive. Applications are reviewed relative to undergraduate intensity of studies, cumulative and science GPA, patient care experience, personal narrative, and letters of reference. Personal interviews, required for admission, are offered to the most qualified individuals. Applicants who meet minimum requirements are not guaranteed an interview. For additional information, please visit our website.

  • Bachelor's degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university (preferably in a science or health-related field)
  • Minimum overall GPA of 3.0
  • Academic record that includes a strong emphasis on science and mathematics
  • Minimum grade of B- in all prerequisite courses, which may be taken up to two times to achieve the required score
    • The minimum prerequisite courses must be completed within the previous 10 years at a regionally accredited institution in the U.S. or Canada.
    • You must have no more than two outstanding prerequisites by the application deadline, and only one of the two outstanding courses may be completed in the final spring semester.
    • You may take courses of any level to fulfill these prerequisites, including coursework not designated for science majors. However, coursework that is specifically designated for healthcare providers or premedical classes are preferable (when available) as these will better prepare you for the level of study in the M.S. program.
    • Prerequisite courses include:
      • Two semesters of any biology (with a minimum of six credits). Labs are not required for these courses. Microbiology and genetics are highly recommended but not required. If taken, these courses can be applied toward the biology requirements.
      • One semester of psychology (with a minimum of three credits)
      • One semester of human anatomy and one semester of human physiology. This may be substituted with the combination of Anatomy and Physiology I and Anatomy and Physiology II (with a minimum of six credits).
      • Two semesters of college chemistry with labs (with a minimum of eight credits)
      • Two semesters of college math (with a minimum of six credits). It is recommended but not required that one of these math courses include one semester of statistics.
  • Meet the Technical Standards for the physician assistant program

Application Materials

The following documents must be submitted directly to CASPA:

  • Submit application no later than October 1 for the class entering the following fall through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Specific instructions related to the application process can be found on the CASPA website. International applications must be complete, and all admissions materials and related documentation received, no later than November 1 of the year prior to the anticipated start date in order to ensure ample time for the visa application process.
  • Minimum of 100 hours of verifiable patient care experience in the U.S. healthcare system
  • Three professional letters of recommendation, including one from a physician assistant, osteopathic doctor, or medical doctor
  • One-page personal narrative (completed as part of the CASPA application)
  • Copies of undergraduate transcripts for all schools attended. All final, official transcripts must be received prior to the start of your first semester.
  • Please do not submit any GRE or MCAT scores as they will not be part of our evaluation process
  • Successful completion of a criminal background check after acceptance and prior to entry. Applicants to the School of Health Professions should be aware that certain legal issues and/or convictions may preclude a student from being accepted by clerkships, internships and/or field work and impact the student's ability to successfully complete the program and achieve certification and/or licensure.
  • International student requirements: English proficiency, I-20, and transcript evaluation

NOTE: Certain legal issues and/or convictions may preclude you from being accepted for clerkships, internships, and/or fieldwork and may impact your ability to successfully complete the program and achieve certification and/or licensure.