Part-time & Graduate Enrollment Services
Physician Assistant BS
The physician assistant major focuses on primary care for patients. Physician assistants provide diagnostic and therapeutic patient care in conjunction with a supervising physician. They perform tasks that include eliciting medical histories, conducting physical examinations, ordering laboratory and radiological testing, diagnosing common illnesses, determining treatment, giving medical advice, counseling and educating patients, promoting wellness and disease prevention, assisting in surgery, and casting and suturing.
Physician assistant duties vary depending on the state and specialty in which they practice. In most states, including New York, physician assistants may prescribe medication. Examples of specialties include (but are not limited to): internal medicine, family medicine, emergency medicine, geriatrics, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, psychiatry, general surgery, orthopedics, neurosurgery, and neonatology. Clinical rotations (internships) during students’ senior year provide the opportunity to explore these varied disciplines.
The physician assistant major is offered as an accelerated dual degree, which enables students to earn both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in five years. The curriculum is divided into the pre-professional phase (years 1 and 2), which includes course work in the sciences, mathematics, and liberal arts; and the professional phase, (years 3, 4, and 5), which feature didactic medical education and culminates in clinical rotations in which students apply their knowledge in the medical field in a series of rotations through various disciplines of medicine.
Clinical rotations include a five-week experience in various disciplines of medicine, providing students with the opportunity to apply the basic principles of medicine to hospital-based and ambulatory patient care settings. Students are assigned to a primary preceptor (physician/physician assistant) and are exposed to a wide variety of acute and chronic medical problems. The emphasis is on data gathering, physical examination, differential diagnosis, patient management, maintenance of medical records, performance of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, and the provision of patient education and counseling. Mandatory rotations are in fields of inpatient medicine, family medicine, geriatrics, orthopedics, emergency medicine, OB/GYN, pediatrics, general surgery, and psychiatry. Students also are able to select one elective rotation, which enables them to customize their experience according to their medical area of interest.
The professional phase (years 3, 4, and 5) of the physician assistant major is fully accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).
Physician assistant, BS/MS degree, typical course sequence (semesters), effective fall 2013
|Course||Sem. Cr. Hrs.|
|First Year (Pre-professional)|
|BIOL-101||General Biology I||3|
|BIOL-103||General Biology I Lab||1|
|CHMG-141||LAS Perspective 5: General and Analytical Chemistry I||3|
|CHMG-145||LAS Perspective 5: General and Analytical Chemistry I Lab||1|
|LAS Perspective 1, 2, 3||9|
|LAS Foundation 1: First-Year Seminar||3|
|BIOL-102||General Biology II||3|
|BIOL-104||General Biology II Lab||1|
|CHMG-142||LAS Perspective 6: General and Analytical Chemistry II||3|
|CHMG-146||LAS Perspective 6: General and Analytical Chemistry II Lab||1|
|MATH-161||LAS-Perspectives 7A: Elementary Calculus||4|
|ENGL-150||LAS Foundation 2: Writing Seminar||3|
|Second Year (Pre-professional)|
|MEDS-250||Anatomy and Physiology I||4|
|CHMB-240||Biochemistry for Health Sciences||3|
|LAS Perspective 4||3|
|LAS Immersion 1, 2, 3||9|
|MEDS-251||Anatomy and Physiology II||4|
|STAT-145||LAS Perspective 7B: Introduction to Statistics I||3|
|Third Year (Professional)|
|PHYA-401||History/Physical Dx I||4|
|PHYA-422||Clinical Medicine I||5|
|PHYA-419||Applied Gross Anatomy||2|
|PHYA-420||Physician Assistant Seminar||1|
|PHYA-423||Clinical Medicine II||5|
|PHYA-402||History/Physical Dx II||4|
|PHYA-409||Clinical Lab Medicine||1|
|Fourth Year (Professional)|
|PHYA-424||Clinical Medicine III||5|
|PHYA-440||Society and Behavioral Medicine (WI)||3|
|PHYA-550||Procedural Clinical Skills||3|
|PHYA-560||Healthcare Policy and Law||2|
|PHYA-761||Professional Practice I||2|
|PHYA-710||Graduate Project I||2|
|Fifth Year (Professional)|
|PHYA-762||Professional Practice II||2|
|PHYA-720||Graduate Project II||2|
|PHYA-763||Professional Practice III||2|
|Total Semester Credit Hours||182|
Please see New General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.
(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.
* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.
In addition to the university’s general admission procedures, the physician assistant major requires the completion of a supplemental data packet, application, and successful completion of an admission interview (by invitation). For more information regarding these additional admission requirements, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. It also is important to note that the minimum grade point average for acceptance into the physician assistant major is 3.0 (on the basis of a 4.0 maximum) for both high school and transfer students. In order to graduate from the major, a GPA of 2.8 or better must be maintained.
Qualified transfer students are accepted into the major, on a space available basis. Prior health care experience and/or shadowing are strongly recommended. Transcript evaluations and rendering of transfer credit are addressed at the time of admission only. Anatomy and physiology courses must be taken within the last five years prior to matriculation to be eligible for transfer. All pre-professional course work must be completed to continue on, or to be considered for entry, into the professional phase of the major. Please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions for information on transfer requirements.
In the pre-professional phase, advanced placement (AP) credit for liberal arts courses is evaluated and approved by the College of Liberal Arts. AP credit for calculus, statistics, and university electives is awarded, as applicable, within the major. AP credit is not accepted for biology and chemistry as course substitutions, but university elective credit is awarded for these courses, as applicable. Advanced placement or credit for experiential learning is not awarded for courses in the professional phase of the major.