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Physician Assistant


Obtaining the skills and knowledge to practice as a Physician Assistant is a complex process. A carefully planned course of study has been developed to offer a balance of didactic and clinical knowledge. A significant component of the educational process is the socialization of the student to the character, performance, and role of a provider of medical care. The evaluation of the student's adaptation to this role depends on the experienced judgment of individual faculty members. It is important to recognize that these subjective judgments may transcend or be independent of traditional paper and pencil tests and other similar objective measures of academic performance. PA education involves instruction from practicing clinicians with unpredictable schedules.

Many opportunities, in the form of evaluations, are provided for measurement of progress by both faculty and student. In addition to a fully staffed RIT Learning Development Center, individual instruction and tutoring may be provided in certain instances. Every effort is made to provide a complete learning environment. Even though a variety of experiences, learning situations, and tools are provided by the Program, the single greatest factor, motivation, is essentially up to the student.

2015-2016 Physician Assistant Program Fact Sheet

Physician Assistant BS/MS – 5 Year Program Curriculum

Physician Assistant Program Goals & Successes

NCCPA Pass Rate Report

The RIT PA Program is transitioning to a graduate (BS/MS) program. As the program is currently delivered, the pre-professional phase (years 1 & 2) involve courses in basic sciences, mathematics, and the liberal arts. The professional phase (years 3, 4, 5) is fully accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) and encompasses 30 months. Students participate in the program during the summer between these last two years. The professional phase includes 18 months of clinical course work and 12 months of clinical rotations. The required rotations are in Inpatient Medicine, Family Medicine, Orthopedics, Emergency Medicine, OB/GYN, Pediatrics, General Surgery, Geriatrics, Psychiatry, and one elective rotation.

The five-year graduate BS/MS degree program curricula will be include new coursework, which include expanding the current professional phase; 3rd year to encompass the 3rd and 4th years of didactic medical education. The final (5th) year will culminate with clinical rotations. Qualified transfer students are accepted, on a space available basis, into the program. Prior health care and/or shadowing of PAs is highly encouraged.

Physician assistants' duties vary depending on the state and the specialty in which they practice. In most states, PAs also prescribe medications. Specialties include general medicine, emergency medicine, geriatrics, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, general surgery, orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, neonatology, etc. The clinical rotations during the upper division provide the student with an opportunity to explore these specialty areas.

  • In addition to RIT's general admission procedures, the physician assistant program requires completion of a supplemental data packet, application and successful completion of an admission interview (by invitation). For details of the admission procedure utilized by the physician assistant program, please contact the RIT Office of Admissions at (585-475-6631).
  • All prospective applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) to qualify for admission and must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 once enrolled in the program.

Application Deadlines:

Transfer Applicants December 1st for the following fall class.
Freshman Applicants (Early Decision) December 1st for the following fall class.
Freshman Applicants (Regular Decision) February 1st for the following fall class.


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