Physician Assistant (BS)
- The Online Bulletin is for information purposes only. Current students must complete the requirements as outlined in the York Bulletin as applicable.
- Course Descriptions
- Course descriptions can be found in the online PDF version of the Bulletin
The mission of the York College Physician Assistant program is to educate students drawn mainly from a diverse urban population so that they can provide knowledgeable, high quality, culturally competent health care to medically underserved communities.
The Physician Assistant (PA) is a health professional licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. Physician assistants are qualified by graduation from an accredited physician assistant training program and by certification of the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. Within the collaborative physician/PA relationship, physician assistants exercise autonomy in medical decision-making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services. The clinical role of physician assistants includes primary and specialty care in medical and surgical settings working in both rural and urban areas. Physician Assistant practice is centered on patient care and may include educational, research and administrative activities.
The PA elicits medical histories, performs complete physical examinations, performs and interprets various diagnostic tests and formulates diagnosis and treatment plans. The physician assistant functions within the scope of practice of the supervising physician and within the level of experience and training achieved. An important component of PA practice is patient counseling and patient education. Physician assistants practice in varied settings, including private medical offices, hospitals, clinics and community health centers.
Physician assistants practicing in New York State may write prescriptions for medications, including certain classes of controlled substances. Physician assistants provide services in various medical and surgical disciplines including, but not limited to: family practice, pediatrics, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, geriatrics, orthopedics, psychiatry and emergency medicine.
The physician assistant role requires the application of intelligence, compassion, sound judgment, critical reasoning, dedication to patients, and good interpersonal skills.
Accreditation and Credentials
- The ARC-PA has granted Continued Accreditation to the Physician Assistant Program sponsored by York College/CUNY. Continued accreditation is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.
Continued Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next comprehensive review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2016.
- The Bachelor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies is conferred when the Physician Assistant Program requirements are fulfilled, including successful completion of all Physician Assistant Major Discipline requirements, in addition to York College’s General Education Requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree
- Certification: Upon completion of all requirements and approval by the PA program, the graduate is permitted to sit for the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants examination.
- Licensure: Upon completion of all requirements, the graduate is permitted to apply to New York State for limited permit licensure as a physician assistant. The PA can apply for a full license upon taking and passing the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) examination.
Eligibility for Screening into the Physician Assistant Program
PLEASE NOTE: To receive a complete package of information about the program including an application, please send an email requesting an information package to: firstname.lastname@example.org You can also pick up a copy of the package in the PA Program office: SC-112 in the Science Building. The application must be printed, completed, signed and returned to the office to initiate your application. Your application will not be considered complete until all supporting documentation is received (see below).
Eligibility For Screening Requires The Following:
Completion of 61 college credits required for screening for admission (Transfer Students must have all prerequisite courses completed). 73 college credits must be completed prior to beginning the PA Program.
Overall Grade Point Average 2.9 minimum. Science Grade Point Average (includes all Biology and Chemistry prerequisites) 2.9 minimum.
Students whose Science Prerequisites GPA is less than 2.9, but whose upper division science classes have consistently higher grades may still be considered for admission. Students whose Science GPA is 2.9 or better, but whose Cumulative GPA is less than 2.9 may petition to the committee to be considered if they can demonstrate a consistent improvement in academic performance. The petition letter should be included with the application to the program.
Plan for completion of all York College general education and pre-major course requirements prior to enrollment:
- Biology 201 - Biological Principles I, lecture and lab
- Biology 202 - Biological Principles II, lecture and lab
- Chemistry 101 - Chemical Principles I, lecture and lab
- Chemistry 102 - Chemical Principles II, lecture and lab
- Chemistry 231- Organic Chemistry I or 230 and 235 - Essentials of Organic Chemistry, lecture and lab
- Biology 234 - Anatomy and Physiology I, lecture and lab
- Biology 235 - Anatomy and Physiology II, lecture and lab
- Mathematics 111 - Introduction to Statistics and Probability
- Psychology 102 - Introductory Psychology
- Sociology 101 - Introduction to Sociology
- Philosophy 103 - Introduction to Knowledge and Value (preferred) or Philosophy 102 or 121
- Health Professions GC 101 - Basic Concepts of Health Professions
- Writing 303 - Research and Writing for Professional Programs
- All York College General Education Requirements, including Fine & Performing Arts (3 credits) and 2 Writing Intensive (WI) Courses (the 3rd WI course required for graduation is a component of the PA Program Course work)
Prerequisite Coursework Requirements
- Science course credit taken over 10 years ago will not be accepted. Older science prerequisite courses must be retaken to be considered.
- No prerequisite course with a grade below a “C” will be considered.
- Student may submit documentation of successful completion of CLEP Exams in Biology and Chemistry to be waived from the following course(s): Bio 201, Bio 202, Chem 101, Chem 102
- Six (6) credits of other behavioral sciences may be considered in place of Psy 102 and/or Soc 101
General education requirements waiver may be applicable if possessing a degree. This determination is made by the York College Registrar.
Completion of at least 100 hours of health care experience to apply. Documentation of at least 200 hours is required for all students prior to starting the Physician Assistant Program.
Screening Procedure for Physician Assistant Program
- Students who are eligible (see Eligibility for Screening into Physician Assistant Program) should apply early in the Spring preceding the Fall semester in which they hope to enter the program. The deadline for submission of application and supporting documents is February 28th in the preceding Spring semester.
- Submission includes:
- Proof of Acceptance to York College for transfer students
- Transcripts of all previous schools attended for transfer students.
- In addition to submitting copies of the transcripts, transfer students not attending York College at the time of application must request a courtesy transcript evaluation from the York College Registrar's office. Without the evaluated transcript, no advisement or screening can be done by the PA program. It is the student's responsibility to obtain the evaluated transcript and submit it to the program office.
- Three letters of reference: Preferred sources include professors, health care professionals, employers etc. Please submit each original letter (copies will be returned) in a sealed envelope, signed across the seal by the reference source to the Admissions Coordinator (address below). References should be on letterhead of the organization or individual and must provide a contact number.
- Documentation of at least 100 hours of direct patient care experience (clerical work is not considered health care experience). Documentation of 200 hours is required for admission. A letter from the Human Resources department, a supervisor, or an administrator will suffice, but should be on letterhead and must document the hours and task performed and include a contact number. Acceptable experience includes volunteer work or employment in hospitals, clinics, private offices or extended care facilities.
- Completed Physician Assistant Program Application
- Personal statement which should be typed, double-spaced, and should convey the candidate's objectives in seeking admission to the PA program, the personal qualities which make the candidate suited to the profession and any other pertinent information to be shared with the admissions committee. Please limit the statement to 2-3 pages.
- All documents should be submitted to: Attn: Admissions Coordinator, York College PA Program, SC-11294-20, Guy Brewer Blvd. Jamaica, NY 11451
- Selected students will be invited for an interview. An interview does not guarantee admission into the program. Admission to the PA Program is very competitive. Currently only 30 students are admitted each Fall semester.
- Students who have not completed all prerequisite courses at the time of application will be considered only upon submission of a plan of study for the completion of all general education and prerequisite courses prior to Fall of the entering year.
- There is no advanced standing in the program regardless of qualifications or experience of the applicant. All candidates must complete the entire 24 month course of study.
- Please be aware that the Physician Assistant program will only screen a candidate twice (for two separate years). No subsequent applications will be considered.
Notice to Students on Criminal Background Checks & Drug Testing
Current laws generally permit a state licensing board or agency to deny a license to practice if the applicant has been convicted of a felony or other specified crime. Like many state licensing boards, the Office of the Professions of the New York State Education Department requires that a criminal background check be conducted prior to granting a license.
The Department of Health Professions at York College does not require a criminal background check for admission to our degree program, but the Department's educational requirements include placement at one or more hospitals or other off-campus clinical training sites, and these sites frequently require a student to undergo a criminal background check before the student can be placed for clinical training.
If, based upon the results of a criminal background check, the site determines that a student's participation in its clinical training program would not be in the best interest of the site, the site may deny that student admission to the training program. Even if the student has already begun the placement when the results are received, the site may elect to dismiss the student, regardless of the student's performance while in the training program. Each clinical training site that requires a criminal background check sets its own standards and procedures, and you may be asked by the site to pay the cost of the background check. You may also have to complete more than one criminal background check during the course of the Health Professions at York College depending on the number of sites where you are placed and the requirements of each site.
Some clinical rotation sites may also require that students submit to a drug test as a condition of their participation. Students will be responsible for the cost of this testing. Refusal to have a test may result in an inability to complete the rotation and possibly the professional program.
Please note that if a clinical training site determines that you may not take part in its training program based on the results of a criminal background check or drug test (or due to refusal to submit to a drug test), you may be unable to complete your course requirements and to continue in the professional program. lt is important for you to consider this before you enroll in a program offered by the Department of Health Professions at York College, as York College has no obligation to refund your tuition or fees or to otherwise accommodate you in the event you are ineligible to complete your course requirements based on the results of a criminal background check, or if you are denied a license to practice.
Acceptance into the Physician Assistant Program
Acceptance requires approval by the Physician Assistant Program Admissions Committee. This committee bases its recommendations on the following screening criteria;
- Physician Assistant Program Application and three letters of reference
- Grade point average and appropriate courses.
- Candidates previous health care experience
- Written on-site essay at time of Interview
Applicants are not considered accepted into the program until they receive a letter of acceptance from the director of the Physician Assistant Program.
Outside Employment Policy
Applicants to the Physician Assistant Program must assess their ability to pay tuition, equipment expenses, book expenses, travel expenses and other living expenses for themselves and their dependents for the full two years of the program. The program is rigorous, and outside employment is strongly discouraged while attending the PA Program.
Promotion and Retention
- Completion of courses in specific sequence, good academic & professional standing in the College and in the Physician Assistant Program is required for promotion and graduation.
- Retention is based on good academic and professional standing as defined in the PA Program Student Handbook, matriculation at York College and continuing review by the Physician Assistant Program Academic Standing Committee.
Tuition and Fees
PA Program Tuition & Fees are equivalent to the York College Undergraduate Tuition & Fee schedule. Additional expenses specific to the Physician Assistant Program include books, supplies, equipment, travel, professional liability and memberships, field trips and other fees (totals approximate):
- First Semester: $750
- Second and Third Semester: $500
- Clinical Semesters: $250/semester
In addition to the sources of financial aid available to all college students, there are some sources available specifically for students enrolled in Physician Assistant Programs. Information is available at the Physician Assistant office.
Suggested Program Sequence
Fall SemesterDidactic Year
|HSPA304||INTERVIEWING & COUNSELING||1|
|HSPA401||PHYSICAL DIAGNOSIS I||3|
Spring SemesterDidactic Year
|HSPA402||PHYSICAL DIAGNOSIS II||3|
|HSPA410||INTERNAL MEDICINE I||2|
|HSPA428||PRIMARY CARE I||2|
Summer Sessions I and IIDidactic Year
|HSPA412||INTERNAL MEDICINE II||2|
|HSPA430||PRIMARY CARE II||1|
Clinical Year(Each rotation in the clinical year is 5 weeks long)
|HSPA450||SURGICAL CLINICAL ROTATION||1|
|HSPA451||INTERNAL MEDICINE CLINICAL ROTATION||1|
|HSPA453||EMERGENCY MEDICINE ROTATION||1|
|HSPA454||LONG TERM CARE ROTATION||1|
|HSPA457||OBSTETRICS & GYNECOLOGY||1|
|HSPA459||AMBULATORY CARE MEDICINE||1|
Physician Assistant Program Affiliations
- Queens Hospital Center, Jamaica, NY
- St. Albans Veteran Administration Hospital, St. Albans, NY
- New York Hospital Queens, Flushing, NY
- Woodhull Hospital, Brooklyn, NY
- Damian Family Practice, Queens & Bronx, NY
- Twilight Medical, PC, New York, NY
- St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center, Roslyn, NY
- Alan S. Detweiler, D.O., Far Rockaway, NY
- The Holliswood Hospital, Holliswood, NY
- Margaret Tietz Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Jamaica, NY
Physician Assistant National Certification Examination Results:
- Please see PA Pass Rate Summary Report
The following technical standards for admission establish the mental and physical abilities students’ need for successful completion of the Physician Assistant Program and eventual PA practice. York College offers a variety of services, activities and accommodations to students with disabilities, mainly through two offices – the Coordinator of Disability Services and the York Enrichment Services (Y.E.S.) for Students with Disabilities. All students admitted to the York College Physician Assistant Program are expected to be able to perform the listed tasks, with or without reasonable accommodations. Every effort will be made to provide reasonable accommodations to students with documented disabilities.
- PA students must be able to sustain attention, reason, analyze, assimilate and learn a large amount of information. Information from various disciplines and sources must be correlated and concepts applied to develop therapeutic plans and solve clinical problems in a timely fashion. The ability to extract valid, useful and relevant information from the medical literature is also required.
- PA students must be able to observe in lecture, laboratory and clinical patient care settings. PA students must have adequate sensory skills to elicit medical histories and to perform complete physical examinations utilizing inspection, percussion, palpation and auscultation include adequate vision, hearing and tactile sensation.
- PA students must be able to communicate with patients in a sensitive manner and also record and communicate patient information in a timely and effective manner to other members of the health care team.
- PA students must have adequate neuromuscular control to perform therapeutic and diagnostic procedures (such as blood drawing, suturing, casting etc.), to respond to emergency situations and to move about various health care environments. The didactic phase of the program requires extended sitting, in contrast to the clinical phase which requires extended standing and moving about various clinical facilities.
- PA students must be able to relate to and develop good professional rapport with other members of the health care team. PA students must also maintain composure during periods of stress and respond appropriately to emergency situations. Recognizing limitations, demonstrating concern for patients and exercising good judgment are also required attributes.
All students with a documented disability are encouraged to sign up in Room 1G02 (Tel. 262-2272) and take advantage of services provided by the Coordinator of Disability Services and the Y.E.S. program. These services include individual and group counseling; individual orientation and registration assistance; readers & interpreters; modified instruction and examination procedures; textbook loan program; assistance in use of adaptive equipment and technology and coordination of disability-related accommodations.
Questions about the program’s technical standards may be directed to the program director or the Coordinator of Disability Services. All information regarding disabilities is handled in a confidential manner. All requests for accommodations are voluntary and must be made in writing prior to beginning coursework.