Physician Assistant (BS)

Health Sciences and Professional Programs
Health Professions
HEGIS Number: 1299.10

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

PLEASE NOTE: The Physician Assistant (BS) program has been discontinued and is no longer accepting any students. For more information on Physician Assistant studies at York College, please see the Physician Assistant Master's program page.


The York College Physician Assistant program seeks to recruit and educate students from the diverse surrounding communities to become highly competent, compassionate, and culturally aware providers of excellent medical care to underserved urban areas. Incorporated in our mission is a priority on increasing access to medical professional education for racial and ethnic minorities, financially disadvantaged students, and first-generation college graduates. Our program is committed to providing strong supports so that we may also expect high performance from our students.


The Physician Assistant Program plans to transition to a graduate level program as required by our accrediting organization (the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant). We plan to make the transition to the master's degree (MSPAS) in Fall of 2016. Students enrolled in the PA Program in the Fall of 2015 will complete the bachelor's program (BS). All students planning to enter the York College PA Program after the Fall of 2015 will need to complete the graduate degree prerequisites which will include a baccalaureate degree. Students who hope to apply to the new master's degree PA Program are advised to complete a baccalaureate degree in a related field and to include the master's degree prerequisites in their major. Some examples of majors which can be designed to satisfy the prerequisites for the program include the Health Science BS, Clinical Laboratory Science BS, Biology BA or BS, or the Psychology BA (this is not a complete list - other majors may also be designed to include the prerequisites). Please contact the program for more information regarding the specific requirements for the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies degree.

Major Program Goals/Competencies:

Graduates of the York PA Program will:

  1. Possess a broad and thorough understanding of current and evolving basic science and medical knowledge sufficient to assess, diagnose, and manage their patients (under the supervision of a physician).
  2. Be expert communicators with patients and family members regarding their health concerns in a culturally competent manor.
  3. Deliver high quality age-appropriate and patient-centered medical, surgical, and wellness care.
  4. Display a high degree of professionalism in their encounters with patients, colleagues, and the community.
  5. Engage in regular self-assessment regarding their own clinical practices and knowledge base in order to continually improve their patient care
  6. Employ available evidence based medicine, public health information, and other sources regarding systems-based practice in order to provide optimal patient care.
  7. Adhere to all licensure and maintenance requirements.

Career Description

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

  1. The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physcian Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the CUNY York College Physician Assistant Program sponsored by the City University of New York. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.
  2. 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 validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2018. The review date is contigent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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: 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 108 and 109 - Chemical Principles I, lecture and lab
  • Chemistry 111 and 112 - 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 or other psychology course
  • Sociology 101 - Introduction to Sociology or any other behavioral science course
  • Philosophy 103 - Introduction to Knowledge and Value (preferred) or Philosophy 102 or 121
  • Health Professions General Core 101 - Basic Concepts of Health Professions
  • Writing 303 - Research and Writing for Professional Programs
  • All York College degree completion requirements, including Pathways or General Education requirements (depending on the year of admission to York College)

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. Alternatively, students may demonstrate continued competence in Biology 201, Biology 202, Chemistry 108 and 109, and Chemistry 111 and 112by successful completion of the CLEP Examination in Biology and/or Chemistry.
  • No prerequisite course with a grade below a "C" will be considered.
  • Three (3) credits of behavioral sciences may be considered in place of Soc 101.
  • Another Three (3) credit Psychology course may be considered in place of Psy 102.

CUNY Pathway/York General education requirements waiver may be applicable if possessing a bachelor's degree. This determination is made by the York College Registrar.

Completion of at least 100 hours of health care experience is needed for application. Documentation of at least 200 hours is required for all students prior to starting the Physician Assistant Program.

Screening Procedure for Physician Assistant Program

  1. Students who are eligible (see Determine Eligibility for Screening into Upper Division PA Program) may apply beginning October of the year preceding the year in which they hope to enter the program. The deadline for submission of application and supporting documents is February 28th of the preceding Spring semester (e.g. application for Fall of 2015 may be submitted between October 2014 and February 28th of 2015).
  2. Submission includes:
    • Proof of Application to York College for transfer students
    • Official Transcripts of all previous schools attended for transfer students.
    • In addition to submitting official copies of the transcripts, transfer students not attending York College at the time of application must submit unofficial copies of their transcripts to the PA Program Admissions Coordinator to be evaluated by the Registrar's office. Without the evaluated transcript, no advisement or screening can be done by the PA program. Advisement for students submitting an application is strongly suggested by the PA program.
    • Reference Letters (3 sources): Can be from any source including professors, health care professionals, employers etc. Please submit original letters (copies will be returned) in a sealed envelope, signed across the seal by the reference source addressed to the PA Program Admissions Coordinator (address below). References letters must have a contact number of the source of reference.
    • Documentation (a separate letter from reference letters) of at least 100 hours of direct patient care experience. Documentation of 200 hours is required for admission. A letter from the Human Resources department, a supervisor, health professional being shadowed, or an administrator will suffice, but should be on letterhead of the organization or individual documenting hours and tasks performed and must provide a contact number. Acceptable experience includes volunteer work or employment in hospitals, clinics, private offices or extended care facilities, shadowing a MD or PA is preferred. Clerical work is not considered health care experience.
    • Completed Physician Assistant Program Application
    • Current resume
      • Personal statement which must be typed, double-spaced, 2 pages, and no more than 500 words. Your personal statement should convey your objectives in seeking admission into the PA program, your personal strengths or skills which make you suited to the profession, and any other pertinent information to be shared with the admissions committee regarding preparation for the program.
      • All documents should be submitted to: Attn: Admissions Coordinator, York College PA Program, SC-112, 94-20 Guy Brewer Blvd. Jamaica, NY 11451
  3. 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.
  4. 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 CUNY pathways (or York College General Education) requirements and all prerequisite courses prior to Fall of the entering year.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 and 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. It 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;

  1. Physician Assistant Program Application and three reference letters
  2. Grade point average and appropriate courses.
  3. Personal Statement
  4. Candidates previous health care experience
  5. Interview
  6. 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

  1. Completion of courses in specific sequence, good academic and professional standing in the College and in the Physician Assistant Program is required for promotion and graduation.
  2. 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 and Fees are equivalent to the York College Undergraduate Tuition and 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):

PA Program Student Fees:
Physical Diagnosis Lab 1$100/Didactic Phase Spring Semester
Physical Diagnosis Lab 2$100/Didactic Phase Fall Semester
Clinical Anatomy Clinical Skills$100/Didactic Phase Fall Semester $100/Didactic Phase Spring Semester
9 Clinical Rotations @ $200 each Rotation$1,800 Clinical Phase Fall, Spring, and Summer
Total for entire PA program$2,200
PA Program Books and Equipment Fees:
Equipment expenses incurred in the first semester:Approximately $ 750
Books:Approximately $1500 / Per Didactic Year $500 Fall, $500 Spring, $500 Summer
-$750 / Per Clinical Year - $250 Fall, $250 Spring, $250 Summer

Withdrawal / Refund Policy

The date on which the Withdrawal form is filed with the college will be the date used to calculate any refund.

Refund ScheduleFall and Spring SessionSummer Session

Withdrawal before the scheduled opening date of the session

100 %

100 %

Withdrawal in order to register at another unit of The City University during that semester

100 %

100 %

Withdrawal within one week after the scheduled opening date of the session

75 %

50 %

Withdrawal during the second week after the scheduled opening date of the session

50 %

25 %

Withdrawal during the third week after the scheduled opening date of the session

25 %


Withdrawal after the completion of the third week of the session



Note: Students who take a leave of absence after the first day of classes are liable for tuition and fees in accordance with the above schedule of refunds.

Please refer to the York College Bulletin for further information.

Financial Aid

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.


Physician Assistant Studies BS


Prerequisits for Screening and Progression

BIO201General Biology I 
BIO202General Biology II 
BIO234Human Anatomy and Physiology I 
BIO235Human Anatomy and Physiology II 
CHEM108Principles of Chemistry I 3.5 
CHEM109Principles of Chemistry I Laboratory 1.5 
CHEM111Principles of Chemistry II 3.5 
CHEM112Principles of Chemistry II Laboratory 1.5 

Choose Group 1 or Group 2

Group 1 
CHEM231Organic Chemistry I 
CHEM230Essentials of Organic Chemistry 
CHEM235Laboratory in Organic Chemistry I 
Group 2 
Additional courses 
PSY102Introduction to Psychology 
SOC101Introduction to Sociology 
HPGC101Basic Concepts of Health Professions 
MATH111Introduction to Statistics 
Choose one 
PHIL103Introduction to Philosophy 
PHIL102Beginning Informal Logic 
PHIL121Beginning Deductive Logic 
Choose one of the following 
WRIT301Research and Writing for the Major 
WRIT302Researh and Writing for the Sciences, Mathematics, and Technology 
WRIT303Research and Writing for Professional Programs 

Major Requirements


Fall Semester

Didactic Year
HSPA301Pharmacology I 
HSPA304Interviewing & Counseling 
HSPA401Physical Diagnosis I 
HSPA337Clinical Anatomy 
HSPA305PA Profession 
PHIL308Healthcare Ethics (WI) 

Spring Semester

Didactic Year
HSPA302Pharmacology II 
HSPA402Physical Diagnosis II 
HSPA410Internal Medicine I 
HSPA428Primary Care I 
HSPA324Diagnostic Studies 
HSPA313Clinical Skills 

Summer Sessions I and II

Didactic Year
HSPA412Internal Medicine II 
HSPA430Primary Care II 
HSPA425Clinical Correlations 
HSPA408Psychosocial Dynamics 
HSPA435Emergency Medicine 

Clinical Year

(Each rotation in the clinical year is 5 weeks long)
HSPA450Surgical Clinical Rotation 
HSPA451Internal Medicine Clinical Rotation 
HSPA452Pediatric Rotation 
HSPA453Emergency Medicine Rotation 
HSPA454Long Term Care Rotation 
HSPA455Psychiatry Rotation 
HSPA457Obstetrics & Gynecology 
HSPA458Family Medicine 
HSPA459Ambulatory Care Medicine 

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 and Bronx, NY
  • St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center, Roslyn, NY
  • Alan S. Detweiler, D.O., Far Rockaway, NY
  • Margaret Tietz Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Jamaica, NY
  • Brookdale Hospital, Brooklyn NY
  • Premiere Pediatrics of New York, Staten Island, NY
  • Elmhurst Hospital Center, Elmhurst, NY
  • Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Various locations
  • Morris Heights Health Medical Center, Bronx, NY
  • Emergency Medical Care, Manhattan, NY
  • Dr. Natalya Radionova, Jamaica, NY
  • Dr F. Santi DiFranco, Ozone Park, NY
  • Dr. Alain Sosa, Elmhurst, NY
  • Emergency Medical Care, New York, NY
  • Dr. Back Kim, Flushing, NY
  • Niaz Medical Services PC, Richmond Hill, NY

Physician Assistant National Certification Examination Results:

Technical Standards

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 and 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.

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