Pre-Physician Assistant

Pre-Physician Assistant

Pre-Physician Assistant Advisement Track

  • The Pre-Physician Assistant concentration satisfies the course requirements for admission at most physician assistant schools.
  • Additional elective courses are recommended but not required and can vary depending on the physician assistant program to which students intend to apply.
  • Students must consult SUNY Oneonta's current undergraduate catalog for descriptions of courses, course prerequisites, and time of year when courses are offered in order to plan properly in advance.
  • Students have the responsibility to check entrance requirements for schools to which they intend to apply.
  • Highly qualified students have the opportunity to apply to Albany Medical College Center of Physician Assistant Studies under our Early Assurance Articulation
  • BIOL 130, 131, 133, 201, 205-206, 362 (or 203 if a non-Biology Major)
  • CHEM 111-112, 221 or 226, 330
  • COMP 100
  • STAT 101
  • PSYC 100
  • SOC 101
  • BIOL 180, 181, 201, 205-206, 362 (or 203 if a non-Biology Major)
  • CHEM 111-112, 226 or 221
  • COMP 100
  • STAT 101
  • PSYC 100
  • SOC 101 (SOCL 100)

The timeline for applying to physician assistant school varies among students and is dependent on a variety of factors, including successful completion of prerequisite coursework, competitive GRE examination scores, and appropriate healthcare experience.

Many Pre-Physician students are choosing to take at least one year after they graduate SUNY Oneonta to work in healthcare prior to applying to physician assistant programs.

In fact, across the United States most first-time applicants to physician assistant school apply after their senior year or later. Having a “Growth Year” between undergraduate studies and beginning physician assistant school is often beneficial for applicants and does not hurt your chances of admission as long as you continue to strengthen your application. It allows time to gain additional life experiences, continue volunteering or pursue non-academic interests.

If a student wishes to take a "growth year," or takes a different undergraduate path, students will need to adjust the course sequence plan accordingly, based on their personal planning needs. Individual student plans may vary depending on when the student hopes to enter dental school and what major is chosen, therefore each student should work with their Primary Major Advisor and their Pre-Health Concentration Advisor to establish their own personalized schedule

Admission to Physician Assistant school is highly competitive and many require several hundred to over a thousand hours of clinical experience to be eligible to apply. Some PA schools require the baccalaureate degree to be complete at the time of application and many PA schools require school-specific supplemental applications.

Applicants are encouraged to complete the CASPA early in the cycle. For application to highly competitive schools and those with a rolling admissions policy, it is imperative for applicants to submit their CASPA as early in the cycle as possible (end of April) as the interview seats for prospective students are generally full before the end of August.

Students should regularly review the Physician Assistant Program Admission Requirements

Applicants are evaluated on:

  • healthcare experience (direct patient care experience)
  • minimum of three letters of recommendation (Physician Assistant, Clinician, Professor)
  • GPA (prerequisite courses & overall)
  • leadership skills (on and off campus)
  • GRE​​​​​​

Application to Physician Assistant programs is made through the centralized application CASPA

  • The 2021-2022 CASPA (for PA school start dates in 2022) opens April 29, 2021

Additional Information is available at FAQs for CASPA

Most Physician Assistant Programs require the GRE General Test

GRE preparation options include free and paid test prep programs

Students generally request three to five letters of recommendation to be submitted on their behalf for physician assistant program applications. Appropriate recommenders include science faculty, other course instructors, healthcare professionals, current or former employers, and professional references.

  • 39% of SUNY Oneonta Pre-Physician Assistant students were accepted into PA programs (CASPA data, 2016-2019 Advisor Report).
  • SUNY Oneonta alumni have been accepted into the following Physician Assistant programs: Albany Medical College, Bryant University, Clarkson University, CUNY - New York, D'Youville College, Daemen College, Drexel University, Duke University Medical Center, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Hofstra University, Lake Erie College, LeMoyne College, Long Island University, MCPHS University (Boston), Marist University, Mercy College, Marrywood University, Methodist University, Nova Southeastern University (Ft. Meyers), Pace University (Lenox Hill Hospital - NYC), Pace University (Pleasantville), Salus University, Stony Brook University, SUNY Upstate Medical Center, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Touro College (Bay Shore), Touro University (California), University of New England.
Pre-Physician Assistant questions should be directed to Tami LaPilusa, M.S., Pre-Health Professions Program Coordinator
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