Pre-Physician Assistant

Pre-Physician Assistant

Pre-Physician Assistant Advisement Track

Dual-advising is available to assist students with timely completion of both the primary major coursework and the Pre-Health advisement track coursework as of the date of their matriculation at SUNY Oneonta.

  • Students must declare a primary major and are encouraged to declare their intended Pre-Health Concentration for effective advisement.
  • Consultation with advisors for the primary major and Pre-Health concentration should begin at the time of admission to SUNY Oneonta.

Students can review their individual degree progress via DegreeWorks.

  • The Primary Major Faculty Advisor assists with selection of courses for the Primary Major Requirements.
  • The Pre-Health Advisement Track Advisor guides the student through the Pre-Physician Assistant Concentration, listed below.

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 school.
  • 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.
Fall 2020 and Later Matriculants TOTAL: 46-47 sh
BIOL 130, 131, 133, 205-206, 362 (or 203 if a non-Biology Major) 18-19 sh
CHEM 111-112, 226, 330 16 sh
COMP 100 3 sh
STAT 101 3 sh
PSYC 100 3 sh
SOC 101 3 sh
2019 and earlier Matriculants Total: 43-44 sh
BIOL 180, 181, 205-206, 362 (or 203 if a non-Biology Major) 19-20 sh
CHEM 111-112, 226 or 221 12 sh
COMP 100 3 sh
STAT 101 3 sh
PSYC 100 3 sh
SOC 101 (SOCL 100) 3 sh

Suggested Course Sequencing and Planning for Applying to Physician Assistant School

The recommended course sequence is based on a 4-year undergraduate course plan, a student graduating in 4-years, the student taking the GRE after the 3rd year of college coursework, and applying to physician assistant school prior to starting the 4th year of undergraduate studies.

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

Year One Courses and Study Hours



BIOL 180 (Biology I) or BIOL 130 & 133 4 sh BIOL 181 (Biology II) or BIOL 131 3 or 4 sh
CHEM 111 (General Chemistry I) 4 sh CHEM 112 (General Chemistry II) 4 sh
COMP 100 (Composition) 3 sh PSYC 100 3 sh
major coursework or elective or Gen Ed 3-4 sh *MATH 105 (as advised) or another course 3 sh
Year Two Courses and Study Hours



BIOL 205 (Human Anatomy & Physiology I) 4 sh BIOL 206 (Human Anatomy & Physiology II) 4 sh
CHEM 226 or 330 4 sh CHEM 226 or 330 4 sh
BIOL 201 4 sh STAT 101 (Intro to Statistics) 3 sh
upper division courses or research or immersion experience or elective or Gen Ed 3-4 sh upper division courses or research or immersion experience or elective or Gen Ed 3-4 sh
Year Three Courses and Study Hours



BIOL 362 (Microbiology) 4 sh SOC 101 (SOCL 100) 3 sh
upper division courses or research or immersion experience or elective up to 12 sh upper division courses or research or immersion experience or elective up to 12 sh



upper division courses or research or immersion experience or elective 12-16 sh upper division courses or research or immersion experience or elective 12-16 sh

Centralized Application Service

  • Application to Physician Assistant programs is made through the centralized application CASPA
  • FAQs for CASPA
  • The 2020 CASPA (for PA school start dates in 2021) opens April 30, 2020
  • Check out the directory of Physician Assistant programs to learn more about over 200 Physician Assistant Programs in the United States.

Requirements for Physician Assistant School

Admission to Physician Assistant school is highly competitive and applicants are encouraged to complete the CASPA early in the cycle. Some PA schools require the baccalaureate degree to be complete at the time of application and many PA schools require school-specific supplemental applications. 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.

Acceptance rates: 38.4% of SUNY Oneonta Pre-Physician Assistant students matriculate into a PA program after graduation (CASPA data, 2016-2019 matriculants).

Physician Assistant Schools SUNY Oneonta graduates attend include: 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, among others. [last update: May 18, 2020]

Applicants are evaluated on:

  • healthcare experience (direct patient care experience)
  • GRE
  • GPA
  • Successful completion of primary major requirements
  • minimum of three letters of recommendation (Physician Assistant, Clinician, Professor)
    Pre-Physician Assistant questions should be directed to Tami LaPilusa, M.S., Pre-Health Professions Program Coordinator
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