Frequently Asked Questions
Admissions - Physician Assistant Program
Is shadowing a PA required for admission into the program?
No. However, it is very important that applicants understand the role and function of a physician assistant. Therefore, if shadowing would strengthen the applicant's knowledge in this light, it is encouraged. The program does not arrange shadowing experiences for applicants. Please note that shadowing a physician assistant will not count towards one’s direct patient care requirement.
What qualifies as direct patient care experience?
The 80 hours of direct patient care experience can be completed through paid employment or volunteer work, but the point of this requirement is to ensure that applicants have had exposure to patients, preferably in a clinical setting. This means that your activities should include one-on-one interactions with patients.
Acceptable direct patient care: Transporting patients, helping with meals, leading activity times.
Excellent direct patient care: Participation in medical procedures, patient assessments, leading/assisting patients in therapy or daily activities such as dressing or eating, taking vitals, obtaining medical histories or previous work history as a paramedic, EMT, nurse or other health care provider.
Examples of activities that do NOT count as direct patient care include: Pharmacy Technician, shadowing/observing, any clerical work, making beds, restocking shelves, or any other type of work that does not involve talking with and actively engaging with patients, etc.
If you have additional questions about what constitutes direct patient care, feel free to contact the admissions office at 716-829-7600.
Will I improve my standing if I complete my bachelor’s degree in XYZ major before applying?
Yes and no. While students do not get any “bonus points” for already having a bachelor’s degree, a student who has a bachelor’s degree in a science discipline such as Chemistry or Biology, has already proven that she/he is capable of handling a difficult science curriculum. A bachelor’s degree in a non-science program, however, is given no extra merit over any other candidate. Whether or not a candidate has a bachelor’s degree, the committee will be looking for the number of college level science courses a candidate has taken and whether or not she/he did well in these courses.
In short, a bachelor’s degree will not necessarily improve a candidate’s standing in the application pool, but completing several college level science courses with solid grades, may help improve a candidate’s application profile.
Are there certain prerequisites I need to apply and be accepted to the program?
No there are no prerequisite courses, but most of our applicants have demonstrated academic achievement of a 3.0 or higher overall GPA as well as a strong foundation and in their science coursework. Applicants should review the admission criteria page for further details.
If I submit an application to CASPA, will it be forwarded to the DYC Program?
No. At this time, we do not participate in CASPA. Therefore, a general DYC application and a PA Departmental application must both be submitted.
If I meet the minimum academic requirements, am I guaranteed an interview and admission into the PA Department?
No. As applicants are accepted on a competitive, space available basis, not all applicants satisfying minimum academic requirements will be admitted into the program.
When will I find out if I’m being interviewed?
Completedapplications are reviewed from (August-November 1). Invitations to the interview will be sent to the email address you used on your application, and a letter will also be sent to your mailing address. Interviews are conducted twice a year, typically in November and January.
What can I expect during the interview?
Expect to be on campus for a few hours. You will be introduced as a group to the PA faculty and staff by the Department Chair and asked to fill out a brief questionnaire that will be used with the rest of your application information during your interview. You will be given an opportunity to meet with the faculty, staff and many of our current students over coffee, either before or after your interview and will also have a chance to go on a tour of the campus with a current PA student.
Applicants are interviewed in groups of three with a panel of three interviewers. The interview panel is comprised of one or two of the PA Department faculty members and one or two community physician assistants. The three applicants are not competing against one another and the interview session is designed to be collegial and informative, rather than competitive.
When will I get a decision/What can I expect after the interview?
Most applicants are notified of the department’s decision within a few weeks after the interview. We will notify you in writing of the decision, and if offered admission, you will be notified of your placement in a class year and receive a transfer credit summary.
How long is the program for transfer students?
It varies for everyone, but a few things are typical; the full program is 4 ½ years and students graduate with a combined bachelors/masters degree. Transfer students are generally placed into the first two years of the program. Certain coursework must be taken at D’Youville prior to starting the didactic phase (these classes include biochemistry, pathophysiology & human gross anatomy & lab).
Can I transfer directly into the Didactic (third) year of the program?
The majority of students are required to complete core PA Department prerequisites at D'Youville College and therefore do not transfer directly to the Didactic phase from outside the college. Placement in any graduating class is dependent upon seat availability.
How will I know what credits will transfer?
Your official transfer credit statement and class year will be determined if you are offered admission to the PA program. An earned grade of B- or better in all science courses is required (courses will transfer if they are less than six years old at the time of acceptance into the department). You can get an idea of what courses may transfer by using our online course equivalency tool.
I’ve been accepted, now what?
Submit your $150 tuition deposit and sign up for orientation in June/July. Invitations to orientation are sent by email typically in March so make sure you stay subscribed for updates.