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Physician Assistant (BS+MS), 4.5-Year

D'Youville Physician Assistant students in a clinical skills lab

Become a licensed physician assistant in only four and a half years with our combined BS+MS physician assistant program.

Overview

Overview

Physician assistants are nationally certified and state-licensed medical professionals who practice medicine under the supervision of a physician. PAs' responsibilities include, but are not limited to: conducting physical exams, diagnosing and treating illnesses, ordering and interpreting laboratory and radiological tests, counseling on preventive health care measures, and assisting in surgery. PAs can write prescriptions in all 50 states, in the majority of the U.S. territories, and in the uniformed services. Within the physician-PA team, physician assistants’ specific duties depend on the setting in which they work, their specialty, and their level of experience.

At D'Youville, you can become a physician assistant in just four and a half years after entering our ARC-PA-accredited combined bachelors/masters program. You'll benefit from direct entry to the department, which means there's no need to re-apply for upper-level program studies. You'll graduate six months faster than at other programs because, during your clinical rotation phase, you'll be taking graduate courses in the evenings, online, or during scheduled breaks.

Why Choose D'Youville?

  • Studies show that teamwork across clinical specialties improves patient outcomes. D'Youville's unique interdisciplinary education lab offers the opportunity for you to practice teamwork while treating "patients" (played by actors) with a team of healthcare students from 7 other healthcare majors at D'Youville — all under the supervision of a skilled instructor.
  • In 2018, 100% of D'Youville Physician Assistant students who were first-time test takers, successfully passed the PANCE exams. Our graduates report a 95% job placement rate -- within six months of graduation, in their medical fields of their choice.
  • Our close-knit faculty and staff help you complete an extensive 18-month clinical training program that includes ten core rotations and two elective rotations. Individualized rotations are offered in diverse areas of practice.
  • D'Youville has developed relationships with a diverse set of clinical fieldwork sites in a wide array of settings, facilities, and treatment protocols. 

Automatic Merit-Based Scholarship Consideration

 

When you apply for admission at D’Youville, we’ll automatically consider you for our merit scholarships. Undergraduate scholarships can cover as much as 50% of your tuition, and there is no need to fill out a separate application!

Transfer students can qualify for scholarships, as well. And unlike other schools, maintaining your scholarship is easier at D'Youville because we use a realistic 2.25 GPA requirement to determine your eligibility for merit-based scholarships each year. 

Check out the chart below to see if you qualify:
Scholarships SAT (M & EBRW) or ACT* / GPA Scholarship Amount
President's 88/1170 or 24 $13,000 + $3,000 Room and Board Waiver
Founder's 83/1080 or 21 $10,000 + $2,000 Room and Board Waiver
Dean's 80/980 or 18
Anyone with a 90 GPA can receive this award without test score consideration.
$8,000
Transfer 3.5+ $5,000
Transfer 3.25 - 3.49 $4,500
Transfer 3.0 - 3.24 $4,000
Transfer 2.75 - 2.99 $3,500

*D'Youville only requires that you submit the results from one test.

Find more information and additional scholarships on our scholarships page.

View All Scholarships

Curriculum

Curriculum

D'Youville's 175-credit combined bachelor's and master's physician assistant program is designed to be completed in only 4.5 years. Because of the robust nature of the roles physician assistants fill in healthcare, you'll learn a diverse set of skills, develop a deep knowledge of healthcare, and train hands-on in medical settings.

Example Course Subjects
  • Chemistry
  • Clinical Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Applied Research Methods

View the Full Physician Assistant Curriculum

Careers

Careers

Physician assistants exercise autonomy in medical decision and your D’Youville training will prepare you to work with physicians in all clinical disciplines. Nationally, physician assistants are employed in both primary and non-primary care specialties.   

A Physician Assistant's Role

Physician assistants are nationally certified and state-licensed medical professionals who practice medicine under the supervision of a physician. PAs responsibilities include but are not limited to conducting physical exams, diagnosing and treating illnesses, ordering and interpreting laboratory and radiological tests, counseling on preventive health care measures, and assisting in surgery.

PAs can write prescriptions in all 50 states, the majority of the U.S. territories and the uniformed services. Within the physician-PA team, physician assistants’ specific duties depend on the setting in which they work, their specialty, and their level of experience.

The training you receive at D’Youville will prepare you to work with physicians in all clinical disciplines in a wide variety of clinical environments. In fact, because physician assistants are in such high demand, many discover they can take their pick of clinical placements, allowing for substantial career flexibility and mobility.

Post-Professional Degrees

While many of our graduates go into clinical practice, others enter advanced academic programs in order to pursue careers in research and teaching in both private and public organizations. These students typically pursue post-professional degrees such as doctor of science (D.Sc.), doctor of education (EdD), or doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees. If you choose to pursue this path you can rest assured that the rigorous academic, research, and clinical work you’ll complete in our PA program will provide you with a solid foundation for advanced study and practice.

Graduates who want to take their education one step further can also enter specialized residency programs that provide intensive training in specialties such as surgery, emergency medicine, pediatrics, and rural health. With the demand for physician assistants growing at such a rapid pace and showing no signs of slowing down — the opportunities for well trained, motivated, forward-thinking physician assistants like our graduates are limitless.

Career Outlook

Changing demographics and the expansion of the healthcare system in the United States have created a strong demand for healthcare professionals, and physician assistants are one of the groups in greatest demand.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that jobs for physician assistants will increase 37% through 2026, an increase the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls "much faster than average." This kind of growth hasn’t gone unnoticed by experts in the healthcare industry:

In fact, because physician assistants are in such high demand, many discover they can take their pick of clinical field of practice, allowing for substantial career flexibility and mobility.  In addition, physician assistants earn generous salaries and benefits, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that the median salary for physician assistants in 2017 (the last year that figures were available) was $104,860 per year, almost twice the median salary for young adults with a master’s degree or higher as reported by the US Department of Education.

For more information about the job outlook for physician assistants, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

Clinicals and Research

Clinicals

The clinical rotation experience is an integral part of your education in the physician assistant program. During your 18-month clinical phase you'll hone your skills hands-on while you determine the areas of medicine you'll pursue after graduation. And because D'Youville's program has developed a wide range of clinical rotation opportunities for our students, you'll be bale to work in a diverse range of clinical settings.

Learn More About the Clinical Experience


Master's Research

During the research portion of the physician assistant program, you'll explore a topic and present your findings. This unique component of the program allows students to become better evaluators of information and to familiarize themselves with research techniques and processes. Though all students will benefit from the research component, students who intend to search out careers in research will find the experience leads to opportunities to develop proven success through presenting at national conferences to publishing their work.

Learn More About Master's Research

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

Due to the limited number of available seats, the selection process for admission to the PA department is extremely competitive. We accept applications for admission from freshmen and transfer students. 

Qualified applicants are determined on the basis of several criteria:

  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Written application materials
  • Results of personal interview
  • Ability to master the rigorous academic content of the program
  • Emotional maturity and understanding of and motivation to enter the profession

Requirements: Incoming Freshmen

Admission to the Physician Assistant program is offered to a select group of students who meet the following criteria. Applications and all required documents must be submitted by November 1 for consideration.

  • Combined SAT score of at least 1170 (Math & EBRW sections) or a composite ACT score of 24 or higher.
  • A minimum class average of 85 percent .
  • Three years of math, one year of Chemistry and one year of Biology. Math and science subjects must have a minimum grade of at least 83 (B).
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Admissions essay specifically addressing the topic of why the student wants to pursue a career as a Physician Assistant.
  • Official documentation of at least 80 completed hours of direct patient interaction either through volunteer activities or employment activities.
  • Compliance with technical standards of the profession as noted in the application.

Requirements: Transfer Students

Admission to the Physician Assistant program is offered to a select group of transfer students who meet the following criteria. Applications and all required documents must be submitted and verified by CASPA by October 1st. Please be aware that verification of applications can take up to 4 weeks.

  • A minimum overall and science GPA of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Earned grade of B- or better in all science courses (which can only be transferred in for direct credit to the program if they are less than six years old at the time of acceptance into the department).
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Admissions essay specifically addressing the topic of why the student wants to pursue a career as a Physician Assistant.
  • Documentation of at least 80 completed hours of direct patient interaction either through volunteer activities or employment activities.
  • Compliance with technical standards of the profession as noted in the application.
Interview and Acceptance

Following review of application materials, select applicants are invited for an interview by PA department faculty and practicing physician assistants. Not all applicants who meet the minimum application requirements will be invited to campus for an interview. 

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

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, medical scribe, or other healthcare 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 tab for further details.

If I submit an application to CASPA, will it be forwarded to the D'Youville Program?

Yes.

Transfer Students

D'Youville is now accepting applications from transfer students to the physician assistant program using the CASPA application. Transfer students to the PA program should not complete the D'Youville College online application.

High School Students (First time Freshman)

High school (first time in college) students should submit their PA application via the D'Youville online application.

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?

Completed applications are reviewed from May to October 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 in the fall.

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 two to three interviewers. The interprofessional interview panel consists of PA/DYC faculty and community medical providers. 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 final scheduled interview date. 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 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.

Does the D’Youville PA Program Offer Advanced Placement?

The D’Youville PA program’s curriculum is administered in a sequential fashion with each subsequent semester of coursework building upon the previous one. Consequently, the program does not routinely consider applicants for advanced placement.

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?

Follow the steps to take our our Accepted Student page. 


Explore D'Youville Through Video

Listen to students and faculty explain what makes a D'Youville education different and how small class sizes, hands-on learning, and a caring community help students succeed.

 
 
 
 

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