General Information Regarding the Program
What is the difference between a Master's degree and a Bachelor's degree or a certificate program?
The coursework taught in physician assistant programs across the United States has always been graduate level coursework, even when a certificate or a bachelor's degree may have been awarded at the completion of a program. With this in mind, and to most accurately reflect the level of training received by physician assistants, the profession has rapidly moved to the master's level as the minimum degree awarded. Furthermore, a master's level program affords candidates the opportunity to become more involved in research both during their education and afterwards. In addition, patients frequently express a higher level of confidence in those with graduate level degrees, and it is an increasingly common requirement in practice settings to require graduate level degrees as a condition of employment. Currently, graduates from accredited master's, bachelor's, or certificate physician assistant programs are all qualified to sit for the certification examination and may subsequently to practice as physician assistants, but there is a trend of preference for a graduate degree that is very likely to increase.
Do you offer a part-time program?
Currently we have no part-time option available.
When I graduate, what credentials will I have and where can I practice?
NYIT Physician Assistant students who successfully complete the program graduate with a Master of Science (M.S.) in Physician Assistant Studies. Graduates are eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination (PANCE). After successfully completing the PANCE, they will be eligible to apply for licensure and/or registration in all 50 states, the United States military, the federal government both domestically and internationally, some United States Territories, and some foreign countries that utilize physician assistants. Graduates may also be eligible to prescribe in all settings and be eligible to apply through the United States Department of Justice for a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) permit to prescribe controlled substances.
What type of academic background and/or degree is likely to optimize my potential for success in your program?
We want you to be successful in this Physician Assistant program. Therefore, for applicants to our graduate program, we look for a bachelor's degree with a strong emphasis in the sciences, along with demonstrated strong performances in multiple math and science courses in the same semester. We have found that this is the best predictor of success.
Will I be able to work while going through your Physician Assistant program?
To give you the best possible chance of success, we urge you in the strongest possible terms not to work, except for the summer sessions when classes are not in session. It is almost impossible to work while classes are in session and even more difficult during the clinical clerkship year.
What is the profile of the incoming class?
The most recent incoming class of 56 includes 39 from the Tri-State Area (31 NY, 4 NJ, 4 CT) & 17 from outside the Tri-State area
Gender: 80% female, 20% male
Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.63
Average Math/Science Undergraduate GPA: 3.57
Average Age: 24 (range 21 to 49)
Common undergraduate majors include: biology, psychology, chemistry, exercise/health science, kinesiology, athletic training
How do I apply?
NYIT's Physician Assistant program participates in the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Applications must be completed online at https://portal.caspaonline.org
. Candidates who have already completed a CASPA application for other PA programs for this current cycle may add NYIT as a recipient of the same application.
Do you require a supplemental application?
A supplemental application is not required.
Have you received my application and/or all my material?
Please check the progress of your CASPA application on the CASPA portal. When your application is marked as "Mailed", that is an indication that it is now fully processed by CASPA and available for viewing by the admissions committee through the application portal. Once your application is labeled as "mailed", it is safe to assume that all your materials have been received because CASPA will not mail your application to the program until it is complete.
After reviewing your application, if the admissions committee feels that additional documents are needed in order to render a decision, you will be notified by email. To ensure that you do not miss out on any of our emails, please regularly check your spam folder for emails from either CASPA or NYIT. When you find such emails in your spam folder, please enter those email addresses into your safe contact list. As an extra precaution, do continue to check your spam folder on a regular basis. Also, do ensure that CASPA has your most up-to-date contact information.
How will my application be evaluated?
Initial phases of our evaluation will be based on comparisons of academic performance (particularly in the sciences) within a highly competitive pool of applicants. Subsequently, the narrowed down pool will be evaluated based on letters of recommendation, the quality and number of direct patient contact hours and your personal narrative. Based on the scores received, the top scoring candidates will be invited to interview. For these candidates, further scoring will be based on the candidate’s interview performance and onsite essay.
What is the status of my application? When will I be invited to interview?
Once decisions are available, notifications will be emailed, updating all candidates on their status. Top candidates will receive an invitation to attend an interview session in the months of October through February. All other applicants will be informed that they have been placed on a waitlist or have been eliminated from further consideration, based on their scores. If any additional interview spots become available, applicants from the waitlist will be invited to interview. Each application will be given the fullest possible review in the time allowed and weighed in relation to the entire pool of applicants. For this reason, please note that you may not receive a decision until after the December 1 deadline. However, please check your email regularly as the admissions committee may contact you to request further information.
Where can I send an updated transcript and/or additional letters of recommendation?
You will be evaluated based on the information that has been posted to your CASPA application. If you are selected for an interview, you may bring with you any additional information that you feel will help the admission committee in their final decision. Please bring any updated transcripts with you at the time of the interview.
NYIT requires a letter of recommendation from a physician (M.D. or D.O.) or a PA, but I’ve already used the 3 recommenders through CASPA. Is there another recommendation form I can send directly to NYIT?
You need to be sure that you have included a letter of recommendation to CASPA from a physician (MD or DO) or a PA with your original CASPA submission. However, if you are selected for an interview, you may bring the letter with you and submit it to your interviewer.
What is the typical interview and admissions timeline for the Physician Assistant program?
Applications are reviewed constantly beginning in the summer of each year for priority applications and in the fall for the balance of applications. Candidates are ranked based upon their cohort of applicants, and starting in late September we begin to invite candidates for interviews. Interviews are scheduled on selected dates from September and October for priority applications and through January and February for non-priority applications. In most instances, candidates will usually be notified of admission decisions within two weeks of interviewing.
I meet your minimum requirements, but have not been invited for an interview. Why?
Our applicant pool is extremely competitive. From the pool, the highest scoring applicants are invited to interview. Therefore, the completion of minimum requirements does not guarantee admission or an interview.
I didn’t get accepted into NYIT’s PA program. Can you explain why and what I could do to improve my application?
There is rarely a single reason that a student is not accepted for admission to our program, or any program. Competition for seats is fierce in most PA programs and NYIT is no exception. At NYIT, as many as 30 applicants are competing for each seat. To evaluate all the candidates, we examine a combination of factors, with an emphasis on strong performances in the math and biological sciences within a rigorous curriculum. We especially examine if applicants have a clear understanding of all of our pre-requisite courses, and we seek those candidates who have completed these courses with a consistently high level of performance. We carefully scrutinize letters of recommendation, which should be from individuals who know the applicant well and over a period of time that is adequate to provide a complete evaluation of the candidate. The recommendations should be detailed and comprehensive in their appraisal of the applicant. We seek unconditionally positive recommendations that are provided without any reservations. Lastly, we evaluate the depth and breadth of health care patient contact experiences. All the above-mentioned criteria are weighed as a whole, therefore it would be very difficult to point to a single factor – or even two or three factors – that could be identified as the reason behind the decision. With that said, applicants to our program are almost universally strong candidates and will likely achieve entry into one or more quality PA programs. We certainly wish you success in your education regardless of where that occurs.
I have an advanced degree and my prior coursework includes courses to be given within the program. Can I obtain advanced standing or challenge out of some courses?
Due to our adherence to accreditation standards, no advanced standing or challenges to courses are allowed. All students in the program must complete all 98 credits by attending and passing the courses in our curriculum.
Can you give me advance standing in your program based on my credentials as a physician?
While we certainly acknowledge all graduate-level degrees, we cannot offer advanced standing to applicants, even for physicians. This is for many reasons, but primarily because medicine changes so rapidly; we need to insure that all graduates have received the most up-to-date training. This guarantees that our graduates have the highest possible chance of passing the certifying exam and, more importantly, of ensuring the safety of patients. We cannot make any exceptions to this policy.
Once an application is completed, CASPA refuses to recalculate the GPA and advises the applicants to contact the program directly. I believe the grades I received recently will enhance my GPA considerably. If I send my most recent transcript to you, will you recalculate my GPA to reflect my new grades?/strong>
We simply do not have the staff and resources to recalculate the GPA of the large number of applications received each year. All applicants will be evaluated purely on the content of their CASPA application. If you are invited to an interview, you may bring all additional material that you feel may enhance your application. Please submit those documents to your interviewer.
Do you give preference to specific applicants, as an example, residents of New York State?
All applicants are evaluated equally and without preference to any group.
I am already enrolled in another Physician Assistant program. Can I transfer into your program?
No. Regardless of prior education or experience, every student must complete the entire program after applying through the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA).
Is a criminal background check required of all applicants? What offenses will be reported when a background check is reported and what are the implications of something being reported?
When completing your CASPA application, you are required to self-report any felonies or misdemeanors. An actual background check is only required after the candidate has been accepted into the program. What is reported on background checks varies depending upon the state the offense and therefore disposition or conviction occurred in. As an example, all felonies will be reported regardless of the class felony or the state. Examples of felonies may include: murder, rape, aggravated assault or battery, arson, burglaries, fraud, manufacture, sale or possession with intent to distribute certain types and/or quantities of illegal drugs, perjury, and more. What is considered a felony may vary state by state but are all considered serious crimes. Contrast this with minor infractions such as parking tickets which are never reported, regardless of the state. However, some states will report misdemeanors, while other states may not, and what rises to a felony versus a misdemeanor varies by state. Depending on the jurisdiction, examples of misdemeanors may include: petty theft, public intoxication, disorderly conduct, trespassing, vandalism and marijuana convictions. All applicants should be aware that in spite of the fact that NYIT has accepted you, the final component of your education necessitates clinical placement followed by successful completion of all clerkships. If you cannot be placed on clerkships because of a conviction, or there is an interval conviction while you are a student in the program, this may negatively impact your ability to complete your required education. Prospective students who are concerned about a criminal conviction are urged to contact an attorney and the relevant state and/or federal agencies to inquire whether their criminal record may adversely affect the issuance of the credentials needed to practice as a physician assistant.
Can the 10-year limit for prerequisite courses be waived?
No. Prerequisite courses must have been successfully completed within 10 years prior to enrollment. This limit cannot be waived because the program adheres strictly to accreditation standards. Expired prerequisite courses must be re-taken prior to applying to the program. Applicants must have at least 7 out of the 9 prerequisite courses completed by our application deadline (the remaining two must be listed as pending on your CASPA application, and only one of them can be pending as late as the spring of the intended year of entry.). While a candidate can be interviewed, admission to the Physician Assistant program cannot be offered to a prospective applicant until all prerequisites -- including 100 hours of healthcare experience -- are completed. We will accept courses completed at any regionally-accredited institution in the US, with a grade of B- or better. Non-prerequisite courses do not have a time limit.
Can I meet with a counselor to have my transcript evaluated and to ensure that I have the necessary prerequisites to apply?
All prerequisites are detailed on our admissions page: www.nyit.edu/pa/admissions . By providing this website as a resource, the program expects candidates to be able to use the available information to evaluate their own transcripts and ensure that they have the required pre-requisites. While we attempt to accommodate reasonable requests, due to the high volume of applicants to the program it is simply impossible to evaluate prospective applicants' transcripts on an individual and line-by-line basis. We especially encourage anyone with questions to attend our information sessions, held periodically throughout the fall months. At these sessions, prospective applicants will get a chance to meet members of the department faculty and administration and learn more about the program. Please see our list of upcoming information session
I have a bachelor's degree from a 4-year college, but I need to take additional courses to meet the prerequisites. Will you accept prerequisite courses completed at a 2-year community college?
Yes. The program accepts prerequisite courses completed at accredited 2-year colleges, as long as they are completed with a B- or better within the last 10 years from the program start date.
Can I complete my prerequisites at NYIT?
Prerequisites can be completed at any regionally-accredited institution, including NYIT. However, please be aware your application will not be given special consideration over candidates who completed their prerequisites at other colleges. If you are interested in taking the courses at NYIT, please contact the Office of Admissions and indicate that you are interested in registering for courses as a 'non-matriculated student': 1.800.345.NYIT (1-800-345-6948).
I'm a senior completing my bachelor's degree this year with a couple of prerequisites still outstanding. Can I apply with some outstanding courses and/or health care experience?
Yes, but please insure that all coursework in progress or planned is explicitly listed on your CASPA application. A maximum of two prerequisite courses may be in progress, one in the fall and one in the spring of the intended year of entry. While a candidate can be interviewed, admission to the Physician Assistant program cannot be offered to a prospective applicant until all prerequisites -- including healthcare experience -- are completed.
I have taken all the required courses in my home country and have been working full time as a medical doctor prior to moving to the United States. Why do I have to do all the prerequisites again here in the United States?
There is tremendous variability from institution to institution and country to country in educational standards. We can fully assess prerequisites only from institutions regionally accredited within the United States and Canada, which will give candidates the greatest likelihood of successfully completing our intensive program.
Why are the courses I completed through a professional program not accepted as pre-requisites?
Professional degree courses typically cover a narrower scope of knowledge that is specifically applicable to a particular profession. The broad, comprehensive and non-specific core knowledge covered by undergraduate courses and some graduate level courses provides a better foundation for students entering our program. To appeal, please submit a course description by email, along with link to the source (an online college catalog), to firstname.lastname@example.org .
My institution only offers a combined Anatomy & Physiology course. Do I have to take separate courses in Anatomy and Physiology?
To fulfill our requirement for one semester of Human Anatomy and one semester Human Physiology, a candidate may substitute a 2 semester sequence of Anatomy & Physiology I AND Anatomy & Physiology II (for a combined total of at least 6 credit hours).
Health Care (Direct Patient Contact) Hours
Why does the department require that applicants have a minimum of 100 hours of direct patient health care experience?
This requirement exists to insure that becoming a physician assistant is the correct career choice for you. The program requires all applicants to have had an opportunity to experience the unique medical environment in the United States and be exposed to individuals with health problems.
Direct patient health care experience can be in many forms, including, but not limited to, a paid or unpaid position as a health care provider in another profession, a paramedic or an EMT, a medical assistant, shadowing a Physician Assistant, a hospital volunteer, or any other circumstance where there is direct face-to-face contact in a patient care environment.
Please note that positions that do not have regular and direct patient contact (e.g., clerical positions as well as work completed in a pharmacy or a lab) will not meet this requirement. Please see the list below for further information.
The minimal amount of time to satisfy this requirement can be obtained in less than a month but still provides candidates with view of the United States healthcare system today. It is not required that you have worked in the healthcare field or that you hold any licenses or certifications.
What kind of experience would be accepted for completion of the 100 hours direct patient contact requirement? Where can I obtain that experience?
Direct patient care contact may be paid or on a volunteer basis, and can be obtained through a number of avenues. This specifically requires direct personal contact with a patient who is being treated in a healthcare setting within the United States, most commonly in a hospital or a private office setting (i.e., a private Family Practice), but may also be in other settings such as encountered by a paramedic. It is the applicant's responsibility to contact these facilities to arrange the completion of these hours. The program will not be able to provide any assistance or recommend any facilities.
Examples of what can and cannot be accepted are listed below.
Acceptable forms of health care experience include, but are not limited to:
Emergency medical technician
Emergency room technician
Laboratory technologist (only if phlebotomy is performed as a part of daily responsibilities)
Medical interpreter (if duties are perform at the bedside)
Military medical/clinical specialist
Occupational therapist (in an OT office, clinic, or hospital)
Occupational therapy assistant (in an OT office, clinic, or hospital)
Orthopedic cast technician
Patient care technician
Physical therapist assistant (in a PT office, clinic, or hospital)
Physical therapist (in a PT office, clinic, or hospital)
Shadowing a physician assistant or physician in a practice or hospital
Unacceptable forms of health care experience include, but are not limited to:
CPR or ACLS instructor
Medical secretary or other clerical positions
Non-clinical research assistant
How do I send you an update of my direct patient contact hours?
If you are selected for an interview, you may bring with you any additional information on your patient care activities and submit it to your interviewer. Please include the following information:
CASPA ID number:
Title of position:
City & State:
Frequency: Part time/Full time
How will my direct patient contact hours be verified?
Only candidates who have been accepted into the program will be asked to submit a letter from their supervisor or supervisors, verifying the number of hours completed at the facility. The letter must be on a hospital or clinic's letterhead and should contain the signature and contact information of the supervisor. Please do not submit the letter until it is requested.
Is the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) required?
No. Please do not submit any GRE scores as they will not be included as part of our evaluation of candidates.
I have questions that are not answered on this FAQ page. Who should I contact?
After carefully reading the Admission Requirements
and the Frequently Asked Questions on this page, if you have additional questions, please call the Office of Admissions at 1.800.345.6948. Your question will be answered in the order that it was received. You may also email us at email@example.com. Due to the volume of emails received by the program, please allow for 1-3 business days for the response.
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