P.A. Program Requirements

In evaluating candidates for admission into graduate programs, CUNY will not disadvantage students who present P (pass) or CR (credit) grades in their transcripts for courses taken during Spring 2020 - regardless of whether their school imposed the flexible grading policy on all students or gave them the choice to opt-in. In addition, CUNY will not disadvantage students whose pre-requisite courses were transitioned to virtual during the Spring, Summer and Fall 2020 semesters.  

PA Admission Fast Facts

ARC-PA has mandated that by 2020, all physician assistant programs grant a graduate degree at the end of their curriculum. Therefore the national trend is for all PA programs to transition to master's level programs.

Degree Offered: Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies The Physician Assistant Program is 28 months in length, starting in August and ending approximately 2 ½ years later in December.

Admissions Requirements

As of April 18, 2019 The CUNY School of Medicine PA Program has made revisions to the admissions requirements. Please review the admissions criteria before submitting an application.

  1. Applicants will submit applications through the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). CASPA collects all elements of the application, and verifies the validity of each transcript, and then forwards completed applications to the program.

  2. The CSOM CASPA application will open on July 1st, 2020. Deadline for applications is January 15th, 2021. Applications must be complete and verified by CASPA by January 15th, 2021. Applications must be verified by 11:59 PM ET on the deadline date. Applications can only be verified once all payments, transcripts, and letters of evaluation have been received. To ensure your application is verified on time, try to complete your application at least four weeks before the deadline.

  3. Prerequisite requirements will include a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution including the following prerequisite courses:


Biology I & II with laboratory 8 credits
Chemistry I & II with laboratory 8 credits
Microbiology with Laboratory 3 credits
Statistics (Any three Credit or above statistics course will suffice) 3 credits

Two of the following courses:

Cell & Molecular Biology 3 credits
Genetics 3 credits
Mammalian Physiology 3 credits
Anatomy & Physiology I & II with laboratory (count as one course) 8 credits
Biochemistry 3 credits
  • A CASPA cumulative undergraduate total GPA of 3.0 or above as well as a cumulative CUNY School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program prerequisite GPA of 3.0 or above.

  • Three letters of recommendation.

  • Personal Statement.

  • CASPA Program Questions-Essay

* It is MANDATORY that the following pre-requisite courses be completed no more than seven years prior to the date of application:

  • Microbiology with Laboratory

  • Statistics

  • Two of the following courses:

  1. Cell & Molecular Biology

  2. Genetics

  3. Mammalian Physiology

  4. Anatomy & Physiology I and II with laboratory 

  5. Biochemistry.

* The program will accept 1 year of sequential Organic Chemistry I & II with labs (8 credits) as a substitute for Chemistry I & II with lab requirement.

* Advanced Placement for prerequisite courses will be reviewed on a case by case basis. 

* Online hybrid courses will be accepted towards the fulfillment of the core prerequisite science courses except the lab component.  The lab component of a course must be completed in a physical classroom.  The online laboratory component course will not be accepted. Due to COVID-19, Spring/Summer 2020 online lab with be accepted.

* The GRE is not required.

* The program does NOT have rolling admissions.

Pending Courses

All pending courses at the time of submission must be successfully completed with a "B" grade by the end of the Fall 2020.  Applicants may apply with no more than TWO outstanding prerequisite courses.  All prerequisite courses must be completed by December 31, 2020 for the class entering August 2021.  Winter 2020 Intersession prerequisite courses are not permitted.  Pending courses will not be calculated towards the GPA once an application is submitted.

Pending Degree

The baccalaureate degree may be in progress, as long as conferral will occur by June 15th, 2021.  All pending Spring 2021 courses must be successfully completed with a "B" grade.


The program does not require a minimum number of hours of health care experience, patient care experience, PA shadowing, or volunteer work, but highly recommends that applicants have shadowing/volunteering experience.  It is important that applicants spend time with PAs to ensure adequate understanding of the PA role in healthcare.  A competitive applicant will be able to demonstrate familiarity with the PA profession.

International Students

International students whose native language is not English must take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Examination.  A minimum score of 550 (or 75 Internet Based Testing) must be achieved.

Foreign Medical Graduates (FMG)

Please note:

  • Required course work graded Pass/Fail or credit obtained by CLEP Examination will not be accepted for any of the prerequisite courses.
  • FMG's and graduates from foreign institutions must use the WES evaluation service.
  • No groups or individuals are favored in admissions or enrollment practices.
  • While we encourage health care and community service, neither are required for admission.
  • There is no advanced placement for curricular content within the program for any student regardless of degree or institution.


Admission decisions are made by the PA Program Admissions Committee, which assesses each applicant on the basis of cumulative GPA and science GPA, reference letters, personal statement, previous experience, personal attributes such as fitness with the mission of the Program, an on-site written essay and interview skills. Final decisions for admittance are made by the Committee.

Academic Criteria

1. A CASPA cumulative undergraduate total GPA of 3.0 or above and CSOM prerequisite GPA of 3.0 or above is required.

2. Grades below "C" are not accepted.

Physician Assistant Education Program Description

The program requires 28 continuous months of instruction divided into three phases and leads to a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies.

Phase I, the Didactic Phase, consists of 12 months of basic medical sciences, pre-clinical sciences and professional studies course work. The basic medical and pre-clinical science courses introduce students to the fundamentals of scientific and clinical medicine. The professional studies courses are designed to provide understanding of professionalism, legal aspects of practice, medical ethics, practice-based learning and improvement and systems-based practice.

Phase II, the Clinical Education Phase, consists of 12 months of required clerkships and elective clerkships. The required clerkships are in specific areas of clinical medicine, designed to provide a broad foundation for primary care clinical practice. Elective clerkships may be selected from specialty or primary care areas.

Phase III, the Research Phase, consists of 4 months of required courses and completion of a capstone project.