Criminal Background Checks and Drug Testing

Criminal Background Checks

Current laws generally permit a state licensing board or agency to deny a license to practice if the applicant has been convicted of a felony or other specified crime. Like many state licensing boards, the Office of the Professions of the New York State Education Department requires that a criminal background check be conducted prior to granting a license.

The City College of New York does not require a criminal background check for admission. Yet a number of hospitals or other off-campus clinical training sites require a student to undergo a criminal background check before the student can be placed for clinical training.

A site may deny a student access to its facility based upon the results of a criminal background check even if the student has already begun the clerkship, regardless of the student’s performance up until that point. Furthermore, a clinical site has the right to ask the student to pay the cost of the background check. Students frequently undergo more than one criminal background check during the clinical year.


Drug screening

Some clinical rotation sites also require that students undergo a drug test as a condition of their access to the site. Students will be responsible for the cost of this testing. Testing positive, or refusing drug testing may result in an inability to complete the clinical year, and to graduate.

Please note that if a clinical training site determines that you may not take part in its training program based on the results of a criminal background check or drug test (or due to refusal to submit to a drug test), you may be unable to complete your course requirements and to continue in the professional program.

It is important for you to consider this before you enroll in the Physician Assistant Program. The college has no obligation to refund your tuition or fees or to otherwise accommodate you in the event you are ineligible to complete your course requirements based on the results of a criminal background check, or if you are denied a license to practice.

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