Physician Assistant FAQs

Below you'll find answers to the most frequently asked questions.

General Program Inquiries

The CUNY School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program’s duration is 28 months. There is a didactic phase of 12 months, 12 month clinical phase followed by a 4 month research phase.

Please refer to the PA Program tuition rates page. 

After successful completion of the CUNY School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program, a Master of Science degree in P.A. Studies (MS/PA) will be conferred by The City College of New York.  Graduates who have successfully completed all the CUNY School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program requirements are then eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) administered by the NCCPA.

Classes are typically scheduled Monday through Friday generally between 8:00am – 6:00pm. There may be an occasion when classes extend beyond normal hours.

Due to the challenging nature of the professional medical education program, students are discouraged from employment during the program. 

No. The CUNY School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program does not offer part-time enrollment. Due to the intensity of the coursework a full-time commitment is required of each student. This intensive schedule provides the opportunity to cover significant amounts of material within a short period of time. 

The clinical phase is 12 months in duration. Each clinical rotation is 5 (five) weeks in duration.

Curriculum Inquiries

The P.A. Program follows the grading standards used by The CUNY School of Medicine. Only letter grades are recorded on the transcript.

CUNY School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program, MPAS Degree


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Transfer Credits: Courses taken at other campus or universities are not accepted for credit toward the degree in MPAS and are excluded from GPA.

Method of GPA Calculations: The GPA is calculated only from credits earned at The CUNY School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program. This average is obtained by dividing the total number of quality points by the respective total of graduate credits completed at The CUNY School of Medicine PA Program.

Good Standing: Students must obtain a minimum cumulative grade point average GPA of 3.0 for eligibility for conferral of a Masters in Physician Assistant.

No. All Students must successfully complete all published required courses, even if the course has been taken in another P.A. Program or in medical school.

Some examples of elective rotations include:  Orthopedic Surgery, Trauma, Burn Center, Breast Surgery, Transplant Surgery, Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU), Interventional Cardiology and Oncological Surgery.

Admission Inquiries

There is ONE application that must be completed and submitted. Applications are submitted through CASPA. 

Yes. Three (3) letters of reference/recommendation are required for your application to be considered complete. To be competitive, these letters of recommendation should include at least one (1) from a physician or physician assistant who can attest, from first-hand experience, any abilities the applicant will bring to the profession. If the initial applicant profile does not include the above items, the file will not be reviewed for consideration by the Admission Committee.

Yes, the program does participate in CASPA.  

Applicants must be citizens, permanent residents, or hold a valid visa or work authorization from the United States and/or possess a valid social security number in order to apply to the P.A. Program.

Yes. FMGs and graduates from foreign institutions may apply. 

Applicants may apply with no more than TWO outstanding prerequisite courses.  All prerequisite courses must be completed by December 31, 2021 for the class entering August 2022.  Winter 2022 intersession prerequisite courses are not permitted. Online hybrid courses, taken before Spring 2020, will be accepted towards the fulfillment of the core prerequisite science courses. The online laboratory components, taken before Spring 2020, will not be accepted. Due to COVID-19, Spring/Summer/Fall 2020, and Spring/Summer 2021 online courses and laboratory components will be accepted. Similarly, the baccalaureate degree may be in progress, as long as conferral will occur by June 15th, 2022. All pending Spring 2022 courses must be successfully completed with a “B” grade.

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:
      • Cell & Molecular Biology
      • Genetics
      • Mammalian Physiology
      • Anatomy & Physiology I&II with laboratory (count as one course)
      • Biochemistry
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