Additional Program Information
The Dual Degree B.S. in Health Science/Masters of Physician Assistant Studies (M.S.) at Mercy College is an accredited dual degree program designed to prepare graduates to practice with entry-level proficiency and to obtain licensure as a Physician Assistant.
The Dual B.S./M.S. program is a rigorous course of study. Students are required to complete 60 General Education credits, the Physician Assistant Prerequisites and the Physician Assistant Studies curriculum. Students must complete 33 credits of specific Prerequisite courses prior to beginning the physician assistant curriculum.
After successful completion of the entire program, students are awarded the B.S. in Health Science and the M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies. Successful completion of the pre-physician assistant studies undergraduate courses does not guarantee acceptance into the Mercy College graduate Physician Assistant Program. Students who do not complete the entire program have the opportunity to switch to the Health Sciences General Track or the Pre-Physician Assistant Track to obtain a B.S. degree in Health Sciences.
B.S. in Health Sciences Program Requirements
- Students who have selected the pre-physician assistant studies health sciences track must maintain a minimum cumulative and major GPA of 3.0. If a student’s cumulative and/or Health Science major GPA falls below a 3.0, they will be placed on pre-professional track probation and will have one semester to restore their matriculating track status by raising their cumulative and/or major GPA to a 3.0.
- Pre-professional track students must achieve a grade of B or better in ENGL 112 or equivalent and MATH 116 or equivalent.
- Any student who receives a grade below a C in a major course will be required to retake the course. Health Science Major courses may be retaken once.
- Any exceptions to program guidelines require approval by the Program Director.
Please note, successful completion of the Accelerated Track B.S. in Health Sciences does NOT guarantee acceptance into the Physician Assistant Studies M.S. Program.
Physician Assistant Studies Graduate Program Admission Requirements
General information regarding eligibility for the Graduate Program in Physician Assistant Studies and an application form may be obtained from the Centralized Application Service for the Physician Assistant (CASPA) at www.caspaonline.org. Information may also be obtained by contacting the Physician Assistant Program Office at 914-674-7635.
Entrance into the Graduate Program in Physician Assistant Studies requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a GPA of 3.2 in the CASPA-designated science courses. All Prerequisite courses must be successfully completed prior to entry into the Physician Assistant Program. A minimum of 500 hours of direct patient care (volunteer or work) experience in a health care setting is required for the PA Program. Additionally, 250 hours of the 500 hours must be completed in a primary care setting (e.g., outpatient internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics or OB/GYN). All applicants are required to submit the following to CASPA:
- A completed CASPA application which includes official transcripts, (Students who have studied at institutions of higher education in other countries must submit official translations of their transcripts to CASPA as part of the admissions submission. Please check the CASPA website for a list of vendors that evaluate transcripts from foreign and French-Canadian schools.) letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and evidence of a minimum of 500 hours of direct patient care (volunteer or work) experience in a health care setting, 250 of which must be completed in a primary care setting.
- A supplemental Mercy College application and fee.
At least three letters of reference (one or more from a registered physician assistant, physician or a medically-related work supervisor) shall be submitted. The recommendations should give evidence of academic and professional qualifications for graduate study. Recommendations should be dated within six months from the date of the application.
Applicants who do not have a baccalaureate degree must have completed 90 credits, including all general education requirements and JRSM 390 - Honors Junior Seminar . Please note that no more than 75 credits can be from a two-year college. At least three of the following Prerequisite courses (human physiology, microbiology, biochemistry, advanced human biology course) MUST be completed at a four-year institution. See the Curriculum section below for the complete list of Prerequisite courses.
Human physiology, microbiology, and the advanced human biology course biochemistry must be completed within five years of beginning the program. Students who have completed these courses more than five years prior to the beginning of the program must repeat the course(s).
All applications will be reviewed and ranked according to the overall GPA and the GPA of the CASPA-designated science courses. Selected qualified applicants will be invited for a personal interview with representatives of the Physician Assistant Studies Graduate Program Admissions Committee. Decisions will be based on each applicant’s academic achievement, health care experience, interview, essay and letters of recommendation.
Students with foreign credentials and whose first language is not English are required to complete six credits of collegelevel English composition to satisfy the dual degree requirements, or successfully pass the English CLEP or TOEFL exam.
Please see the graduate catalog for additional information on the Physician Assistant Studies Program policies, progression criteria, and academic regulations.