Jul 21, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Studies Bulletin 
2020-2021 Graduate Studies Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Physician Assistant Studies, MS

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Assistant Professor Loscalzo, Graduate Program Director, 516-463-4074

Physician assistants (PAs) are health professionals licensed to practice medicine in collaboration with physicians and other healthcare professionals providing a team-based approach to quality, patient-centered care. PAs work in a variety of medical settings, ranging from basic primary care to sub-specialty medicine. PAs are qualified to care for patients in a variety of settings, inclusive of assisting in surgery, attend medical emergencies, and care for patients in out-patient internal medicine, pediatrics or family medicine offices and clinics.

Hofstra's program is designed for both graduate and first-year dual-degree undergraduate students and provides undergraduates the opportunity to earn both the BS and the MS in Physician Assistant Studies, as well as provide graduate instruction and an MS degree to post-baccalaureate students who complete all requirements. For more information on the first-year direct-entry undergraduate program, please see the undergraduate Bulletin.

The graduate-level curriculum is divided into three semesters of didactic instruction, three semesters of clinical clerkships and one semester of research. The curriculum focuses on integrating basic science with the application of clinical medicine.  The program instructs students utilizing a multi-modal approach to best reach different student learning styles.  Examples include, case-based learning, use of simulation, use of standardized Patients (actors), hands-on practice sessions for procedural and physical examination skills, use of cadavers for anatomy instruction and procedure skills, and traditional lecture series. 

During the clinical phase of the program, students are assigned to clinical clerkships at affiliated hospitals, private physicians' offices, and community clinics. Located in a variety of medical settings, these clinical campuses offer training in many disciplines of medicine and provide the opportunity for exposure to a wide variety of patient populations. The research semester will culminate in a research project using community partnerships and based on the principles of community-oriented primary care. Upon successful completion of the program, candidates are eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE). Students will earn a master of science in physician assistant studies upon completion of the entire curriculum.

MS Entry Requirements (Post-Baccalaureate)

Students must meet the following requirements to be considered for the MS program.

  1. Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2;
  2. Cumulative GPA of 3.2 in the science courses;
  3. Completion of all prerequisite course work;
  4. Personal essay;
  5. Two letters of recommendation;
  6. Documentation of 50 hours of health care experience;
  7. Successful completion of a background check without any convictions;
  8. International students must take the TOEFL exam and pass with a minimum score of:
    Internet-based test: 80
    Computer-based test: 213
    Paper-based test: 550

NOTE: For the 2021-2022 bulletin year, students must meet the following requirement of a 3.3 minimum cumulative GPA and cumulative GPA in the sciences to be considered for the MS program.

Prerequisite Course Work

All prerequisite course work must be completed before matriculation into the physician assistant program. It is necessary to indicate courses in progress or planned on the CASPA application.

  1. General biology (with laboratory): 8 s.h.
  2. General chemistry (with laboratory): 8 s.h.
  3. Human physiology: 4 s.h.
  4. Human anatomy: 4 s.h.
  5. Biochemistry: 3 s.h. or organic chemistry: 4 s.h.
  6. Statistics: 3 s.h.
  7. Microbiology: 4 s.h.
  8. Genetics, or cell biology, or another upper-level biology course: 3-4 s.h.

Please note the following conditions:

  1. Anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and either biochemistry or organic chemistry must have been taken within the five years preceding the start of the curriculum.
  2. General biology and general chemistry may be waived in circumstances where more advanced courses have been passed with a grade of B+ or better.
  3. Completion of prerequisites at a United States-accredited four (4)-year college or university is preferred.
  4. Completion of prerequisites designated for science majors is preferred.


Students must apply to the program in physician assistant studies through the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Applications are submitted to CASPA on line at www.caspaonline.org. The deadline is October 1 for admission to the class beginning the subsequent September. Applications must be completed (e-submitted, payment received, transcripts received, and two letters received) at lease four weeks in advance of the deadline to ensure the application is verified by CASPA in time.   Admission to the program is granted on a rolling basis.

Applicants should be aware that a minimum overall GPA of 3.2 and a cumulative GPA of 3.2 in science courses do not guarantee entry into the program. The PA program is competitive and only the strongest applicants will be selected for a personal interview with the physician assistant studies program admission committee prior to acceptance into the program.

Admission to the PA program is granted on a rolling basis. Those who apply earliest have the best chance of being invited for an interview and therefore being offered a seat.

NOTE: For the 2021-2022 bulletin year, students must meet the following requirement of a 3.3 minimum cumulative GPA and cumulative GPA in the sciences to be considered for the MS program.

MS Program Curriculum - Total Semester Hours: 79

The following major and additional requirements can be fulfilled as follows:

MS in Physician Assistant Studies

Two and one-half Year Sequence

Full-time Students: 79 s.h.


Graduate students in the PA Professional Phase of the program will be charged the standard graduate tuition 

Beginning with students entering the graduate program in the Fall of 2021, a clinical placement fee in the amount of $1,000 will be applied during the students clinical clerkship year.

Graduation Requirements

Graduation is dependent upon successful completion of the following:

1)  All courses in the physician assistant curriculum including all clinical rotations;
2)  Completion of all research curriculum requirements, including the board refresher course;
3)  A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 must be earned;
4)  Successfully passing all summative examinations;
5)  Meeting all patient and procedural log requirements;
6)  A faculty review of professional behavior throughout the entire program;
7)  Any student enrolled in the dual-degree program must also complete all Hofstra University requirements.

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