Administered by the Department of Biology
Professor Seagull, Chairperson
Theresa Horvath, Director
Physician assistants are health professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. Physician assistants perform a wide array of medical duties and work in a variety of medical settings, ranging from basic primary care to sub-specialties. Physician assistants are qualified to first assist in surgery, attend medical emergencies, or care for their own patients in outpatient internal medicine, pediatrics or family medicine.
Hofstra’s program is designed to accommodate students who are working toward their undergraduate degree and those who are post-baccalaureate. Undergraduate students first complete the pre-professional phase, consisting of two years of collegiate instruction including all prerequisite courses. Students apply to the program during the second year of the pre-professional phase, and if successful in gaining admission, enroll in the 28-month professional phase. The professional phase is divided into four semesters of didactic instruction and three semesters of clinical clerkships. Students follow a defined curriculum, progressing from basic science to the study of clinical medicine and its application. During the clinical phase students rotate through clinical clerkships in internal medicine, surgery, emergency medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, psychiatry, long-term care, and pediatric services within healthcare settings such as hospitals, doctors’ offices and clinics. The clinical phase may require students to attend during nights (on-call) and weekends. Due to the rigor of the program, even part-time work is not possible in most cases.
During the clinical year 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 all disciplines of medicine and provide the opportunity for exposure to a wide variety of patient populations.
Upon successful completion of the program, candidates are eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination (PANCE). Students who have already been awarded a bachelor’s degree receive a certificate of completion. Those students having completed all Hofstra University degree requirements as a component of prerequisite course work will receive both a certificate of completion and a bachelor of science degree in physician assistant studies. Students have the option to continue their studies in a 30-s.h. master’s degree program to earn a master of science in physician assistant studies.
All students interested in entering the program are expected to have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in their science courses. A personal essay, two letters of recommendation, and documentation of 100 hours of health-care experience are required as well.
Students must apply to the physician assistant studies program through the Centralized Application Service. Applications are submitted on-line through the Central Admission Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA), or by mail: CASPA, Post Office Box 9108, Watertown, MA 02471. Phone: (617) 612-2080. E-mail using this link. Deadline for applications: March 1 of each year for the following fall semester.
Students should be aware that a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 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 admissions committee prior to acceptance into the program.