May 19, 2024  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Physician Assistant Studies, Bachelor of Science (BS) and Master of Science (MS), Dual-degree Program

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Carina Loscalzo, Chairperson and Director

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

Hofstra’s program is designed to provide students the opportunity to earn both BS and MS degrees in physician assistant studies. Undergraduate students first complete the pre-professional phase, consisting of three years of collegiate instruction including all prerequisite courses. The professional 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 and the application of clinical medicine. To best reach different students learning styles, the professional phase of the program instructs students utilizing a multi-modal approach. These include: traditional lecture series, case-based learning, simulation, standardized patients (actors), practice sessions for procedural and physical examinations, use of cadavers for anatomy instruction and procedure skills.

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 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. Upon successful completion of the program, candidates are eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE). Undergraduate students having completed 126 semester hours of coursework and all Hofstra University undergraduate degree requirements will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in physician assistant studies (see note below). Students should file for graduation only at the end of the didactic (fourth) year. Students in years 1-4 of the program will be eligible for undergraduate financial aid and all relevant undergraduate awards; students enrolled in years 5-6 will be eligible for graduate financial aid and all relevant graduate-level awards. All students, including those earning the baccalaureate, will earn a Master of Science in physician assistant studies upon completion of the entire curriculum.


Students who complete the required course work and all Hofstra University undergraduate degree requirements are eligible for the BS degree; however, they will not be eligible to sit for the PANCE exam or to receive the MS degree until all requirements for the MS degree are fulfilled, including completion of the PA Professional Phase of the program. Students who do not continue into the professional phase can earn a BA in Natural Sciences  degree which builds on what has already been taken as part of the pre-PA curriculum. Alternatively, students may choose any other major to transfer into.

Entry and Progression Requirements for direct admission to the dual-degree program (BS and MS)

Students entering Hofstra as incoming first-year students may apply for the direct entry admission to this dual-degree program. The following requirements must be met to be eligible for the dual-degree direct entry program:

  1. Enter Hofstra University as a first-year student with a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 in high school academic work and an SAT score of 1300 (evidence-based reading and writing + math sections) or an ACT score of 27
  2. Qualified applicants to the direct entry program will be asked to submit a supplement to their application, consisting of two essay questions
  3. Advanced placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) or college credit will not be applied to direct entry courses that begin with BIO, CHEM or MATH.

Students admitted directly to the dual-degree program as incoming freshman students will be admitted automatically to the professional phase of the program beginning the fall semester of his/her senior year, provided they fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Complete a successful interview during the junior year;
  2. Successful completion of a background check during their junior year;
  3. Attend Hofstra University for all undergraduate course work;
  4. Maintain a minimum cumulative overall grade point average of 3.3 for each of the six semesters prior to beginning the PA program curriculum;
  5. Achieve a minimum cumulative overall and science grade point average of 3.3 at the end of the spring semester of the junior year;
  6. Follow the prescribed pre-professional curriculum;
  7. Complete three years in-residence before entering the professional phase of the program;
  8. Meet with a pre-professional science adviser (and the PA program adviser, if appropriate) at least once each semester;
  9. Document 50 hours of health care experience.

The science grade point average is calculated using ALL science courses taken beginning with CHEM, BIO, BCHM or PHYS. If a course is repeated, both classes will count in the science GPA calculations BIO 100  is excluded from this calculation.

Students who do not meet every condition for the first-year direct entry option may apply to the graduate program as an external candidate via

Dual-degree Program Requirements – Total Semester Hours: 165

BS/MS in Physician Assistant Studies
Five and One-half Year Sequence

Candidates for the dual degree (BS/MS) must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. The successful completion of at least 165 semester hours.
  2. The successful completion of the progression requirements listed above.
  3. The successful completion of the following courses:

Pre-Professional Phase (Undergraduate) - Total Semester Hours: 86

First Year

Course Semester Hours
WSC 001 - Composition   3
Language Level 1 or
3 s.h. of liberal arts elective if language requirement fulfilled
BIO 012 - (NS) Animal Form and Function   4
CHEM 003A - (NS) General Chemistry I , CHEM 003B - (NS) General Chemistry Laboratory I   4
Total 14


Course Semester Hours
WSC 002 - Composition   3
BIO 011 - (NS) Introductory Cell Biology and Genetics   4
CHEM 004A - (NS) General Chemistry II , CHEM 004B - (NS) General Chemistry Laboratory II   4
Language Level 2 or
3 s.h. of liberal arts elective if language requirement fulfilled
PHA 101 - Physician Assistant Seminar I   1
Total 15

Second Year

Course Semester Hours

CHEM 135 - Foundations of Organic Chemistry 

BIO 135 - Genetics   3
Any LT distribution course   3
Language Level 3 (or 3 s.h. of liberal arts electives if language requirement fulfilled) 3
Total 13


Course Semester Hours
BIO 137 - Cell Biology   3
Any HP distribution course   3
HSCI 103 - Human Anatomy and Physiology I   4
BIO 100 - Biostatistics  or PSY 040 - Statistics  or SOC 180 - Statistics in Sociology   4
PHA 102 - Physician Assistant Seminar II   1
Total 15

Professional Phase (Graduate) - Total Semester Hours: 79

Fourth Year

Course Semester Hours
PHA 223 - Human Anatomy 4
PHA 217 - Pharmacology I 2
PHA 215 - Physical Examination and Diagnostic Modalities I 3
PHA 212 - Physiology 4
PHA 224 - Medicine I 4
Total 17


Course Semester Hours
PHA 200 - The Physician Assistant and Society 2
PHA 216 - Health Psychology 2
PHA 202 - Evidence-Based Medicine 2
PHA 220 - Physical Examination and Diagnostic Modalities II 3
PHA 225 - Medicine II 5
PHA 221 - Pharmacology II 2
PHA 232 - Correlative Medicine I 1
PHA 235 - Preventative Medicine 1
Total 18


Course Semester Hours
PHA 219 - Physical Examination and Diagnostic Modalities III 2
PHA 227 - Medicine III 7
PHA 233 - Correlative Medicine II 1
PHA 234 - Pharmacology III 2
Total 12


Fifth Year

Course Semester Hours
PHA 250 - Family Medicine Clerkship 3

PHA 255 - Internal Medicine Clerkship

PHA 260 - Obstetrics/Gynecology Clerkship 3
PHA 265 - Surgery Clerkship 3
PHA 270 - Emergency Medicine Clerkship 3
PHA 280 - Pediatrics Clerkship 3
PHA 285 - Psychiatry Clerkship 3
PHA 290 - Elective Clerkship 3


 NOTE: Each of these courses must be completed before the end of the program; however, the sequencing varies.

Sixth Year

Course Semester Hours
PHA 218 - Epidemiology 2
PPHA 301 - Research Design and Analysis 3
PHA 302 - Master’s Research Project 3
Total 8

Complete BS Requirements

BS Requirements  in Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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