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Physician Assistant Studies

Program Overview

What is the mission of the Physician Assistant Studies Program?

The Le Moyne College Physician Assistant Program is dedicated to the education of students to become competent, caring, compassionate, and ethical providers of health care services with the supervision of a licensed physician. The program seeks to instill in each individual the desire to pursue a lifelong commitment to promote excellence in the delivery of patient care through continual self-assessment and advancement of one’s medical skills and knowledge.

The program prepares the student to work in a wide variety of settings under the supervision of licensed physicians, such as hospitals, private primary care facilities, nursing homes, and community centers.

Is the Le Moyne College PA program accredited?

The Le Moyne College Physician Assistant Program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) and the Education Department of the State of New York.

What makes the Le Moyne College PA program unique?

Le Moyne is one of only a handful of PA programs that presents medical humanities courses as an integral part of training. In conjunction with evidence-based medicine skill acquisition, self-directed learning and resource utilization, the Le Moyne graduate learns to care for the whole person.

Community-service learning moves the student from the classroom to the neighborhoods to facilitate an even greater, deeper understanding of the human condition in the “real world.”

Classes are taught by physicians, licensed health care providers and physician assistants (many are graduates of Le Moyne College), who bring their distinct knowledge and experience to the program. For over 10 years, we have used professional experts from the medical community to enhance both our didactic and clinical year experiences. We have placed our students at over 400 distinct clinical sites throughout Central New York since inception.

Upon completion of the program, what degree(s) will I receive?

Students completing the PA program will receive a Master of Science (MS).

Is there a part-time option for the PA program?

There is no part-time option currently available.

How much does it cost to attend the PA program?

Tuition 2014 - 2016

Semester Amount
Fall 2014 $12,545
Spring 2015 $12,545
Summer 2015 $12,921(estimated)
Fall 2015 $12,921(estimated)
Spring 2016 $12,921(estimated)
Summer 2016 $13,309(estimated)
Total Program Tuition $77,162(estimated)
Estimated First Year Budget 2014 - 2015
Tuition (Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Summer 2015) $38,011
Books and supplies $1,600
Equipment (medical equipment, lab coat) $1,100
Laptop Computer (estimate) $1,500
Room, Board, Personal expenses (off-campus estimate) $19,380
Personal Transportation (estimated) $6,100
Student Parking $50
Wellness Fee $140
Technology Fee $150
Health Insurance* (estimated) $1,300
Required fees (ACLS and PASS dues) $230
Membership Dues (required)
NYSSPA 2 year Student Membership (state PA org) $60
AAPA 2 year Students Membership (nat'l PA org) $75
Total First Year Budget (3 semesters) $69,696

Estimated Second Year Budget 2015 - 2016

Tuition (Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Summer 2016) $39,151
Books and supplies $100
Room, Board, Personal expenses (off-campus estimate) $21,000
Transportation (estimated) $10,350
Wellness Fee $140
Health Insurance * (estimated) $1,365
Graduation Fee $65
Technology Fee $150
Student Parking $50
PASS Dues $20
Total Second Year Budget $72,391

*Students may waive enrollment in the Le Moyne student health plan by providing documentation supporting current medical coverage. Please see instructions enclosed with fall semester bill.

Registration, Licensure and Professional Fees

(Post Graduation: varies with location where the graduate chooses to practice. NYS is listed in this example.)

PANCE (required) $475
NY State license registration (required) $115
DEA (employer payment possible) $731
NYSSPA (Professional Society-optional) $150
AAPA (Professional Society-optional) $275
Total $1,746

Is there housing for PA students?

Le Moyne College does not offer housing to graduate students. There are plenty of housing options in the campus area that current and past students have found affordable, conducive to their study habits and close in proximity.

What is the PA program's pass rate on the national boards?

Admission Requirements

What Are the Pre-Requisites for the Program?

Preference will be given to those applicants for the MS program who have completed at least four upper level science courses within the past five years; have fewer than four outstanding prerequisites at the time of application in the Fall with evidence that they will be completed by the end of the Spring semester; have a science GPA of greater than 3.0; and, who have close to 750 hours of patient experience completed at the time of application.

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.
  • GPA of at least 3.0 or better in science courses, prerequisite courses, and overall.
  • Completion of the following courses:
    • 2 semesters biology for science majors, with lab
    • 4 additional upper level (numbered 200+) biology courses for science majors, two of which must include lab. Highly recommended courses include cell and molecular biology, microbiology, genetics, and anatomy and physiology. Recommended courses include mammalian anatomy, mammalian physiology, developmental biology, neurobiology, endocrinology, toxicology, advanced molecular biology, and environmental biology.
    • 2 semesters general chemistry for science majors, with lab
    • 1 semester organic chemistry or biochemistry
    • 2 semesters selected from one or more of the following: statistics, calculus or physics
    • 2 semesters social science. Examples include general psychology, abnormal psychology, lifespan development, environmental psychology, personality, aging and adult development, cross-cultural psychology, health psychology, human sexuality, counseling and psychotherapy, sociology, anthropology.
    • 1 semester English composition or technical writing
  • Health care experience: At least 750 hours of paid, or volunteer, or combination direct hands-on care.
  • In addition, at least four science courses (preferably advanced level numbered 200+) are to be completed within the past five years

Is there a direct entry program for freshmen?

Yes. The Direct Entry Physician Assistant Studies Program offers the opportunity for early provisional acceptance to exceptional high school students wishing to accelerate their academic and career paths to become physician assistants. Application is made during the senior year of high school. Accepted applicants go on to complete a five-year (3+2) Bachelor of Science program in biological sciences/Master of Science program in physician assistant studies at Le Moyne College provided that they maintain or exceed an overall grade-point average of 3.3 and meet the direct patient contact hour requirement. The program is competitive and space is limited. This direct entry admission option is available only to incoming first-year students 

Are international students required to take the TOEFL

TOEFL score of 213 (computer-based exam) or 550 (paper-based exam) or 79 (internet-based exam) is required of all applicants whose native language is not English, with the following exceptions:

  • Graduation from an accredited American high school - OR-
  • Graduation from an American two- or four-year college or university - OR-

  • Completion of 15 graduate credits at an American college or university - OR-

  • Completion of 60 undergraduate credits including 6 transferable credits of English at an American college or university

When must I complete the pre-requesites?

An applicant could be considered competitive with no more than two academic course prerequisites remaining/in the process of completion at the time of application. An applicant should also have at least 500 of the 750 required direct patient contact hours completed at the time of application. If an applicant is admitted conditionally with the completion of the prerequisites as the condition, all prerequisites must be finished before the program begins or the applicant must forfeit his/her place in the program.

Is the GRE required?

No entrance exams are required.

Is prior healthcare experience required?

Yes. An applicant must have at least 750 hours of direct patient contact experience. Both number of hours and quality of that experience are weighed when considering an application. The more “hands-on” activities are considered higher quality (such as patient care assistant, nursing assistant, EMT, etc.) than less “hands-on” activities (pharmacy tech, receptionist, medical records). Experience may be paid or volunteer. It is extremely important to provide a detailed description on your CASPA application to assure that you are given appropriate credit.

Applicants frequently ask what will count toward the patient contact hours. The following is intended as a guide only and is not all-inclusive.

Highest Quality

These experiences require a high level of decision making and intensive hands-on responsibility for which 100% of the total hours will count toward the prerequisite hours.

Examples include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Licensed or certified health care professional
  • Physical therapist
  • Athletic trainer
  • Mental health worker; counselor
  • Dentist
  • Paramedic or EMT
  • Corpsman
  • Nurse/Nursing Assistant/Nurse’s Aid
  • Home health aid
  • Peace Corps volunteer, (in a health care related assignment),or other cross-cultural health care experience

Moderate Quality

These experiences require a moderate level of decision making and moderate hands-on responsibility for which 50% of the total hours will count toward the prerequisite hours.

Examples include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Health care related internship or training
  • Bench research with a medical component
  • Orderly 

Low Quality

These experiences require a low level of decision making and minimal hands-on responsibility for which 10% of the total hours will count toward the prerequisite hours.

Examples include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Shadowing physician, PA, or nurse practitioner
  • Medical records
  • Lifeguard

Related Humanitarian Experiences

These experiences are evaluated on case-by-case basis.

Examples include:

  • Shelters (Homeless, Halfway, Battered women, etc.)
  • Volunteer experiences (Soup kitchens, crisis hotlines, food pantry)
  • Literacy volunteer
  • Red Cross volunteer

Why does Le Moyne require health care experience as an admission requirement?

Applicants need to be sure they like working with sick or special-needs populations.

Can I transfer into your program?

The Le Moyne College Physician Assistant Studies Program does not grant advance placement, give credit for PAS courses or accept transfer of credit for PA courses. Previous health care experience is required, but no credit will be awarded for that experience.

Do you give preference to New York State residents?

New York State residents are not given admission preference. Le Moyne College is a private educational institution. Tuition costs are the same for all graduate students in the Physician Assistant Program.

Can I apply to the program if I do not have a bachelor’s degree?

An applicant could have already earned a bachelor’s degree or will earn one by the time the program begins in August. In addition, we offer an accelerated bachelor’s/master’s degree program where an exceptional Le Moyne College junior working towards a bachelor’s degree in biology may apply to the master’s program without an earned bachelor’s degree. If admitted, the student completes the bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five years.

Application Process

What is the application deadline?

Application must be electronically submitted to the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) by October 1st. You should complete your CASPA application approximately 2-4 weeks prior to the program’s deadline so that there is time for CASPA to forward the materials to Le Moyne College.

Click for link to addition admission information.

How many students are enrolled each fall?

An average of 54 students.

How do I apply?

You must apply to the program through the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA).*** LINK TOCASPA. ****

Is there a supplemental application?

No, there is no supplemental application.

When are interviews?

Interviews are scheduled with the applicant in November for early January. Applicants invited for an interview will be eligible for admission.

Current schedules can be found on our admission page by clicking on "Selection Process".

What does the interview include?

The interview day begins with an orientation to the program followed by a group interview, individual interview and a written essay. A campus and facilities tour along with time to meet with current students is also scheduled.

What are the selection factors?

The program seeks to admit dedicated learners who have an understanding of the PA profession, a demonstrated commitment to learning, a mature attitude, a willingness to embrace cultural diversity, strong communication skills, and an enthusiasm for caring for the ill. These factors are evaluated through the CASPA application, academic performance, letters of reference, patient contact experience and on-campus interview.

Program Format

When does the PA program start?

PA Program classes begin near the end of August each year. However, we do require completion of a summer Medical Terminology workbook and some reading assignments to prepare for fall coursework.

Does the PA program offer a part-time or distance learning program?

We do not offer a part-time option or distance learning courses.

Will I be able to work while I am a student?

Employment while a student is in the Le Moyne College Physician Assistant Studies Program is strongly discouraged due to the intensity of the program and the time constraints of the curriculum.

Do I need to declare a specialty before entering the program? After the program?

PA Students do not declare a medical specialty at any time nor need to enroll in a post-graduate internship or residency (although post-graduate residencies are available). The intense training students undergo helps prepare them to work in any number of medical specialties.

What is problem-based learning (PBL)?

PBL is designed to help our students develop clinical reasoning skills using patient scenarios. Le Moyne combines traditional lecture-based classes with student-oriented medical provider facilitated group learning along with self-study. This is to help students develop proficiency in conducting histories and physicals as well as applying their medical knowledge to patient scenarios.

What is the didactic year like?

The didactic curriculum consists of several learning formats. However, the overarching philosophy of the entire program is the bio-psycho-social approach to patient care.

One aspect of our active learning is referred to as “problem-based.” This specific component emphasizes student-centered, rather than teacher-centered education. Case review and analysis sharpens clinical skills in a safe learning environment.

Lectures, seminars and discussion groups are blended with laboratory exercises and “hands-on” physical examination skills to round out the first-year experience.

What does a typical week in the didactic year look like?

Students are usually on campus 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. They spend their days in a mixture of traditional lectures in classes such as Clinical Medicine, Pharmacology, Anatomy and Physiology, and Research Seminar, as well as hands-on classes such as the laboratory portion of Clinical Medicine or Anatomy & Physiology, or group-involved courses, such as Problem-Based Learning or their Service Learning Activity. Time out of class is used for studying or practicing skills learned during the day.

What is the clinical year like?

In the second year, emphasis is placed on developing a solid, pragmatic foundation for day-to-day practice by providing patient care under the close supervision of a board-certified (or eligible) physician and licensed health care providers.

Multiple sites are utilized and multiple specialties are represented. Le Moyne strives to ensure students have exposure to a variety of sites including those in public, private, urban, suburban and rural locations. Each rotation examines the concepts of “health and wellness” in various settings and in ways that are uniquely sensitive to the prevailing cultural climate.

In addition, students continue working on their Master’s Project and Professional Skills coursework.

Our program prepares students to become lifelong learners and helps promote a more just society.

What are the clinical rotations like in the PA program?

Students complete eight rotations: Adult, Pediatric, Women’s Health, General Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Behavioral Medicine, (Psychiatry and Gerontology/Long-term care), Medicine and an Elective. Students will generally be assigned to sites located within a 75 mile radius from Syracuse but may also be assigned to sites at a distance. The PA program strives to maintain sites that give the best clinical educational experiences. Students may be allowed to develop their own elective sites, and may request specific sites. The Clinical Coordinator works with students to develop individualized rotation schedules to meet the student’s needs and to fulfill the requirements of the program. Students are responsible for all costs associated with transportation and housing.

Are there any international training sites?

Students who meet strict program criteria, which include academic and professional standards, may submit appropriate paperwork to be considered for international experiences.

Financing Your Education

Is financial aid available?

Most students in the PA program finance their education through loans. There are a variety of grants, loans, and scholarships available to PA students. Please contact the Financial Aid Office at 445-4400 or for further details.

Where can I get information about financial aid?

Click here to download a list of a few scholarship opportunities. There are also various search engines available on the internet.

Pre and Post Graduation

When can a student sit for the board exam?

A student is eligible to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) after graduating from a PA program that is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The earliest a student can take the PANCE is seven days after completing the PA program assuming that the program has certified the student to graduate.

What kind of salary can a PA graduate expect?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides information on salary trends for the profession: