Frequently Asked Questions

Program Overview

• What is the mission of the Physician Assistant Studies Program?

The Le Moyne College Master of Science Program in Physician Assistant Studies (DPAS) is dedicated to the education of students to become clinically competent PAs, practicing in a diverse and ever-changing health care environment.

• 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.”

• 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?

PA Graduate Tuition and Fees
Students are required to have reliable transportation during the clinical year. Clinical sites are typically within a 75 mile radius of campus and should be budgeted accordingly. Students may incur additional housing and travel costs if placed at a distant site.

Estimated Total Tuition 2020-2022
Fall 2020 $15,270.00
Spring 2021 $15,270.00
Summer 2021 (estimated)                                      $15,728.00
Fall 2021 (estimated) $15,728.00
Spring 2022 (estimated) $15,728.00
Summer 2022 (estimated) $16,200.00
Total Program Tuition (estimated)                                         $93,924.00  
Estimated First Year Budget 2022-2021
Tuition (Fall, Spring, Summer) $46,268.00
Books and Supplies $1,600.00
Equipment $1,100.00
Room & Board (off-campus estimate) $12,130.00
Utilities $1,620.00
Miscellaneous - Cable/Entertainment $2,295.00
Personal Transportation (estimated) $4,620.00
Laptop Computer (estimated) $1,500.00
Comprehensive Fee $310.00
Student Parking $50.00
Health Insurance (estimated) $2,700.00
Required Fees (BLS, ACLS and PASS dues) $320.00
NYSSPA: 2-year Student Membership (state PA org) $75.00
AAPA: 2-year Student Membership (national PA org)              $75.00
Total First Year Budget (3 Semesters) $74,663.00  
Estimated Second Year Budget 201-2022
Tuition (Fall, Spring, Summer) (estimated)                $47,656.00
Books and Supplies $100.00
Equipment (lab coat) $35.00
Room & Board (off-campus estimated) $19,682.00
Utilities $2,880.00
Miscellaneous - Cable/Entertainment $4,080.00
Personal Transportation/Parking (estimated) $9,000.00
Health Insurance (estimated) $2,700.00
Required Fees (graduation fee) $65.00
Comprehensive Fee $310.00
Clinical Instruction Fee $4,000.00
PANCE Preparation Testing Fee $400.00
Student Parking $50.00
PASS Dues $20.00
Total Second Year Budget (3 Semesters)                               $90,978.00  
Post Graduation Registration, Licensure and Professional Fees
PANCE (required) $475.00
State License Registration (estimated) $115.00
DEA (employer payment possible) $731.00
NYSSPA (professional society - optional) $195.00
AAPA (professional society - optional) $295.00
Total $1,791.00
Grand Total $167,432.00

**This reflects Financial Aid estimates for COL Jan 2020 

• 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?

• 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 

• Does Le Moyne Accept AP Credit for Prerequisite Coursework?

Le Moyne can accept AP Credit for prerequisite credit so long as the credit is clearly noted on your previous college transcript(s) as having been accepted by your former institution toward a specific content area or a score report from the College Board is presented (upon our request). For example, AP Credit in English often is reflected as a English Composition course on transcripts.

Most commonly we see AP Credit requests for Introductory Biology, English Composition/Technical Writing or Social Science prerequisites.

• What Constitutes an Upper Level Biology Course for Prerequisite Credit?

Le Moyne requires four upper level biology courses to be taken within the last five years (from the time of application). At minimum, two of these courses must have a lab component. 

Students applying for entry to our program in fall 2022 should show Upper Level Biology coursework from the years 2016 - present

Upper level biology coursework must be at the 200 level or higher (to indicate advanced, upper level course credit) and hold a biology course coding (such as BIO, BIOL or BI). Coursework in other science categories such as nursing, kinesiology, radiology, exercise science, etc.) are not considered most competitive. 

If no other advanced biology coursework is present, we will accept a maximum of one course from the "other sciences" category toward the upper level biology prerequisites. Courses considered for this exception should be from our recommended/highly recommended upper level biology courses [Highly recommended: cell & molecular biology, microbiology, genetics, anatomy & physiology. Recommended: neurobiology, endocrinology, pathology, evolution.]

As a reminder, Le Moyne evaluates students on a semester-credit equivalency. In general, four semester credit hours is the minimum semester credits for a course with a lab.

• How Does Le Moyne Evaluate Students from Schools that do not use semester credits?

We often receive applications from students who have studied at schools that do not use a semester credit hour system and instead use quarter credit, trimester credit, etc.

In these instances, we will translate/equate your previous credit to semester hours during our evaluation. This often means accepting more than one course on your record to satisfy one prerequisite class. There are many online tools you can use to translate your credits to semester credit hours to assist in your planning.

• Are we making adjustments to the number or quality of expected Patient Care Experience due to the Covid-19 Pandemic?

No, the standards for patient care will remain the same. We understand the stress this pandemic has caused for many applicants. In order to uphold the quality of our program, we need to see our incoming students enter the program with a strong foundation in patient care experience. Students are encouraged to visit the Patient Care Guide for additional guidance.

• Will we accept coursework that was forced to go online for prerequisites?

Le Moyne has historically been able to accept online coursework, understanding that rigor of a program is part of the conversations when making admission decisions. We often tell students that whenever possible, an on-campus experience will prepare a more competitive application.

However, these experiences are affected due to the pandemic. Please know the PA program at Le Moyne is sensitive to the reality that colleges have had to move instruction online and will be sensitive to those requirements on a student's application.

• Will we accept “Pass” grades for prerequisites?

We can accept Pass/Satisfactory grades for prerequisite work however it is not recommended

Showcasing P/S grades will make your application significantly less competitive and will provide difficulty in preparing a strong academic profile for your application.

If “Pass” or “Satisfactory” grades are present, the program will need to see documentation from the students transcript indicating the P/S grade meets a minimum of a "C". If it is unclear, additional documentation may be requested of the student.

We understand that some may feel tempted to request a "P/S" grade as they do not feel strongly about their current grade due to transitions to online learning and disruptions due to COVID-19. Our committee would prefer to see your letter grade, even if it is a bit lower than your traditional performance academically. We are aware of the anxieties and stress put on students due to the pandemic and encourage students to pursue a letter grade whenever it is available to them.

• 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 prerequisites?

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 750 required direct patient contact hours completed at the time of application. A guide for patient care experience can be found here. 

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?

 

Competitive applicants will have a minimum of 750 direct patient contact hours completed at the time of application. A guide for patient care experience can be found here. 

 

• 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?

Applications 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 additional admission information.

• How many students are enrolled each fall?

An average of 75 students.

• How do I apply?

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

• 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.

A detailed timeline for each application cycle is posted on the Admission Information webpage and is updated as details are available.

• What does the interview include?

The interview includes a welcome from the Program Director/faculty and is followed by a group interview, individual interview and written essay. Applicants invited to interview will be provided with additional information in preparation for their time with us. Please note that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, interviews were held virtually for the 2020-21 cycle and are expected to continue virtually in the 2021-22 cycle.

• 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 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 spend their days in a mixture of traditional lectures in classes such as Clinical Medicine, Pharmacology, Medical Humanities, 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.

• Do I need a car?

Yes, every student is expected to have reliable transportation for clinical rotations.

• Are there any international training sites?

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

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:

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physician-assistants.htm