Early Assurance Program


Early Assurance Program with the Center for Physician Assistant Studies at Albany Medical College

The Albany Medical College Center for Physician Assistant Studies (CPAS) offers highly qualified students at SUNY Oneonta the opportunity to apply for admission to CPAS upon completing the first semester of their junior year. If accepted, they are assured of admission to the program upon completion of the prerequisite courses, the required health care experience, and the undergraduate degree with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.20. Early Assurance admission allows accepted students to focus on achieving a strong knowledge base in the sciences, completing of prerequisite courses, and obtaining the required health related experience.

To be eligible to apply for acceptance into this program, a student must have achieved a GPA of 3.20 or above and have completed General Biology I and II, General Chemistry I and II, Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II, and Elementary Organic Chemistry or Organic Chemistry I. Students accepted to the program must carry full course loads during their remaining semesters at Oneonta and fulfill the remaining prerequisite courses. The Graduate Record Examination is waived for students accepted through the Early Assurance Program (EAP).

Students who wish to investigate this opportunity should express their interest to SUNY Oneonta Pre-Health advisor and discuss the expectations of the EAP and the process for application. Applicants should be confident of their interest in pursuing a career path in medicine as a Physician Assistant, and that admission to the Albany Medical College’s PA program is the path they would choose toward that goal.

Each January, SUNY Oneonta will forward the names and addresses of applicants to the CPAS Advisor. A letter of instruction and application materials will be available online at CPAS. Completed applications (including the centralized application service (CASPA) profile are due to the CPAS by June 15 and the selection and commitment process will be completed by September 1.

As a part of the application process, applicants must articulate in writing the personal advantage they see to their participation in this program. In addition, they must outline their goals and objectives for the remaining undergraduate year. A plan for meeting these goals through specific academic and extracurricular activities must be included. Specifically, they must indicate how the proposed activities for the senior year will enhance their capabilities as a future physician assistant. Each accepted student is committed to continuing vigorous intellectual activity as demonstrated by breath of education as well as depth in some field of concentrated study.

Admission Processing

The following schedule will apply:



Supplemental Application and Interview

May 1

CASPA application, credentials, and supporting documents to be received by Center

June 15

Notification to applicant of Admission Committee decision

August 15

Commitment from accepted applicant

September 1

Acceptance and Continuation in the Program

An offer of admission by CPAS requires a reciprocal commitment by the student that is binding unless there is a compelling reason to withdraw from the EAP. It is understood that the student will not apply to other physician assistant programs. In return, the CPAS will reserve a place in the class to be admitted in January following completion of the student’s undergraduate degree.

Upon acceptance a tuition deposit of $500 will be required. This deposit will be returned to the student if continuation in the EAP is denied by the CPAS. It will be forfeited if the student subsequently declines to enroll.

Continuation in the EAP will require evidence of general academic progress consistent with past performance, and of significant progress toward achievement of individually specified goals. Students are expected to maintain a minimum grade point average each term of 3.20 both in overall course work and in the sciences. Grades in prerequisite courses must be “C” or better. Failure to meet academic standards will constitute grounds for dismissal from the EAP.

A Center advisor will meet with the EAP students at least once each semester to discuss their progress and any problems that may develop. On-going communications between SUNY Oneonta and Center representatives will ensure that both school’s requirements and individual student objectives are being met.

Admission to the Center can be denied should events occur that would cause the Admissions Committee to question a student’s suitability to pursue a career in medicine. These include, but are not limited to, felony conviction, academic dishonesty, or unprofessional conduct in a health care setting.

Requirements for Admission to the Center for Physician Assistant Studies, Albany Medical College:
Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution

The following courses with grades of “C” or better:


College at Oneonta Course Number

Credit Hours

General Chemistry I and II with labs

CHEM 111-112

8 s.h

Organic Chemistry, Biochemisry, or other
Advanced Chemistry

CHEM 226

4 s.h.

General Biology I and II with labs

BIOL 180-181

8 s.h.

Anatomy and Physiology I and II or equiv.

BIOL 205-206

8 s.h.

Microbiology with lab

BIOL 362

4 s.h.


STAT 101

3 s.h.

General or other Sociology

SOCL 100

3 s.h.


PSYC 100

3 s.h.

English Composition or other writing
intensive course

COMP 100

3 s.h.

  • 1000 hours of responsible health care experience
  • Application through the Centralized Application Process for Physician Assistant Programs (CASPA)
  • Supplemental application with $50.00 fee
  • Accepted applicants must meet Technical Standards for Physician Assistant Student.