Pre-Physician Assistant


Courses in the Major
All students in the PrePhysician Assistant Professional Program must declare a primary major. Students consult with their primary major advisor and a prehealth professions advisor to ensure timely completion of both major and prehealth professions concentration coursework as of the date of their matriculation.

Students must consult SUNY Oneonta's current undergraduate catalog descriptions of courses regarding course prerequisites and time of year when offered in order to plan properly in advance.

PrePhysician Assistant Concentration (with suggested year)*

First Year Second Year Third Year
BIOL 180-181
CHEM 111-112
COMP 100
PSYC 100
BIOL 205-206
CHEM 226
STAT 101
SOCL 100
BIOL 362

*Recommended Electives
The courses listed above satisfy the courses required for admission by the great majority of American physician assistant schools, including Albany Medical College. Additional advanced courses in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics are recommended but not required.

Entrance Exams & Requirements for Physician Assistant School
Admission to Physician Assistant School is highly competitive. Applicants are evaluated on healthcare experience, GRE, GPA, and letters of recommendation.

Application to physician assistant programs is made through the centralized application CASPA

Early Assurance Program 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 early assurance to CPAS upon completing the first semester of their junior year.

If accepted, students 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 the Early Assurance Program:
a student must be of junior standing and have:
a cumulative GPA of 3.20 or above (*minimum 3.20 in all Chemistry courses)
completed General Biology I and II
completed General Chemistry I and II
completed Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II
completed Elementary Organic Chemistry or Organic Chemistry I

substantial progress towards completing Health Care Experience hours


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).

Requirements for Admission to the Center for Physician Assistant Studies, Albany Medical College:

  • Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution

  • 1000 hours of responsible health care experience by time of enrollment

  • Application through the Centralized Application Process for Physician Assistant Programs (CASPA)

  • Supplemental Application with $60.00 fee

  • Accepted applicants must meet Technical Standards for Physician Assistant Student

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

    General Chemistry I & II with Labs*
    Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, or other Advanced Chemistry*
    General Biology I & II with Labs
    Anatomy and Physiology I & II with Labs
    Microbiology with Lab
    English Composition or other writing intensive course

    Oneonta Course
    CHEM 111-112
    CHEM 226
    BIOL 180-181
    BIOL 205-206
    BIOL 362
    STAT 101
    PSYC 100
    COMP 100

    Cr. Hrs.
    8 s.h
    4 s.h.
    8 s.h.
    8 s.h.
    4 s.h.
    3 s.h.
    3 s.h.
    3 s.h.

Students who wish to investigate this opportunity should express their interest to Ms. Tami LaPilusa, Coordinator of the PreHealth Professions Program at SUNY Oneonta, during the FALL SEMESTER of their junior year to discuss the expectations of the EAP and the application process.

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 students will create an applicant account at Albany Medical College and begin requesting letters of reference from 3 individuals towards the application.

Ideally, references should include letters from each of the following professionals: Professor, Clinician, and Physician Assistant or other professional reference.

Completed application [including the centralized application service (CASPA)] profiles are due to CASPA by May 30 with processing complete and application materials availbale to the Albany Medical College Center for Physician Assistant Studies by June 30 and the selection and commitment process will be completed by September 1.

As a part of the application process, applicants must articulate in writing why they want to be a physician assistant and how they have pursued completion of healthcare hours. Any descrepancies in academic credentials should be discussed. In addition, they must outline their goals and objectives for the remaining undergraduate year, including time between graduation and the start of the PA Program. The plan for meeting these goals must include specific academic coursework, extracurricular activities, and healthcare related experience. 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.

Application & Admission Processing timeline beginning FALL of 3rd year at SUNY Oneonta:
1) Fall: SUNY Oneonta Students submits "Intent to Apply" to Coordinator of PreHealth Professions
2) January: Student create applicant account at Albany Medical College for supplemental application
3) April: Students creates applicant account with CASPA & requests letters of recommendation from 3 references.

Application Actions and Deadlines

Supplemental application with Albany Medical Center
CASPA application, credentials, & supporting online documents uploaded & complete
CASPA processed and received by Center
Interview at Albany Medical Center
Notification to applicant of Admission Committee decision
Commitment from accepted applicant


May 1
May 30
June 30
July/early Aug
August 15
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 once accepted to Albany Medical Center under the early assurance program. In return, the CPAS will reserve a place in the class to be admitted in January following completion of the student’s undergraduate degree. (ie: May graduates will matriculate into the Albany Med PA Program the following January).

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.


  1. Students can apply to any Physician Assistant program in which they meet the minimum requirements. The coursework listed above is designed to satisfy SUNY Oneonta's PrePhysicianAssistant concentration, the course admission requirements at Albany Medical College, and requirements for admission at most American physician assistant schools, but not necessarily all schools. Students have the responsibility to check entrance requirements for schools in which they intend to apply.

  2. It is essential that students in the PreHealth Professional program confer regularly with advisors for these concentrations, beginning at the time of admission to SUNY Oneonta, with questions directed to Ms. Tami LaPilusa, Coordinator of the PreHealth Professions Program SUNY Oneonta.

last update 12 April 2016 (TLL Webmaster)