Pre-Physician Assistant

All students in the PrePhysician Assistant Program must declare a primary major.

  • Students are dual advised to ensure timely completion of both major and prehealth professions concentration coursework as of the date of their matriculation.
  • The Primary Major Faculty Advisor assists with selection of courses for the Primary Major Requirements.
  • The PreHealth Advisor guides the student through the PreMedicine Concentration.
  • 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.
  • The PrePhysician Assistant Concentration coursework will satisfy the course requirements for admission at most Physician Assistant schools, but not necessarily all schools.
  • Students have the responsibility to check entrance requirements for schools to which they intend to apply.

Pre-Physician Assistant Concentration*

Required Coursework
TOTAL: 44 sh
BIOL 180, 181, 205, 206, 362 20 sh
CHEM 111, 112, 226 or 221 12 sh
COMP 100 3 sh
STAT 101 3 sh
PSYC 100 3 sh
SOC 101 (SOCL 100) 3 sh

*Electives & Physician Assistant School Selection: The courses listed above satisfy the courses required for admission by the great majority of PA schools and will provide a strong foundation for entrance exam preparation. Additional courses are recommended but not required, and depend on specific PA program prerequisites. Students should review information regarding the PA schools to which they intend to apply for further information regarded recommended electives.

*PrePhysician Assistant Student Advising: Students in the PreHealth Professional Program should confer with advisors for their Primary Major and specific PreHealth Concentration, beginning at the time of admission to SUNY Oneonta. PreHealth related questions should be directed to Ms. Tami LaPilusa, PreHealth Professions Program Coordinator at SUNY Oneonta. email:

*Acceptance rates: 32% of SUNY Oneonta PrePhysician Assistant students matriculate into a PA program after graduation (CASPA data, 2012-2015 matriculants). Schools students attend include LeMoyne, SUNY Upstate, SUNY Downstate, Albany Medical, among others.

Suggested Course Sequencing:

BIOL 180 (Biology I) 4 sh BIOL 181 (Biology II) 4 sh
CHEM 111 (General Chemistry I) 4 sh CHEM 112 (General Chemistry II) 4 sh
COMP 100 (Composition) 3 sh PSYC 100 3 sh
BIOL 205 4 sh BIOL 206 4 sh
CHEM 226 or 221 4 sh STAT 101 (Intro to Statistics) 4 sh
BIOL 362 (Microbiology) 4 sh SOC 101 (SOCL 100) 3 sh

*Please note:
The recommended sequence is based on a student taking the GRE and applying to Physician Assistant (PA) School the summer BEFORE their final year at SUNY Oneonta, and that the student will graduate in four years. If a student wishes to take a bridge year, or take a different undergraduate path, coursework plans can change accordingly. Individual student plans may vary depending on when the student hopes to enter physician assistant school and what primary major is chosen. As a result, each student should work with their primary major advisor and their prehealth advisor to establish their own personalized schedule.

Requirements for Physician Assistant School

  • Successful completion of Primary Major Requirements
  • note: some PA schools require the Baccalaureate Degree to be complete at the time of application.
  • Application to PA programs is made through the centralized application CASPA
    • The 2016-2017 CASPA application cycle opens April 27, 2016 and closes March 1, 2017
    • Applicants are encouraged to complete the CASPA early in the cycle
    • Many PA schools require school specific supplemental applications
  • Admission to Physician Assistant School is highly competitive.
  • Applicants are evaluated on:
    • healthcare experience
    • GRE
    • GPA
    • minimum of 3 letters of recommendation
      • Physician Assistant
      • Clinician
      • Professor (or other professional reference)
  • Check out the directory of Physician Assistant programs to learn more about over 200 Physician Assistant Programs in the United States.

Early Assurance Program (EAP) 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 during their junior (3rd) year.
(note: SUNY Oneonta transfer students are NOT eligible for the EAP but can apply regular decision)

  • To be eligible to apply for acceptance into the Early Assurance Program (EAP):
    a student must be of junior standing (in 3rd year at SUNY Oneonta) 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

If accepted, students are assured of admission to the program upon:
1) completion of the prerequisite courses
2) attaining the required health care experience
3) completion of 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. Accepted EAP students must carry full course loads during their remaining semesters at Oneonta and fulfill the remaining prerequisite courses.

The GRE is waived for students accepted through the 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.

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) Fall/Winter: Student begins crafting essay and contacts references to request recommendation
3) January: Student creates account at Albany Medical College for supplemental application & declares EAP
4) April: Students creates applicant account with CASPA
5) Early May: requests letters of recommendation from 3 references, finalizes essay

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

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.

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.

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.

last update 19 December 2016 (TLL Webmaster)