Master of Science in Physician Assistant M.S.

Year 1: Didactic Phase Courses

PA-303Clinical Medicine I5
PA-304Clinical Medicine II5
PA-305Behavioral Medicine2
PA-309Clinical Laboratory Medicine I2
PA-310Clinical Laboratory Medicine II2
PA-311Clinical Skills3
PA-312Physical Diagnosis I2
PA-312LPhysical Diag Lab0
PA-313Physical Diagnosis II2
PA-313LPhysical Diagnosis Lab0
PA-335Pharmacology I3
PA-336Pharmacology II3
Total Credits29

Year 2: Clinical Phase Courses

PA-401BInternal Medicine 13
PA-401CFamily Medicine 13
PA-402General Surgery 13
PA-403General Pediatrics 15
PA-404Obstetrics and Gynecology 13
PA-405Psychiatry 13
PA-406Emergency Medicine 13
PA-407Geriatrics 11
PA-408Orthopaedics 13
PA-412Senior Seminar Clinical Enrichment A0
PA-413Senior Seminar Clinical Enrichment B0
PA-500Professional Issues1
PA-501Elective Clinical Rotation I 13
PA-502Elective Clinical Rotation II 13
PA-503Primary Medicine Core Practicum 16
PA-504Graduate Seminar I1
PA-505Graduate Seminar II1
PA-509Neuroanatomy (Elective)3
or PA-512 Alternative Medicine
PA-511Medical Microbiology (Elective)3
or PA-606 Medical Epidemiology
PA-603Applied Research Methods3
PA-604Applied Project Seminar I3
PA-605Applied Project Seminar II3
Total Credits57

1Denotes a clinical rotation course.

Student Responsibilities

The physician assistant program is demanding in coursework, time commitment, and financial obligations. Students enrolled in the PA department must complete all required coursework, for a total of 85 credit hours. The degree program is composed of two phases, which extend across 2.5 years, and all components are required. Advanced placement is not offered. Students are encouraged to join the D'Youville Student Physician Assistant Association (SPAA) and the New York State Society of Physician Assistants (NYSSPA).

Program Contents and Requirements

The physician assistant curriculum is composed of two distinct academic phases. Each phase of the program is considered a prerequisite to the next phase and must be satisfactorily completed prior to advancement. Students who have not completed graduate-level gross anatomy or pathophysiology prior to matriculation in the DYU PA program may be required to complete them at D'Youville prior to starting the Didactic Phase.

Academic Standing and Student Progress

In addition to general university policies and regulations, which apply to all students, additional academic regulations of the physician assistant department include the following:

  1. Physician assistant students must complete all required coursework and meet minimum academic standards.
  2. Students must demonstrate the ability to meet all required technical standards.
  3. Clinical rotations may require additional expenses for travel-related costs and room and board, which are the sole responsibility of the student. Extended daily travel distances may be required. Student housing is not provided.
  4. It is required that each student have a valid driver’s license and their own vehicle. 
  5. Due to the time commitment of the program, particularly in the professional phase of the curriculum, outside employment is strongly discouraged.
  6. Each phase of the program is considered a prerequisite to the next phase and must be satisfactorily completed prior to advancement. In the professional phase, each semester is considered a prerequisite to the next and must be satisfactorily completed prior to advancement.
  7. Students enrolled in the PA department are expected to demonstrate high standards of personal behavior and professional conduct in all academic and clinical environments.
    1. Dishonesty in any form, whether academic or professional, will not be tolerated. Instances of academic dishonesty will result in immediate dismissal from the program.
    2. Professional misconduct may result in probation and/or dismissal from the program depending on the student's academic history and individual circumstances of the offense.
    3. Unprofessional behavior in the clinical setting will result in failure of the clinical rotation regardless of course mastery and may result in dismissal from the department.
  8. PA students are not permitted to work for the program. Students may not substitute for or function as instructional faculty, regardless of prior training or qualifications.
  9. Students must possess current certification in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), child abuse recognition certification, HIPAA training, and New York State in-servicing on bloodborne pathogens prior to matriculation into the clinical phase of the program.
  10. All students in the clinical and graduate phases will be required to have professional liability insurance as specified by the program.
  11. Students must have current evidence of all required vaccinations/immunizations and annual history and physical examinations in compliance with CDC recommendations for health care professionals.
  12. Students are required to obtain permission from the department faculty prior to registering for clinical rotations.
  13. Students who do not meet minimum criteria in any clinical rotation course, or who voluntarily withdraw from the clinical rotation, must receive formal approval from the departmental Student Progress Committee to repeat that course or to continue with subsequent rotations. 

Academic Standing 

Failure to meet minimum academic and professional standards may result in negative consequences, including assignment of remediation activities and/or additional assessments, placement on probationary status, deceleration to the next graduating class, repeating failed course(s) and/or coursework, and/or dismissal from the program. Despite meeting minimum academic standards, permission to progress into the clinical phase may be denied on the basis of demonstrated weakness or inability to meet the program's academic, technical, and/or professional standards. Students may be required to appear before the Committee to discuss their academic status and identify contributing, mitigating, or extenuating circumstances that led to the academic performance issue.

Good Standing

To remain in academic good standing, all PA students must meet the following minimum academic requirements regardless of curricular phase:

  1. Minimum B- (80%) or better in all coursework.
  2. Minimum 3.0 semester, science, and cumulative GPA.
  3. Successful completion of all competency exams (technical assessments, OSCE exams, comprehensive exams, summative assessments, etc.).
  4. All master's degree candidates must satisfactorily complete a research project with a corresponding presentation. This project must have prior approval of the department and the IRB and be overseen by a faculty advisor.

Students who fail to meet minimum academic standards, or are otherwise unable to demonstrate proficiency in program assessments, competencies, or technical standards may be assigned additional educational enrichment activities. Successful completion of these activities is required for continued progression in the program. Students must pass any assigned remediation activities on the first attempt. Failure to successfully complete remediation may result in negative consequences, outlined above.

Academic Probation

The following conditions may result in placement on probationary status regardless of prior academic standing:

  1. Failure to maintain minimum grade and GPA standards outlined above.
  2. Course failure.
  3. Professionalism standard violations.
  4. Academic misconduct.
  5. The following additional criteria apply to the professional phase only:
    1. Failure of more than 3 exams in any single semester.
    2. Failure of more than 4 exams cumulatively over the course of the program.
    3. Failure of a clinical rotation.
    4. Failure of a clinical phase OSCE examination.
    5. Failure of a course final examination.
    6. Failure of an assigned remediation activity.

Placement on probationary status is permanent for the remainder of the program. 

Leave of Absence and Deceleration

Students may only decelerate one time while enrolled in the PA program, regardless of cause. Any subsequent requests for a leave of absence that would result in deceleration require approval from the departmental Student Progress Committee. At the discretion of the committee, a student may be permitted to decelerate and repeat certain courses on a case-by-case basis. This determination may not be requested or initiated by the student. Any department-required course may be repeated only once per university policy, and at the discretion of the departmental Student Progress Committee. Students who must repeat a professional phase course will be required demonstrate proficiency prior to progressing.


At the discretion of the departmental Student Progress Committee, the following events may result in immediate dismissal from the program on a first offense:

  1. Failure to meet the conditions of probation.
  2. Failure to meet academic standards while on probation.
  3. A second failure of the same course.
  4. Clinical rotation failures.
  5. Academic dishonesty or misconduct in any form.
  6. Violation of departmental professionalism standards.
  7. Failure of two courses in the same semester.
Timeline for Program Completion

Students must complete the degree program within 2 years of starting the Clinical Phase of the curriculum.

Eligibility for Re-Entry

Students who are dismissed from the PA program for any reason will be ineligible for reapplication/re-entry.


Students who receive an eligible dismissal decision have the right to a departmental appeal process. Students who plan to appeal any eligible dismissal decision, whether at the department level or School of Health Professions level, are expected to continue attending all courses and clinical rotations during all stages of the appeals process unless expressly told otherwise by the department Chair, appeal officer, or other DYU academic official. Existing course policies on attendance, participation, assignments, and/or assessments (including but not limited to OSCEs, exams, and quizzes) will remain in full effect throughout the appeal process.

Informal Resolution

Only decisions or actions that do not have significant academic consequences (such as a grade dispute that does not result in probation, suspension, dismissal, or other significant change in academic status) are eligible for an informal resolution process. In these situations, the student should attempt to rectify the concern by dealing directly with the course director. This should be done within five (5) working days of the decision or action in question, and the informal resolution process shall not exceed ten (10) working days from that decision or action. In cases involving allegations of improper academic evaluation (such as a grade), the student must demonstrate clearly and convincingly that the policies in the syllabus or other stated requirements of the course were not followed. The PA department does not permit an informal resolution process at the Progress Committee or Chair level of review.​ Decisions or actions that cannot be resolved informally with the course director must proceed to the formal appeal process.

​Formal Appeal Process

If the student seeks to challenge a departmental Student Progress Committee decision or action that has a significant academic consequence (outlined above), they may file a formal appeal by submitting a written complaint to the department Chair within five (5) working days of the decision or action that they seek to challenge. If the complaint is not filed within five (5) working days, it is considered untimely and will not be accepted or considered. The student has the right to meet with the department Chair as a part of the formal appeal process. It is the responsibility of the student to initiate this meeting request, which is to be scheduled at a mutually beneficial time but may not exceed the time limitations below. Students who do not initiate the request for this meeting within the specified time frame forfeit this right. Only the following conditions will be eligible for an appeal review at the departmental level:​

  1. The departmental Student Progress Committee did not comply with a specific departmental policy or procedure. The policy in question must be clearly stated in the appeal request, including the location of the policy and page number, if applicable, or a direct link for policies housed online.​

  2. New evidence pertinent to the situation that was not available at the time of the committee review. This new evidence must be clearly stated in the appeal request. Any evidence must be submitted at the time of appeal.​

  3. Significant extenuating or mitigating circumstances that were not disclosed to the committee at the time of review. The circumstance(s) must be clearly stated in the appeal request. Any evidence of the circumstance(s) must be submitted at the time of appeal.​

Following the evaluation of the statements and supporting documentation, the department Chair will issue a written determination of the appeal. This written determination must be provided to both the student and the Chair of the departmental Progress Committee within ten (10) working days of the date of appeal submission.  ​

Department Chair determinations are final and will not be further reviewed at the department level.​ Students who are not satisfied with the department Chair's decision must follow the School of Health Professions' appeals Academic Appeals Procedures, available at:​

Master's only applicants must have received a baccalaureate degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale and a minimum science GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale as calculated by CASPA at the time of application. Introductory and survey courses are not accepted to fulfill the required science prerequisites.

Applicants must earn a grade of B- or better in each of the following required subjects:

  • Human Anatomy & Physiology (I & II) including laboratory – 8 semester hours*
  • General or Developmental Psychology – 3 semester hours
  • General Inorganic Chemistry (I & II) including laboratory - 8 semester hours
  • Organic Chemistry including laboratory - 3 semester hours
  • Microbiology including laboratory - 3 semester hours
  • Statistics – 3 semester hours
  • English (including 3 semester hours of English Composition) – 6 semester hours

*Applicants who take the combination class of Human Anatomy & Physiology I (A&P I), then must complete the sequence by taking Human Anatomy & Physiology II (A&P II).

Note: Students who have not completed pathophysiology and/or graduate-level gross anatomy will be required to complete those courses at D'Youville prior to starting the didactic phase of the program.