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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long is the program?
The program is 32 months in length.
2. Is the program accredited?
Yes. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA).
3. When does the academic year start?
The academic year starts at the end of August each year (considered the Fall semester).
4. Does the curriculum sequence include summers?
Yes. The curriculum sequence includes a full 15-week summer semester.
5. Are there breaks between semesters?
There is a winter break between the fall and spring semester, a spring break either during or at the completion of the spring semester, and a break at the end of the summer semester before the fall semester begins. All breaks are approximately 1 week.
6. Given that the program is a dual degree program (BS/MS), if I already have a Bachelor's degree, do I need to attend all 32 months of the program?
Regardless of what degrees they have earned in the past, all students must complete the same coursework throughout the 32 months of the program. No student can be exempted from any of the coursework.
7. What are the schedules during the didactic and clinical phases?
The hours during the first 16 months (didactic phase) are usually Monday through Thursday, 4pm-9pm, and Sundays, 9am-5pm. There are usually no Friday classes. There are no Saturday classes. The hours during the 12-month clinical phase vary with the demands of the specific rotation. Students follow a typical workday or hospital shift. During the 4-month culminating semester, the hours follow a traditional format.
8. Where are your rotation sites?
We have many rotation sites throughout the five boroughs with some additional sites in Long Island, Westchester and New Jersey. Our sites include (but are not limited to) Metropolitan Hospital, Columbia Presbyterian/Cornell Medical Center, Beth Israel Medical Center, Maimonides Hospital, Lutheran Medical Center, North Shore Manhasset, Montefiore Medical Center, Lenox Hills Hospital, as well as a number of private practices and clinics.
9. Do you help graduates find jobs?
Although we do not have an actual job placement service, we often get information about jobs from employers and then forward that information to our graduates.
10. How do I apply to the PA Program?
The Manhattan Campus Physician Assistant Program participates in the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Applicants apply online by visiting https://portal.caspaonline.org. Applicants must also download and complete the PA Program Supplemental Application form, which should be mailed to:

Office of Admissions - PA Manhattan
Touro College School of Health Sciences
1700 Union Boulevard
Bay Shore, New York 11706

A Supplemental Application fee of $25 is also required and may be paid via a link found on the Supplemental Application form.

11. What is the deadline for submitting an application?
The application deadline for those wishing to start the program Fall 2014 has passed. For students applying for Fall 2015, the regular deadline for submitting completed applications (i.e. with all accompanying documents) is January 15, 2015. We also have an Early Decision deadline of November 1, 2014 for those candidates who would like to be considered earlier in the admissions process.
12. Do I have to have all my prerequisites completed before I can apply?
No. You may apply to the program while you still have some prerequisites in progress, but all prerequisite coursework needs to be completed a full semester before entering the program. Pending coursework may, however, delay review of your application. At the time of enrollment in the PA Program, students must have a minimum of 90 credits completed including all the required prerequisite courses.
13. Is the Manhattan program the same as the Bay Shore program?
The Manhattan program is not the same as the Bay Shore program. Although both programs lead to joint BS/MS degrees, the curricula are not identical. Additionally, the Manhattan program is a 32-month, non-traditional program in terms of the scheduling of classes. The Bay Shore program is a 24-month, traditionally-scheduled program.
14. How do I go about fulfilling the PA "shadowing" requirement?
The best way to fulfill the shadowing requirement is to find a hospital or other clinical setting that employs PAs and has a volunteer program, and sign up as a volunteer. While working as a volunteer, it is often possible to shadow a PA in the facility. Many private offices that employ PAs will also allow a student to shadow a PA for the required hours.
15. What constitutes direct patient contact health care experience?

Direct patient contact hours must involve interaction with patients and can be obtained in a number of ways. It may include either paid or volunteer positions. Some examples include, but are not limited to:

  • volunteer in an Emergency Department transporting patients, delivering meals and blankets to patients, etc.
  • Volunteer in a doctor’s office performing height and weight, vital signs, etc.
  • medical assistant or nurse’s aide
  • phlebotomist
  • Licensed Practical Nurse or Respiratory Therapist
  • EMT or Paramedic
16. Do you have advisors who can go over my transcript with me?
Yes. Please contact the Office of Admissions at 866 TOURO-4-U.
17. How competitive is admission to the program?
Admission to the program is extremely competitive; each entering class numbers approximately 50 students selected from approximately 1000 applicants. As such, the indicated admission standards are minimums, and the program typically admits students who exceed those minimums.
18. Do you recommend that the majority of direct patient care health care experience hours be completed before I submit my application?
Yes. The Personal Statement that is required with the application should be informed and enriched by your health care experiences.
19. Is there a minimum GPA required for admission?
Yes. The minimum science GPA and overall GPA are both 3.0.
20. What was the average GPA of your latest accepted class?
The average cumulative GPA of the Class of 2016 was 3.51; the average science GPA was 3.46.
21. What type of financial aid is available to help fund my education?
Students enrolled in the PA Program are eligible to apply for federal loan assistance, which is available in various forms. Specific information regarding federal loans can be obtained by contacting the Office of Financial Aid. Please be aware that the first two semesters of the program are considered undergraduate, and students can apply for undergraduate financial aid. The subsequent semesters of the program are considered graduate, which opens up a different avenue of financial aid opportunities.
22. What is the PA program’s current accreditation status?
Our current status is "Accreditation – Probation."
23. Does your status of Accreditation – Probation indicate you lost your accreditation?
No, the PA program is still an accredited program.
24. What is Accreditation – Probation?
To quote from the ARC-PA’s website, www.arc-pa.com/about/acc_types.html, "Accreditation-Probation is a temporary status of accreditation, limited to two years, granted when a program holding an accreditation status of accreditation-provisional or accreditation-continued does not meet the Standards and when the capability of the program to provide an acceptable educational experience for its students is threatened. Once placed on probation, a program that fails to comply with accreditation requirements in a timely manner, as specified by the ARC-PA, may be scheduled for a focused site visit and/or risk having its accreditation withdrawn." The Program has taken all the necessary steps to ensure that our students continue to have a quality and superior educational experience. The Program trusts that given the stellar educational experiences of our students, as evidenced by our program’s current 100% board passage rates (as of December 4, 2014), the probation will be lifted in short order.
25. When was your last ARC-PA validation visit?
Our most recent validation visit was in June 2014. The maximum amount of time between validation visits is 7 years and our last accreditation validation visit was in 2007. We have been an accredited program since 1999. Validation visits are conducted with programs with accreditation-continued status. These visits allow the ARC-PA to review the program’s compliance with the Standards. Our next scheduled validation visit is 2021.
26. When did you learn of your status change?
We received notification from the ARC-PA in November 2014 about our change in status.
27. When will you be reviewed again by the ARC-PA?
The maximum time of probation is two years. The PA program will be submitting additional reports for review at the ARC-PA’s March 2015 meeting and again at the September 2015 meeting to demonstrate our compliance with the Standards. The PA Program may have a focused visit before the September 2015 meeting.
28. Why where you placed on probation?
The program received four citations indicating we were not in compliance with four Standards (http://www.arc-pa.org/acc_standards/). The primary reasons for the probationary status revolve around administrative actions regarding increased class size (2 citations), our primary care medicine rotation (1citation) and the clarity of the student handbook (1 citation).
29. What is the program doing to address the citations?
The Program embraces process improvement and adherence to best practices. The Program has taken all the necessary steps to ensure that our students continue to have a quality and superior educational experience. Some improvements include an admission process that ensures that our class size stays consistent with ARC-PA requirements, expanding our clinical site placement by 20% in the past two years, and improving the clarity of our student handbook. We are confident that our corrective actions will be met with ARC-PA approval.
30. While on probation will students be eligible to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE)?
Yes. To be eligible for PANCE, a student must graduate from a Physician Assistant Program accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). PA program graduates will be deemed to have graduated from an accredited program if their PA educational program was accredited at the time of their matriculation. Our Program continues to be accredited by ARC-PA regardless of the temporary status change. For more information regarding PANCE eligibility please visit the NCCPA website at http://www.nccpa.net/Pance
31. Will the program’s accreditation status influence my graduation or job placement?
The program is still accredited. The Program believes that there will be no effect on a graduate’s licensure process or employment prospects. Our students report having no difficulty in job placement and no change is therefore expected. All of the issues that led to our status change have been addressed and we are confident our corrective actions regarding these matters will be adequate for reinstatement.