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Physician Assistant, Bachelor of Science

130 Credits
College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Queens Campus


Listed by Money Magazine as the "fifth best job in America," Physician Assistants are in high demand. These health professionals are licensed to practice medicine under the supervision of a licensed physician. Jobs for physician assistants are expected to soar by 50% over the next 10 years.

You can become part of this growing profession by earning your Bachelor of Science Degree in Physician Assistant at St. John's in New York. Offered by our College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, this rigorous course of study combines academics with clinical training at leading New York-area hospitals, medical centers and private medical practices.

The 130-credit program incorporates two essential components: the first year integrates medical, behavioral and social sciences to develop a comprehensive approach to patient care. The clinical experience of second-year matriculated students involves supervised, hands-on training by physicians and physician assistants at affiliated sites.

We invite you to learn more about the Physician Assistant Program at St. John's by exploring our program requirements, objectives, academic resources and faculty.

St. John’s PA Program History and Mission Statement

St. John’s University is Catholic, Vincentian and Metropolitan. It is committed to the pursuit of academic excellence, religious values, ethics, professionalism and human experience.

Challenged by the belief that health care is a basic human right and driven by a similar mission, St. John’s University PA Program developed an educational program that would reach those most in need—“the poor, alienated and the aged.”
Conscious that culturally responsive healthcare is necessary to practice in diverse neighborhoods we strive to provide exceptional educational opportunities to men and women of varied races and socioeconomic backgrounds, so that our institution might continue its tradition of working as a partner with members of the local community. In this way, we will empower professionals to return to their own neighborhoods to promote preventive medicine and deliver affordable, high quality primary care.
Committed to excellence in education, we will collaborate with institutions of higher learning. By combining institutional expertise, the clinical and academic arms of the health care profession might further unite to embrace and support those individuals seeking to become Physician Assistants.
Confident that we have the resources and the resolve, we seek to create an educational program where individuals might learn the art of healing and use their gifts to promote a vision of health care that encompasses not only the treatment of disease, but also the avoidance of illness through education and the promotion of healthy life styles.  Thus, St. John’s PA program will continue its tradition of developing caring and committed health care professionals dedicated to the alleviation of suffering in our midst.

Program Goals and Success

  • Train physician assistants who demonstrate basic competency in the field with the ability to apply this effectively and appropriately to patient care.
    • Demonstrated by meeting or exceeding the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination national average; the current 2014 PANCE first time taker board pass rate is 92%
  • Educate physician assistants who demonstrate knowledge of biomedical sciences.
    • Demonstrated by meeting or exceeding the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination national average
    • Demonstrated by 100% students receiving a 80% or higher on summative and formative evaluation of clinical research portfolios
    • Demonstrated by 100% students receiving a 80% or higher on clinical skills practical
  • Develop competence in oral and written communication skills.
    • Demonstrated by 100% of students receiving “good or outstanding” on the following Clinical Preceptor Evaluation categories
      • Elicits an accurate and complete patient history
      • Communicate ideas and information effectively
      • Delivers complete and organized oral case presentations
      • Utilizes and accurately maintains medical records
      • Exhibits self confidence
  • Illustrate and apply ethical principles of a health care practitioner.
    • Demonstrated by 100% of students receiving “good or outstanding” on the following Clinical Preceptor Evaluation categories
      • Maintains professional relations with staff
      • Recognizes own limitations
      • Acceptance of constructive criticism
      • Professional dress and appearance
      • Reliable and dependable
    • Demonstrated by 100% of students earning a minimum grade of 70% or better on a team-based ethics presentation and research paper

Vision Statement

The St. John’s University Physician Assistant program utilizes a student-centered approach to provide our learners with the necessary academic, clinical, professional and interpersonal skills to function competently, confidently, compassionately and efficiently as primary care practitioners. We aim is to sensitize students to the diversity of healthcare needs and the impact of socioeconomic factors on healthcare, to promote non-discrimination and inspire graduates to provide high quality, cost-effective, compassionate and accessible care to underserved patients in urban communities. Our graduates will excel in the competencies and values required for leadership and service in a rapidly evolving global community. The St. John’s PA program faculty educators serve as role models to the student and their interactions with students influence the direction and growth of our learners. Many faculty members have practiced in underserved areas of the city.

Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the St. John’s University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by St. John’s University. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards. Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2020. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and the ARC-PA policy.


Students Applying to the B.S. Physician Assistant degree

Applicants to this major must have completed one year of high school chemistry. For more information about admission to this and other acclaimed undergraduate programs at St. John's University, please visit Undergraduate Admission online or contact the Office of Admission directly:

Prospective St. John's students, please complete our undergraduate application.

Of the approximately 125 students enrolled in the Physician Assistant program as freshmen at St. John’s, a maximum of 75 students are able to progress into the third year of the program. Students eligible for progression are evaluated based on academic performance, an individual interview, communication skills, and the ability to fulfill the technical standards of the program.  Because of the highly competitive nature of this elite program, there are two deadlines for fall admission, which are:

  • Priority Application Deadline: December 1, 2016 (admission notification on or around Jan. 15, 2017)

  • Regular Admission Deadline: February 1, 2017 (admission notification on or around Mar. 1, 2017)

Lisa Sayo
Assistant Director

Contact Information
Dr. Andrew J. Bartilucci Center
Physician Assistant Education Program
175-05 Horace Harding Expressway
Fresh Meadows, NY 11369
Trudy Simone
Phone: 718-990-8417
Fax: 718-357-4588

Students Applying to the Physician Assistant Certificate Program

Students who possess a bachelor's degree may apply to the two-year certificate portion of the program. Prospective applicants should phone, or email Gertrude Simone for the program application materials. Applicants MUST complete ALL requirements, including bachelor degree at time of application submission.

Candidates also are encouraged to have a strong science background with completed coursework in pathology, biochemistry, pharmacology, ethics and biostatistics. Minimum requirements for all applicants include 16 credits in the basic sciences taken within five years of entry into this program. Courses include:

  • Microbiology with lab - one semester
  • Anatomy and Physiology with lab-two semesters
  • Chemistry with lab- one semester

Applicants who did not complete high school in the United States must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Scores required for passing are listed as follows:

  • 600 Paper-based
  • 250 Computer-based
  • 100 Internet-based

For further information on the Physician Assistant Certificate program and application process, please contact:

Gertrude Simone
College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Dr. Andrew J. Bartilucci Center

What you Need to Know (Gainful Employment Disclosures) 

Technical Standards

Minimum Technical Standards for Admission and Continuance
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) require that qualified individuals with a disability shall not, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or denied the benefits of services, programs, or activities or be subjected to discrimination. The term “qualified individual with a disability” refers to an individual, who with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies, or practices, the removal of architectural, communication or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or for participation in programs or activities. St. John's University complies with the Americans with Disability Act. St. John’s PA Education Program, its Admissions Committee and its Academic Standings and Promotions Committee will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities. In carrying out their functions, the program’s committees will be guided by the technical standards set forth in this proposal as standards necessary for admissions, continuance and successful completion of the program. This information is used in conjunction with policies and procedures as delineated in the Student Guidelines and the Clinical Guidelines.

Physician Assistant students are required to perform efficiently in a variety of learning and clinical settings and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. Candidates and students must be able to tolerate taxing workloads and must be able to adapt to changing environments. All candidates for the Physician Assistant Program must possess the intellectual ability to learn, integrate, analyze and synthesize data, often in the face of uncertainties which are inherent in clinical scenarios. In order to enable them to carry out all activities required in physician assistant education and to meet the demands of total patient care, candidates must possess capabilities and skills in five areas*.

  1. Observation - Candidates must have sufficient sensory capacity to observe in the lecture hall, the laboratory, the outpatient setting and at the patient’s bedside. Sensory skills adequate to perform a physical examination are required. These sensory skills must be adequate to elicit information through procedures regularly required in physical examination, such as general inspection, visual examination, and identification of specific findings.
  2. Communication - Candidates must be able to communicate effectively in both the academic and health care settings. Candidates must show evidence of effective written and verbal communication skills so as to effectively and efficiently communicate with patients and all members of the health care team. Candidates and students should be able to elicit information, examine patients, describe changes in mood, activity and posture, and perceive nonverbal communications.
  3. Motor - Candidates must have sufficient motor function to participate in basic diagnostic and therapeutic procedures (e.g. palpation, percussion, auscultation). A candidate should have motor function sufficient to execute movements required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. Such skills require coordination of gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and sensation. Physical stamina sufficient to complete the rigorous course of didactic and clinical study is required. Long periods of sitting, standing or moving are also required.
  4. Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative abilities - These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis and synthesis. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of physician assistants requires all of these intellectual abilities. The candidate should also be able to comprehend three dimensional relationships and the spatial relationships of structures. Candidates must be able to read and comprehend the medical literature. In order to complete the physician assistant program, students are required to demonstrate mastery of these skills and the ability to use them together in medical problem-solving and patient care.
  5. Behavioral and Social Attributes - Candidates and students must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, and the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients. The development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients and members of the health care team is essential. The ability to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in clinical practice, flexibility, compassion, integrity, motivation, interpersonal skills and concern for others are all required. Candidates and students must be able to tolerate physical and emotional stress and continue to function effectively.

*these activities may be performed by the student with reasonable accommodation


Career Outcomes

Drawing upon the outstanding academic resources of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at St. John's, the Bachelor of Science Degree Program in Physician Assistant prepares students for success in this growing field. By the time they graduate, students will achieve the following:

  • Mastery of the scientific and medical knowledge, as well as the rigorous clinical experience, needed for a career in clinical care.
  • Effective problem solving and critical reasoning skills in order to foster the development of positive attitudes, values and appropriate behavior.
  • Caring and competence needed to provide compassionate, effective health care to patients of all ages and ethnicities.
  • Knowledge of diagnosing illnesses and medications needed to treat those conditions. 

When they graduate, students in the program are awarded a professional certificate along with their Bachelor of Science degree. Students who already possess a bachelor's degree may enroll in the two-year Physician Assistant Certificate Program. (See our Admission section.)

Graduates are eligible to take the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistant (NCCPA)-administered Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) exam.

Global Approach to Education

Students also benefit from St. John's focus on an international academic experience. The University offers extensive study abroad courses during the academic year as well as the winter and summer semesters. Students can live and learn at St. John's Rome, Italy, campus and Paris, France, location.

Students take advantage of St. John’s location in dynamic New York City. Our faculty and Career Center have strong ties to employers and other professional and educational resources throughout the New York area. Students make New York their classroom through innovative courses like Discover New York.

Additional Information

Students in the Bachelor of Science Degree Program in Physician Assistant benefit from outstanding academic, technological and pre-professional resources.

St. Albert Hall features recently renovated, ultramodern science labs. In addition, Physician Assistant students gain hands-on experience at nearly 40 affiliated hospitals, clinics and private practices throughout metropolitan New York.

The Dr. Andrew J. Bartilucci Center is available to all students and faculty in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. More than 700 books are available on topics ranging from accreditation standards to world health, anatomy to pharmaceutics. Led by renowned experts, educational programs focus on contemporary healthcare issues. In addition, the Center provides outstanding placement opportunities, symposiums and seminars.

Students also gain an academic and professional edge by joining the Physician Assistant Association. One of more than 180 student clubs and organizations at St. John's, the group holds informational meetings on career-related issues such as interview preparation and job opportunities. Annual parties also are held allowing first- and second-year members to interact with faculty and students from hospitals where they complete their field experience. Above all, the Association offers guidance, support and essential information to majors.

Of course, Physician Assistant students also benefit from the outstanding resources all St. John's students enjoy. Campus facilities include high-tech classrooms, laboratories and our 1.7 million-volume Library. Our new D'Angelo Center is a five-story, 127,000-square-foot University and Student Center with classrooms, lecture halls, a Starbucks café and full-service food court.

Graduate Performance on Certification Exam

ClassClass Graduation YearNumber of First Time TakersFirst Time Taker Pass RateNational First Time Taker Pass Rate for the Class Graduation Year

Download the full report (PDF).

Program News

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