group of pharmacy students in lab

Physician Assistant, Master of Science

St. John’s University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences offers a graduate program leading to a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Physician Assistant. These health professionals are licensed to practice medicine under the supervision of a licensed physician. 

St. John’s University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences offers a graduate program leading to a Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant (MSPA). This program is a rigorous course of study, combining didactic and laboratory-based academic instruction with clinical training. The first two didactic years integrate medical, behavioral, and social sciences to develop a comprehensive approach to patient care. The third year of the program is dedicated to clinical training, providing supervised, hands-on training by physicians and physician assistants at leading New York-area hospitals, medical centers, and private medical practices.

Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to take the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistant (NCCPA)-administered Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) exam.

Graduates will achieve the following:

  • Mastery of scientific and medical knowledge, as well as a rigorous clinical experience needed for a career in clinical care.
  • Effective problem solving and critical reasoning skills 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. 

Listed by Money Magazine as one of the “top 10 jobs in America,” Physician Assistants (PA’s) are in high demand. These health professionals are licensed to practice medicine under the supervision of a licensed physician. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the PA profession is expected to experience a 37% job growth rate in the next ten years.

The Physician Assistant program within the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is committed to a student-centered, inclusive pedagogical model that supports student success, personal and professional development. Our graduates are equipped with the tools to become leaders in their respective fields who work effectively in interprofessional collaborative environments.

Apply Now Request Information Graduate Tuition
Degree Type
Area of Interest
Nursing, Health Sciences & Health Care
Associated Colleges or Schools
Program Location
  • Queens Campus
Required Credit Hours

Program's Mission

Integrating Vincentian Tradition & Values

The St. John’s University Physician Assistant program utilizes a student-centered approach to provide learners with the necessary academic, clinical, professional, and interpersonal skills to function competently, confidently, compassionately, and efficiently as health care practitioners. Students are sensitized 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.

Program’s History

St. John’s University is Catholic, Vincentian, Metropolitan and Global. 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 healthcare 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 lifestyles.  Thus, St. John’s PA program will continue its tradition of developing caring and committed healthcare professionals dedicated to the alleviation of suffering in our midst.

Program Admissions Requirements

The PA Program requires the following minimum requirements for eligibility for admissions:

  • Completed baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
  • Minimum overall GPA and cumulative math/science GPA of 3.0 (on a scale of 4.0)
  • Completion within 5 years of the following pre-requisites:
  • General Biology with lab (2 semesters or 8 credits)
  • General Chemistry with lab (2 semesters or 8 credits)
  • Microbiology (no lab required) (1 semester)
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology with lab (2 semesters)
  • Organic Chemistry with labs (2 semesters)-program will consider a Biochemistry with lab course as substitute for one Organic Chemistry course)
  • Behavioral Science courses (6 credits) (i.e., psychology, sociology)
  • Calculus (3 credits)- program will consider pre-calculus PLUS a statistics course
  • English composition course (1 semester)
  • TOEFL exam for those who attended college in a non-English-speaking country (min score 550-paper-based; 230-computer-based; or 88-internet-based)

To apply to St. John's University’s Physician Assistant program, you must fill out an application with CASPA (Central Application Service for Physician Assistant Programs). Click here to apply.

Applicants must submit the appropriate documentation to be considered for admission including: official transcripts, three letters of recommendation from professionals (academic or occupational – one must be from a healthcare professional) and a personal statement (500 word minimum) describing why the applicant wishes to become a physician assistant.

A personal interview is required but not guaranteed. No advanced standing or credit for experiential learning will be considered. Relevant healthcare experience is strongly recommended.

The PA program does not give preference to any major nor provide preference to or favor any specified individuals or groups.

Program Goals and Success

1.1 Demonstrate acquisition of a science and math knowledge based.

1.2 Demonstrate a core knowledge of biomedical and clinical sciences and the application of this knowledge to patient care and demonstrate an investigatory and analytical approach to clinical situation.

1.3 Explain the PA profession including history, definition, scope of practice, laws, and its place in the health care system.

1.4 Demonstrate patient care across the life span, to include an understanding of human anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, patient presentation, patient management, surgical principles, and health promotion and disease prevention and be able to explain the pathology of disease, the essential nature, the causes, and the development of abnormal conditions

2.1 Demonstrate a knowledge of professional responsibility

2.2 Explain the attributes of respect for self and others and the concepts of privilege, confidentiality, and informed patient consent

2.3 Demonstrate a commitment to patient welfare

2.4 Communicate and exchange information within a meaningful context and with appropriate delivery encompassing verbal, non-verbal and cohesive, written exchange of information, using appropriate medical terminology and anatomical landmarks in an organized, and grammatically

2.5 Demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in effective information exchange with patients, families, physicians, professional associates, and the health care system

3.1 Perform age-appropriate patient assessment, evaluation, and management

3.2 Demonstrate health care that is effective, patient centered, timely, efficient, and equitable for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of wellness

3.3 Demonstrate professionalism through a high level of responsibility, ethical practice, sensitivity to a diverse patient population, and adherence to legal and regulatory requirements

3.4 Demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively with other health care professionals and administrative personnel

Aggregate Data Goals 

Program Contact

Danielle Kruger MS Ed., PA-C

Director and Associate Professor, Physician Assistant Program


Physician Assistant Program Faculty

Program Required Curricular Components

To earn their Master of Science Degree in Physician Assistant, students complete 84 credits, including didactic and clinical requirements as outlined below.

Fall Semester

Course No.



PAS 102

Statistics for Medical Practice


PHM 104

Pharmacology for the Physician Assistant I


PHS 104

Advanced Anatomy & Physiology I


PAE 101

Intro to the PA Profession and Ethics


PAS 103

Clinical Epidemiology





Spring Semester

Course No.



PHS 107

Organ Pathophysiology


PHM 105

Pharmacology for the Physician Assistant II


PHS 105

Advanced Anatomy & Physiology II


PAE 102

Current Topics in PA Practice


PAS 284

Comparative Effectiveness of Medical Treatment, Health & Evidence Based Medicine





Fall Semester

Course No.



PAE 201

Clinical Medicine 1


PAE 202

Clinical Medicine 2


PAE 206

Comprehensive Health History & Physical Diagnosis


PAE 207

Medical Diagnostics





Spring Semester

Course No.



PAE 203

Clinical Medicine 3


PAE 204

Clinical Medicine 4


PAE 205

Clinical Medicine 5


PAE 208

Emergency Medicine





Summer Semester




PAE 301

Clinical Rotation – Internal Medicine


PAE 302

Clinical Rotation – Primary Care I


Total: 6 credits

Fall Semester




PAE 303

Clinical Rotation – Primary Care 2


PAE 304

Clinical Rotation – General Surgery


PAE 305

Clinical Rotation – Emergency Medicine


PAE 306

Clinical Rotation – Women’s Health


Total: 12 credits 




PAE 307

Clinical Rotation – Long Term Care/Geriatrics


PAE 308

Clinical Rotation – Orthopedics


PAE 309

Clinical Rotation – Pediatrics


PAE 3010

Clinical Rotation – Elective


Total: 12 credits


*PAE 311 Senior Competencies (0 credit) is a seminar and assessment course that runs throughout the clinical year.

*The sequence of rotations will vary based on availability. Each rotation consists of 5-weeks of clinical experience. See course descriptions for PAE 300 courses.

*A complete overview of this program and others can be obtained from the online bulletin.

Clinical Site Agreement Contact

St. John’s has established clinical site agreements that include a variety of practice settings, including medical centers, hospital systems, private practices, and many more. Sites are located throughout metropolitan New York and Long Island.

For more information on how to become an affiliate or preceptor of our MSPA program or to share job-related physician assistant opportunities for our graduates, please directly contact:


Clinical Coordinator and Associate Professor, Physician Assistant Program


Program Competencies for Physician Assistant Entry-Level Practice

The Competencies for the Physician Assistant (PA) Profession define the specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes that PAs in all clinical specialties and settings in the United States should be able to demonstrate throughout their careers. While some competencies are acquired during the PA education program, others are developed and mastered as PAs progress through their careers. The program’s competencies are adopted from the position paper “Competencies for the Physician Assistant Profession” approved by the four organizations for the PA profession: NCCPA, ARC-PA, PAEA, and AAPA and PAEA’s 2018 publication “Core Competencies for New Physician Assistant Graduates.”


Additional Information

In addition to academic achievements, exam results, and recommendations, physician assistant students must possess the physical, emotional, and behavioral capabilities requisite for the practice of medicine as a PA.

Physician Assistants must have the knowledge and skill to practice in a variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of care based on the patient’s needs. To successfully complete the PA clinical training program students must demonstrate proficiency in their academic and clinical education with regard to the technical standards:


PA students 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. This includes functional vision, hearing, smell, and tactile sensation.


Students must be able to:

  • communicate with patients and others in both academic and healthcare settings
  • display effective writing, reading and verbal skills
  • perceive and describe changes in mood, activity, and posture
  • interpret non-verbal communication signals


Students should have sufficient motor function to:

  • diagnose patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers
  • execute movements with reasonable dexterity in order to provide general care and emergency care to patients, including but not limited to:
    • cardiopulmonary resuscitation
    • administration of intravenous medication
    • application of pressure to stop hemorrhage
    • opening of obstructed airways
    • suturing of simple wounds
    • performance of simple obstetrical maneuvers
    • negotiate patient care environments and must be able to move between settings, such as clinic, classroom building, and hospital
    • maintain sufficient physical stamina to complete the rigorous course of didactic and clinical study. Long periods of sitting, standing, or moving are required in classroom, laboratory, and clinical settings.

Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities

Students must be able to:

  • measure, calculate, reason, analyze and synthesize problem-solving skills
  • interpret three dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of anatomy structures
  • critically read and interpret medical literature

In order to complete the Physician Assistant Program, candidates must be able to demonstrate mastery of these skills and the ability to use them together in a timely fashion in medical problem-solving and patient care.

Behavioral and Social Attributes

Student must:

  • possess the emotional health required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, and the completion of all academic and patient care responsibilities
  • develop mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients, faculty and other members of the healthcare team
  • function in the face of uncertainties inherent in clinical practice and adapt to changing environments

A student must demonstrate the above competencies with or without reasonable accommodation. Whether or not a requested accommodation is reasonable will be determined on an individual basis.

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. 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 date for the next validation review of the program by ARC-PA will be March 2023. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.



ClassClass Graduation YearNumber of First Time TakersFirst Time Taker Pass RateNational First Time Taker Pass Rate for the Class Graduation Year% of Candidates Who Ultimately Passed PANCE
2021202170 (last undergrad. Cohort)73%93%84%
20222022 (1st Masters Cohort) 64100%92%92%

Download the full report (PDF)

Graduated Classes

 Class of 2021 (UG)Class of 2022Class of 2023
Maximum entering class size (as approved by ARC-PA)   75  7575
Entering class size    75 + 3 (decelerated) 7575
Graduates  71 64  62
*Attrition rate   8%15%  19%
**Graduation rate92%85%83%

*Attrition rate calculation: Number of students who attritted from cohort divided by the entering class size.

**Graduation rate: Number of cohort graduates divided by the entering class size.

Students enrolled in the Master of Science Degree Program in Physician Assistant benefit from outstanding academic, technological, and 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 College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences students and faculty. 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 this is going to change as we transition to Master’s degree-this association is for the undergraduate program BUT we will likely continue its existence with the MSPA program but call it the SAAAPA (Student Association of the American Academy of Physician Assistants) so you can call it this here. One of more than 180 student clubs and organizations at St. John's, the group holds meetings on issues such as fundraising events, job opportunities, and service-learning events. Each class elects its SAAAPA class representatives.

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 a full-service food court.

Program policies (for students - see Didactic Guidelines and Clinical Year Guidelines) apply to all students, principal faculty, and the program director regardless of location. (Standard A3.02).

Students are not required to provide or solicit clinical sites or preceptors. (Standard A3.03).

Students are not permitted to work for the program (outside of peer tutoring/graduate assistantship through the College's Academic Success Center). (Standard A3.04).

Working while enrolled in the PA Program, even part-time, is strongly discouraged due to the challenging nature of the curriculum. 

Professional licensure and certification requirements often vary from state to state. St. John’s University has not determined requirements for individual states beyond New York. If you reside or plan to reside outside New York, you are strongly encouraged to contact the appropriate state licensing agency in that state to seek information and guidance before beginning the program.

St. John’s PA Program

Why St. John's

Faculty and Students around anatomage table

State-of-the-art technology

State-of-the-art technology incorporated into the curriculum, including a Simulation Lab, Anatomage (c)  Virtual Dissection Table for anatomy and other courses, and smart classrooms. 

St. Augustine Hall


One of the most culturally and religiously diverse universities in the nation. 

Pharmacists filling needle with vaccine from vile


Abundant outstanding clinical experiences throughout the NY metro and Long Island areas

Admission Contact

For admissions-related inquiries, please directly contact the Physician Assistant Admissions Chairperson

Corinne I Alois, MS, PA-C

Admissions Chairperson and Assistant Professor, Physician Assistant Program


Interested in Nursing, Health Sciences & Health Care, but not sure if Physician Assistant, Master of Science is right for you?

Explore opportunities at St. John's with our pathway generator.