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Physician Assistant, Bachelor of Science

130 Credits
College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Queens Campus


Note: Applications are no longer being accepted for the B.S. Physician Assistant (PA) degree program. The first cohort in the M.S. Physician Assistant program will be accepted in 2018 to begin in the fall of 2019.

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.


The M.S. Physician Assistant Program

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree. For more information about admission to this and other St. John’s graduate programs, please visit the Office of Graduate Admission.

The PA program accepts a maximum of 75 students every year. Current undergraduate students eligible for progression into the third year are evaluated based on academic performance, an individual interview, communication skills, and the ability to fulfill the technical standards of the program. If a student is required to repeat a course, they lose their seat and must change their major.

Applicants applying to the PA Certificate program (2-year certificate program only) must possess a bachelor’s degree and may apply directly to the program. Application materials can be obtained by contacting:

Gertrude Simone
Physician Assistant Education Program
Dr. Andrew J. Bartilucci Center 
175-05 Horace Harding Expressway
Fresh Meadows, NY 11369
Phone: 718-990-8417
Fax: 718-357-4588
[email protected]

These applicants MUST complete ALL requirements, including bachelor’s degree at the time of application.  The minimum required pre-requisite courses include 16 credits in the following basic sciences taken within 5 years of entry into the PA program.  Courses include:

  • Microbiology with lab (1 semester)
  • Anatomy & Physiology with lab (2 semesters)
  • Chemistry with lab (1 semester)

In addition to the above, certificate applicants are encouraged to have a strong science background with completed recent coursework in pathology, biochemistry, pharmacology, ethics, and biostatistics.
What you Need to Know (Gainful Employment Disclosure)
For more information, please contact:
Gertrude Simone
Phone: 718-990-8417
[email protected]


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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