School of Health and Medical Sciences

Physician Assistant Dual Degree Program

The Department of Biological Sciences and the School of Health and Medical Sciences (SHMS) offer a dual degree program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Science in Physician Assistant (B.S./M.S.P.A.). This six-year program offers high-performing students the opportunity to study in a traditional liberal arts environment as well as in diverse clinical settings. When students are accepted into the dual-degree track, the Bachelor of Science in Biology is awarded at the completion of four years of work, and the Master of Science in Physician Assistant is awarded at the completion of the sixth year of study.

Physician assistants (PAs) are healthcare professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. As part of their comprehensive responsibilities, PAs conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, assist in surgery, and prescribe treatments. Within the physician-PA relationship, physician assistants exercise autonomy in medical decision making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services. A PA's practice may also include education, research, and administrative services. Physician assistants are found in all areas of medicine. They practice in the areas of primary care medicine (family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology) as well as in surgery and the surgical subspecialties.

Admission Criteria

Students may request to be considered for the dual-degree track upon application to Seton Hall University. Students who meet the minimum admissions criteria, as outlined by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, will be admitted as Biology-PA majors.

Transfer Credit

Transfer students may also request to be considered for the dual-degree track. All such applications must demonstrate outstanding academic ability and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The following prerequisite courses must be taken at Seton Hall University even if previously taken elsewhere: Microbiology, and Anatomy & Physiology I and II. Students will only be accepted as transfers into the dual-degree program as freshmen or sophomores.

Undergraduate Academic Standards

Students in the Biology-PA major will complete a rigorous course of preparatory coursework as outlined in the catalogue. To remain eligible for consideration for the dual-degree track, students must maintain the required GPA and letter grade minimums. Students are also required to achieve a minimum of 100 hours of healthcare experience by the end of the fall semester of their junior year.

For students in the dual-degree track who enter Fall 2016 or later, each year the Department of Physician Assistant will reserve half of its seats for students from the Biology-PA major. Students who meet the required criteria will be considered for admission to these reserved seats. Students who are not accepted into the graduate professional phase of the dual-degree track may complete their biology degree and apply to PA programs in their senior year.

Progression into the Physician Assistant Program

Students who enter Fall 2016 or later must formally apply to the graduate professional phase of the physician assistant program at the end of their sophomore year. Note that admission is extremely selective. Students who are selected by the Department of Physician Assistant and who meet the other course requirements within the Department of Biological Sciences will enter the physician assistant program after their junior year. Students will be awarded a Bachelor of Science degree following the successful completion of the first year of the PA program.

Contact an Adviser:

Dr. Gerald Ruscingno
Program Director for Biology Dual-Degree Programs
College of Arts and Sciences
(973) 275-2015
Web: B.S. in Biology degree program

Undergraduate Admissions & Enrollment Services:

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