PA Program Admissions
Applying to the Physician Assistant Program at Albany Medical College
Thank you for your interest in the Physician Assistant (PA) Program at Albany Medical College. Our 28-month-long program leads to a Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies. The College has been educating physician assistants for nearly 50 years.
As an Albany Medical College graduate, you can expect to be employed as a physician assistant immediately upon completing certification and licensing. The profession is one of the fastest growing in the country and demand for our graduates far exceeds the supply. Program highlights include:
- Four didactic terms of Basic and Medical Sciences
- Three terms (12 months) of Clinical Rotations
- Experienced faculty
- 5-year average graduation rate of 99 percent
- Board passing rate for first-time PANCE takers 5-year average of 97 percent
- ARC-PA Accreditation
Who Should Apply?
Albany Medical College’s Center for Physician Assistant Studies matriculates 42 students out of roughly 3,000 CASPA applications every year in January. Candidates should have:
- A baccalaureate degree from a U.S. regionally accredited institution
- All prerequisite courses from a U.S. regionally accredited institution
- At least, 1,000 direct patient care hours
- U.S. citizenship or valid permanent resident card
We do not have any GPA minimums, but holistic reviews and interviews are generally offered to applicants with a similar profile to our accepted students (based on the Class of 2025):
- Overall GPA: 3.76
- Chemistry GPA: 3.58
- Science GPA: 3.69
- PCE Hours: 2,384 hours at the time of application
Please see the PA Program Eligibility section for specific information
Our Commitment to Diversity
We are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We strive to have a class that represents diversity in its many dimensions.
PA Program admissions are conducted on a rolling admissions basis between May 1 and Oct. 1 with classes beginning in January.
Admissions to the PA Program are highly competitive and it is recommended that you complete your application as early as possible.
Albany Medical College uses Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA), a service of the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA). You must submit and CASPA must verify your application before Oct. 1. We strongly recommend that all application components be submitted no later than Sept. 1 to allow CASPA's verification process to be completed by Oct. 1. You cannot change the application once it is submitted. If you need to submit a correction or alteration, please reach out to us at [email protected].
Official school transcripts from all postsecondary institutions you attended need to be sent to CASPA for verification. We prefer all transcripts be completed prior to submission but we will accept pending courses and degrees. All prerequisite courses and degrees must be completed prior to Oct. 1.
B. Prerequisite Courses
All prerequisite courses should be identified in the Prerequisite Course Section on CASPA. We accept any class or lab taken online or in person at any regionally accredited institution. We prefer all prerequisite courses and degrees be completed prior to application, but all pending courses and degrees must be completed prior to Oct. 1. Please see the PA Program Eligibility section for specific information about these courses.
C. Patient Care Experience (PCE)
All experiences you want to be counted toward your PCE should be listed in the patient care experience section on CASPA. We prefer PCE hours to be completed prior to application but if you have hours pending, we will extrapolate your hours until Oct. 1 based on your current job(s) listed in CASPA. Please see the PA Program Eligibility section for specific information about these patient care experiences.
D. Letters of Recommendation
We require three verified recommendations. We do not require specific references, but we recommend an academic reference, a work reference, and one reference that speaks best to you as a candidate.
E. Standardized Testing
Albany Medical College does not require any standardized testing.
We do not require any shadowing, but we recommend that all applicants shadow a PA to become familiar with the profession. Shadowing hours will not be counted toward PCE hours.
If English is not your first language AND you have not received a four-year degree in the U.S., you must submit official scores to CASPA from the computer-based TOEFL examination with a score of 100 or better prior to Oct. 1. No other course, test, or evaluation is acceptable for English proficiency.
All applicants to the PA Program at Albany Medical College must complete a secondary application. This application costs $60 and is non-refundable. You must submit your application before Oct. 1. We strongly recommend that all application components be submitted no later than Sept. 1.
No references, test scores, or other official documents need to be uploaded to the Albany Medical College application.
You cannot change the application once it is submitted, if you need to submit a correction or alteration, please reach out to our program directly at [email protected].
Supplemental applications must include the following items to be eligible for consideration:
- All academic degrees (completed and pending)
- Any institution that awarded a degree should be recorded. You do not need to record institutions where you took individual courses and you do not need to upload transcripts. Detailed academic history must be on CASPA.
- Three short essays are required, they will be used in the admissions review process, but we do not provide essay information in advance
- A photo should be uploaded to the supplemental application. This photo will be used to identify your application during interviews
Step 1: Eligibility and Prescreening
When all components have been received and applications are complete, applicants are initially screened for eligibility and and placed into one of two categories:
- Top-tier candidates
Step 2: Holistic Review
Top-tier candidates are holistically reviewed by two faculty members and placed into one of two categories:
- Recommended for Admissions Committee review
Step 3: Admissions Committee Review
Application Committee candidates are reviewed by the committee and placed into one of two categories:
- Recommended for interview
Step 4: Interview
Interview candidates are interviewed by two faculty members and reviewed by Admissions Committee a second time and placed into one of two categories:
- Recommended to Graduate Studies Operating Committee for review
Step 5: Graduate Studies Operating Committee (GSOC)
Interviewed candidates are reviewed by the committee and: placed into one of three categories:
- Accepted to class*
*In a rolling admissions system, the first 42 candidates to make Step 5 will be offered a seat, after which all other qualified applicants will be reviewed for a waitlist seat. Since our seats are generally filled by early summer, waitlist candidates frequently receive seat offers later in the season.
PA Program Eligibility
Before you enroll in the PA Program, you will need to fulfill specific requirements, including a baccalaureate degree, prerequisite courses, recency and patient care experience (PCE).
All PA Program applicants must earn a baccalaureate degree from a U.S. regionally accredited institution. We accept baccalaureate degrees from any area of study but recommend a science-heavy curriculum. While we do not have mandatory minimum GPA requirements, all applications will be prescreened to identify the strongest candidates for holistic review. You can apply with a baccalaureate degree pending but it must be completed prior to Oct. 1.
We do not accept anyone with a medical degree from a foreign university even if you have another degree from the U.S.
In addition to your baccalaureate degree, the following courses (completed and pending) must appear on an official transcript submitted to CASPA. The classes must be from a regionally accredited U.S. institution and have a course grade of C or better. Pass/fail grades for prerequisite courses are only accepted from the 2020 calendar year.
We prefer you apply with all prerequisite courses completed, but any pending courses must be completed before Oct. 1.
|Chemistry||Two semesters or two-quarters of General Chemistry with corresponding labs. This may be fulfilled with any entry-level Chemistry courses with labs.|
|Advanced Chemistry||One semester or one quarter of Organic Chemistry or Biochemistry. Lab is NOT required.|
|Biology||Two semesters or 2 quarters of General Biology with corresponding labs. This may be fulfilled with any entry-level Biology courses with labs.|
|Anatomy & Physiology||Two semesters or 2 quarters of Anatomy and Physiology (A&P) with corresponding labs. This may be fulfilled with either a combination series of A&P with labs or separate terms of Anatomy with corresponding lab and Physiology with corresponding lab. Human anatomy and physiology are recommended but not required.|
|Microbiology||One semester or one quarter of a Microbiology or Bacteriology course with a corresponding lab.|
|Statistics||One semester or one quarter of any Statistics course. (Calculus, Algebra, or Physics are NOT acceptable replacements.)|
|Psychology||One semester or one quarter of any Psychology course.|
|English Composition||One semester or one quarter of any writing intensive course.|
Most prerequisite courses do not have an expiration date. However, you must have one Chemistry lecture and one Biology lecture within the last five years. This does not need to be a General Biology or Chemistry. It can be any Chemistry and any Biology lecture taken in the last five years. (i.e., if you took Microbiology last year then you have met our Biology recency requirement.)
AP and CLEP Credit
We accept AP credits for corresponding prerequisites only, provided they are individualized courses on a college transcript. CLEP courses are also accepted.
We are now accepting all courses, both in-person and online courses and labs. Although, we prefer in-person labs if available.
Health care experience is evaluated on education required, training, and direct contact with patients, and level of responsibility. Experience must be in a licensed health care setting and can be paid or volunteer. We do not accept health care experience outside the U.S. unless it can be verified by a supervisor.
Please evaluate your PCE and see if it contains some or all of the following skills:
- Take patient’s blood pressure and vitals
- Obtain chief complaint and medical history
- Prepare a patient for surgery
- Draw blood or other diagnostic tests
- Perform basic lifesaving skills
We prefer PCE hours to be complete at the time of submission, but we will accept pending PCE. If you are currently working, we will review your application based on the predicted hours at your current job(s) and hours listed in CASPA. Your hours must be complete by our deadline of October.
Direct patient health care experience can include but is not limited to:
- Physical Therapist
- Respiratory Therapist
- Physical Therapist Aide
- Patient Care Associate/Technician
- Occupational Therapist
- Home Health Aide
- Nurses Aide
- Medical Assistant
- Mental Health Aide
- ED Volunteer
- LPN or RN
- Athletic Trainer
- Radiological Technician
- Pharmacy Technician
Ineligible Direct Patient Care Experience:
- Any experiences obtained as part of your schooling or training (i.e. rotations, clinical, or hours in training) do not qualify for PCE
- The PA program values and strongly encourages but does not require PA shadowing experience. However, shadowing does not fulfill the direct patient care requirement.
- Experiences outside of a licensed health care facility (i.e caring for a sick relative)
- Experiences that do not involve the direct care of a patient (i.e. medical records, medical reception, medical engineering)
Information for Transfer Applicants
Our PA Program does not offer transfer credit for study at other institutions. All students must complete all required master’s level Physician Assistant courses at Albany Medical College.
Information About the Alternate Admissions Program
Albany Medical College’s Alternate Admissions Program is designed for those students who are highly motivated and academically excellent. We work with a few local colleges to capture students in either their high school or college junior academic years. These students are committed to the Physician Assistant field of study and have excellent academics (maintaining at least a 3.2 GPA each semester).
We do not have a defined number of seats each year. We have approximately two to five students each year.
High school seniors are accepted into both undergraduate and master’s programs at the beginning of their academic careers.
- Students begin at one of these illustrious institutions to earn their undergraduate degree in an accelerated 3.5-year program.
- Then, they move over to Albany Medical College to finish their Master’s Degree in Science for another 28 months.
- These students must maintain a 3.2 GPA each semester and complete all prerequisite courses with a C or better and acquire 1,000 hours of patient care experience (PCE) during their undergraduate studies.
All questions and applications are facilitated through the prehealth advisors at the undergraduate level. Please use the links below to connect with your school of choice:
Second-semester college juniors, or students three semesters away from graduation, are accepted into Albany Medical College before they complete their undergraduate degree.
- After graduation, they then join Albany Medical College in January to receive their Master of Science degree in 28 months.
- These students must have maintained a 3.2 GPA each semester, started in one of the schools below as a freshman, and complete required courses with a C or better.
- They must also acquire 1,000 hours of patient care experience (PCE) prior to matriculation at Albany Medical College.
All questions and recommendations for application are facilitated through the prehealth advisors at the undergraduate level. Please use the links below to connect with your school of choice:
Feel free to reach out with questions:
Center for Physician Assistant Studies
Albany Medical College
47 New Scotland Ave., MC-4
Albany, NY 12208-3412