Some students pursuing a career as a physician assistant have successfully balanced the demands of being a student athlete; however, it realistically poses a significant time management challenge for most after the sophomore year. Historically, many student athletes at Daemen University have not continued to participate once accepted to the PA Program in year three of the five-year BS/MS degree because of the academic rigor and extraordinarily high demands of the curriculum at the 500 and 600 level. The option to extend the BS/MS degree from a 2+3 (i.e 5 years) to a 3+3 (i.e. 6 years) curriculum design can be discussed with your academic advisor, coach, and the athletic director, if desired.
If continued participation as a student athlete is desired at the 500 and 600 level, please consult with your faculty advisor and coach about scheduling issues. The PA Program schedule and that of our clinical affiliates is always primary. Routine scheduling conflicts (i.e. regular season) will not be considered an appropriate rationale for "excused absences" from lectures, examinations, laboratories, fieldwork assignments, call-back events or supervised clinical practice experiences. The importance of attending scheduled PA Program activities must be emphasized and is expected of all students, including student athletes.
A new class of 65 students begins each September (usually the day after Labor Day).
The Daemen University Physician Assistant Program, accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, is three years (33 months) in length. This includes six academic semesters and one full summer.
For students admitted as freshmen to the University with a reserved seat in the three year PA Program, it will take four additional semesters, at a minimum, to complete all prerequisites before beginning PAS courses. Therefore, the combined BS in Natural Science-Health Science and MS in Physician Assistant Studies will require at least five years. Some students elect to complete the prerequisites in three years. A freshmen with advanced academic standing from AP courses and college credits earned in high school will not be admitted to the PA Program early.
Co-requisite course requirements preclude part-time study at the 500 and 600 level.
The University has one PA Program, but offers two degree tracks: BS/MS and MS. The combined class size is 65 students.
The University first offers reserved seats in the PA Program to students accepted as freshmen. These students must complete four semesters of prerequisite coursework and meet academic eligibility standards before advancing to the PA Program. Seats in the PA Program left unfilled are then offered to graduate students. We estimate that approximately 15-25 seats will be available each year.
We have had as many as 250 freshmen and 2000 graduate applications. Most successful applicants had credentials far in excess of the minimum requirements.
Due to the limited number of seats available for graduate students, the Admissions Committee generally only offers 50 to 60 interviews to the most qualified applicants based on a comprehensive review of the file. However, all Daemen University Alumni who meet minimum academic and grade criteria will be granted an interview.
For the three-year MS Degree:
- Baccalaureate Degree (any discipline)from an accredited US college or university
- Three letters of recommendation
- Overall GPA of 3.0 or better (average of accepted students generally > 3.5)
- Overall Science GPA of 3.0 or better
- No more than two grades below C in any college level course
- 8 credits of Biology with lab (e.g., Zoology, Botany, General Biology I and II, A & P I and II)
- 8 credits of General Chemistry
- 3 credits of Calculus
- 9 credits of Psychology and/or Sociology
- GPA of 3.0 or better (average of accepted students generally >3.4) in the following four courses:
- 4 credits of Anatomy including lab, 300 level
- 4 credits of Physiology including lab, 300 level
- 4 credits of Microbiology including lab, 300 level
- 4 credits of Organic Chemistry or Biochemistry including lab, 300 level
- It is preferred that the above mentioned courses be taken within a full time semester. Virtual labs are not acceptable.
COVID-19 policy changes for courses taken from spring of 2020 through summer of 2021:
Online course policy - Courses taken online from spring of 2020 through summer of 2021 will be accepted.
Pass/fail policy - Pass/fail and satisfactory/unsatisfactory grades are strongly discouraged for the courses of anatomy, physiology, organic chemistry and microbiology. If letter grades are available, do not elect to receive P/F or U/S grades on your transcript. If your institution completely eliminated the option of letter grades in spring 2020 or summer 2020, then we will require either a grade recovery or documentation from the instructor that includes the actual numerical performance in the course. This documentation will need to be emailed directly from the institution to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed on the institution's letterhead to Daemen University Attention: Vincenette San Lorenzo. Please note that we will pay close attention to your COVID-19 statement included on your CASPA application and ask that you share extraordinary or extenuating circumstances that directly or indirectly impacted your course of study.
- 120 hours of direct patient contact experience (see definition)
- We do not require the GRE
- Additional considerations include:
- The number of repeats on transcripts
- The number of withdraws on transcripts
- The degree of responsibility provided during patient contact experience
- Quality of writing on essay component
- To address the workforce needs in the WNY and Rochester area, in some cases candidates who currently reside, have previously resided or attend college in the area will be given preference.
- It is recommended that applicants complete at least 8 credits of 300 level or higher science coursework within 12 months of entering the physician assistant program. All courses used to calculate the GPA of the aforementioned classes (Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, Organic or Biochemistry) must have been completed within the past 5 years
- Applicants whose first language is not English, must demonstrate their proficiency in the English language by taking the TOEFL iBT® test. The test scores must be submitted directly to CASPA and the full report must be received by the Daemen PA department by January 1. The minimum requirements as stated below are specific to the Physician Assistant Department and does not represent the requirements of the Institution.
- Minimum total test score of 100.
Reading Section, minimum score of 24
Listening Section, minimum score of 26
Speaking Section, minimum score of 26
Writing Section, minimum score of 24
- We do NOT utilize a rolling admission. All applicants who have been verified in CASPA by January 15th will be considered.
- If you have applied through CASPA and meet all of the minimum requirements, you may be asked to complete a supplemental application. We will contact you directly by email if this is required.
- Minimum total test score of 100.
Demonstration of proficiency in Medical Terminology. The Daemen PA Program medical terminology examination must be passed by August 1st prior to starting PAS courses in the fall. Accepted candidates will be offered multiple examination dates in late spring/summer and will have 2 attempts to pass the exam. Students will be provided with textbook information. Failure to pass the medical terminology examination results in disqualification from the program
The comprehensive evaluation of freshmen applicants includes, but is not limited to, Grade Point Average (GPA), standardized test scores (SAT/ACT), rank in class, New York State Regents Examination Scores or equivalent, letters of recommendation, personal essay, and review of high school transcripts. It is expected that all successful freshmen applicants will have a record of academic performance that clearly demonstrates strong math and science preparation. Most successful applicants have:
- SAT score >1170
- GPA > 94% (minimum 90%)
It is preferred that students will have embarked on a challenging high school curriculum that included Advanced Placement (AP), Honors, and/or college credit coursework. However, All required BIO, CHE, and BCH courses must be taken at Daemen University and may not be transferred or substituted.
Upon acceptance to the University, students must complete the following prerequisites and meet published academic requirements to be eligible to matriculate in the Physician Assistant Program. A student is immediately disqualified from the PA Program if he or she fails to meet the academic requirements.
- Pass all seventy-one (71) credits of prerequisite and liberal arts core curriculum courses with a grade of "C" or better and a grade point average of 3.00. A total of two course repeats allowed. See program plan for list of required and elective courses. Once enrolled at Daemen University, all math and science prerequisite courses must be completed at Daemen University.
- The calculated grade point average (GPA) for the following five 300-level courses (19 credits) must be 3.00 or higher (B):
- BCH 317/17L – BioOrganic Chemistry
- BIO 315/ 315L – General Microbiology
- BIO 330/330L – General Anatomy
- BIO 340/340L – General Physiology
- CMP 315 – Advanced Composition for Health Professionals
All 300-level courses used to calculate the GPA must be completed at Daemen University and may not be transferred or substituted. A student may, if necessary, repeat no more than one of these courses to achieve the grade point average of 3.00. Course withdrawals from the 300-level courses are not permitted and if approved under extenuating, non-academic circumstances by the Program Director, will be counted as a repeat. A student is immediately disqualified from the PA Program if the GPA requirement is not met. If a course must be repeated, a student may need to decelerate and enter the following class.
Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate their proficiency in the English language by taking the TOEFL iBT® test. The test scores must be submitted directly to the admission department at Daemen University and the full report must be received by November 30th. The minimum requirements as stated below are specific to the Physician Assistant Department and does not represent the requirements of the Institution.
- Minimum total test score of 100.
- Reading Section, minimum score of 24
- Listening Section, minimum score of 26
- Speaking Section, minimum score of 26
- Writing Section, minimum score of 24
The Admissions Committee prefers (and recommends) that all course requirements be completed at the time of graduate application. However, the University may consider applications with one outstanding course in progress. All 120 hours of patient contact must be completed at the time of application. Most successful applicants possess contact hours far in excess of the minimum.
Students accepted as first year students (i.e. freshmen) at Daemen University and granted a reserved seat in the PA Program must complete all prerequisites before matriculation. It is recommended that all prerequisites be completed at least three months before the anticipated start date in September.
The PA Program's definition of “direct patient contact” is fairly straightforward. It can be either paid or volunteer work, including shadowing, in which you were exposed to patients in one way or another. The goal of this prerequisite is to be assured that you have been exposed to both the good and the bad aspects of healthcare, and the PA profession remains something you choose to pursue. Direct patient care with advanced levels of responsibility are encouraged, recommended, and highly valued by the Admissions Committee.
The Physician Assistant Department at Daemen University participates in an online application service called CASPA (Central Application Service for Physician Assistants). You will visit the CASPA website and begin an application electronically. All extraneous materials, i.e. reference letters, transcripts, will be sent directly to CASPA.
CASPA acts almost as a collection agency; once CASPA has received your complete online application, your three letters of reference, and all of your official transcripts, they will then forward an application packet on to each school that you have designated as a recipient.
Please note that the CASPA application process is a lengthy one, and that an application will not be considered complete until all necessary materials are received by CASPA. Once an application is complete, it takes CASPA four to six weeks to process the application and send it to the designated schools. We highly recommend that you submit your application to CASPA by December 1st due to their high volume of applications and necessary processing time.
Applicants must have a verified date on or before January 15. A verified date is given when an application is e-submitted and all transcripts, payments, and at least two letters of reference have been received by CASPA and attached to the application. Documents should be sent several weeks prior to this date to ensure items arrive on time.
First year students interested in the BS in Health Sciences and MS in Physician Assistant Studies must apply directly to the Admissions Office of the University. The PA Program does not accept transfer applications. Transfer applicants are encouraged to complete a BS or BA degree and then apply to the MS program.
Once CASPA or the Admissions Office has processed your application, it will be reviewed and considered for an interview. You should receive contact within a few weeks of receiving your application, simply to let you know that your application was in fact received, and what stage of the process it is in. If you have satisfied all the necessary prerequisites, you will be placed in a pool of applicants to be considered for an interview. The PA Department traditionally conducts two sets of interviews. First year (i.e. freshmen) student applicants to the BS/MS program are interviewed between October and January. Applicants to the MS program are interviewed in the Spring.
Once you have completed an interview, the timeframe for an admission decision varies greatly. Most successful applicants will be notified within two weeks. However, for applicants placed on the waiting list, a decision may come as late as August.
Daemen University utilizes both core faculty and highly qualified clinicians (MD, DO, PA) from the local medical community to provide a rewarding, yet extremely rigorous PA education. Due to this fact, PA students do not follow a traditional 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. schedule. More often than not, the classes that the core faculty teach will be in the mornings and afternoons. Local clinicians offer courses in the afternoon and early evening. Schedules vary day to day, week to week, and semester to semester. However, the curriculum is highly synchronized and coordinated. For example, as students learn about myocardial infarctions in clinical medicine, they are introduced to echocardiograms, EKG's, cardiac pharmacology, and smoking cessation in other courses.
Yes, the policy is as follows:
- Students dress and appearance should be compatible with that of a healthcare professional.
- Dress should be at minimum: Business Casual or Black Daemen Scrubs
- Business Casual for Males:
- Business slacks/khakis, collared dress shirt, collared polo shirt or sweater. Dress shoes (No sneakers except for in a lab)
- Business Casual for Females: Dress slacks/khakis/capris, dresses or dress skirts, dress blouses/tops/sweaters. Dress Shoes with heels 3" or less, dress boots or dress sandals. Dress or skirt length should be of modest length. (No sneakers except for in a lab)
- Lab Days: Scrubs and the short (‘intern” style) Daemen PA Student white coat may be worn in place of Business Casual attire. Sneakers may only be worn when wearing scrubs in labs. (Labs-Anatomy, PDI, PDII, Ortho, GU,GYN, Suture, Casting, Trocaire and Procedures)
- Unacceptable Dress includes:
- Jeans, pajama bottoms, shorts, sweatpants, yoga pants, sweatshirts, hoodies, tank tops, halter tops, or any clothing that exposes torso, back, cleavage or undergarments. No flip-flops.
- No hats or head covering except for religious purposes.
- Body Piercing: Body piercing should be covered to the extent possible with safety in mind.
- Tattoos: Tattoos should be covered to the extent possible. Tattoos that are visible must not contain messages, pictures or symbols that are inappropriate in the workplace or offensive to patients.
- Hair: Should be neat and trimmed including beards.
- Good personal hygiene at all times.
- Perfume, cologne and aftershave should be kept to a minimum.
Some students attempt to work part-time while enrolled in the program. Full-time employment is an unreasonable expectation. In fact, 95% of current PA students report working 10 hours or less per week with the majority of students not working at all.
Any employment during the first semester of the program and during the clinical phase is very problematic. If employment is essential, please consult with your faculty advisor about scheduling issues. The PA Department Chair must be informed in writing of the work schedule each semester.
Employment is not considered an appropriate rationale for "excused absences". The PA Program schedule and that of our clinical affiliates is always primary. A student may be removed from a supervised clinical practice experience, at the discretion of the Program Director, if patient safety or clinical performance is being jeopardized because a student is sleep-deprived or unable to prepare (e.g. read) for the day's cases.
The PA Department has many affiliations with clinicians and facilities in Western New York (i.e. greater Buffalo), as well as surrounding areas. If you have a specific request, or know of a specific clinician you would like to work with, the department will do its best to facilitate that request. Please keep in mind that the scheduling does lie in the hands of the PA Department, and without adequate information or notice from a requested site, the Department will place you in an experience that best suits your situation. The majority of sites will be in Western New York with established clinicians and facilities. Travel to rural areas of New York that provide excellent clinical opportunities (and student housing) should be expected. The student is responsible for the cost of travel.
All PAS courses must be taken at Daemen University with the following exception: advanced standing for PAS329 Statistics for Evidence Based Practice will be granted only for graduates of Daemen University who took the equivalent course (e.g. NSC 310 or HSC 329) at Daemen University as a required element of their degree program.
Before starting the 3rd year in the BS/MS track, students are required to submit documentation of 120 patient contact hours. The student must provide acceptable documentation of completion of at least 120 hours in a medical setting. The experience(s) must consist of primarily direct patient contact. Therefore, secretarial and food service positions are not acceptable. The 120 hours will be acquired starting in July after acceptance and are due June 1 prior to starting fall PAS classes. Hours acquired during high school will not be accepted. Documentation of patient contact hours, including dates, will be submitted on letterhead or via email directly from the supervisor. A description of the experience from the supervisor as well as the hours completed is required and will be reviewed by the PA program. Shadowing is acceptable but work in a healthcare field is preferred. The student is responsible for identifying and arranging the experience(s).
The Daemen PA Program medical terminology examination must be passed by August 1st prior to starting PAS courses in the fall. BS/MS and MS students will be offered multiple examination dates in late spring/summer and will have 2 attempts to pass the exam. Students will be provided with textbook information. Failure to pass the medical terminology examination results in disqualification from the program.
Students applying for the MS track who have graduated from Daemen University with a 4 year degree will be guaranteed an interview if they meet the minimum requirements. This does not guarantee admission.
BS/MS and MS students who are verified as having lived in a Health Professional Shortage Area in Primary Care or in a Medically Underserved Area through the age of 18 will be awarded preference.
BS/MS students who have demonstrated perseverance and/or hardship will be awarded preference.
All Daemen University students will complete clinical clerkships in family medicine, internal medicine, emergency medicine, women's health, mental health, surgery and pediatrics. The remaining months will be electives. Each student will meet with the Clinical Coordinator prior to the clinical year to discuss interests. Students may make requests, only in writing, to the Clinical Coordinator for new clinical education sites. These requests should be made prior to the beginning of the clinical year. For a new clinical education site, students must provide contact information on the program’s approved form. These requests do not guarantee approval or assignment. The Clinical Coordinator must first confirm that the preceptor or clinical site can meet the program’s objectives for clinical education, is willing and able to sign our affiliation agreement, is licensed and certified, and is an appropriate learning environment for the specific student.
Daemen University Physician Assistant Program Policies and Procedures for the Clinical Year
- Students are financially responsible for the travel to and from clinical sites, purchase of books, lab coats, scrubs, and other materials essential to supervised clinical practice experiences.
- Students must have reliable transportation available, at all times, during supervised clinical practice experiences. While most Clinical Education Sites are located in Erie County, placements may be made throughout New York and nearby states. Travel, between offices and hospitals, throughout the working day is frequent. Lack of access to reliable transportation may delay graduation/program completion.
- Students must have reliable cellular service available, at all times, during supervised clinical practice experiences and respond promptly to any messages from the PA Program’s faculty, administrators, and staff.
- Students must check their daemen.edu email every day during supervised clinical practice experiences and respond promptly to messages from the PA Program’s faculty, administrators, and staff.
- Clinical placement decisions rest solely with the Clinical Coordinator.
- Failure to accept placements will likely result in delayed program completion or dismissal.
- Students must be available to participate in supervised clinical practice experiences that occur outside the typical business day (e.g. overnight, early morning) and on weekends.
- Students must meet the scheduling expectations of the clinical site or preceptor. A work schedule may not be used as justification for missing any clinical experiences offered by the preceptor or clinical site (including on-call responsibilities and lectures). Employment will not be considered an acceptable reason for “excused absences”. The PA Program schedule and that of our clinical affiliates is always primary. A student may be removed from any clinical assignment, at the discretion of the Program Director, if patient safety or clinical performance is being jeopardized because a student is sleep-deprived or unable to prepare (e.g. read) for the day's cases.
- Students must maintain professional liability insurance. A lab fee, collected by the University, is applied toward the premium for the liability insurance. Students failing to maintain registration (e.g. pay your tuition) will be immediately removed from clinical clerkships.
- Students must abide by the clinical site’s (preceptor, facility, hospital) rules and regulations (e.g. infection control, personal appearance) that may exceed the University Policy.
- Clinical sites and preceptors may require a criminal background check.
- A criminal history may preclude completing components of the curriculum and must be fully disclosed to the Program Director. Failure to disclose is considered academic dishonesty. Additionally, a criminal history may preclude future licensing and credentialing.
- Clinical sites and preceptors reserve the right to cancel any assignment, at any time, without notice and without cause.
- Clinical sites and preceptors reserve the right to dismiss, at any time, any student whose medical knowledge, performance, attitude, unprofessional attire, or conduct has the potential to jeopardize relationships, reputations, or the well-being of patients/clients/employees. This dismissal will, in most cases, result in a failing grade for that assignment. Authorized withdrawals are not available in these situations.
- Students must possess a valid BLS and ACLS card prior to beginning the clinical year. This BLS card must be kept valid throughout the clinical year. It is the responsibility of the student to obtain and maintain BLS certification.
- Students must maintain some form of accident and sickness (health) insurance while assigned to supervised clinical practice experiences during the clinical year. If the policy shall lapse, for any reason, the program must be notified immediately and the student must be removed from all assigned experiences. The risk for exposure to infectious agents and potential injury necessitates this provision. Failure to maintain health insurance coverage may result in considerable financial risk and delays in program completion. All costs associated with health insurance and care for exposure to infectious agents (e.g. needle sticks), including testing, evaluation, and treatment, are solely the student's responsibility. The University, PA Program, Preceptors, and Clinical Sites are not responsible for copayments, deductibles, coinsurances, or other uncompensated healthcare costs.
- Students who are non-compliant with the PA Program’s health policies (e.g. PPD, health clearance, required vaccinations, health screenings) may have clinical assignments canceled by the Clinical Coordinator resulting in delayed graduation or program completion.
- Students may make requests, only in writing, to the Clinical Coordinator for new clinical education sites. These requests should be made prior to the beginning of the clinical year. For a new clinical education site, students must fill out all of the information on the approved form. Timely requests do not guarantee approval or assignment. The Clinical Coordinator must confirm that the preceptor or clinical site can meet the program’s objectives for clinical education, is willing and able to sign our affiliation agreement, and is an appropriate learning environment for the specific student.
- Students are not permitted to contact, cold solicit, or call clinical sites or preceptors. The use of surrogates (e.g. parents or friends) in place of the student will be considered as if the student made the contacts themselves.
- Students are not permitted to initiate contact (e.g. phone calls, texts, letters, and hallway conversations) with any established adjunct instructor, clinical site or preceptor to request future clinical assignments.
- Students are not permitted to contact or call other PA Programs requesting assistance with clinical assignments.
- Students are not permitted to contact any clinical site or preceptor to cancel any clinical assignment.
- Students are prohibited from changing, altering, or switching any clinical assignment without prior written authorization from the Clinical Coordinator.
- The use of close relatives or personal friends as clinical preceptors, especially if they are not well-established preceptors in good standing with the PA Program, is strongly discouraged and should not be expected as this may interfere with the learning experience and objectivity of the evaluation
- The Clinical Coordinator may limit or change any future clinical site and preceptor assignment based on past clinical performance, preceptor feedback, and academic standing.
- No clinical assignment or schedule is guaranteed and may be changed by the Clinical Coordinator at any time.
- Students are financially responsible for housing arrangements throughout the clinical year. It is expected that all students have a plan to access housing in WNY, at all times, during the clinical year. While the program is committed to working with students regarding distant assignments, the program cannot guarantee placement in any specific areas (e.g. Rochester).
- Students may likely be assigned to clinical experiences outside of WNY. The PA Program may partially subsidize housing if the distant site is more than 60 miles from the student’s temporary or permanent residence. Students will be held financially responsible for damages to property.
- Students will complete at least the majority of supervised clinical practice experiences with previously established clinical sites and preceptors that are familiar with the PA Program’s expectations, policies, and procedures.
- The approval to use new clinical sites and preceptors outside of New York is extremely rare.