D E P A R T M E N T O F P R I M A R Y C A R E
S H R P School of Health Related Professions
Physician Assistant Program
P H Y S I C I A N A S S I S T A N T P R O G R A M
Students who choose
UMDNJ’s School of
a University that is
to health care, with
faculty who care.
All our resources go
toward supporting a
health care educational
attracts and nurtures
the very best faculty
PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS: PArtners in Medicine
Physician Assistants (PAs) are health care professionals licensed to prac-
tice medicine with physician supervision. As part of their comprehensive
responsibilities, PAs conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illness-
es, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, assist in
surgery, and in most states write prescriptions. The education of PAs is
based on the medical model designed to complement physician training.
Upon graduation, physician assistants take a national certifying examina-
tion developed by the National Commission on Certification of PAs in
conjunction with the National Board of Medical Examiners.
PAs work in a variety of clinical settings. More than half are employed in
one of the primary care fields: family practice, internal medicine, pedi-
atrics, and obstetrics and gynecology. Other popular areas of practice
include surgery and emergency medicine.
THE UMDNJ PA PROGRAM
The UMDNJ Physician Assistant Program, located at Robert Wood
Johnson Medical School, confers a Master of Science degree upon com-
pletion of three years of didactic and clinical education. We have been
educating PAs since 1975, and are fully accredited by the Accreditation
Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).
There are two routes of entry into this program. Students may be admit-
ted directly into the professional program after earning a baccalaureate
degree and completing the required prerequisite courses. Alternatively,
students may be admitted into the joint BA/MS program through one of
the Program’s affiliated Universities.
We believe our three-year format affords the best opportunity for training
as a physician assistant, and we are pleased that the very high ranking
of our program on the national certifying exam supports this. Our pro-
gram is one of the top programs in the country. Our graduates consis-
tently achieve a 100% first-time pass rate on the national certifying
examination, with scores that place the program in or above the 97th
JOINT BA/MS PROGRAMS
The UMDNJ Physician Assistant Program, in collaboration with several
New Jersey Universities,* offers undergraduates an opportunity to join
the PA Program. These programs are designed as “3+3” programs
with the first three years spent as an undergraduate and the last three
years spent in the professional graduate program. Students may apply
to the professional program in April of their second year by contacting
the PA Program for an application. Personal interviews will be required
of those applicants being considered for admission. The interview will
serve to determine the applicant’s emotional and intellectual maturity,
the ability to communicate, and the potential to achieve career satis-
faction within the PA role. All applications must be received by June
1st and final notices of acceptance will be made by August 1st.
Acceptance will be guaranteed at the end of the third year if the appli-
cant maintains a 3.0 GPA, is successful in the interview process, and
meets all the requirements for the undergraduate degree before the
beginning of the fourth year (first professional year).
For more information about our “3+3” Programs, please contact the PA
*For a list of affiliated universities, please visit our website:
JOINT MS/MPH PROGRAM
The UMDNJ Physician Assistant Program, in conjunction with the
UMDNJ School of Public Health, offers a program leading to a Master
of Science in physician assistant studies and a Master of Public Health.
The program allows physician assistant students to complete both their
graduate Physician Assistant studies and MPH degree in four years
(including summers). Application to this program is limited to students
who have already been accepted to the Physician Assistant Program
and have taken the GRE. Students accepted into this dual degree
track would attend the Physician Assistant Program part-time for two
years while attending the MPH Program part-time. Students may
begin this Program in the summer prior to beginning the Physician
Assistant Program or in the first fall semester. During the third and
fourth years of the Program, the student will be attending the Physician
Assistant Program full-time and completing their fieldwork for the MS
and MPH. Students may choose to study in one of the following divi-
sions in the School of Public Health: Health Education and Behavioral
Science; Environmental and Occupational Health; or Health Systems
For more information about our MS/MPH Program, please contact the
PA Program office.
The Program is an intensive three-year curriculum that is divided into
one and one half years of didactic education and one and one half
years of clinical rotations. Classes are primarily held on the UMDNJ
campus in Piscataway. Clinical rotations are offered in New Jersey,
New York and Connecticut.
A part-time daytime curriculum is also offered. Applicants who are
interested in this option should contact the Program for more informa-
Fall Semester Credits Spring Semester Credits
Microbiology 7 Medical Physiology 7
Gross Anatomy 4 Pathology 5
Cellular & Genetic Mechanisms 4 Human Development/
Biochemistry 2 Health Maintenance 3
Professionalism I 1 Neuroanatomy 2
Medical Ethics 1 Electrocardiography 1
Introduction to Scientific Inquiry 1 Clinical Laboratory 3
Systems Histology 1
Total Credits: 20
Total Credits: 22
Summer Semester Credits
Applied Clinical Research 3
Total Credits: 3
Fall Semester Credits Spring Semester Credits
Clinical Medicine I 11 Clinical Medicine II 2
Physical Diagnosis 3 Clinical Nutrition 1
Introduction to Radiology 3 Psychiatry 3
Pharmacology 3 Dynamics of Human Sexuality 1
Medical Interviewing 3 Introduction to Clinical Clerkships 2
Applied Clinical Correlates 1 Physician Assistant Internship I 12
Total Credits: 24 Total Credits: 21
Summer Semester Credits
Physician Assistant Internship II 8
Total Credits: 8
Fall Semester Credits Spring Semester Credits
Physician Assistant Internship III 12 Physician Assistant Internship IV 12
Professionalism II 1
Total Credits: 12
Total Credits: 13
The following requirements must be met in order to obtain admission:
1. The applicant must have a baccalaureate degree or be attending
one of our affiliated Universities.
2. The applicant should have completed the following courses with a
grade of “C” or better:
General Psychology 3 semester hours
English (composition) 3 semester hours
Mathematics (precalculus) 3-4 semester hours
General Chemistry (with lab) 8 semester hours
Organic Chemistry 3-4 semester hours
Biological Sciences (with lab) 8 semester hours
Persons with incomplete prerequisites may apply; however, they must
state how they will satisfy the prerequisites by the end of the spring
semester prior to the start of the program.
3. The applicant must have an overall and science GPA of no less than
3.0 (on a scale where 4 equals A). In cases where individuals show
high potential by improved performance, exceptions to this require-
ment may be considered.
4. The applicant must submit three completed Recommendation
Forms. It is preferable that one recommendation be prepared by a
college instructor, one by an employment supervisor and one by an
individual who is thoroughly familiar with the applicant’s general
characteristics. He/she may be an instructor, counselor, community
5. Interviews will be required of those applicants being considered for
admission. The determination is made following an initial screening
by the Admissions Committee. The interview will serve to identify
qualities such as communication skills, motivation, and general
interpersonal skills. The applicant should demonstrate a clear under-
standing of the PA role and how this fits into the applicant’s career
goals. The applicant is reminded that competition is very keen for
the available spaces.
6. Prior patient contact experience is considered desirable and appli-
cants with such experience will be given priority consideration, but
not to the exclusion of applicants without such experience. The
Admissions Committee is empowered to make admission condi-
tional upon completion of a designated period of experience in a
health related field for a duration of not less than four (4) or more
than twelve (12) weeks.
7. The Committee is pleased to consider applications from out-of-state
8. Applicants are advised to submit their applications by October 1
prior to the academic year for which the application is made. All
applications with supporting documents must be received no later
than February 1.
9. Applicants who received their degrees outside the USA are required
to take the TOEFL exam. TOEFL currently administers the internet-
based (IB) and paper-based (PB) testing. A minimum score of 100
(IB) or 600 (PB) must be achieved. The TOEFL Designated Institution
Code is 2391. Along with taking the TOEFL exam, applicants are
required to submit an evaluation of the foreign transcript.
Evaluations can be obtained by contacting World Education
Services, Inc. at www.wes.org or International Education
Evaluations, Inc. at http://www.iee1981.com/.
10. Most of our applicants are placed on a hold list until February when
the interview process is completed. At that time final decisions are
made and applicants are notified of the Admissions Committee’s
final decisions by March. Some applicants may be offered a place
on our waiting list, which we utilize when applicants decline our offer
If you would like to discuss your application or have questions pertain-
ing to the application process, contact the program. Phone confer-
ences with faculty or our admissions coordinator are available by
FINANCIAL INFORMATION AND EXPENSES
Please contact the PA Program office or visit our website for the cur-
rent tuition information and fee schedule.
Tuition for out-of-state residents and for students whose permanent
residence is outside the US is 50% more than that of in-state residents.
Students who are interested in applying for resident status can find the
policy and application at the following website:
Financial Aid is available through UMDNJ. Veterans Education
Assistance benefits are available to persons who qualify. Scholarships,
grants, loans, and on campus jobs are available for eligible applicants.
Interested applicants should contact the Financial Aid Office at Robert
Wood Johnson Medical School at (732) 235-4689 for information.
PA students are also eligible for several different federal loan repayment
programs. Interested students should contact The National Health
Service Corps, The Indian Health Service and/or The US Department of
Justice-Federal Bureau of Prisons for more information.
The booklet: “Financial Aid Resources for PA Students” can be
obtained by calling the American Academy of Physician Assistants at
(703) 836-2272. The cost is approximately $10.00.
Upon entrance into the PA Program, all students will be expected to
purchase medical diagnostic equipment at an estimated cost of
General Service Fee
UMDNJ has implemented a Student Health Service on its various cam-
puses. All full time students who pay tuition directly to UMDNJ and are
based on a UMDNJ campus are required to pay the Health Service
Health Insurance Fee
In addition to the General Service Fee, all students are required to pur-
chase health insurance from the University. This fee may be waived, if
the student can provide documentation of equivalent coverage by
Books are approximately $400 per semester for the three didactic
Fees for all SHRP programs are charged at a per-credit rate to a maxi-
mum of 16 credits. This includes part-time students.
A per-semester fee is charged to all UMDNJ tuition paying students
taking six (6) or more credits.
There is no on-campus housing available. Most students live in private
homes and apartments near the University with other students in the
There is a yearly parking fee in order to park on the UMDNJ campus.
Students are required to pay a one-time graduation fee.
Background Check Fee
Students are required to pay a one-time background check fee.
In addition to the tuition and fees, students may be held responsible for
the cost of housing if assigned to a clinical rotation at a distant site.
Participation in off-campus activities and clinical sites will necessitate
travel by individual automobile.
OTHER SERVICES AND POLICIES
Due to the challenges of this rigorous curriculum, the program has
established several services to help students to succeed. These include
mental health counseling, cognitive skills counseling, and private tutor-
ing services. All of these are provided to students at no extra cost.
Applicants interested in advanced placement should provide documen-
tation of graduate level course work and submit a letter of request to
the Program Director. Applicants should be aware that for some cours-
es a placement exam is required.
Transfer credit is only awarded for students seeking advanced place-
ment (see above). Transfer credit will only be considered for students
who can document equivalent graduate level course work from an
accredited college or university with a grade of at least “B”.
Students may apply for credit for experiential learning through the
Office of Enrollment Services in Newark. Applications for credit for
experiential learning will only be considered after a student is accepted
into the PA Program.
Once accepted into the PA Program, students must maintain a mini-
mum grade point average of 2.5 (on a scale where 4.0 = A) in order to
graduate from the Program.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is a PA permitted to prescribe medications?
Most states, including New Jersey, permit PAs to prescribe certain
classes of drugs with physician controls and supervision. In January,
2005, the New Jersey legislature passed a bill authorizing PAs to pre-
scribe controlled substances.
Is a PA a dependant practitioner?
Yes. A PA is a professional member of the health care team, qualified
by academic and clinical training, who functions with responsible
supervision of a licensed physician. Supervision may be direct or indi-
rect. This relationship augments the physician’s data gathering and
technical abilities, thus assisting the supervising physician in formulat-
ing and instituting care plans and treatment for the physician’s patients.
The supervising physician may delegate to the PA those medical pro-
cedures and other tasks that are performed within the normal scope of
the physician’s practice. The PA is subject to the limitations set forth
by the supervising physician in addition to the laws, rules, and regula-
tions that affect PA practice.
What kind of salary do most PAs command?
In 2006, the average salary for new graduates (those in practice for less
than one year) is approximately $71,000. The average PA salary
nationwide is $84,000.
Are PAs certified?
PAs are certified by the National Commission on Certification of
Physician Assistants (NCCPA), which was formed by 14 national orga-
nizations in 1974 to determine examination eligibility and establish
How is PA certification obtained?
The PA must pass a stringent examination developed and administered
by the National Board of Medical Examiners under a contract with the
What type of examination is given?
The certifying exam is composed of multiple choice questions. It is
designed to assess the competence of PAs in conducting a variety of
health care functions normally encountered in practice.
Are there any limits on certification?
NCCPA certification is for six years and the PA must also re-register
every two years.
What are the re-registration requirements?
The NCCPA requires PAs to earn 100 hours of Continuing Medical
Education (CME) credit every two years in order to re-register. In addi-
tion, a written recertifying exam must be taken every six years.
Do PAs need a license to practice?
Each state has developed its own criteria regulating PA practice. Some
states offer “registration” while others offer “licensing”. In general, the
requirements to obtain privileges to practice include: proof of gradua-
tion from an accredited PA Program, proof of NCCPA certification, let-
ters of reference, and a photograph. The physician/PA team may be
required to make a joint application.
The School of Health Related Professions was
established as a formal institution of the University in
1976. This school has been successful in creating a
consistent framework for allied health education
PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT PROGRAM
675 Hoes Lane
Piscataway, NJ 08854-5635
Name (please print)
Do you have a baccalaureate degree? □ Yes □ No
Are you presently a student in one of our affiliated undergraduate institutions?
□ Yes □ No
Are you applying to the BA/MS Program □ Yes □ No
Check the prerequisites you have successfully completed with a grade of "C" or better.
If you have NOT completed the prerequisite but will have done so by the end of the
spring semester, write "SS" next to the course title below.
❑ General Biology I ❑ General Psychology
❑ General Biology II ❑ Precalculus level math or higher
❑ General Chemistry I (does not include Statistics)
❑ General Chemistry II ❑ English Composition
❑ Organic Chemistry I
For more information,
Please visit our website at:
Physician Assistant Program
675 Hoes Lane
Piscataway, NJ 08854