Can I transfer credits into the program or receive credit for my experience?
No credit is transferable to the PA program. Students who may have been in a previous health science program will take all courses in the usual sequence. There will be no experiential credit granted.
What will my education consist of?
PAs are trained using the medical model, similar to physicians. The first part of the training is didactic. We will use lectures, labs, problem-based learning and simulation in the first year. This is to prepare you for your clinical experience, mostly in the second year. You will rotate through a number of medical disciplines that are a requirement of your training. These clinical rotations will be 5 weeks in length. Toward the end of your training you will receive education on preparation for your national boards and job seeking along with 2 tests that you must pass to graduate.
Where will my clinical sites be located?
We have sites throughout the region as well as sites located throughout NYS and other parts of the country. We currently have affiliation agreements with many area hospital systems. Primarily these will be in St. Lawrence, Jefferson, and Franklin counties. We also have rotations that are considered ‘away’ meaning that you may have to drive some distance, so a reliable vehicle is suggested.
What kinds of practices will I rotate through?
The required rotations for PA students are: Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Women's Health, Emergency Department, General Surgery, and Behavioral Health. There will be 2 electives as well. There will also be an elective to conduct research for the Master’s Project.
I took some of my prerequisite courses many years ago. Will you still count those?
We will. However, evidence of prerequisite courses taken in the last 5 years will carry greater weight.
Do you require the GRE?
We do. There is no minimum score required. It is used as another evaluation tool in your application.
Can I work while attending the program?
Your PA studies will consume most of your waking hours (and possibly your sleep hours, too). In all likelihood, you will have neither the time nor the energy to work. We recommend that you do not work during the program. See the Work Policy section for further explanation.
I need to take some prerequisite courses. Where can I take them?
You may fulfill your prerequisites at any regionally accredited college or university, including 2-year colleges in the United States or Canada. There are also a number of accredited online courses. It is wise to contact us if you are unclear on whether a course meets the prerequisites.
When is the deadline for applications?
The cutoff date for the cohort beginning January 2020 is March 1, 2019. Completed applications will be reviewed in a timely manner once they have arrived. We are using a rolling acceptance format which will allow the applicant a reasonably prompt answer on their application status.
What will the class size be?
The class size will be approximately 30 students.
Will I need a laptop computer?
Yes. Most of what is done will be online. You will be required to have your own laptop and have skills in internet searches and Microsoft Word/Powerpoint/Excel. A Windows based operating system is highly recommended.
Is there on-campus housing available?
There is no Clarkson housing available for graduate students. You will need to procure housing on your own.
What are the benefits of a small, rural program?
The faculty to student ratio in our program is very favorable. The small class size encourages participation and interaction with fellow students and the faculty. The majority of your rotations will be one-on-one clinical experiences with the headache of competing with students from other fields (i.e. medical students, nurse practitioner students). You will be doing your clinical rotations in hospitals that are recruiting PAs, with many of them in underserved areas. Upon graduation and accepting a position in an underserved area, you may be eligible for government programs that can help pay off your student loans.
Are PA programs as difficult as everyone says?
They are more difficult. If possible, talk with a PA or PA student about the education demands. It will be virtually all you do for months on end. Your loved ones, your dogs and cats, everyone in your life will get less attention and that can cause great stress. Can you do it? Absolutely, but we want you to understand that it will be a challenge on many fronts. If you are selected for an interview, our students will be here to answer your questions and reflect on life as a Clarkson PA student.