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SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

Physician Assistant Program

Master of Science (MS) Program

2017 MS Group

This twenty-seven month, full-time program is designed to provide the academic and clinical foundations for primary-care Physician Assistants; to foster the development of the attitudes, values, and behavior appropriate for professional health-care providers; and to prepare students to participate in a team approach to patient care.

Emphasis is placed on student understanding of the role and responsibilities of Physician Assistants in the provision of quality health service, in the treatment and management of disease states, in meeting the health care needs of a richly diverse patient population and in fostering health promotion and disease prevention.

The program, which begins in late May or early June, offers a 27-month, upper-division professional course of study leading to the M.S. degree. The curriculum integrates the basic sciences, social sciences, medical sciences, and clinical experiences needed to provide a comprehensive introduction to the practice of medicine.

The four-semester didactic phase consists of lectures, laboratories, and practical and simulation experiences designed to provide students with the knowledge necessary to address patients in a clinical context. The clinical phase consists of ten supervised clerkships (clinical training experiences) at a broad range of clinical affiliates, designed to provide seniors with a valuable opportunity to develop and refine their professional clinical skills. Graduates of our Program are trained with a focus on Primary Care, but are qualified to practice medicine in different settings under the supervision of a licensed physician.

Physician Assistant graduates from Programs in New York State are required to successfully complete the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistant (NCCPA) initial certification examination, before becoming licensed to practice medicine in the state. However, they may obtain a limited permit which allows Physician Assistants to practice temporarily prior to passing the Board exam.

Detailed information regarding the Physician Assistant Profession in New York State and licensure requirements may be obtained by contacting the Office of the Professions, Board of Medicine.

NCCPA is the only credentialing organization for Physician Assistants in the United States and is dedicated to assuring the public that certified Physician Assistants meet established standards of knowledge and clinical skills upon entry into practice and throughout their careers.

Pass Rates

Review the 5 Year NCCPA Performance Report for the SUNY Downstate PA Program pass rates.

Review the 5 Year Exam Performance Summary Report for the SUNY Downstate PA Program.

Detailed information about the National Certification Exam for Physician Assistants may be obtained by contacting the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

Program Goals and Outcomes

Important information can be found in the Goals, Indicators and Outcomes 2007 - 2017 PDF.


The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Continued Accreditation to the State University of New York (SUNY), Downstate Medical Center Physician Assistant Program sponsored by the State University of New York (SUNY), Downstate Medical Center.  Continued accreditation is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.

Continued Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards.  The approximate date for the next comprehensive review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2019.