Applicants are required to have completed at least 480 hours (3 months, if full-time) of work experience related to the medical profession. Acceptable experience includes professional or assistant work in the medical, nursing, pharmacy, behavioral or medical laboratory fields, as long as patient care is an obvious focus of the experience. Work as a surgical technician, EMT, aide, phlebotomist, or with a medical corps are common examples. The applicant should have documented experience shadowing a physician assistant. Prior approval of work experience is strongly recommended if different from these types of experiences. References are required from work supervisors. If the 480 hours are not completed at the time of application, a clear plan that confirms the hours will be completed by the start of PA classes is required.
Submission of three reference letters is required on forms provided by the electronic application through CASPA. Please select three individuals who can best address the applicant’s personal qualities. Ideal references would include the following sources:
- Academic traits: as addressed by a former or current college/university instructor,
- General character: as addressed by a member of clergy or spiritual advisor, and
- Professionalism and work habits: as addressed by a former or current health care work supervisor.
Students selected for admission to the Union College Physician Assistant Program will have demonstrated high scholastic ability, emotional and intellectual maturity, superior communication skills, an orientation to service, and the potential for achieving career satisfaction within the PA role. The on-campus personal interview with selected candidates will assess these factors, and is a vital part of the selection process.
Students admitted to the program will be required to obtain and submit a comprehensive physical examination. Forms will be supplied to students at the time of their acceptance into the PA program.
Immunizations must be current, including completion of hepatitis B vaccinations and tuberculosis testing, prior to patient contact.
Criminal backgroung checks are performed after the applicant is admitted conditionally and has paid the required deposit. Felony convictions or multiple misdemeanor convictions may result in denial of acceptance to the program and/or eligibility of licensure.
Policies regarding credit by transcript from accredited and nonaccredited institutions are presented in the Union College Bulletin. Transfer of credit to the Union College PA Program is limited to prerequisite (non-PHAS) courses, except as delineated under the Advanced Placement policy below.
Transfer of PA professional courses is limited to students transferring from another accredited PA program. The student must have recommendation from the previous program, and may be required to validate proficiency in courses being transferred either by a challenge examination or by demonstration of necessary skills. Advanced placement does not apply to clinical rotations. Individuals requesting advanced placement must meet the regular application and selection criteria. Due to the rigorous academic course work in the PA program, international medical graduates may not receive advanced placement beyond the scope of this policy.