The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) accredits Rutgers University and Seton Hall University and recently granted Monmouth University provisional accreditation for the school's physician assistant program.
These schools offer physician assistant training via master's degree programs, which take approximately three years to complete. A 4-year combined master's degree in physician assisting and public health is also available. Additionally, Rutgers University offers a dual bachelor's and master's degree program that can be completed in six years.
Students applying to a physician assistant master's degree program must have a bachelor's degree. Certain prerequisite courses, such as chemistry and biology, must also be completed. In addition, program applicants need to have some healthcare experience.
Located in West Long Branch, Monmouth University offers a Master of Science program for aspiring physician assistants. This is a 36-month program comprised of classroom and clinical learning. Students applying to the program must have completed prerequisite courses, including psychology and chemistry, and are required to have at least 200 hours of experience in a clinical environment, such as shadowing a physician.
Rutgers University offers a Master of Science program for physician assistants at its Piscataway campus. Applicants must have completed a bachelor's program and prerequisite coursework. They also need to have some healthcare experience, though the university does not require a minimum number of healthcare hours. Students take didactic and clinical courses, and they may complete rotations in emergency medicine, pediatrics and more. They also choose an elective rotation in their preferred area of study. The program takes three years to complete.
The university also offers a joint Master of Science and Master of Public Health program that takes four years to complete. Additionally, Rutgers University provides 3+3 physician assisting collaboration programs with several colleges in the area, such as Kean University, Montclair State University and other schools. The articulated programs are designed for students who wish to earn a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in six years, instead of the normal seven years.
Seton Hall University
The School of Health and Medical Sciences at Seton Hall University in South Orange offers a master's degree program for aspiring physician assistants. To be eligible for admission to the program, students must have a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.2 or better. Prerequisite courses like biology and chemistry are required. Applicants must also have at least 100 hours of clinical experience, which can include volunteer programs, healthcare work experience or physician shadowing experience. The 96-credit program teaches students how to work with doctors in all medical disciplines. In addition to didactic classes, students complete 60 weeks of clinical rotations in surgery, critical care and other fields.
Physician assistants must be licensed to work in the state of New Jersey. To be eligible for licensure, prospective physician assistants must provide proof that they completed an accredited physician assistant program. Individuals must also take the national certification exam given by the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants. Typically, the minimum education required to become a physician assistant is a master's degree. The three private not-for-profit and public universities in New Jersey offering physician assistant training are profiled below, along with tuition costs and curricular details.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Physician Assistant Programs Offered||Graduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Monmouth University||4-year; private not-for-profit; large suburb||Physician Assistant Master of Science||$23,734*|
|Rutgers University - New Brunswick||4-year; public; small city|| Articulated Bachelor's Degree and Physician Assistant Master of Science Program,
Physician Assistant Master of Science,
Master of Science and Master of Public Health Joint Program
|$18,346 in-state; $29,722 out-of-state*|
|Seton Hall University||4-year; private not-for-profit; large suburb||Physician Assistant Master of Science||$21,066*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator