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Physician Assistant Studies Department

Master of Science - Physician Assistant Studies



Physician assistants (PAs) are licensed medical professionals who diagnose illness, develop and manage treatment plans, prescribe medications, and often serve as a patient’s principal healthcare provider.  PAs practice with the supervision of a licensed physician.  Within the physician-PA relationship, physician assistants exercise autonomy in medical decision making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services.  

Bureau of Labor Statistics reports indicate that the nationwide median compensation for physician assistants is $108,610. Since 2006, the PA profession has grown by 34 percent, with more than 6,000 new PAs graduating and entering the workforce each year.  Today, PAs can be found practicing medicine in primary care as well as medical and surgical subspecialties throughout the U.S.  Of the approximately 100,000 PAs in the nation, 1 in 10 is licensed in New York.

About the Program

The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program is a 24-month, full-time program designed to prepare students for clinical practice. The program consists of one 12-month didactic phase and one 12-month clinical phase. Students learn how to care for patients in a variety of settings such as in-patient, out-patient, in the operating room and emergency room. Students further learn to treat patients across the lifespan, from newborn to the elderly. Students learn technical skills such as suturing and counseling skills. Global health is also emphasized.  The program offers seven required core rotations in the clinical year, as well as one elective.

The program is located in the Marist College Allied Health Building, which has a state-of-the-art gross anatomy laboratory, standardized patient suites, a trauma simulation room, and a skills laboratory. In total, the program occupies over 18,000 square feet in the 58,000 square feet building. The program shares resources and activities with other programs in the School of Science on campus, especially the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.  The opportunity to develop inter-professional skills will increase as new clinical programs are added to the School of Science. 

The success of the program’s design is measured, in part, in the first time pass rate of the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE).  The first-time pass rate for the 2018 cohort is 100% and for the 2019 cohort is 98%.


Scheduled Information Sessions

Virtual Information Session

April 23 - Thursday - 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm


Marist Main Campus - Allied Health Building – 28 Beck Place, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

June 2 - Tuesday - 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm
August 11 - Tuesday - 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm


Allied Health Programs Information Session in NYC

July 9  - Thursday - 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm




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Marissa Jimenez, MS '19

Marissa Jimenez, MS '19Digestive Disease Center of the Hudson Valley
Medical Assistant

I grew up in the Hudson Valley and wanted to attend a program that would allow me to give back to the community. When I heard Marist was starting a Physician Assistant program I was immediately excited, because the heart of Marist College is the dedication to the service of others. With the college’s outstanding academic record and prominent reputation, I knew Marist would best equip me to serve as a Physician Assistant. 

Accreditation Status

*The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Marist College Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Marist College. Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation-Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.

The final provisional visit occurred in October 2019, with a decision regarding full accreditation to be made in March/April 2020.

Updated: 3/27/2020