PA Entry-Level: Curriculum

glucometer lab   PA students learning ultrasound   casting lab


The preclinical phase of instruction consists of intensive basic, behavioral, and clinical science coursework. Emphasis is placed on insuring that students have mastered the foundation knowledge necessary to manage patients in the clinical phase of the program and as practicing PAs. The development of critical thinking and analytical skills is accomplished through the use of problem-based learning, clinical case studies, and small group sessions coupled with the traditional lecture-learner format. 

Students will become familiar with the principles and practices of research design, literature review and evidence based medicine, and acquire the skills necessary to apply this information in a clinical setting. Service learning activities are offered throughout the preclinical year providing students with the opportunity to build relationships with the community and to support their professional development. A comprehensive clinical skills course provides hands-on education for a smooth transition between the preclinical and clinical years of the program. Program faculty and colleagues from throughout Stony Brook Medicine and the program’s clinical affiliates teach all courses.

During the clinical phase of the program, students rotate through 7 five- week rotations in the areas of medicine, surgery, geriatrics, emergency medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, out-patient medicine and pediatrics, and 3 four-week rotations in psychiatry, orthopedics and an elective. The program has many clinical affiliates outside of the main Stony Brook University Hospital campus where students rotate. In keeping with the program mission, many of the rotations are in areas that serve underserved populations. Students are not required to provide or solicit clinical sites or preceptors. Students return to campus every five weeks for end of rotation topic lectures, career preparation presentations, written and practical examinations.

Deceleration is not an option for students in the Stony Brook University PA Program. All students are required to remain in their original cohort upon admission. Students are not given the option to join the next admitted class except for extenuating circumstances such as a medical leave of absence.

Stony Brook University is authorized by the NY State Education Department to award a Master of Science Physician Assistant degree upon successful completion of the PA Program.