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Matt McQuillan

To learn more, email Matthew McQuillan, program director.

M.S. in Physician Assistant

Prospective students are invited to attend an informational session on Tuesday, October 15 from 5:30-8 pm. For more details and to register, please open the “Events” tab.

Physician Assistants are nationally certified medical professionals who practice on health care teams. PAs are state-licensed to provide patient care and can prescribe medications in all 50 states. At Rutgers, our program builds a strong educational foundation in sciences, including anatomy, physiology, microbiology, genetics, and pathology, in preparation for immersion into hands-on clinical experiences.

A virtual cadaver is helping Physician Assistant students deepen their understanding of anatomy and clinical medicine. The ability to undo mistakes, which can’t be done on a real cadaver, allows the PA students to explore without fear.

3 degree options:

  • Master of Science – for those already holding a bachelor degree
  • Articulated Bachelor of Arts/Master of Science or Bachelor of Science/Master of Science – a 3+3 program offered in affiliation with 10 college partners
  • Master of Science/Master of Public Health Dual Degree – a 4-year, dual degree program for students already accepted to the PA program.

We are committed to to diversity through  holistic admissions process and have intensified recruitment efforts to enroll more underrepresented groups.

Learn how our program has been working to attract candidates from different racial, ethnic, sexual, and economic backgrounds. A story in Rutgers Today highlights what brings candidates from different backgrounds to Rutgers.

Best Grad School USNews

Questions? Contact us at 732 235-4445 or

  • The PA program in consistently named as a Top Graduate Program by US News & World Report, ranking 16 out of 154 schools nationwide in the most recent survey in 2015, and 7 out of 73 PA Programs in the Journal of Physician Assistant Education in 2010.
  • 98% first-time pass rate on the PA National Certifying Examination (PANCE) from 2013-2017, with class performance above the mean in all areas
  • Innovative curriculum delivers small group learning, simulation, medical Spanish option, and international rotation option
  • Students engage with the underserved through the HOPE (Health Outreach Patient Experience) Clinic, working side-by-side with faculty and other students providing needed primary care while participating in a service learning initiative
  • Unique PA Faculty Practice in orthopedics and neurosurgery provides students with clinical training opportunities with PA Faculty preceptors in these specialties.
  • Commitment to diversity through our holistic admissions process and with intensified recruitment efforts to enroll more underrepresented groups
  • One of few PA Programs to offer both full time and part time options.

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Rutgers University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Rutgers University. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.

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 validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be September 2026. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

Data on our outstanding pass rates can be found here. We are extremely proud of our class of 2019 for achieving a 100 percent first-time pass rate.

Mission Statement:

The Rutgers University Physician Assistant Program enhances the delivery of humanistic patient care and advances the PA profession through a dynamic blend of educational programs, research, and service. Carefully crafted curricula and thoughtful mentorship of students develops collaborative, caring, and competent healthcare providers.


The Rutgers University Physician Assistant Program aspires to be recognized as a leader in education and health care delivery, achieved through dedication to educational excellence, interprofessional collaboration, innovative practice models, and community engagement.

In order to meet our mission and achieve our vision, the Rutgers University Physician Assistant Program emphasizes the following values:

  • Excellence in teaching
  • Service to the community
  • Inclusion and diversity
  • Academic and professional integrity
  • Adaptability and responsiveness
  1. Provide broad-based, high-quality education to graduate PAs who are well-prepared for work in a variety of settings
  • The intense curriculum includes 122 credits across three years, with a full year of clinically-focused basic science preparation.
  • Clinical rotations are offered in nine disciplines: Internal Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Emergency Medicine, Intensive Care Medicine, Psychiatry, Ambulatory/Family Medicine, and a Medical Sub-specialty. In addition, students choose two electives.
  • Graduates of the Program work in all types of settings including: inpatient units, emergency departments, rural health clinics, federally qualified health centers, community health centers, freestanding surgical centers, solo physician practices, single specialty physician practices and multi-specialty physician practices.
  • The Class of 2017 achieved a 100% first-time pass rate on the PANCE as compared with the National First Time Taker Pass Rate of 96%. As a cohort, the 2017 student performance exceeded the national average in all areas of the exam.
  1. Foster humanistic care with an emphasis on beneficence.
  • The Program includes a threaded humanities curriculum, including opportunities for self-reflection throughout the entire three years.
  • For the Class of 2017, 95% of the graduates surveyed agreed that the program prepared them well to practice humanistic care with an emphasis on beneficence.
  • Clinical sites are now evaluated by students on the ability to develop skills in providing humanistic care.
  1. Promote a culture of diversity
  • The student body includes a diverse mix of individuals from across the country representing various ethnic and racial groups. The following  indicates the percentages of people of color:
    • Class of 2017: 33%
    • Class of 2018: 29%
    • Class of 2019: 38%
    • Class of 2020: 45%
    • Class of 2021: 47%
  • The Program continues to focus recruitment efforts on identifying applicants from underrepresented groups.
  1. Foster the value of service to the community and the profession
  • Students are required to participate in a wide range of community service activities and many surpass the minimum requirements.
  • Program faculty have a long history of serving the profession in various capacities on the local, state, and national level
  1. Advance interprofessional education and practice
  • Students participate in several IPE events hosted by the PA Program and other schools within Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. Students have rated these experiences as highly valuable.
  • Students participate in interprofessional education and practice at a local clinic beginning in the first year of the Program.
  1. Cultivate a foundation of lifelong learning
  • Introduction to Scientific Inquiry, Applied Clinical Research, and evidence based medicine requirements prepare students for evaluating the medical literature.
  • The PA Program Research Day highlights the work performed by students and provides an opportunity for dissemination of their scholarly work.

The Rutgers University Physician Assistant Program is committed to the ideals of excellence in fostering an enriching learning community of students, faculty and staff from a broad spectrum of nations, cultures, and historical perspectives.  Diversity is an integral component of the human experience, and encompasses but is not limited to issues of race, ethnicity, culture, social class, national origin, gender, age, religious beliefs, and sexual orientation.  Our goal is to create a consciousness of diversity reinforced with equity and excellence through our policies and practices at the Physician Assistant Program.


Please call 732-235-4445.
Rutgers University Physician Assistant Program (PA)

Rolling admissions up to Sept. 1.

Admission to the PA program is extremely competitive, with over 1,400 applications for 50 seats. Our admissions committee thoroughly reviews each application and chooses the most competitive applicants for an interview.

There are two routes into the Physician Assistant program:

  • Students who have earned a baccalaureate degree prior to matriculation and who have completed pre-requisite courses are admitted directly into the Master’s program.
  • Students who have not yet earned a baccalaureate degree may be admitted into the Master’s program if already matriculated in one of our articulated undergraduate institutions (3+3 Programs).
Application Process:
  • The CASPA application for the 2019-2020 admissions cycle will be available starting on April 26th, 2019:
  • Applications must be complete and verified by CASPA by September 1st, 2019. As per the CASPA website, it is suggested that applicants complete their application in CASPA 6-8 weeks prior to the program’s deadline to ensure that they meet the September 1st deadline.  Please use the CASPA Quick Start Guide for more information regarding complete versus verified applications.
  • A complete application includes three letters of recommendation, all supporting materials (including all post-secondary transcripts), and a $25 supplemental fee. Once the application is marked complete by CASPA, it must be verified by CASPA prior to the application being sent to the PA Program for review.  The program does not make exceptions for applications completed, but not verified by the deadline; applicants are encouraged to submit their application based on CASPA’s guidelines.
    • Our office will close on Monday, September 2nd in observation of Labor Day. We will resume operations on Tuesday, September 3rd. Please
      contact the office before Friday, August 30th with any application-related questions.
  • The Rutgers University PA Program practices rolling admissions.  Therefore, preference is given to applicants who apply early.  The program does not fill all seats in the class until all qualified applicants are considered.
  • GPA requirements: Applicants must have an overall and science (including math) GPA of at least 3.2 (on a scale where 4.0 equals A.).
  • Applicants with a science (including math) and/or overall GPA of less than 3.2 should submit a letter of explanation in the designated upload area of the CASPA portal surrounding the circumstances of their academic performance if they want to be considered for further review. This is an opportunity to provide the Admissions Committee with additional information about their candidacy.

Prerequisite Coursework:

Please take note of our prerequisite requirements, as they have changed from previous years.

If prerequisite courses were completed with a grade of  “C” or better, the applicant is not required to retake courses.  If the applicant has not taken any coursework wit