PA Program Policies

General Policies and Procedures

Privacy Act

FDU and the FDU PA Program believe in protecting the privacy of students’ records, in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). At the PA Program, all academic records are kept in locked cabinets and are only readily available to authorized program personnel. These records include documentation that the student has met published admission criteria, no awarding of advanced placement, institution and program health screening and immunization requirements, student performance, remediation efforts and outcomes (if applicable), formal academic/behavioral disciplinary actions (if applicable), and met requirements for program completion. Individual records are available, upon request, for review by a PA student. PA students and other unauthorized persons do not have access to the academic records or other confidential information of other students or faculty.

Notice of Non-Discrimination

FDU, the sponsoring institution, and the FDU PA Program do not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, creed, handicap, genetic information, pregnancy status, religion, national origin or ancestry, gender, disability, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and veteran status and provides equal access to its prognosis services and activities, whether they are offered in-person or online.  Therefore, there are no admission or enrollment practices or student policies that favor specified individuals or groups.

The non-discrimination policy is consistent with federal, state, and local statues, rules and regulations in compliance with section 504 of Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and with Title IX of the Educational Amendment of 1972. This applies to both activities on campus as well as clinical affiliate sites. At clinical affiliate sites, program policies may be superseded by those at the clinical sites. University procedures that govern the titling of a complaint alleging discrimination be found at: https://portal.fdu.edu/studentlife/2018/policy-on-prohibited-discrimination.pdf

Work Policy

The PA Program does not maintain a policy that limits or prevents students from working, but does discourage students from working due to the time constraints of the intense curriculum and the requirements of the supervised clinical practice experiences. 

Students may work within the University while participating in the Federal Work Study Program as long as such work does not interfere with their academic pursuits and the schedules of the PA Program. 

PA students are not required to work for the Program. In addition, no student workers are used as administrative staff.

PA students do not substitute for or function as instructional faculty or, during clinical experiences, do not substitute for clinical or administrative staff. Neither enrolled PA students nor prospective students are required to provide or solicit clinical sites or preceptors. The global clinical schedule is prepared with appropriate supervised clinical practice experiences for all students.  The PA Program coordinates all clinical sites and preceptors for all program required rotations. Students expressing an interest in a new clinical site and/or preceptor not included in the program’s preceptor database must complete a request form and the site is reviewed and evaluated, in compliance with the site development policy for program approval.  In addition, participation in a clinical experience may not be construed as gainful employment.

Students may not accept payment for work performed during clinical rotations. Accepting payment can result in loss of malpractice liability coverage for the PA student. Once the student has completed all requirements and graduates from the PA Program, the student may pursue a salaried position at the clinical site or institution.

Background Check

All PA students should be aware that certain clinical affiliates require a background check and toxicology screen before participation in supervised clinical practice experiences. Clinical affiliates can reject or remove a student from the site if a criminal record is discovered. Students should also be aware that a criminal record may have an impact on eligibility to obtain licensure and/or certification.

A background check and toxicology screen will be completed on all students prior to entering the PA Program, and again, prior to placement on clinical rotations. Some sites may require additional background checks and/or toxicology screens immediately prior to the start of the rotation.  Therefore, students may be required to complete multiple screens throughout enrollment. In addition, a student may be required to complete a toxicology screen if a faculty member or preceptor observes signs of intoxication during academic or clinical activities.

Academic Program Policies and Procedures

Proper Identification & Professional Behaviors

PA students must be clearly identified in the clinical setting to distinguish them from other health profession students and practitioners at all times.

  • Students must always identify themselves as PA students to patients and clinical site staff (and never present themselves as physicians, residents, medical students or graduate PAs)
  • Students are required to wear the short white consultation jacket at all times, unless instructed otherwise.
  • The FDU PA Program patch, supplied by the Program, is to be affixed to the left sleeve of the consultation jacket. The white jacket is to be worn at all times.
  • I.D. badges must be worn near the shoulder and/or at least 10 inches above the waist at all times so as to be visible and readable by an approaching individual. Only one hospital issued pin may be worn on a badge. Multiple pins should not be displayed on the I.D. badge. Buttons and other adornments may not be displayed on clothing, uniforms or the I.D. badge.
  • While a student at the PA Program, students may not use previously earned titles (such as RN, MD, PhD, DC) for identification purposes.
  • Students are expected to maintain a professional appearance. Attire must be clean neat, pressed, and appropriate to a professional setting. The wearing of handbags, backpacks, and pouches/fanny packs while on duty is inappropriate and prohibited.  (Personal belongings can be safeguarded in a locker or locked drawer.)  Furthermore, in patient care areas it is a breach of infection control practice. No open-toe shoes are allowed.  Individual departments may have a dress code that contains additional regulations specific to that department and its operations.
  • Clothing should be professional – well fitted and clean at all times. (See-through, overly tight, or revealing clothing is not allowed. Shirts should be fully buttoned, except for top button when appropriate). Skirts should be no longer than mid-calf or shorter than three inches above the knee.
  • Scrub suits, masks, caps, or paper shoes may not be worn outside of the area required by the duties of the job, e.g., cafeteria, hallways, stairwells, elevators, etc.
  • Students may be asked to change their appearance to conform to the dress code of rotation sites. 

Student Grievance Policy

PA students may present general concerns, suggestions, or grievances to the Director of the PA Program. Students wishing to lodge a complaint regarding academic policy, procedure, or decision, should discuss the matter with the Director within five business days. The Director will give the matter prompt attention and return an answer to the complainant. If the grievance is not resolved at this level, the grievance may be presented, in writing, to the Dean of the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and subsequently to the Provost of the University.

If a student has a grievance concerning issues other than grades that s/he wishes to pursue, the following protocol should be followed:

  • If the grievance involves another student, please refer to the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct, found in the Student Handbook, which can be accessed online at https://www.fdu.edu/student-life/publications/student-handbook/.
  • If a student wishes to report a complaint about an employee of the University, faculty or staff or a University vendor, the student should report this complaint to the Dean of the School of Pharmacy & Health Sciences. If the student wishes to report a grievance involving an employee of the University, faculty or staff or a University vendor specifically related to a violation of University policies and procedures, harassment and/or discrimination, please contact the University’s human resources department.
  • For further policies on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct

Please see https://portal.fdu.edu/studentlife/2018/policy-on-prohibited-discrimination.pdf, section “VII. Resources & Reporting Options”.

Grievance Policy:  Appeal of Grades

A student wishing to appeal a grade should refer to the Student Grade Appeals/Procedure located in the Academic Regulations section of the FDU Student Handbook. The Student Handbook can be found online at:  https://www.fdu.edu/student-life/publications/student-handbook/, section “Student Grade Appeals/Procedure”.

Grievance Policy: Allegations of Student Mistreatment and/or Harassment

All student allegations of student mistreatment and/or harassment are taken seriously by the FDU PA Program and its sponsoring institution. Fairleigh Dickinson University (the “University”) Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct prohibits all forms of Discrimination and Harassment based on Protected Status. It also expressly prohibits related conduct, including Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment, Sexual Assault, Sexual Exploitation, Stalking and Interpersonal Violence, which need not be based on the individual’s Protected Status. In addition, this Policy prohibits Complicity for knowingly assisting in an act that violates this Policy and Retaliation against an individual because of their good faith participation in the reporting, investigation, or adjudication of violations of this Policy. University students and employees who violate this Policy will be met with appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, expulsion or termination from the University. Third parties who violate this Policy may have their relationship with the University terminated and their access to campus restricted.  All instances of student mistreatment and/or harassment (sexual or otherwise) must be brought to the immediate attention of the Program and the matter will be given prompt attention and handled in accordance with the published College policies and procedures. For further information see: https://portal.fdu.edu/studentlife/2018/policy-on-prohibited-discrimination.pdf

Leave of Absence/Withdrawal

The student who requests a leave of absence or wishes to withdraw from the PA Program is offered appropriate counseling.  After discussing with the Director the reason for the leave of absence or withdrawal and future plans or options, the student submits the request.  A leave of absence allows students to interrupt their graduate studies if necessary. A leave of absence is granted for one semester with the privilege of renewal for one more consecutive semester. A request for a leave of absence for the current semester must be received prior to the last day of classes. Request for a leave of absence must be approved in writing by the program director. (Information on procedures for requesting a leave of absence is available from student affairs.) Students wishing to renew their leave of absence must also do so in writing.

Students granted a leave of absence are maintained as students in good standing during the semester in which a leave of absence is taken but will be discontinued from graduate study unless the students register the semester following a leave of absence or request and are granted an extension of the leave of absence.

For students electing to withdraw, please refer to the withdrawal policy in the Academic Regulations section of the FDU Student Handbook.  The Student Handbook can be found online at  https://view2.fdu.edu/publications/student-handbook/.

Academic Progression

Academic Standards for Progression

Academic standards are established for all components of the curriculum. Didactic courses are evaluated in a timely manner with case- based multiple choice exams and practicums incorporating all material covered in the previous class sessions (approximately 15 hours per exam) specific to the major topic headings. The case- based multiple choice exams are modeled in content and format after the National Certification Exam. All evaluative tools serve as indicators of students’ performance, strengths, weaknesses, and possible areas of deficiencies in need of additional help or remediation. During the didactic phase, a student is typically confronted with two to three exams per week. Didactic courses also are enhanced with laboratory components and case studies focusing on clinical and technical skills as well as clinical reasoning and problem-solving. These are assessed through the performance of skills competency measures, case studies, and the completion of supplementary learning materials.

During the Clinical Phase, at the end of each five-week rotation, evaluative tools (such as exams) serve to provide timely assessments. The material for the end- of-rotation exam is outlined in the learning outcomes, instructional objectives and topic outlines. The final grade for each supervised clinical experience is based on – Medical Knowledge, Patient Care Clinical and Technical Skills, Patient Care Clinical Practice, Interpersonal Skills, Professional Behaviors and Clinical Reasoning & Problem-Solving Abilities. Each component is graded independently and, therefore, for successful completion of the course, each of the components must receive a grade of B- /80 or above. All evaluative tools serve as indicators of students’ performance, strengths, weaknesses, and possible areas of deficiencies in need of additional help or remediation. The course then receives a final numerical and corresponding letter grade. The letter grade is submitted to Office of Student Enrollment and included in the FDU transcript.

All courses (didactic and clinical) receive a numerical grade and must be passed with a minimum grade of B- /80 or above. This letter grade is included in the FDU transcript. The grade appears as “incomplete” until all components of that course are passed.

A student is required to take all multiple-choice exams and pass all courses in the Didactic and Clinical Phases with a minimum grade of B- /80. (In addition, any individual exam with a grade of 65 or below requires a make-up in order to demonstrate minimal competency.). Additionally, students must successfully pass a formative exam with a minimum grade of 80% before progressing to the subsequent year. Students in the didactic phase must pass these exams before progressing to the clinical phase and those in the clinical phase before progressing to graduation.

The final course grade for each supervised clinical experience is based on three (3) components – Medical Knowledge, Patient Care and Interpersonal Skills & Professionalism. Each component is graded independently and, therefore, for successful completion of the course, each of the components must receive a grade of B- /80 or above. The course then receives a final numerical and corresponding letter grade. The letter grade is submitted to Office of Student Enrollment and included in the FDU transcript.

All courses of the PA Program must be passed with a minimum grade of B- /80. This applies to every didactic course and every component) within a Supervised Clinical Practice Experience (Medical Knowledge, Patient Care and Interpersonal Skills & Professionalism). In the event that, at the end of a didactic course a grade is less than B- /80, the student must take a comprehensive final make-up exam. In the event that the ‘clinical performance’ grade is less than B- /80, the student must remediate the clinical experience and demonstrate the achievement of minimum competencies. If additional clinical experience is required, this may involve a delay in graduation. The student is also offered remediation work that is developed by the corresponding phase coordinator. The remediation work must be submitted by the student prior to taking the comprehensive final make-up exam and receiving a passing grade for a course. If a student scores B- /80 or above on the comprehensive final make-up exam, the remediation process is deemed successful and the student passes the course with a grade of B- /80.

The first didactic or clinical failure places the student on “Academic Warning” and the student is provided the opportunity to take a Make-Up Final Exam. Should the student fail the make-up exam or pass the makeup exam but fail a subsequent course, the student will be placed on “Academic Probation”. Therefore, for student on Academic Warning, any subsequent failure places that student on “Academic Probation”.

An “Academic Warning” or “Academic Probation” from one professional year or phase of the program carries over to the subsequent professional year or phase. Once a student is placed on Academic Probation, the student will remain on Academic Probation for the remainder of the professional program. For the student on Academic Probation, any other failure in that or subsequent years will necessitate a meeting of the Student Promotion Committee. The Committee will review the student’s status to determine a course of action, which may include deceleration or dismissal. Students must recognize that deceleration will constitute extension of their time at the FDU PA Program.

Note: Most state licensure boards request information on disciplinary issues on the official program completion verification paperwork. The Program must document when a student has been on Professionalism Probation, and in most cases, the reasons for probation. Additionally, this information is often requested by credentialing agencies, and therefore, it may impact your ability to obtain employment clearance.

Progression in the PA Program

Students must achieve a grade of B- /80 or higher in order to pass a course. Students who fail to achieve a minimum cumulative grade of B- /80 at the end of any semester and/or remediation period will be placed on academic probation until they achieve a cumulative grade of B- /80 or higher. Due to potential impact on overall GPR, students who fail a course run the risk of jeopardizing their progression in the Physician Assistant Program. A course can only be repeated once.

A cumulative GPR of 3.0 must be attained by all PA students prior to graduation. A student will be subjected to academic review from the PA Program if s/he fails to:

  1. Maintain continuous registration.
  2. Attend class, lab, and SCPEs, successfully completing all course requirements.
  3. Maintain a cumulative GPR of 3.0

Any student not achieving a letter grade of B- /80 or higher in two or more didactic courses by the end of each semester will have their academic performance reviewed by the Student Affairs and Student Promotion Committee and be notified of the committee’s recommendation on progression in the PA Program. Fairleigh Dickinson University, through its various faculties or appropriate committees, reserves the discretionary right to suspend or dismiss any student from the University for failure to maintain a satisfactory academic record, acceptable personal behavior, acceptable standards of academic conduct, acceptable standards of practice at a clinical affiliate or satisfactory standards of health.

More information on the University’s right to discipline students and their rights of appeal or to file a grievance can be found in the Student Handbook.

Completion Requirements

To ensure that students have achieved program goals and objectives and are in compliance with program standards, the following are required for completion of the program

  • Adherence to PA Code of Ethics
  • Resolution of any issues/requirements of Academic Warning, Remediation, Deceleration and/or Probation.
  • Completion of all required didactic courses
  • Completion of all clinical rotations with a minimum of 2,000 clinical hours and 1,000 patient encounters
  • Grades of B- /80 or higher on all didactic and clinical courses.
  • Achievement of all Program defined competencies.
  • Presentations of Research Proposal and Research Results
  • Thesis Defense at Annual Research Forum
  • Clinical Practicums (OSCEs)
  • Formative & Summative Exams (Grade of 80 or higher)
  • The summative evaluation occurs within the final fours months to verify that a student meets program competencies
  • Professional Portfolio
  • Exit Interview

Students who complete the above are invited to participate in the PA Program White Coat Ceremony and the University commencement exercises.

Academic Program Policies and Procedures

Proper Identification and Professional Dress

PA students must be clearly identified as such at all times, in particular, during clinical experiences.

  • Students must always identify themselves as PA students to patients and clinical site staff (and never present themselves as physicians, residents, medical students or graduate PAs)
  • Students are required to wear the short white consultation jacket at all times, unless instructed otherwise.
  • The FDU PA Program patch, supplied by the Program, is to be affixed to the left sleeve of the consultation jacket. The white jacket is to be worn at all times.
  • I.D. badges must be worn near the shoulder and/or at least 10 inches above the waist at all times so as to be visible and readable by an approaching individual. Only one hospital issued pin may be worn on a badge. Multiple pins should not be displayed on the I.D. badge. Buttons and other adornments may not be displayed on clothing, uniforms or the I.D. badge.
  • While a student at the PA Program, students may not use previously earned titles (such as RN, MD, PhD, DC) for identification purposes.
  • Students are expected to maintain a professional appearance. Attire must be clean neat, pressed, and appropriate to a professional setting. The wearing of handbags, backpacks, and pouches/fanny packs while on duty is inappropriate and prohibited. (Personal belongings can be safeguarded in a locker or locked drawer.)  Furthermore, in patient care areas it is a breach of infection control practice. No open-toe shoes are allowed.  Individual departments may have a dress code that contains additional regulations specific to that department and its operations.
  • Clothing should be professional – well fitted and clean at all times. (See-through, overly tight, or revealing clothing is not allowed. Shirts should be fully buttoned, except for top button when appropriate). Skirts should be no longer than mid-calf or shorter than three inches above the knee.
  • Scrub suits, masks, caps, or paper shoes may not be worn outside of the area required by the duties of the job, e.g., cafeteria, hallways, stairwells, elevators, etc.
  • Students may be asked to change their appearance to conform to the dress code of rotation sites.

Grievance Policy

PA students may present general concerns, suggestions, or grievances to the Director of the PA Program.  Students wishing to lodge a complaint regarding academic policy, procedure, or decision, should discuss the matter with the Director within five business days. The Director will give the matter prompt attention and return an answer to the complainant. If the grievance is not resolved at this level, the grievance may be presented, in writing, to the Dean of the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and subsequently to the Provost of the University.

If a student has a grievance concerning issues other than grades that s/he wishes to pursue, the following protocol should be followed:

  • If the grievance involves another student, please refer to the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct, found in the Student Handbook, which can be accessed online at https://www.fdu.edu/student-life/publications/student-handbook/.
  • If a student wishes to report a complaint about an employee of the University, faculty or staff or a University vendor, the student should report this complaint to the Dean of the School of Pharmacy & Health Sciences. If the student wishes to report a grievance involving an employee of the University, faculty or staff or a University vendor specifically related to a violation of University policies and procedures, harassment and/or discrimination, please contact the University’s human resources department.

Grievance Policy:  Appeal of Grades

A student wishing to appeal a grade should refer to the Student Grade Appeals/Procedure located in the Academic Regulations section of the FDU Student Handbook. The Student Handbook can be found online at:  https://www.fdu.edu/student-life/publications/student-handbook/.

Grievance Policy: Allegation of Harassment

All student allegations of harassment are taken seriously by the FDU PA Program and its sponsoring institution. Fairleigh Dickinson University (the “University”) Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct prohibits all forms of Discrimination and Harassment based on Protected Status. It also expressly prohibits related conduct, including Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment, Sexual Assault, Sexual Exploitation, Stalking and Interpersonal Violence, which need not be based on the individual’s Protected Status. In addition, this Policy prohibits Complicity for knowingly assisting in an act that violates this Policy and Retaliation against an individual because of their good faith participation in the reporting, investigation, or adjudication of violations of this Policy. University students and employees who violate this Policy will be met with appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, expulsion or termination from the University. Third parties who violate this Policy may have their relationship with the University terminated and their access to campus restricted.  All instances of harassment (sexual or otherwise) must be brought to the immediate attention of the Program and the matter will be given prompt attention and handled in accordance with the published College policies and procedures. For further information see: https://portal.fdu.edu/studentlife/2018/policy-on-prohibited-discrimination.pdf

Leave of Absence/Withdrawal

The student who requests a leave of absence or wishes to withdraw from the PA Program is offered appropriate counseling.  After discussing with the Director the reason for the leave of absence or withdrawal and future plans or options, the student submits the request.  A leave of absence allows students to interrupt their graduate studies if necessary. A leave of absence is granted for one semester with the privilege of renewal for one more consecutive semester. A request for a leave of absence for the current semester must be received prior to the last day of classes. Request for a leave of absence must be approved in writing by the program director. (Information on procedures for requesting a leave of absence is available from student affairs.) Students wishing to renew their leave of absence must also do so in writing.

Students granted a leave of absence are maintained as students in good standing during the semester in which a leave of absence is taken but will be discontinued from graduate study unless the students register the semester following a leave of absence or request and are granted an extension of the leave of absence.

For students electing to withdraw, please refer to the withdrawal policy in the Academic Regulations section of the FDU Student Handbook.  The Student Handbook can be found online at https://www.fdu.edu/student-life/publications/student-handbook/.

Academic Progression

Academic Standards for Progression

Academic standards are established for all components of the curriculum. Didactic courses are evaluated for academic knowledge by multiple choice exams incorporating all material covered in the previous class sessions (approximately 15 hours per exam) specific to the major topic headings. These exams are modeled in content and format after the National Certification Exam. The exams serve as indicators of students’ performance, strengths, weaknesses, and possible need for additional help. During the didactic phase, a student is typically confronted with two to three exams per week. Didactic courses also are enhanced with laboratory components dedicated to case studies, critical thinking, and procedural skills. These are assessed through the performance of skills competency measures, and the completion of supplementary learning materials.

During the Clinical Phase, exams are administered at the end of each rotation. The material for the end- of-rotation exam is outlined in the learning objectives and referenced to the texts in the student’s book list. The final grade for each supervised clinical experience is based on three (3) components – Academic Knowledge (80%), Clinical Performance (10%) and Professionalism (10%). Each component is graded independently and, therefore, for successful completion of the course, each of the components must receive a grade of B- or above. The course then receives a final numerical and corresponding letter grade. The letter grade is submitted to Office of Student Enrollment and included in the FDU transcript.

All courses (didactic and clinical) receive a numerical grade and must be passed with a minimum grade of B- or above. This letter grade is included in the FDU transcript. The grade appears as “incomplete” until all components of that course are passed.

A student is required to take all exams and pass all courses in the Didactic and Clinical Phases with a minimum grade of B-. (In addition, any individual exam with a grade of 65 or below requires a make-up in order to demonstrate minimal competency.). Additionally, students must successfully pass an OSCE and a comprehensive multiple-choice exam with a minimum grade of 80% before progressing to the subsequent year. Students in the didactic phase must pass these exams before progressing to the clinical phase and those in the clinical phase before progressing to graduation.

The final course grade for each supervised clinical experience is based on three (3) components – Academic Knowledge, Clinical Skills and Professional Attitudes. Each component is graded independently and, therefore, for successful completion of the course, each of the components must receive a grade of B- or above. The course then receives a final numerical and corresponding letter grade. The letter grade is submitted to Office of Student Enrollment and included in the FDU transcript.

All courses of the PA Program must be passed with a minimum grade of B-. This applies to every didactic course and every component (Academic Knowledge, Clinical Skills, and Professional Attitudes) within a Supervised Clinical Practice Experience (SCPE). In the event that, at the end of a didactic course a grade is less than B-, the student must take a comprehensive final make-up exam. In the event that the ‘clinical performance’ grade is less than B-, the student must remediate the clinical experience and demonstrate the achievement of minimum competencies. If additional clinical experience is required, this may involve a delay in graduation. The student is also offered remediation work that is developed by the corresponding phase coordinator. The remediation work must be submitted by the student prior to taking the comprehensive final make-up exam and receiving a passing grade for a course. If a student scores B- or above on the comprehensive final make-up exam, the remediation process is deemed successful and the student passes the course with a grade of B- (See Appendix A – Academic Policy flow chart).

The first didactic or clinical failure places the student on “Academic Warning” and the student is provided the opportunity to take a Make-Up Final Exam. Should the student fail the make-up exam or pass the makeup exam but fail a subsequent course, the student will be placed on “Academic Probation”. Therefore, for student on Academic Warning, any subsequent failure places that student on “Academic Probation”.

An “Academic Warning” or “Academic Probation” from one professional year or phase of the program carries over to the subsequent professional year or phase. Once a student is placed on Academic Probation, the student will remain on Academic Probation for the remainder of the professional program. For the student on Academic Probation, any other failure in that or subsequent years will necessitate a meeting of the Progress Committee. The Committee will review the student’s status to determine a course of action, which may include deceleration or dismissal. Students must recognize that deceleration will constitute extension of their time at the FDU PA Program.

Note: Most state licensure boards request information on disciplinary issues on the official program completion verification paperwork. The Program must document when a student has been on Professionalism Probation, and in most cases, the reasons for probation. Additionally, this information is often requested by credentialing agencies, and therefore, it may impact your ability to obtain employment clearance.

Progression in the Physician Assistant Program

Students must achieve a grade of B- or higher in order to pass a course. Students who fail to achieve a minimum cumulative grade of B at the end of any semester and/or remediation period will be placed on academic probation until they achieve a cumulative grade of B or higher. Due to potential impact on overall GPR, students who fail a course run the risk of jeopardizing their progression in the Physician Assistant Program. A course can only be repeated once.

A cumulative GPA of 3.0 must be attained by all PA students prior to graduation. A student will be subjected to academic review from the PA Program if s/he fails to:

  1. Maintain continuous registration.
  2. Attend class, lab, and SCPEs, successfully completing all course requirements.
  3. Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0

Any student not achieving a letter grade of B- or higher in two or more didactic courses by the end of each semester will have their academic performance reviewed by the Student Affairs and Academic Progression Committee and be notified of the committee’s recommendation on progression in the PA Program. Fairleigh Dickinson University, through its various faculties or appropriate committees, reserves the discretionary right to suspend or dismiss any student from the University for failure to maintain a satisfactory academic record, acceptable personal behavior, acceptable standards of academic conduct, acceptable standards of practice at a clinical affiliate or satisfactory standards of health.

More information on the University’s right to discipline students and their rights of appeal or to file a grievance can be found in the Student Handbook.

Completion Requirements

To ensure that students have achieved program goals and objectives and are in compliance with program standards, the following are required for completion of the program:

  • Adherence to PA Code of Ethics
  • Resolution of any issues/requirements of Academic Warning, Remediation, Deceleration and/or Probation.
  • Completion of all required didactic courses
  • Completion of all clinical rotations with a minimum of 2,000 clinical hours and 1,000 patient encounters
  • Grades of B- or higher on all didactic and clinical courses.
  • Presentations of Research Proposal and Research Results
  • Thesis Defense at Annual Research Forum
  • Clinical Practicums (OSCEs)
  • Comprehensive Competency Exams (Grade of 80 or higher)
  • Professional Portfolio
  • Exit Interview

Student who complete the above are invited to participate in the PA Program White Coat Ceremony and the University commencement exercises.