Pre-Physician Assistant


3 + 3 Pre-Physician Assistant Program

The Department of Biology at William Paterson University (WPUNJ) in conjunction with the Rutgers School of Health Related Professions (Rutgers SHRP) has established a collaborative 3 + 3 program of study leading to the Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from WPUNJ and the Master of Science-Physician Assistant degree from the Rutgers SHRP after completion of a six year joint program.  Successful students will spend three years (or the time required to complete 92.5 credits) in the Pre-Physician Assistant (pre-PA) program at WPUNJ fulfilling the requirements for admission to the MS-Physician Assistant program at Rutgers SHRP.*  The following requirements must be completed at William Paterson:


**Major Science and Mathematics Courses:      

General Biology I (BIO 1630)  4 credits
General Anatomy & Physiology I, II (BIO 1120, 1130) 8 credits
(Bio 1180/1190 can be used  when one or both are transferred to WPU)
Cell Biology (BIO 2050) 4 credits
Genetics (BIO 2060) 4 credits
General Chemistry I, II (CHEM 1600, 1620) 8 credits
Organic Chemistry I, II (CHEM 2570, 2580) 8 credits
College Physics I, II (PHYS 2550, 2560) 8 credits
Calculus I (MATH 1600) 4 credits
Statistics (MATH 2300) 4 credits
Total: 52 credits



University Core Curriculum (UCC) and Elective Courses:


First Year Seminar (WPU 1010) 1.5 credits
UCC Personal Well-Being 3 credits
UCC Expression (Art & Comm; Literature; Writing)(Must include College Writing (ENG 1110)) 9 credits
UCC Ways of Knowing: (Philos; Hist; Soc & Behav)(Must include General Psychology (PSY 1100)) 12 credits
UCC Ways of Knowing: Science (College Physics I (PHYS 2550)) (list above)
UCC Ways of Knowing: Quantitative (Calculus I (MATH 1600)) (list above)
UCC Diversity and Justice 3 credits
UCC Community and Civic Knowledge 3 credits
UCC Global Awareness 3 credits
Foreign Language 6 credits
Writing Intensive (3 courses) – may be included in above courses  
Technology Intensive (2 courses) – Cell Biology and Genetics (list above)
Total: 40.5 credits

Total number of credits required at WPUNJ 92.5 credits**

Students must have a GPA of at least 3.0 to be considered for admission to the MS-Physician Assistant program at Rutgers SHRP.

*Admission to the MS-Physician Assistant Program at Rutgers SHRP is not guaranteed.

**University policy requires that at least 30 of the 92.5 total credits shall be completed at WPU.  Further, at least 24 of 52 'major' course credits must be taken at WPU.

**For eligibility consult Dr. Leonard, pre-professional advisor.

Three Year Suggested Course Sequence

Freshman Year

Fall Credits   Spring Credits Total Credits
Bio 1630 4   Bio 1120 4  
WPU 1010 1.5   Math 1600 4  
UCC 3   UCC 3  
UCC 3   UCC 3  
UCC 3   UCC 3  
  14.5     17 31.5

NOTE: BIO 1120 and BIO 1130 are also offered in Summer sessions 1 and 2, respectively

Sophomore Year

Fall Credits   Spring Credits Total Credits
Bio 1130 4   Bio 2060 4  
Chem 1600 4   Chem 1620 4  
Foreign Lang I 3   Foreing Lang II 3  
Math 2300 4   UCC 3  
      UCC 3  
  15     17 32

Junior Year

Fall Credits   Spring Credits Total Credits
Phys 2550 4   Phys 2560 4  
Chem 2570 4   Chem 2580 4  
Bio 2050 4   UCC 3  
UCC 3   UCC 3  
  15     14 29

                                                          Total Credits            92.5

Students accepted in the MS-Physician Assistant Program at Rutgers SHRP will receive the BS Biology degree from William Paterson University after the completion of the first year at Rutgers SHRP, and a MS-Physician Assistant degree after the completion of the program.

Students not admitted to the MS-Physician Assistant Program after their 3rd year of study in the Pre-PA program, may complete the BS Biology major within the 4th year at William Paterson University.


S e n i o r Y e a r

(to complete Biology Major)

Ecology, Evolution and Behavior (BIO 2490) 4 credits

AND (select ONE of the three Concentrations below)

Biology: General Concentration 14-16 credits

(Plant course + 3 Biology Electives)


Biology: Physiology & Behavior Concentration 14-15 credits

(An. Behavior + An. Physiology + 2 Biology Electives)


Biology: Ecology Concentration 14-16 credits

(Ecology + Pl. Ecology + 2 Biology Electives)


Biology Seminar (BIO 4800) 2 credits

Writing Intensive course (upper level) 3 credits


Total 23-25 credits





(Initiated Fall 2012)

  1. The primary advantage for a student in this articulated program is that it reduces one year of schooling. Students who apply to Rutgers SHRP from non-articulating schools must have a bachelor’s degree.
  2. Rutgers SHRP has a total of approximately 50 slots available each year.
  3. While no entrance exam is required, the applicant should become very familiar with the Admissions tab on the website ( The student should pay particular attention to the General Info, Tuition & Fees, and Essential Functions (and the section for International Students where applicable). For all 3+3 students, the guidelines for articulated schools are given at the BOTTOM of the web site in a section entitled: “Admission Requirements for those who are seeking admission from one of our 3+3 articulated institutions.”
  4. An important note about the articulation agreement is as follows : “Please note that enrollment at one of these institutions does not guarantee admittance to the Physician Assistant Program nor does meeting the minimum requirements.
  5. Application Deadlines for 3+3 Applications: “Applications are submitted directly to the PA Program by June 1 at the end of the sophomore year.” The website for the downloadable application is found on the web site for general information: This web site includes application instructions and a form for recommenders.
  6. Letters of Recommendation for the WP/Rutgers SHRP PA program do NOT include a pre-professional committee letter, and it is the responsibility of the student to learn which letters are required (see website listed in #3), to engage the recommenders, provide them with the correct timeline for the application and provide all addresses or web links etc.
  7. Undergraduate financial aid will end when the student completes the program at William Paterson University.
  8. After the required 92.5 credits at WPUNJ, the number of credits required in the MS-Physician Assistant Program at Rutgers SHRP is 44 credits during the 4th year of study (136.5 credits for BS degree).
  9. Contact person is the admissions coordinator Rebecca Santiago: