Yale PA Online is the online Master of Medical Science program from the Yale School of Medicine. Yale PA Online prepares students to excel in the medical field as physician assistants (PAs).
What is the difference between Yale PA Online and the on-campus PA program?
Students in both programs experience two components to earn their degree: classes and clinical rotations. The first year of the Yale PA Online program is comprised of classes and coursework. Students in the online program engage with their classmates in these online courses; students in the on-campus program meet in physical classrooms. Yale PA Online students log into a virtual campus from anywhere and access live class sessions and coursework. The online curriculum differs from the on-campus curriculum in that it uses problem-based learning in a small group setting along with an organ-systems approach to medicine, in which students learn through the study of one biological system at a time. The second component of a Yale PA education is the same for students in both programs: They gain hands-on clinical experience working on-site at health care facilities. Yale PA Online students have the opportunity to learn at sites in or near their communities, so they do not need to relocate. For both programs, all clinical work is designed to offer students practical experience working in teams and maintaining ethical medical practice. Hands-on clinical experience is critical to any medical curriculum, which is why PA Online students spend over half the program completing clinical rotations. Yale placement specialists identify and secure placement sites that uphold YSM’s academic and professional standards. Our specialists will attempt to place students near their home communities, however, students may need to travel to complete rotations if there are no sites available that meet Yale’s standards while allowing the student to remain at home.
What elements do the on-campus PA program and Yale PA Online share?
The Yale PA Online program and the on-campus PA program share the following features:
the rigor of the curriculum
Yale School of Medicine’s values, teaching philosophy, and mission
courses taught by Yale School of Medicine faculty
the academic standards and admissions requirements
clinical placement requirements.
Students in the online program earn the same degree as on-campus students. Graduates are awarded a Master of Medical Science degree from Yale School of Medicine and are invited to participate in the commencement ceremony on campus in New Haven, Connecticut. Online graduates’ diplomas do not indicate that their degree was earned online.
How is Yale PA Online different from other online programs?
Unlike many other online programs, Yale PA Online students meet in live classes each week to engage with faculty and fellow students. Coursework is delivered through a multimedia format, and the curriculum takes an organ-systems approach to medicine.
Yale PA Online also has a dedicated field placement team that works in partnership with Yale School of Medicine Physician Assistant faculty to locate qualified clinical rotation sites in or near students’ communities.
Is Yale PA Online accredited?
The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Yale Physician Assistant Online Program sponsored by Yale School of Medicine.
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.
Why is Yale creating the Yale PA Online program?
The mission statement of Yale University begins with this sentence: “Yale is committed to improving the world today and for future generations through outstanding research and scholarship, education, preservation, and practice.” Yale School of Medicine believes creating the Yale PA Online program aligns with this ideal. One reason is that we know the United States will need many more physician assistants. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that between 2014 and 2024 the country will need to grow its workforce by 30 percent, which represents roughly 29,000 jobs.1
While we obviously won’t solve this problem on our own, Yale School of Medicine is confident the students we educate in the Yale PA Online program will grow to become leaders in this critical health care field and will have an impact nationally.
If the program is online, how can you be certain PA Online students are learning the required material before they practice?
Only the coursework in the first year of the program is delivered online, and the online format includes live weekly class sessions. Like the traditional on-campus program, the second component of the program requires Yale PA Online students to learn in clinical rotations that are completed on-site at health care facilities. Students from both programs must also complete the same board exam, the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE).
Is the online program available full time and part time?
The program is currently only available on a full-time basis.
How long does the program take to complete?
The program can be completed in 28 months.
Can I work full time while enrolled in the program?
Due to the labor and time intensive nature of the Yale PA Online program, students are discouraged from working while enrolled.
Any student who chooses to work while in the program is expected to attend scheduled classes and fulfill all stated activities of the program. A student who chooses to work may not switch classes, labs, special assignments, or clinical rotations to accommodate their work schedule.
If the student’s academic or clinical performance falls below the minimum program standard, the program director may recommend a student’s termination of employment. This recommendation will be made in writing and placed in the student’s file.
Students are not at any time required to perform work duties for the PA program. Students are not permitted to substitute for clinical or administrative staff during supervised clinical practice experiences. Violation of these policies will result in a referral to the Academic Affairs Committee.
Is there an on-campus requirement?
Yes, students must attend three immersion experiences at the main campus located in New Haven, Connecticut. These immersions will allow students to develop hands-on clinical skills, work in small groups, and meet classmates and faculty in person. Students also work in the Yale School of Medicine simulation lab and participate in cadaver dissection.
The immersions last five days and typically run Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM daily with open lab time available Monday to Thursday evening. The first immersion occurs near the middle of the first semester of the didactic year, the second immersion occurs near the end of the didactic year and the third immersion occurs just prior to program completion. Travel, hotel and food costs are the student’s responsibility.
Upon completion of the program, students are also invited to travel to campus for the May University commencement.
What is the student-to-faculty ratio?
Classes are kept small with only 12–15 students.
Does the online program offer specializations?
While Yale PA Online does not have specializations, students take three elective clinical rotations in order to gain expertise in a specific area of medicine.
Will my diploma indicate that I earned my degree online?
No. As with the on-campus program, Yale PA Online diplomas are issued from Yale University and do not indicate that the degree was earned online.
Will this degree allow me to pursue licensure in any state?
Licensure requirements differ from state to state. We encourage applicants to research the requirements specific to their home state.
What are the PANCE pass rates for Yale’s PA program?
Once the Yale PA Online program has students who have completed the board exam, the results will be posted on the program website.
Where can I find information on the PA on-campus program?
Will my health, admission, and academic records be protected if I apply to Yale PA Online or enroll as a student?
Yes, your records are safe. Yale PA Online follows the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) which affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. Review the policy here.
Do I have to wait for CASPA to open to apply to Yale PA Online?
No, you do not have to wait for CASPA to open to apply to the program. Yale PA Online uses its own application and is completely separate from CASPA. We do not accept the CASPA application. If you are ready to begin your application, click here to get started.
Do I need to have prior health care experience in order to be eligible for this program?
Applicants are not required to have prior health care experience, but it is highly recommended that applicants have a minimum of six months full-time health care employment or 1,000 total hours of hands-on patient care experience and/or community service in a health care setting.
Applicants must submit Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores as part of the Yale PA Online application. To send test scores, use the institutional code 0028.
I’m not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Can I apply?
International students are not eligible for the online program at this time.
I’m a U.S. citizen living abroad. Am I eligible for the program?
Due to the difficulty in locating appropriate placements internationally, U.S. citizens living abroad are ineligible for the online program. Applicants who will be living in the United States before their desired cohort begins are eligible to apply.
Is an interview required for Yale PA Online?
Qualified candidates will be invited to interview once the Admissions Committee has reviewed the completed application and made the recommendation to interview. These candidates will be notified with ample time to prepare for the interview. Interviews are offered on a rolling basis and are conducted online.
Is there an application fee?
Yes, the nonrefundable application fee is $50.
Can the application fee be waived?
Fee waivers are available. Please contact an admissions counselor for more information.
What are the minimum eligibility requirements for admission to the program?
Applicants must have a cumulative science GPA of at least 3.0 and an overall undergraduate cumulative GPA of at least 2.8 to be considered for the program. Competitive applicants score in the 50th percentile or higher on each section of the GRE exam. Applicants must also reside in an authorized state. For a full list of authorized states, visit our State Authorization Information page.
Will Yale consider advanced placement in the program for prior academic or clinical experience?
No. Coursework in the Yale PA Online program is different from most traditional graduate programs. The curriculum is designed so that knowledge acquired in one semester is required for knowledge acquisition in the next. Therefore, it is vital that all students in the program complete the required work in the prescribed sequence.
I hold a degree as a physician from a country outside the United States and have been unable to complete the USMLE examinations. How do I apply to your program?
Unfortunately, you are not eligible to apply. Yale does not accept applications from individuals who only hold a foreign medical degree.
What is the cost of attendance for Yale PA Online?
With activity and technology fees, we estimate the total cost of the 28-month online program at $97,300. Note that this figure should only be used for estimation purposes as tuition rates are reassessed each academic year.
Will tuition change with each academic year?
A moderate tuition increase can be expected in the fall of each year.
Who can I contact with questions about financial aid?
Contact an admissions counselor at 844-433-9253 or via email with questions about financial aid.
Are scholarships or fellowships available?
Scholarships are available from numerous organizations external to Yale School of Medicine.
If I withdraw from the program, will Yale issue me a tuition refund?
U.S. citizens and permanent residents have multiple options for financial aid. We encourage applicants to apply for financial aid at the same time they submit their application to Yale. You can learn more on how to apply on the Tuition and Financial Aid page.
Students complete their rotations in health care settings such as inpatient hospitals, operating rooms, emergency rooms, private practice offices, nursing homes/long-term care facilities, and psychiatric facilities.
Do I need to secure my own field placement?
No. At no time are students required to identify or obtain clinical training sites for their education. Students may make recommendations to the program, but only the PA program can assign students to a given site during a specific time frame.
How much time should I expect to spend at my placement site?
Yale PA Online students can expect to dedicate 40 hours or more per week to each rotation.
Are there weekend and weeknight placements available?
Weekends and weeknight placements are not the norm, but certain rotations require the student to work nonstandard shifts and weekends as part of the clinical year experience.
I do not have a car. How does this impact my field placement selection?
The Yale PA Online field placement team will make every effort to find appropriate clinical rotation sites based on your needs, but the number of options for students who do not drive is limited. A lack of transportation may delay your placement.
Given Yale PA Online’s provisional accreditation status, is there a chance that the program can lose accreditation during my enrollment? If so, would I lose my tuition payment and be unable to finish the program?
If the program loses accreditation, students in the program will complete all courses and clinical requirements, graduate, and be eligible to take the boards.
Will my physician assistant certification ever be invalid if Yale PA Online loses its accreditation status?
Will my diploma state that the program was provisionally accredited, and will this status ever hurt my future job search?
The diploma makes no statement regarding accreditation and does not mention the degree was completed online.
Will I be eligible for the PANCE exam given the Yale PA Online program’s provisional accreditation status?
Yes. To be eligible for PANCE, you must graduate from a physician assistant program accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Yale PA Online program graduates will be deemed to have graduated from an accredited program if their PA educational program was accredited at the time of their matriculation. Note that Accreditation-Provisional is a form of full accreditation.