The Best Physician Assistant Schools in New Jersey in 2023 | How to Apply

If you’re looking for a fulfilling career in the medical field, becoming a physician assistant might be the right choice for you. Physician assistants (PAs) can complete their education in less time than medical doctors, making this career path more attractive to many students.

PA schools in New Jersey are among the most well-known and renowned research institutions in the world. The U.S. News & World Report ranks the New Jersey PA schools as some of the best to apply to, as they have produced prominent physician assistants in the United States.

Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects strong growth in physician assistant jobs, and it will interest you to know that the salary outlook is gradually increasing yearly. 

So, if you want to become a physician assistant, the first step is to plan your education. This article will provide you with the admission requirements, tuition costs, and locations of some of the best PA schools in New Jersey.

Read Also: 10 Best Physician Assistant Schools in Louisiana| Requirements, Cost & How to Apply

Are there PA Schools in New Jersey?

The Physician Assistant (PA) profession is becoming an essential part of the healthcare sector. Recently, the number of applicants to PA schools in New Jersey has doubled, making admission very competitive.

New Jersey has four (4) different on-campus physician assistant (PA) training programs offered at the following universities. 

  • Monmouth University
  • Rutgers University
  • Saint Elizabeth University, 
  • Seton Hall University

How Do I Get into PA Schools in New Jersey?

The Physician Assistant programs in New Jersey are very competitive.  Some PA programs have acceptance rates in the single digits making it seem nearly impossible to get in.  

Although each PA school in New Jersey has its admission requirements, meeting these requirements does not guarantee admission into the PA program. Still, with proper planning and careful attention to qualities that matter to admissions faculty, you can increase your chances of being accepted to a physician assistant program in New Jersey.  

The general admission requirements are as follows.

  • Must have the appropriate prerequisites courses such as Biology, Statistics, Anatomy & Physiology, Organic Chemistry
  • Must have at least a Grade B in all prerequisites course
  • CASPA Application
  • This GPA requirement ranges from 3.0 to 3.5.  The higher the GPA you can achieve, the better your chances of acceptance
  • A minimum of 300 hours of direct patient handling in clinical rotations
  • Transcripts
  • Letters of Recommendations

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How Long are PA Schools in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the completion of a PA training program takes about 33 months.

The duration of the PA program provides students with an opportunity to develop their analytical skills and build communication skills which are particularly important in today’s healthcare environment where PAs have delegated increasing levels of responsibility.

Similarly, the master’s programs require 36 to 44 credits and can be completed within 2-3 years. However, some programs allow students who already have a physician assistant bachelor’s degree to finish their required coursework in as little as one year.

Can Physician Assistants Practice Independently in New Jersey?

A Physician Assistant is a medical provider trained in a medical school curriculum and licensed to practice in the healthcare system. They work under a licensed physician’s supervision to perform physical examinations on patients.

The role of a Physician Assistant also extends to carrying out the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses, prescribing medication, assisting in surgery, and providing patient education and counseling.

In New Jersey, Physician Assistants are allowed to practice independently from a physician; that is, they can administer treatments and carry out other healthcare services independently of a medicinal physician.

What are the Best PA (Physician Assistant) Schools in New Jersey 

Attending accredited physician assistant schools that provide quality education with the guidance of certified instructors and physicians increases your chances of becoming a well-trained physician assistant in New Jersey.

While searching for PA schools, ensure you select schools that fit your schedule perfectly. New Jersey PA schools accommodate international students who seek interest in the PA program, as most schools offer on-campus and online courses.

New Jersey has four main PA schools. However, other institutions offer physician assistant programs.

Ranked in no particular order, here’s the list of the best physician assistant schools in New Jersey.

Read More: 10 Best Physician Assistant Schools in the United States| Requirements & How to Apply

1. Rutgers University

When considering PA schools in New Jersey, Rutgers University is one of the most sought-after institutions as it is fully accredited and offers a wide range of PA programs. The school has a joint Master of Science and Master of Public Health program that takes four years to complete.

Furthermore, the institution provides 3+3 physician assisting collaboration programs with several colleges, such as Kean University and  Montclair State University. 

These programs are for students who wish to earn a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in six years instead of the normal seven years.

Rutgers University is one of the few universities that do not require GRE test scores. Interested students should have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA when applying.

The tuition cost for residents and non-residents are $76,680 and $106,380, respectively. 

Graduates from Rutgers PA programs can gain employment as certified physician assistants across the United States in a multitude of medical specialties

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2. Monmouth University 

Monmouth University’s PA program is located in its West Long branch in New Jersey. This University features a Master of Science program for physician assistants looking to specialize in advanced medical areas.

The 28-month program comprises classroom and clinical learning. To enroll in this program, you must have completed prerequisite courses, including psychology and chemistry, and have a minimum of 200 hours of experience directly taking care of patients.

Interested applicants require GRE and should have a minimum of 3.0 GPA. Also, the resident and non-resident tuition fees cost about $123,405 per year.

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3. Seton Hall University

Seton Hall University is among the best New Jersey PA programs and is also ranked among the top 50 PA programs in the United States. The university provides an accredited master’s degree option for future PAs.

The 33-month program consists of 96-credit didactic coursework and nurtures students on how to work with physicians in all medical disciplines. Additionally, students complete 60 weeks of clinical rotations in surgery, critical care, and other fields.

To be eligible for admission into the PA program, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.2 and above. Prerequisite courses like biology and chemistry and GRE test scores are required.

In addition, applicants must have at least 100 hours of clinical experience, such as volunteer programs and healthcare work experience. The tuition cost for residents and international students is $129,600 per year.

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4. Saint Elizabeth University

Saint Elizabeth University (SEU) is listed among the top pa schools in New Jersey as it offers a Physician Assistant program at the graduate level only.

The school’s Master of Science in Physician Assistant program is accredited by ARC-PA and organized to prepare PAs who are eligible and committed to genuinely taking care of patients.

The 28-month program comprises a 104-credit curriculum comprising clinical placements and classroom discussions. As a requirement, applicants should have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA.

Residents’ and non-residents’ tuition fee is $104,104 per year. Graduates of this program can boast of having the optimum knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for clinical practice.

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5. Thomas Jefferson University

Thomas Jefferson University is one of the fully accredited institutions that offer a PA program in partnership with Richard Stockton University of New Jersey and Reliance Medical Group. 

The 25-months program emphasizes research competence, basic sciences knowledge, and physical examination skills. Also, the tuition fee for both residents and non-residents is $48,563 per year. 

In applying to the Thomas Jefferson PA program, candidates are expected to have the following admission requirements 

  • Bachelor’s degree at a regionally accredited institution
  • Minimum GPA of 3.25 and above
  • Prerequisite courses like Biology and Chemistry

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6. Kean University

Kean University is a public school that offers a physician assistant training program in Union, New Jersey. The school provides a Master’s degree program in Physician assistants.

The 20-month program, which usually begins around September, encompasses classroom and clinical training. Also, the tuition cost for residents and non-residents is $84,054. 

Interested applicants are expected to have the following admissions requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • A minimum of 3.0 GPA
  • Prerequisite courses like Biology and Chemistry
  • A minimum of Grade C in the prerequisite courses 
  • GRE scores
  • 250 hours of healthcare experience

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7. Fairleigh Dickinson University

Fairleigh Dickinson University is a large private institution that offers physician assistants programs at the graduate level. The University strives to enhance students’ career and professional skills in the healthcare system.

The school offers a 36-month PA program to train future PAs with all the skills needed to provide genuine and compassionate patient care.

Candidates should have the following admissions requirement

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • A minimum of 3.0 GPA
  • Prerequisite Courses like Biology and Chemistry 
  • A minimum of Grade B in the prerequisite courses
  • 400 hours of healthcare experience
  • Letters of Recommendation 

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What are the Easiest New Jersey Pa Schools to Get into?

Getting into PA schools can be difficult as their acceptance rate is lower than medical school. As admission requirements vary from each PA school in New Jersey, some tend to have strict admission processes.

However, if you are a student seeking to become a physician assistant in New Jersey and have a low GPA, some PA schools can accommodate such factors in New Jersey. So, all hope isn’t lost!

The following are the easiest PA schools to get into in New Jersey.

  • Thomas Jefferson University
  • Rutgers University 
  • Monmouth University
  • Ramapo College
  • Kean University 

How Much Does A Physician Assistant Make in New Jersey?

The average Physician Assistant – Medical salary in New Jersey is about $125,350 as of July. A New Jersey Physician Assistant’s salary range typically falls between $115,384 and $138,202. 

However, salary ranges can vary widely depending on important factors, such as location, educational level, certifications, additional skills, and the number of years you have spent in your profession.

What are the Best Physician Assistant Programs in New Jersey?

Recently, we have witnessed how the physician assistant profession has become a huge part of the healthcare system. As such, the state of New Jersey considered the need for a physician assistant program.

The essence of a Physician Assistant program is to equip future PAs with the knowledge and skills needed to work in the medical field with or without the supervision of a physician. Interested persons are advised to search for accredited PA programs when applying to these schools in New Jersey.

Below is a list of some of the best PA schools that offer quality medical training in New Jersey.

  • Rutgers University Physician Assistant Program
  • Seton Hall University Physician Assistant Program
  • Thomas Jefferson University Physician Assistant Program
  • Monmouth University Physician Assistant Program
  • Saint Elizabeth University Physician Assistant Program

What are the PA Schools in New Jersey that Don’t Require Gre?

The General Records Examinations (GRE) are standard admissions requirements by most PA schools today. Aspiring PAs are expected to write these tests, especially if the PA school they are applying to requires it.

Nonetheless, several accredited PA programs do not require applicants to take the GRE to be considered.

The following schools do not require that you submit GRE scores according to the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA)’s directory of PA programs.

  • Saint Elizabeth University
  • Rutgers University
  • Thomas Jefferson University
  • Princeton University 
  • Fairleigh Dickinson University

Are there Physician Assistant Master’s Programs in New Jersey?

The Masters’s program offered by New PA schools aims to provide further knowledge and training to PAs who intend to major in particular areas in the healthcare industry.

Furthermore, the master’s programs require 36 to 44 credits and can be completed within 2–3 years. All PA schools have their requirements, and the duration varies depending on your chosen program.

However, some pa programs allow students who already have a physician assistant bachelor’s degree to finish their required coursework in as little as one year.

The following are the Physician Assistant Master’s programs in New Jersey

  1. Rutgers University – Newark, – Masters in Physician Assistant
  2. Seton Hall University – M.S Physician Assistant
  3. Rutgers University – Camden – Masters in Physician Assistant 
  4. Kean University – School of Physician Studies
  5. Monmouth University – Masters in Physician Assistant
  6. Princeton University – Graduate of Physician Assistant 

Are there Online Physician Assistant Courses in New Jersey for International Students? 

International students seeking to become Physician Assistants in New Jersey but do not want to relocate are opportune to have access to online courses. Since online programs are delivered virtually, students can attend classes anywhere.

The added flexibility offered by an online program ranges from that saved commute time, work and study options, and the ability to log in to class at your convenience. 

Although all PA programs require clinical placements, international students are advised to apply to schools that can create clinical placements at their respective locations.

Given below are PA schools that offer online courses to International students

  • Saint Elizabeth University – MPAS
  • Pace University – MPAS for already-certified PAs
  • Touro College – MPAS for already-certified PAs
  • Rutgers University – MPAS
  • Thomas Jefferson University – MPAS

What are the Cheapest PA Schools in New Jersey?

Physician assistant programs are one of the most sought-after degree programs in the nation. This makes choosing the right school a hard decision. However, finding cheap PA schools offering quality education can be quite daunting as most are expensive.

New Jersey has some affordable PA schools offering excellent academic opportunities, scholarships, fellowships, and grants.

The cheapest physician assistant schools in New Jersey are

  • Monmouth University
  • Rutgers University
  • Seton Hall University 

What are the Accredited PA Programs in New Jersey?

When searching for Physician Assistant schools in New Jersey, students are advised to check for PA schools with New Jersey accreditation.

The accreditation process of PA schools ensures that these institutions offer the standard programs and are licensed to train students to become certified physician assistants.

It should be noted that if you do not study at an accredited institution, you cannot become a licensed physician assistant in New Jersey. To avoid such occurrences, always apply to accredited PA schools.

The accredited PA training programs in New Jersey are as follows

  • Rutgers University
  • Saint Elizabeth University 
  • Monmouth University
  • Seton Hall University

How To Become A Physician Assistant in New Jersey 

Having a career as a physician assistant will be a thrilling experience, as it will be a major accomplishment in one’s pursuit of the healthcare system.

To become a physician assistant in New Jersey, here are some tips to help you achieve your goal. 

Earn your Physician Assistant Degree 

The Physician Assistant degree takes about three and a half years to complete. When searching for PA schools in New Jersey, ensure you look for physician assistant programs accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) to ensure you meet certification requirements in the future.

Also, check the websites of the PA school you are applying to make sure you have all the admissions requirements.

Pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) 

After the completion of the PA training programs, graduates are expected to write a certification examination to enable practice as physician assistants.

Once individuals pass the PANCE, they are certified to practice as a PA in New Jersey and should endeavor to get licensed as well. However, students who fail the exams are free to repeat the examination.

Get Licensed 

Newly certified physician assistants should check with the New Jersey Physician Assistant Advisory Committee as early as possible to make sure they meet all current requirements for licensure.

According to the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), licensure in New Jersey requires

  • Submitting an application
  • Paying a fee
  • Obtaining a criminal background check
  • Providing proof of graduation from an accredited program

Renewing Your License

Physician assistants in New Jersey need to renew their licenses periodically. Also, practicing PAs must pass the Physician Assistant National Re-certifying Exam (PANRE). NCCPA used to require the PANRE every six years, but it started transitioning to a 10-year cycle in 2014.

Once your license expires, it will be considered delinquent and may be automatically canceled after a certain period. If you practice with an expired license, you could face disciplinary action in New Jersey.

Physician Assistant Certification Council of New Jersey 

The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants is the only certification provider for physician assistants in New Jersey, United States.


When considering the best PA school for you, ensure that you also consider the job outlook for that position. As technological advancement tends to play a huge role in the employment of physician assistants, demand for physician assistants is expected to grow with a 30 percent increase from 2014 to 2024.

So, if you stay in New Jersey or are interested in studying in New Jersey as a physician assistant, you should take advantage of the best PA schools on our list.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do PA schools cost in New Jersey?

The Average Cost across all PA Schools in NJ is about $71,369; the average cost of non-resident tuition for a 27-month physician assistant program is $89,975.31.

How many hours do PAs work?

Most physician assistants work full time. Some work more than 40 hours per week. Physician assistants may work nights, weekends, or holidays. They may also be on call, meaning they must be ready to respond to a work request with little notice.

Do you get to pick your rotations in PA schools?

While most programs have all of these rotations, some have other mandatory rotations as well, such as rural medicine or cardiology. Either way, all programs will pick some, if not all, of your rotations for you. 

Why become a PA instead of a doctor?

Physician Assistants have consistently high levels of job satisfaction, job stability, and work-life balance while spending less time and money on school and having more opportunities to switch specializations than their MD colleagues.


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