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Welcome to the Physician Assistant Studies program! We look forward to having you in Chapel Hill. Below are initial steps to take as you prepare to begin the program.

Getting Started

ONYEN (Only Name You’ll Ever Need)

Create an ONYEN if you haven’t already done so. You will need this to access your student portal including information about registration, financial aid and billing.

UNC Email

Once you have created an Onyen and Onyen password, you need to manually signup for the email service by visiting the Email Self Service Tool (

For more information, visit How do I get a UNC e-mail account? or contact the ITS Help Desk.

UNC School of Medicine Email

It is important for our students to create an email account to correspond with faculty, staff, peers, and preceptors due to the added layers of protection and HIPAA compliance measures for communications throughout the School of Medicine. Please wait 24-48 hours after creation of your UNC email before beginning this step.

The School of Medicine email account will provide a secure server for email exchange. This will be your primary email address and used for all correspondence upon matriculation. Additionally, many software and system components are tied to this email, therefore it is important to accurately establish your SOM email address. Email Account Instructions

Upon creation of your email account, please email the program,, using your SOM email account.

Castle Branch On-Boarding Checklist

New students will receive an invitation email to create their Castle Branch, Inc. account and to complete on-boarding tasks prior to orientation. There are fees associated with these tasks. 

Tasks include:

      • BLS certification

Students must maintain current BLS certification throughout the pre-clinical phase of the program (January – December of the matriculating year). Refresher courses including BLS, ACLS and PALS are scheduled during clinical phase orientation.

      • Background Check

A background check is required prior to admissions to the program and prior to being placed on clinical rotations. The program requires all background checks be ordered through our third-party partner, Castle Branch, Inc. The UNC PA Program Package Code for placing your order is UO33.

      • Drug Screen

A 13 panel urine drug screen is required prior to admission to the program and prior to being placed on clinical rotations. The program requires all drug screens be ordered through our third-party partner, Castle Branch, Inc. The UNC PA Program Package Code for placing your order is UO33dt.

      • Immunizations

Documentation of required immunizations is a very important matter for all health care professionals and something you will be required to do throughout your career.  Students at the UNC School of Medicine are required to meet immunization requirements set by the State of North Carolina AND additional requirements established by the School of Medicine/UNC HealthCare System/CDC. The UNC PA Program Package Code for placing your order is UO33im.

In addition to your CastleBranch profile, you will also need to submit your immunizations to Campus Health Services.  Log into your ConnectCarolina student center portal and view your To Do list.  Follow the instructions provided to submit your immunizations to Campus Health.

      • Health Insurance

All students enrolled in the UNC system colleges and universities, including UNC-Chapel Hill, are required to have health insurance coverage. The UNC System endorses a cost-effective Student Health Insurance Plan to cover most health care expenses not covered by the Campus Health Fee.

You will be automatically enrolled and billed for the UNC System-Wide Student Health Insurance plan unless you submit a waiver to show that you have an alternate health insurance plan. Please visit the Campus Health Services website for information on the waiver process

Verification of health care coverage is required by the program.

      • Student Handbook Acknowledgement
      • School of Medicine Training
        • Code of Conduct
        • Honor Code
        • Plagiarism

Students not in compliance by the provided deadline may forfeit their seat. Please email if you have any questions regarding any requirements.


Preparing for Orientation


Obtain your OneCard

    • ONE cards can only be created after registration for courses

    • You must submit your photo for your OneCard to be printed. Please follow this link to upload your photo.
    • You will be given further instructions about card pickup and distribution at Orientation. Please do not contact the OneCard office about picking up your card.
    • Note: You must have DUO set up to submit your photo and sign the electronic agreement (see DUO instructions in OneCard photo link). If you do not sign the agreement, you will not be issued a OneCard.


Return to your supplemental application portal to view your residency status for tuition purposes. If you have an “undetermined” or “non-resident” status, you will be charged out-of-state tuition.

Students who wish to be considered for in-state tuition benefits will need to complete the Residency Determination Service (RDS) interview process (for initial requests, reconsideration requests, and appeals). Please visit your ConnectCarolina StudentCenter and click the NC Residency Reconsideration or Appeal link under the Personal Information tab. Once you complete the RDS process you must enter your Residency Certification Number (RCN) in your StudentCenter.

To access RDS directly, please visit

Review Policies and Procedures

As part of the Department of Health Sciences, it is essential for you to be familiar with the required policies of the department and resources available to you as a student. Please visit the Student Resources and Student Policies pages and review the material and links provided.


Purchase Textbooks

    • A list of required and recommended textbooks can be found at the UNC Health Sciences Library.
    • Textbooks are available at the UNC Student Stores beginning in December and several are available in an electronic format for free through the Health Sciences Library.

Purchase Items for Patient Assessment Course

    • Stethoscope
    • Reflex Hammer
    • Tuning Fork (Frequency 256 or 512)
    • Diagnostic Kit (Otoscope, Ophthalmoscope)
    • BP Cuff (Adult size)
    • Medical Tape Measure
    • Handheld Eye Chart

The estimated cost of supplies is $750 prior to shipping and taxes.

Computer Purchase and Requirements

    • Decide if you will purchase a laptop through Carolina Computing Initiative (CCI) or bring your own device.
    • Please see the Computer Requirements for information about purchasing a CCI Computer versus bringing your own device. Several devices on the market are not compatible with UNC systems (i.e. Chromebook).

Arriving on Campus

Life in Chapel Hill

Prepare for Your First Day

Study Tips

Concept Mapping