Learner professional dress and conduct should, at all times, reflect the dignity and standards of the medical profession. It is important that physician assistant learners dress in a manner that is respectful to their professors, classmates, patients, interprofessional and administrative colleagues. The Ithaca College MS-PAS program has the authority to determine dress code requirements for learners admitted to the program.

The dress code at various clinical sites may be more or less rigorous than the guidelines outlined below. If the culture of a particular clinical setting supports a dress code that is inconsistent with the policy outlined below, the learner should discuss this with the clinical preceptor and the Director of Clinical Education to determine proper dress behavior for the learner.

  • Classroom Setting - Ithaca College Scrubs
    • Sneakers, tennis shoes, clogs are permitted.
  • Business attire during Orientation and Special Guest Presentations


  • Khakis, dress pants, trousers, linen pants and corduroy pants
  • Shirts, blouses, sweaters, turtlenecks, vests
    • Shirts must have collars. Three-button polo shirts and partial zipper shirts with collars are acceptable.
    • Shirts should be tucked in unless the style specifically prohibits this (e.g. sweater-style).  All buttons except the top button should be fastened. 
  • Skirts, dresses
  • Shoes with socks: oxfords, lace-ups, loafers, leather shoes
  • Moderate heels (no socks required)

Not permitted:

  • Jeans, regardless of style
  • Shorts 
  • Halter-tops 
  • Tank tops 
  • Exposed midriffs 
  • Low-cut dresses 
  • Dresses with high slits 
  • Shirts with messages, lettering or logos (except for Ithaca College logo or designer logo) 
  • Sweatshirts 
  • Skin-tight clothing on upper or lower body  
  • Sneakers, tennis shoes, sandals, flip-flops or other open-toed shoes

Specific modifications to this dress code (e.g. for labs, clinical skills courses) are at the discretion of the course director. Learners should keep appropriate changes of clothes in their lockers.

In both clinical and non-clinical settings all learners should use discretion with fragrances, as patients, classmates and instructors may have allergies or sensitivities (see “Fragrance” below). 

Jewelry and other adornments such as body piercing should be consistent with policies established in clinical settings. 

No clothing should be unprofessionally revealing regardless for any learner. Please consult your Faculty Advisor if you are unsure whether a garment may be unprofessionally revealing. 

Whether in class or on your personal time, your personal appearance will reflect on Ithaca College and your chosen profession as a Physician Assistant. 

Clinical Setting

Identification in the Clinical Setting 

  • Proper identification must be clearly displayed identifying that the learner is an Ithaca College MS-PAS learner. Ithaca College MS-PAS learner ID badges must be worn at all times. The ID badge must be worn so that it is easily readable by patients and hospital/clinic personnel. ID badges must not be obscured or altered in any manner except as determined by clinical necessity, (e.g. special stickers for newborn nursery access). 

White Coats 

  • Learner-style white coats are required for clinical settings and during certain laboratory sessions, simulation exercises, competency evaluations and any other times as designated by the Course Director; they must be clean and neat. They will possess the Ithaca College MS-PAS patch. Exceptions to this rule are at the discretion of the clinical preceptor and must be approved by the Director of Clinical Education. If wearing scrubs outside the operating area, a clean white coat should be worn over scrubs. 


  • In general, scrubs should not be worn outside of the hospital or clinic. Scrubs are expected to be clean when worn in a public area and should be covered with a white coat. The ID Badge must be worn outside the white coat. Scrubs may be worn only as delineated by individual departmental/clinical policy. 


  • Footwear must be clean, in good condition, and appropriate. For safety reasons, open-toed shoes and sandals are not allowed in patient care areas or designated laboratory components of didactic courses. 


  • No wearing of colognes, perfumes or scented lotions in clinical settings as patients may be sensitive to fragrances. 


  • Fingernails must be clean and short to allow for proper hand hygiene, use of instruments, prevention of glove puncture and injury to the patient. Artificial nails and decorative nail designs are prohibited. Some clinics/hospital settings do not permit any colored polish. 


  • Daily hygiene must include personal cleanliness, including use of deodorant. Clothing should be clean, pressed, and in good condition, including the white coat. 


  • Mustaches, hair longer than chin length, and beards must be clean and well-trimmed. Learners with long hair who participate in patient care should wear hair tied back, to avoid interfering with performance of procedures or having hair come into contact with patients.


  • Jewelry should not be functionally restrictive or excessive. Learners should avoid wearing long or dangling earrings for their own safety and for patient safety. There should be no visible jewelry in body piercings with the exception of earrings. In the case of a faith, race or religious requirement, certain piercings may be acceptable. Please inform the Program Director or the Program Director’s designee if you have a faith, race, or religious requirement for piercings so that faculty and clinical rotation preceptors can be appropriately notified. No other facial jewelry (e.g., tongue, eyebrow piercings, etc.) is allowed. 

Head Coverings 

  • Learners may not wear head coverings (e.g., baseball caps, hats, etc.) unless it is a head covering required by the didactic course or clinical rotation site. Faith, race, or religious head coverings are permitted, however please inform the Program Director or the Program Director’s designee so that faculty and clinical rotation preceptors can be appropriately notified. 


  • Tattoos shall be appropriately covered when necessary based on the dress code of the clinical setting.   

Learners in violation of any of the above dress codes may be asked to change into appropriate attire. Repeated violations will result in referral of the learner to the APPRC for disciplinary action.