There is a very different atmosphere in volunteering v. paid. That is a reality that he was likely emphasizing, just as the schools you apply to will be, even though they may not tell you. Differing pressures, expectations, duties, requirements, etc. from patients, coworkers, staff, providers, managers, other departments, other offices, etc. It's multifaceted and complicated. I enjoy volunteering much more than dealing with the pressures of my paid position.
PA Schools will be just as blunt in their opinions, as well. Will they be considerate (or will it be perceived as so) when they have to turn down hundreds of sensitive, compassionate and experienced applicants?
Grit is what it takes. Strong will and thick skin to better ourselves with reality and constructive criticism being thrown from all angles. I am grateful to people who 'tell me like it is' because I can then strengthen myself, and likely my app, accordingly. We are all trying to better our lives; that's why were on this forum to become PAs, and that's why most of us will be applying.
Check with your programs. Some may not count transport, e.g. see below for ECU. Hope this helps. Good luck!
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APPLICATION REQUIREMENT FOR THE 2017-2018 APPLICATION CYCLE: You will have to apply to the ECU Graduate School as well as CASPA in order to have your application processed through the PA Department. Apply for Graduate School at www.ecu.edu/gradschool/.
Admission into East Carolina University's PA Program is very competitive. We select up to 36 applicants to become students in each class. Our process of submission, review and interview ensures a fair selection of students to join our program.
ECU's PA program has several requirements necessary for applicants to meet, as listed below. In addition to our requirements, applicants must also meet the standards of the Graduate School.
Accepted applicants for the Fall of 2017 averaged the following scores:
Cumulative GPA: 3.70
Science GPA: 3.66
Prerequisite GPA: 3.76
GRE Score (New Scores): 308
GRE Analytical Writing: 4.4
Applicants must be residents of one of the following states; with preference given to residents of North Carolina:
You must be a resident and have a permanent address in one of these states at the time of application and admission to the program. If you or your spouse is active military and stationed in NC during application and admission, then you can request a waiver from email@example.com.
Applicants must currently have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. The undergraduate degree must be completed by June 1st of the year of enrollment. Example: Applicants who submit application materials by September 1, 2017 must complete the undergraduate degree by June 1st of 2018 in order to enroll in the fall of 2018.
Prerequisite courses must be completed by September 1 in order to be considered for an early interview. However, applications may have one pending prerequisite course as long as it is completed and reported to CASPA and the program by December 31.
We prefer that all prerequisite courses are taken within the last 5 years; however, this is not a requirement. If your courses are older than that, know that we recommend refreshing them.
Applicants are required to have completed the prerequisite classes in the table below.
We encourage students to have taken anatomy and physiology within 2 years of the program application date; however, this is not a requirement.
We do not accept online lab courses.
We do not accept Comparative, Animal or Mammalian Anatomy and Physiology courses
Courses can be taken at any regionally accredited institution, including community colleges. We prefer that all prerequisite courses be taken at a 4-year institution. Students taking prerequisite courses at community colleges may be at a significant disadvantage during the didactic year.
All courses must be assigned letter grade.
Advanced Placement (AP) credit is accepted for Psychology and Statistics courses. If AP credit was granted, no letter grade is necessary. Statistics in social sciences are now accepted.
Waivers will only be given if you have been a course instructor for the course requesting a waiver. For this waiver, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Applicants must have at least a 3.0 GPA in their prerequisite coursework to be considered for the program. A grade of B or higher in each course is recommended.
We do not accept more than 2 Cs in prerequisite courses.
Minimum Semester Credit Hours
Human Anatomy and Physiology - Lecture
Human Anatomy and Physiology - Lab
General Chemistry or higher - Lecture
General Chemistry or higher - Lab
Introductory Psychology or higher
Taking Courses at a North Carolina Community College?
Colleges within the North Carolina community college system use the same course name and number designations regardless of which location you choose to attend. Use the chart below to plan and register for your prerequisite course of study.
North Carolina Community College Equivalent Courses
ECU Course Name & Number
NC Community College Course Name & Number
Human Anatomy and Physiology with Lab
BIOL 2140, 2141 AND BIOL 2150/2151
BIO 168 AND BIO 169
General or Introduction to Chemistry with Lab
CHEM 1150, 1151 AND CHEM 1160/1161
CHM 151 AND CHM 152
BIOL 2110 or BIOL 3220
Introductory Psychology or Higher
BIOS 1500, MATH 2228 or 2283 or PSYC 2101
MAT 150 or 152
Patient Contact Hours
We require that applicants have at least 1000 documented healthcare exposure hours. All hours must be completed by September 1 in order to be considered for an early interview. However, if some hours are pending, they may be submitted by December 31. These hours can be obtained through paid, volunteer or shadowing experiences. Applications will not be reviewed unless the applicant has completed at least 750 hours at the time of application (Sept. 1, 2017).
We recommend that you keep your own records. The program may require verification of your clinical hours.
Acceptable forms of clinical experience include:
Shadowing of PA, NP, MD/DO
Emergency Medical Technician/Paramedic
Military Medic/Clinical Specialist
Laboratory Technician with phlebotomy experience
Nursing (CNA, LPN, RN, CMA)
Certified Physical/Occupational Therapist
Home health with verification of job duties
Ophthalmic Technician with verification of job duties
Unacceptable forms of clinical experience include:
Secretary for Physician's Office