I'm attending Arizona State University online. I live in Georgia and I'm 24 years old. ASU is a quarter-based system, which means I get college credits on a quarterly basis instead of a semester basis. All PA and AA schools (I'm interested in both) require a certain amount of prerequisite hours, but at ASU, I would be about an hour or two short in a lot of them, like biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, etc. So, me getting a degree in biology from ASU is kind of pointless, because I'd have to take some additional prerequisite classes at my local college anyways. I should also mention I have a job (in aviation) that pays pretty well - about $60,000 a year. I am also in the process of getting my Surgical Technician certifications, but this will take a year or so. With this being said, I have two options:
A: Get my Surgical Tech school done and take a really low course load at ASU for Biology to ensure I maintain as close to a 4.0 as possible. Get about 60 of 120 credits from ASU (amount needed to transfer), then transfer to the University of Georgia. Finish my degree in biology, but live off loans. Try to find a part-time CST job while in Athens to keep them as low as possible. Continue with a low class load to keep a good GPA. This way, I'm keeping my grades high, but still getting some crucial clinical experience. Eventually graduate from UGA, a highly respected school in Georgia, with a degree in Biology. Then apply to programs. Most will be far away, so if I get accepted into one of those, I'll also probably have to live off loans for the two years of AA or PA school. Lots of debt, but better undergrad, experience (in life and classwork), and higher caliber school.
B: Buy a mobile home for a great price ($13k practically brand new) - a home right next to my parent's. In 3 years, it'll be paid off and cost me half as much as renting. Continue my degree at Arizona State University (online) in something like psychology, since my prerequisites won't count the same anyways. Minor in personal health. Get my Surgical Tech school done and work part-time while attending ASU. Finish my psychology degree, then take the right prerequisites at my local college. Don't live off any student loans until I get accepted into AA or PA school.
Option A seems nice. I can go to UGA, graduate with a degree in Biology, have that prestigious college (at least for my state) attached to my degree, finish everything on a physical campus, have easier access to volunteering in research studies at the campus, have 100% of my focus on my school and GPA (this is important as grades don't come naturally to me), and pretty much devote my life to making sure my prerequisites and overall GPA are top notch. The bad - I'd live off loans and accumulate a lot more debt and UGA is harder (could be a good thing for preparation) in their expectations. A lot of good, but the two bad are related to more debt and harder to get a good GPA.
Option B seems good too, but not as appealing. I'll undergrad in psychology and minor in personal health (biology/chem/etc not available). Take all the right prerequisites at a local college that should be easier to pass versus UGA's standards. Save money by working as a Surgical Tech and paying $500/mo in a mortgage payment versus $1,000/mo for an apartment.
SORRY TO RAMBLE. What's your opinion?
Is a degree in a natural science like chemistry or biology more beneficial than a degree in something like psychology? Does one prepare you more for PA school than another?
I was going to go to college for a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Personal Health. Obviously, my end goal is to become a PA. I’m currently in the process of becoming a surgical technician, and would like to be a surgical PA.
When I look at actual PA programs curriculum (at least near me), they don’t seem to be heavily science-based in terms of like Organic Chemistry, Biology, etc other than the prerequisites to get accepted. Once you get accepted though, the context looks a lot less detailed on those things. Am I missing something?
From my perspective, a psychology degree would be just as beneficial as biology. Am I wrong?
Hi, everyone. I’m going to attempt becoming a PA and need some advice. I have a good idea on what I’ll be doing to attempt getting into programs, so I’ll go ahead and give you my estimated credentials when applying to a program, sometime in the next 4 years.
Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Health Sciences from Arizona State University. 3.6 GPA Standard GRE scores (haven’t taken any yet, but to play it safe, I’ll just say I’ve hypothetically scored average or slightly above average) Surgical Technician degree from a local technical college with ~ 2,000 hours clinical experience with ~ 500 hours of volunteer hospital-related work. Seeking to become a Surgical Physician Assistant. My main concern is that I’ll be attending ASU Online. I live in Georgia, so I’m sure the topic will be brought up and if I moved here, took online classes, etc. I’m completely content with online classes and don’t think they’ll harm my chances. I’ve inquired to PA programs near me, and they have all said they accept online programs like I’m pursuing, but that doesn’t let me know if someone would be deemed more competitive if they had similar credentials as me but in a physical campus. For my labs (required for PA program acceptance), I will actually have to fly out of state and attend those in person in an accelerated fashion specifically designed for out of state online students, so I’m still getting that physical lab presence, and it’s from a highly respected university. With all that being said, I currently have a job in aviation with a Fortune 500 company - I know, totally different world. My point is that I make really good money for my age. I’m 24 and made a little over $60,000 last year, which is very good in Georgia. So I don’t want to leave my current job to pursue school in a more traditional sense. I’m actually attending two colleges simultaneously - the local tech college for my Surgical Technician degree and ASU. I’ve just started on my ST program, which will take about 18 months. In this time, I can continue to go to ASU Online, work towards my bachelor’s, and save up as much money as possible from my job. After I complete the ST program, I’ll leave my current job to gain some clinical experience. I’ll have about 2-3 years left for me to finish my bachelors, which will give me plenty of time to rack up those required clinical hours. Sorry to rant, but I just wanted to get everything out there in a single post. Do you guys think I’m on the right track? How do you feel about me getting an online degree from ASU while simultaneously working for clinical experience? Does getting a degree part-time look less competitive than someone who’s going to college full time? How do you feel about my credentials? Answers to any questions are highly appreciated! Thanks again.
I had a few questions about required courses, what counts and what doesn't count. I got my bachelors degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and have several courses that speak to that major. I took statistics and psychology, but its Statistics in Speech and Language Pathology and Educational Psychology.
I was wondering if those will count when I apply to PA school in the future, or if I need to retake the courses. I want to be a competitive candidate but don't want to retake courses if it is not necessary.
Thank you all!
I am currently finishing up my associate in science and am wondering which undergrad route to take. I was originally planning on working towards a bs in psychology but have recently discovered that my school offers a bachelor's in radiologic technology. This program appeals a bit more, as I feel it will be applicable knowledge for PA school and something to fall back on If I do not get in. I guess my questions are which route would you take and why? Which degree do you think will appeal more to PA programs? Has anyone gone either route and are satisfied? (Cost of both is about the same.) Thank you for your opinion, very much appreciated!