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BA vs BS! UC vs Cal State????

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Hello everyone,

I am currently a Respiratory Therapist at UCLA medical center with over 3000 hours of HCE and am on my path to becoming a PA, however I am very stuck and require some advice please!

My question is deciding between a BS in Public health at CSULA or BA in psychology or human biology/society at UCLA, which degree/school would look more valuable in getting into PA school? A BS at UCLA is out of the question because they require way too many pre-requisites that are not necessary for PA. Please help me! Thanks in advance.

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In addition to the advice you would get here I would post this in "Ask a PA Admissions Director", which is in the Pre-PA section, as well as give a rundown of the courses of each.

 

My guy tells me the BS but I'm not in a position to tell you which one would be better.

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If I were you I would pick the major that includes most of the prereqs you need, the one you think you can get the best GPA at, and the more inexpensive school since you already have good HCE.

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Thanks for the replies! Cost is also not an issue because UCLA will pay 2/3 of my tuition, and CSULA will be almost free because of financial aid. The pre-requisite classes for PA are being currently taken at a community college so that is also not an issue.

Pros for CSULA: It's a BS in Public Health (good relation to PA) but not a highly ranked institution.

Pros for UCLA: It's a very highly respected school but it would be a BA instead.

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They all do actually. Which is why it makes it very difficult. Again only curious strictly on paper which one would look better than the other.

Is medicine an art or science? :) Pick from your point of view since both degrees have the classes you're interested in.

 

So, which is it?

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Guest MedLib42

Depends on the schools you're applying to. Some put more emphasis on the public health aspect than others, although a public health degree really is a great augment to PA education, regardless where you go. On the other hand, a degree in something like biology gives you the opportunity to take upper level science courses that aren't prerequisites, but are still applicable to PA school, and will boost your application by showing the ADCOM you can handle  a rigorous upper level science course load. If they're not already prerequisites, pathophysiology, immunology, pharmacology, biochemistry, and similar classes can still look great on an application (and will help you be more prepared for P.A. school). 

 

I can't speak for every school out there, but from personal experience, I was told BA vs. BS shouldn't matter too much. If you look at profiles of accepted students from various schools, there are many students with BAs in biology or other completely unrelated fields. Many schools seem to place more weight on your HCE, personal statement, LORs, and GPA than BA vs BS. This can be the case for reputation of your undergrad institution as well. I got multiple offers of acceptance with a degree from a completely unknown, tiny university, which I hear is not uncommon (although I still tend to think a student with a 4.0 from a prestigious university might have a better chance than one with a 4.0 from a university the ADCOM has never heard of, but maybe I'm wrong).

 

The only way to know for sure would be to check with the schools you're planning to apply to, but it's probably going to come down to your personal interests.

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That's amazing advice thank you very much! I'm leaning more on going to UCLA for the BA in Human Biology/society and also taking some higher level bio classes on the side. I do believe that they look at where your undergrad was taken even though it shouldn't it is just the reality of it. They would be aware of the difficulty of the school you are attending in other words. The BA is also identical to the BS, but the lower level courses are what is different.

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If you are applying to the Socal PA programs I am not sure it matters one way or another. Just maintain a high gpa, keep up the HCE, shadow a PA. My 2 cents FWIW

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