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Hello everyone,


I am new to this forum and so thankful to have found it in this very confusing time. I have been seriously considering PA school, but I am trying to determine what would be the best route for me.

I have a BA in psychology, so I would have to go back to school to get my science prerequisites.

I am super excited to go back to school, however I am unsure whether to go back and major in Bio, or just go back as a continuing education student and just take the 30 credits that i need for PA school rather than 60 for the second major.


My second dilemma at this time is the patient contact hours. I have home health aide experience, but no primary care experience. I m considering going through an EMT program to be able to get the certification and hopefully the experience and the patient contact to be better prepared for PA school. I am also considering contacting Pas in the area to shadow them, *fingers crossed*

What do you guys think? 


What worked/ didn't work for you guys?



Thank you!!!

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Hey there,

I have a BA in Psych as well but I was able to take the necessary pre-requisites for PA school as I progressed throughout undergrad. First and foremost, I would recommend taking any extra courses you need as a post-bacc student at your local community college. One, this is a big money-saver and two, a number of PA programs weigh courses taken a community college the same as courses taken at the university level. Next, in an effort to diversify your application, I would recommend heavy involvement in both clinical and non-clincal volunteering. This shows that you have an interest in helping humanity in more than just the clinical setting. Certifications such as CPR, BLS, CNA, EKG, etc also help to diversify your application and are received well if on your application. Lastly, for your hands-on patient care experience, this is completely up to you. Take this opportunity to choose a path that you will enjoy and learn from because this should be more than just another pre-requisite to get into PA School. This is your chance to get a taste of the healthcare system and really find yourself as a medical provider. Your options are limitless. You can do EMT or CNA or MA, etc., whatever it is that you do, just try to learn from it and really take in the experience and lessons that come from it.

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Thank you, your response is very helpful! It does bring me to the other dilemma between taking classes at the university where i graduated from, or community. My undergraduate GPA is not the best, I think its 3.11 

I was thinking that taking classes at my previous university and getting a good GPA would look much better on my transcript, than going to community and getting good grades there. I feel like that way they may look at my transcript and think that the only reason why my GPA improved was because I attended a community college...


Thoughts from previous experiences are greatly appreciated!

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If you're relying solely on your grades to get you into PA school, then yes you may want to take your courses at your university but if you achieve everything aforementioned (certifications, extra non-clinical/clinical volunteering, hands on experience), the A you get at your university as opposed to a community college will make little difference. Admissions will be impressed by the extra-curriculars on your application.

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I graduated with a bachelor's in psychology.  I spent almost 2 full years after graduating from college working in a Cancer Center as a medical assistant, while taking the remaining pre-reqs at a state school.  I ended up having to take 4 or 5 difficult classes per semester including organic chem 1/2, calculus, bio 1/2, a&p, etc.  


Like a previous poster mentioned, it would be best to take these pre-req's during your undergrad degree instead of after, as it will save you a boat load of money.  My GPA also was not the best, however it improved drastically my last 2 years in college, and my GPA in the pre-req's were close to a 3.75 (obviously I was pretty motivated at this point).


Good Luck

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