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Applying for the fall of 2016 with a M.S already

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Hello. I am a M.S Mental Health counseling student (will qualify to get a LPC/LCADC/SAC) wanting to apply to a PA program. I have some questions:

 

 

1.) Has anyone heard of or know of anyone who has had an M.S in Mental Health apply to a program and got in?

 

2.) I am worried about the contact hours. During my program in the end I will have graduated with 1000hrs of contact hours with patients of all sorts. Does this look equally as good as someone who is an EMT etc.?

 

3.) My undergrad was not strong (2.7). I am glad my program saw something in me because now I have a graduate GPA of 3.5, would my undergrad hold me back? 

 

 

 

I am taking the pre-reqs I need for PA programs while finishing up my M.S. Any advise would help thank you.

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I start a PA program in May.  Based on my personal experience in applying the last couple of years, yes, your undergraduate GPA will very likely hold you back.  Your cumulative GPA (cGPA) for all the undergrad and grad level work (excluding doctorate) is frequently a significant screening criteria at most schools.  Given the number of hours that went into your undergraduate degree versus the number that went into a typical masters, your masters grades likely aren't enough to get your cGPA up to or well above a 3.0.  I started with similar #s for my GPAs -- 2.65 for undergrade, 3.65 for MS -- I had to take 64 hours (with a 3.94 for those hours) of post-bacc course work to get my cGPA over 3.0 to be considered by most schools (even those that say they will consider less).  Some of the schools that rejected me before this year were forthcoming that they rejected me because my cGPA wasn't over 3.0.  Check out the FAQs on the CASPA site to see how the GPA calculations will come out for you.  

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I have not completed any of the pre-reqs for PA school. I am starting them now. When I complete them and say get a 4.0, would that significantly increase my GPA in CASPA? I know seaton hall does not take an CASPA application so I am hoping I get an interview and get to speak my case.

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I have not completed any of the pre-reqs for PA school. I am starting them now. When I complete them and say get a 4.0, would that significantly increase my GPA in CASPA? I know seaton hall does not take an CASPA application so I am hoping I get an interview and get to speak my case.

 

It depends on how many hours you have already, and how many hours of pre-reqs you need (sorry, I'm not personally familiar with this school's requirements).  

 

Plug all the numbers into a spreadsheet and do your 'what-if' calculations.  CASPA's FAQs are pretty thorough in explaining how the GPA numbers are calculated.  I was able to tie mine out and forecast what it would take for me to attain the minimum GPA for the schools I targeted to attend.  I started with 155 undergrad hours and 32 graduate hours (some of my undergrad hours actually applied to my MS degree).  I definitely needed more than the pre-reqs to get my cGPA and uGPA over 3.0, and I knew that taking more than the minimum pre-reqs would benefit me as a PA student and provider, as well as clearly convey to AdComms that I was serious about my pursuit, so I took additional coursework such as pharmacology, pathophysiology, medical law and ethics, etc. for a total of 64 more hours of post-bacc work (in two years - I also wanted to demonstrate that I could handle going back to school after a number of years and although the nature of the coursework doesn't compare -- post-bacc UG vs MS PA topics -- I did it while continuing to work full-time).  

 

Rather than expend your time and money hoping to get an interview, I would take the time to contact the school to find out if they have hard and fast cut-offs for GPAs (some do, and some still use cut-offs even when they say they'll consider down to a certain level -- they have too many applicants not to use SOME common measure to reduce the number of applicants they consider further).  

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I start a PA program in May.  Based on my personal experience in applying the last couple of years, yes, your undergraduate GPA will very likely hold you back.  Your cumulative GPA (cGPA) for all the undergrad and grad level work (excluding doctorate) is frequently a significant screening criteria at most schools.  Given the number of hours that went into your undergraduate degree versus the number that went into a typical masters, your masters grades likely aren't enough to get your cGPA up to or well above a 3.0.  I started with similar #s for my GPAs -- 2.65 for undergrade, 3.65 for MS -- I had to take 64 hours (with a 3.94 for those hours) of post-bacc course work to get my cGPA over 3.0 to be considered by most schools (even those that say they will consider less).  Some of the schools that rejected me before this year were forthcoming that they rejected me because my cGPA wasn't over 3.0.  Check out the FAQs on the CASPA site to see how the GPA calculations will come out for you.  

what other programs do PA students normally do? i.e., masters in _________? I've heard of MS in surgical assistant. Any others?

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