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So excited to finally be able to post this!! I am one of those cases that shows it is possible to get accepted despite a low GPA. When I first applied I didn't get a single interview invite to the 18 schools I applied to. I realized a lot of this was my GPA, so I got a one-year masters degree and made sure to work my ass off and get a 4.0. While I did that I continued to work and accrue 2,000 more hours of patient care experience, shadowed, and volunteered. Also, my first personal statement was terrible and I made sure to spend months on writing an excellent one. This all made such a huge difference and I went from 0 interview invites to 14! DON'T GIVE UP! There were so many times that I wanted to, times I cried from frustration, and times where I felt that I was never going to be a PA... but it has happened! And to my top school! And feels so much better knowing how hard I worked for it.


Undergrad Ed School:  University of Delaware (pre-veterinary medicine/ animal bioscience)

Graduate school: Chatham University (biology)

CASPA cGPA: 3.41
CASPA sGPA: 3.22

Grad GPA:  4.0

Age at application time: 25
GRE: Quantitative - 155, Verbal - 158, W – 4.5

Direct Patient Care: (type & hours).

ER Technician (3,880)


Shadowing: Cardiology (40 hours), Cardiothoracic Surgery (56 hours)

LOR's (3): 2 Physician Assistants, Nurse Manager from ER, 2 Graduate Professors from Pharm and Anatomy


Extracurricular/Research Activities:

Volunteered in rural medical clinic in Peru (40 hours)

Volunteered in orphanage in Peru (20 hours)

Volunteered with mentally and physically disabled children (87 hours)

~400 hours volunteering in veterinary clinics

Schools Applied: I applied to far too many schools... mostly because of all the denials the first time. I didn't want the same outcome/ was lacking some confidence. There were 4 schools I did not send my supplemental to because I was already accepted by the time they asked me to. The ones I completed my app for were:

Bryant University- Interviewed; Accepted

Emory University- Interviewed; Accepted

George Washington- Invited to interview; Denied interview

Idaho State- Invited to interview; denied interview

MGH Institute of Health Professions- Invited to Interview; Denied interview

Northwestern- Rejected

Rocky Mountain College- Interviewed; Accepted

Rutgers- Invited to Interview; Denied Interview

Touro- Nevada- Invited to Interview; Denied Interview

Tufts- Interviewed; Rejected

UC-Davis- Rejected

University of Charleston (WV)- Invited to interview; denied interview

University of New England- Invited to interview; denied interview

University of Utah- Rejected

University of Wisconsin- Madison

Case Western Reserve- Invited to interview; denied interview

RMUHP- Invited to interview; denied interview

Application Submitted Date: 6/15
Verified Date: 6/18

Interview Invites:  13- See above
Denied:  Tufts, U of Utah, UC-Davis
Withdrew Application: - see above
Waitlisted: None

Accepted: Bryant, Rocky Mountain College, Emory

Attending: EMORY!!!! My #1 choice!

Attempts: 2nd

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Undergrad Ed School: California Polytechnic State University. BS in Kinesiology with minor in Biology

CASPA  cGPA: 3.46
CASPA sGPA: 3.51 

Age at application time: 24


GRE: 161V (87%), 154Q (56%), 4.5W (80%)


Patient Care Experience:

- 1,800 hours as an EMT working on an ambulance

- 50 hours on a medical mission trip to Haiti


Health Care Experience: 
- 2,500 hours as ED Scribe

- 60 hours as a hospital volunteer







- 18 hours of MD/PA-C surgery shadow


- 480 hours as volunteer firefighter



- 2 from ED PA's who I worked with as a scribe

- 1 from ED MD who I worked with as a scribe

- 1 from DO from medical mission trip

- 1 from undergraduate professor


Schools Applied: (21) - MEDEX, OHSU, Pacific, Touro CA, UC Davis, Samuel Merritt, Western U, SCUHS, Charles R Drew, MBKU, U of Nevada (developing), U of Colorado, U of Utah, Rocky Mountain U, MCPHS Boston, Duke, U of Florida, Nova SE Ft Lauderdale, U of St Francis, NAU, TTUHS



Application Submitted Date: 6/17/16

Application Verified Date: 6/20/16


Interview Invites: University of St. Francis, Nova SE Ft. Lauderdale, MEDEX, UC Davis, U of Florida, MBKU, Rocky Mountain U, 

Withdrew application: Rocky Mountain U, MBKU
Denied: OHSU, U of Utah, Medex, Duke, U of Colorado, U of Florida, Pacific
Waitlisted: University of St. Francis 
Accepted: Nova SE Ft. Lauderdale, UC Davis

Attending: TBD


Attempt: First

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I am thrilled to announce that I am finally done with the application cycle! I have gotten accepted to my number 1 school (DUKE!!!) and will be declining all of my future interviews. To be honest, I was quite surprised to see how many interviews and acceptances I received. Coming in, I applied to many programs due to my minimum direct patient hours and sub-par GRE scores. I also just graduated this past May, so I was afraid being a recent grad would hurt my chances. This was my first attempt in the cycle, so I did not want to risk having to do it all over again. I was fortunate enough to get interviews in some prestigious programs like Cornell, Yale, and Duke. I was able to really see what each one had to offer for their students. I want to say that most of my success in getting these interviews stemmed from my personal statement, recommendations, and responses to many of the supplemental essays. It's good to know that they (at least for many of the ones I applied to) do a holistic review on everyone. Good luck to everyone applying to PA school! 

Undergrad Ed School: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Pre-Reqs: some were taken at a community college and others were taken at a university associated with early college credit, but the majority were taken at my undergrad
Age at application time: 22
Application Submitted: 6/27/16
Application Verified: 7/01/16

Cumulative GPA: 3.67
Science GPA: 3.63
Pre-req GPA: 3.74-3.97 (depending on the program)
GRE: V/152 (56%) Q/158 (71%) A/5.5 (98%)

Shadow Hours: 41 hrs shadowing PAs (from 3 different specialties)
Letters of Reference: 1 PA, 1 supervisor, 1 professor

Direct Patient Care: (1200 hrs total)

100 hrs Resident Care Associate at Senior Living Community
1100 hrs Nursing Assistant at Hospital

Research: 2 yrs as research assistant in two different labs mainly in plant biology

~90 hrs as hospital volunteer
~40 hrs volunteering in creating of self-sustainable farm in food-desert community
~75 hrs volunteering Habitat for Humanity

Awards: Dean's list (2 semesters)

-Beta Beta Beta (Tri-Beta) Biological Honors Society
-Alpha Chi Sigma (Professional Chemistry Fraternity)
-Pre-PA Society at UNC
-American Red Cross Club at UNC

-Executive position in Tri-Beta
-Executive position in Alpha Chi Sigma

-Vice President for my rush class of Alpha Chi Sigma

Schools Applied (15 total): Arcadia, Campbell, Cornell, Drexel, Duke, ECU, MCPHS Boston, Methodist, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Philadelphia Uni, UNC-Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, Yale, Highpoint, Lenoir Rhyne, Chatham

Interview Invites (Format-> School (interview date): Lenoir-Rhyne (7/22), Arcadia (9/13), ECU (8/19), Cornell (9/15), Methodist (September 28), Chatham (October 1-did not attend), High Point (October 1), Duke (October 26), Yale (October 20), Wake Forest (Nov. 9-chose not to attend), MCPHS-Boston (January 20-chose not to attend), Campbell (November 10-chose not to attend, Stanford (January 24)

Acceptances: Lenoir-Rhyne (accepted same day as interview), Methodist (Sept 30), Arcadia (Sept 16), High Point (Oct. 7), Duke (Oct. 31), Yale (November 24), Stanford (February)


Withdrew Applications (after getting into my #1 pick): Campbell, Wake Forest, MCPHS-Boston

Denied: UNC-Chapel Hill, Cornell, Philly U, MGH Institute of Heath Professions-Boston Campus

Application Submitted Date: June 27, 2016
Application Verification Date: July 01, 2016 (1am)
Attempts: 1st

Attending: Duke!!! #1 choice!!! :D 

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Undergrad Ed School: Penn State University 

CASPA  cGPA: 3.82
CASPA sGPA: 3.78

Age at application time: 23


GRE: 156V (80%), 156Q (80%), 4.5W (83%)


Patient Care Experience:

- 1,300 hours as a certified nursing assistant

- 40 hours on a medical brigade to Panama

- 100 hours as a Physical Therapist assistant 






- 10 hours in interventional radiology (PA-C)

-16 hours in Psychiatry (PA-C)

-16 hours in Urgent Care (NP)

-5 hours in Pediatrics (MD)

-5 hours in Radiology (MD)

-3 hours in ER (MD)



~500: food pantry, fundraisers for various non-profits (not medical related at all) 



- 1 from college advisor/professor/professor I worked for as a teaching assistant

- 1 from my clinical supervisor at my CNA job (RN)

- 1 from my research supervisor at a biochemical lab 


(Did not have any PA letters, if you want advice on this, messsage me!)

- 1 from undergraduate professor


Schools Applied: WAY TOO MANY. Hate myself for this. Chatam, Drexel, DeSales, Thomas Jefferson, Lock Haven, Tufts, MCPHS-Boston, MGH, Tufts, Bryant, UNE, Duke, Yale, George Washington, Wake Forest, Albany Med, Quinnipiac.



Application Submitted Date:  5/24/16

Application Verified Date: 5/27/16


Interview Invites: Chatam, Drexel, Desales, Thomas Jefferson, Lock Haven, Tufts, MCPHS-Boston, MGH, Tufts, Bryant, UNE, Yale, Albany Med, Quinnipiac

Withdrew application: Duke, George Washington, Wake Forest

Interviews Attended: Tufts, Bryant, Yale (did not attend any other interviews)
Denied: None
Waitlisted: None
Accepted: Tufts, Bryant, Yale

Attending: TBD


Attempt: First


People feel free to message me with any questions. I have a lot of advice! 

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Undergrad Ed School: University of Michigan - Ann Arbor B.S. Neuroscience '12

Age at application time: 25/26


Cumulative GPA: 3.26 (3.049 undergrad)

Science GPA: 3.34 (2.96 undergrad)

Post-bac GPA: 4.0 (38 credits)

Pre-req GPA: ~3.8, retook majority of all pre-reqs, most of the schools I applied to replace for pre-req GPA.

GRE: V/159 Q/159 A/3.5 from this year, 159/163/5.0 from 2011 that is included in my CASPA app but iffy on the 5 year limit for schools.


Shadow Hours: 4 hours of oncology PA back when I was in undergrad, otherwise shadowing during ED scribe shifts.


LOR: 1 ED DO, 1 VP of my division in EMS, 1 client mom for my Direct Care who is also involved in my volunteering


Direct Patient Care: ~5,400

4,800 hours as an EMT-B in a 911 private EMS (however, I handle mostly IFT and the occasional P3 911 if the ALS units are busy)

600 combined hours as either a Home Health Aide or Direct Care Staff (current).

Other Heath Care: ~1,000

750 hours ED Medical Scribe (also a trainer since last month) working in 4 different ED settings (rural to Trauma 1) and one UC (all within the same hospital system)

250 hours volunteer at a cardiologist office


(I am still currently working at all 3 healthcare jobs so they are all increasing in hours. If you ask why it's because I love them all in their own way and I'm not ready to quit any one of them just yet.. and yes, I worked all 3 while retaking classes. Will not do again though for my sanity)



~300 hours with Relentless Detroit Charity, lifter in the annual powerlifting competition to raise money for the kids, lots of fundraisers, currently still do.

~180 hours at a homeless shelter before I got a job there

~600 combined hours volunteering in college ranging from Community Service chair for a student org, Habitat for Humanity, to team captain multiple years with Relay For Life (put these in separately)


Other skills/extracurricular: I do competitive powerlifting with some national records in a federation (there's multiple feds so its not an actual national record), involved in research projects throughout undergrad, last one 400 hours paid.


Schools Applied (13 total): GVSU, EMU, OHSU, Pacific, UColorado, UUtah, ISU, MSU, Duke, Yale, Rush, UToledo, TUN


Interviews: Missouri State (9/8-9/9), Duke (10/4), Yale (10/25, will decline), Idaho State (will decline), GVSU (10/28 will decline)

Denied: OHSU, EMU, UUTah, Missouri State

Waitlisted: Rush (Interview waitlist)

Accepted: Duke!!!!!!


Application Submitted Date: Main batch June 8 (verified 6/13) a couple in the past week.

Attempts: 2nd (1st in 2014, did get 1 interview), will attend the Yale interview but otherwise I am pretty set on attending Duke!


Hope this gives others with a low GPA some hope! Got my PCE hours in and I worked hard on that upward trend (all As post-bac). Got rejected from schools I thought I would get interviews, got rejected after an interview I thought I was a shoo-in but I think wasn't a good fit.. and then I finally got that acceptance from Duke! I fell in love with Duke and it felt like the perfect match. So research programs, schools are looking for a good fit too.

Waitlisted at Rush. In at Duke. interview at Yale. ... EMU's program continues to drop the ball.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Undergrad Institution: Elon University

Major: Business Management
Cumulative Undergrad. GPA: 3.51

Post-Grad GPA: 3.83 (Prerequisites)

Age at application time : 26

GRE: 155 (M) 160 (V) 4.0 (W)

Healthcare Experience: 4000+ hours as a Medical Device Territory Manager

* Consulted healthcare providers and fit patients with prescribed devices

Direct Patient Care Experience: 700+ hours as a Licensed Nurse's Aid (LNA)


Shadow Experience: 60 hours

* 30 in the ED & 30 in the ICU


LOR's: 3

* RVP (direct supervisor) @ my medical device company

* Professor


Programs Applied: 9

Application Submitted Date: September 20, 2016

Schools Received Application Date: Sept-Oct 2016 

Interview Invites: 4

* Interviewed at University of Saint Joseph & Elon University

* Denied interview invitations to Salus University & Chatham University (given that I was accepted into my top choice) 

Denied: 5 (only 1 so far)

* I never heard back from 4/9 programs, so I assume I was rejected

Accepted: 2

* Accepted into University of Saint Joseph & Elon University


Attempt: First


I was exceptionally fortunate to have been granted admission this cycle. To all those who are non-traditional, do not despair! I was forced to apply late in the cycle due to the fact that I had four prerequisite courses to complete over the summer, but I strongly recommend that you apply as early as possible. Best of luck and stay positive!

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Undergrad Ed School: Private Research University, B.S. 

CASPA  cGPA: 3.7
note: my calculations were way below CASPAs! I underestimated myself. 


Age at application time: 23 turning 24 in June 2016


GRE: 159V  153Q  5.5W 


Patient Care Experience:

- over 1,200 hours ER Tech (at the time of application, now I have about 2,200)

- many health related experiences, over 2,000 additional hours 







- 50 hours in ortho (PA-C)

- 10 hours in transplant surgery (PA-C) 

-80 hours in ER (MDs)

- 10 hours in GI (MD)

- 10 hours in hospital medicine (MD)


- 40 hours in midwifery (CNM)


>4,000: too numerous to list, volunteering and leadership is my life, also want to be in public office one day 



- 1 from college advisor/professor who published my work 

- 1 from my clinical coworker in ER 

- 1 from PA mentor that I shadowed


Schools Applied: I genuinely thought because of these forums that I had to apply to >12 schools, and that was also the advice I was given from people I knew who had gained admission to PA School. After a while though, I realized that I genuinely wanted only to go a few places, especially considering I really did not have the money to dish out on multiple applications. The application costs were painful for me. In addition, going out of my comfort zone and moving to an entirely new place just to go to school seemed like it would shake up my life a lot, and in that way I eliminated Duke and Emory as well as USC/Stanford and Oregon Health and Sciences. And I also have ADD so I really need support in terms of how difficult the first year of PA school is. I ended up clicking submit on only a few applications, and withdrawing others. 


Applied to, in order of my choices: 1. Rush 2. Yale 3. GWU 4. LSU-NO, 5. NW 6. LSU-Shreveport


Application Submitted Date:  mid June   

Application Verified Date: late June (note that the supplementals varied heavily in when I submitted them. For example for Yale I submitted my supplemental late whereas Rush and LSU I submitted immediately). 


Interview Invites: LSU-NO, Yale, Rush (they got back to me quickly, so I told the other schools that I would be withdrawing)

Withdrew application before interview invite: GWU, Northwestern, LSU-Shreveport 

Interviews Attended: Rush, LSU-NO, Yale (did not attend any other interviews)
Denied: LSU-NO
Waitlisted: Yale
Accepted: Rush!!

Attending: Rush


I was highly, highly impressed with Rush and Yale.  I think Rush is probably going to be a top PA school soon enough. Their program seems absolutely excellent and very focused, not to mention that the surrounding hospitals seem to employ more than 50% of their class, with Rush employing 30% of graduates! They also have so many clinical rotations and the structure of their program is great. I definitely preferred Rush over Northwestern in general, which is why I withdrew from NW. Also Chicago is amazing and very open to the PA profession. LSU-NO got back to me quickly but I really did not like the interview and it seemed as if they had already chosen the class.  I guess the feeling was mutual. 


I severely underestimated my GPA when I did my own calculations. I definitely think that taking a break from undergrad gave me an advantage. I am so excited to start learning about clinical medicine and have already begun some studies, and already feel competent in a lot of medicine (emergency and gynecology) to start a masters level program. I highly recommend working full time in an ER and shadowing PAs. My best advice is to create actual relationships with PAs so you know what it is like! It can be really hard as a PA in the actual profession - let alone the few years in a masters program. Once you know it is for you - you'll work so hard and do absolutely anything to get in. A lot of people I've met over the past few years just like the idea of PA but don't really know what it would actually be like. Get a real feeling for the profession. "Why don't you want to be a doctor?" was asked in 2/3 interviews I attended. 


Also, choose the programs carefully if money is an issue. Do your research. Look on this forum and message people. You really never know what they will end up offering; interviews are key. You really are also interviewing them as well as them interviewing you! Go with your instincts - don't just apply to a million programs unless you are 1000% sure you would drop everything and move to bufu Florida.  


I think what helped me get interviews without having perfect grades in science courses (looking at you, Chem 1&2): 

a) I am a unique applicant (multilingual) with a ton of leadership experience

b) strong communication skills and personal statement, where I addressed faults in my application

c) strong LORs, good mix of clinical and personal attributes

d) my healthcare experience was diverse, and included a full time job in the ER as well as shadowing 


Good luck to you all - I didn't think I was going to apply to such a small amount of schools, and I also did not think I would get in on my first try. 



Attempt: First

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Undergraduate School: University of Michigan '11

Major: Psychology


CASPA cGPA: 3.30

CASPA sGPA: 3.35


Age at time of application: 27


GRE: V 155 Q 157 W 5.0


Patient Care Experience:


~6000 hours as an inpatient RRT

~1200 hours as a patient care tech at an assisted living








8 hours hospitalist PA

8 hours critical care PA




1. Hospitalist PA/mentor


3. A&P Prof


Leadership Experience:


1 year as Biomed Club president

1 year as Biomed Club consult


Schools applied:


Northwestern, Rush, Rosalind Franklin, Univ of Saint Francis, Western, Wayne St




Rush (for interview)




Northwestern, Rosalind Franklin, Univ of Saint Francis, Western




Wayne St




Western and Univ of Saint Francis


Attempts: First


Ecstatic about being able to post this! Never give up if this is something you really want! I graduated from UofM with a cum GPA of 2.88 after failing my entire sophomore year. I took the time to get high quality patient care experience and make pretty decent money to pay off as much of undergrad as I could. My RRT classes also helped boost my GPA from the 2.88 all the way to a 3.30 overall. If being a PA is something you have your heart set on, there is always a way!


If you are reading this and need any advice, feel free to PM me. This forum has been a tremendous help over the last few years with preparing to apply. I would love to be able to pay it forward!






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Im not posting stats, but I thought I would throw this out there for you all if you want a good laugh because I had a retrospectively hilarious experience this past week. Backstory is I interviewed at an Unnammed School on 8/31 and thought it went fairly well. I hadn't heard anything for a while so (naturally) I was thinking the worst. Low and behold on 11/21 around 3pm, I check my inbox to see a "Commendation" email thanking me for trying and encouraging me to reapply. So instantly, I'm bummed and upset. Then the crazy happens.. 15 minutes after the first email, I get an email titled "Waitlist (Previous Message Sent In Error)." Hahaha talk about a godsend! The program is a very good one, and is one I really like, but this kind of mistake is hilariously stupid to know it can even happen at this level.


Moral of the story, if you get denied, hopefully you applied to this program because you still may have a chance!


PS I'm not telling you the name of the program because I'm on the waitlist and don't want to completely ruin my chances hahaha Happy Applying!

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-Undergrad Ed School: Northern Arizona University (Health Science: Allied Health) (Graduate in December)

Cumulative Undergrad: 3.66

Science Undergrad: 3.73


-AAS in Medical Laboratory Technology (Graduated with honors)


Age at application: 27


GRE: V:152 Q:150 AW:4.0


Direct Patient Care: ~10,000 (Hospital Corpsman, Deployed to Afghanistan on embedded training team: mentored local Afghan soldiers, and taught basic life support, as well as conducted missions-Received Navy Commendation Medal for this) (also, worked primary care while not deployed)


Health Care Experience: ~3,000 (Currently working as MLT in laboratory at rural hospital working night shift alone. Responsible for all aspects of lab during my shift.) (Also was in education in training during parts of my military career: TCCC instructor, Combat Life Saver instructor, and CPR instructor). 


Extra: Not much, but some volunteer work sprinkled in periodcally. Currently volunteer at rock climbing gym to belay children on saturdays. 


Awards: Dean's list all semesters, various awards and letters from military career. 


Shadow: 25 hours or so of shadowing EM dept. PA


LORs: PA from Navy, PA that I shadowed, MLT director, Laboratory director. 


Schools Applied: 16. OHSU, U of Utah, U of Florida, U of Charleston , Duke, Medex, MIdwestern (glendale), U of Southern Alabama, Franklin Pierce, U of Toledo, Sullivan U, Dyouville, Wichita State, Elon, DeSales.


Application Submitted date: 6/2/16


Verified date: 6/3/16


Interview invites: U of Charleston, Dyouville, U of Flordia, OHSU, Midwestern (Glendale), MEDEX, U of Southern Alabama, West Liberty, Duke, U of Utah, F Pierce.


Rejected: Wichita state




Withdrew: D'youville, U of Florida, OHSU, MEDEX, U of Southern Alabama, West Liberty, F Pierce.


Accepted: University of Charleston, Midwestern Glendale, U of Utah, Duke.


Attemp: 1st


Attending: Duke 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I boosted this from the SDN dental forum, figured this place needs it. it could really cut down on the "what are my chances" type new threads. also, all you past applicants and now practicing PA's, please post your stats also if you choose. i'd post mine but they won't be final till spring '06.



Standard Format:


Undergrad Ed School:

Cumulative Undergrad. GPA:

Science Undergrad. GPA:

Graduate Ed School: (if applicable)

Cumulative Graduate GPA: (if applicable)

Science Graduate GPA: (if applicable)


Age at application time :


1st GRE:

2nd GRE: (if applicable)


Direct Patient Care : (type & hours)


Extracurricular/Research Activities:


Schools Applied:


Application Submitted Date:


Schools Received Application Date: (approximate date)


Interview Invites:




Withdrew Application:







Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Undergrad Ed School: College of Saint Rose

Caspa cGPA: 3.4
Caspa sGPA: 3.5

Age at application time : 25
GRE: Quantitative - 155, Verbal - 153, W - 5.5

Direct Patient Care : (type & hours)
6 years EMS
2 years Cardiac Monitor Technician

Total: ~9,000 hours

10 hours family practice PA

LOR's (5)
PA, paramedic supervisor, science faculty

Volunteer Hours:
2 years volunteer EMS

Schools Applied: 11

Application Submitted Date: late June

Schools Received Application Date: late June


Interview Invites: Albany Med, Campbell, NOVA Ft Myers, Wingate, Emory, NOVA Jacksonville, Le Moyne


Denied: Tauro Nevada, UT Southwestern, Northeastern, MCPHS

Withdrew Application: SUNY Upstate

Waitlisted: Emory

Accepted: NOVA Jacksonville

Attempts: 1

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  • 3 weeks later...

Undergrad Ed School: Undergrad in Asia


Post-bacc Undergrad Ed School: Prerequisites at community college and 4-year colleges


Graduate Ed School: Master of Fine Arts, Yale University


Cumulative Undergrad. GPA: 4.0 on CASPA (3.86 if overseas coursework is included)


Science Undergrad. GPA: 4.0


Age at application time : 31


1st GRE: 322 (V 157, Q 165, A 3.5)


Direct Patient Care : Clinical Medical Assistant - 2000+ hours at time of application (2500-3000 hours at interviews)

Hospital Volunteer at Emergency Department and an inpatient unit - 500 hours


Shadowing: PAs in various surgical subspecialties, ICU, ED and dermatology - 55 hours


Schools Applied: Midwestern Glendale, AT Still, Touro Neveda, Charles Drew, Marshall Ketchum, Loma Linda, Western, UC Davis, Touro CA


Application Submitted Date: Late June


Interview Invites: Midwestern Glendale, Touro Neveda, Charles Drew, Marshall Ketchum, Loma Linda, Western


Denied: A T Still, UC Davis


Withdrew Application: Touro Neveda (declined interview), Western (declined interview), Touro CA (declined supplemental application)


Interview Attended: Midwestern Glendale, Charles Drew, Marshall Ketchum, Loma Linda


Waitlisted: None at this moment


Accepted: Midwestern Glendale (4 days post interview), Marshall Ketchum (3 days post interview)


Attempts: 2


It has been a long journey since I changed my career from fine arts to medicine. I can't wait to start PA school next year!

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Undergrad Ed School: SUNY College at Oneonta

Caspa cGPA: 3.77
Caspa sGPA: 3.75

Age at application time : ​20/21
GRE: Quantitative - 158, Verbal - 152, W - 3.0

Direct Patient Care : (type & hours)

-All of my patient care experience was volunteer

650 hours as a volunteer EMT for my schools student run first responder program

​700 hours as a volunteer EMT for a 911 ambulance company

40 hours shadowing multiple PAs (Urgent Care, ED, Ortho, and family med)


​-2 from two different PA's


​-A&P professor

Volunteer Hours:
All of my patient care experience in EMS

Schools Applied: 11

-Barry University (Miami)

-Campbell University

-Drexel University

-High Point University

​-NOVA-Fort Lauderdale

​-NOVA- Jacksonville

-Philadelphia University

​-University of Florida

-Marist College

​-Medical University of South Carolina

Application Submitted Date: Most were sent in the first week of June besides MUSC (mid August) and Marist (late October)

Schools Received Application Date: ​Early June


Interview Invites: Nova Ft. Lauderdale, High Point University, Marist College, Medical University of South Carolina


Denied: ​Campbell University and University of Florida

​Have Not Heard Back From: ​(As of today, 12/28/16) Barry University (Miami), Drexel University, Duke, NOVA- Jacksonville, Philadelphia University

Waitlisted: ​High Point University and NOVA Ft. Lauderdale

Accepted: ​Marist College and Medical University of South Carolina


​Attending: Medical University of South Carolina!

Attempts: 1

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Undergrad School: The Ohio State University

Major: Neuroscience 


Caspa cGPA: 3.77

Caspa sGPA: 3.62


Age at time of application: 21

GRE: Q:152, V:149, W:4.0


Direct Patient Care: 

- Operating room technician: 600 hours 

- Home Health Aide: 200 hours 



- About 70 hours with A Kid Again 



- 300 hours working in a radiation oncology lab focusing on glioblastoma research



- 30 hours with a PA working in neurosurgery 

- 30 hours with a PA working in the burn unit 


Application Submitted Date: June 15th 


Schools applied (12 total): Philadelphia University, University of the Sciences, Butler University, MCPHS-Boston, Toledo, Ohio Dominican, Ohio University, Baldwin Wallace, Chatham, Cleveland State, Marietta College, Midwestern-Chicago 


Interview Invites: MCPHS-Boston, Ohio Dominican, Ohio University, Baldwin Wallace, Chatham, Marietta College, Midwestern-Chicago, Toledo


Withdrew Application: Marietta College (denied interview), Toledo (denied interview)


Waitlisted: Midwestern-Chicago


Accepted: Baldwin Wallace, Chatham, Ohio University, Ohio Dominican


I'm so excited to be starting PA school this summer!! 


When I was applying to schools I was always so worried looking at the forum because I was a young applicant, but, no worries, my age was never an issue throughout the entire process.  It's really all about your grades, experiences, and your interview!  


Good luck to everyone applying!!

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Undergrad School: The Ohio State University

Major: Neuroscience 


Caspa cGPA: 3.77

Caspa sGPA: 3.62


Age at time of application: 21

GRE: Q:152, V:149, W:4.0


Direct Patient Care: 

- Operating room technician: 600 hours 

- Home Health Aide: 200 hours 



- About 70 hours with A Kid Again 



- 300 hours working in a radiation oncology lab focusing on glioblastoma research



- 30 hours with a PA working in neurosurgery 

- 30 hours with a PA working in the burn unit 


Application Submitted Date: June 15th 


Schools applied (12 total): Philadelphia University, University of the Sciences, Butler University, MCPHS-Boston, Toledo, Ohio Dominican, Ohio University, Baldwin Wallace, Chatham, Cleveland State, Marietta College, Midwestern-Chicago 


Interview Invites: MCPHS-Boston, Ohio Dominican, Ohio University, Baldwin Wallace, Chatham, Marietta College, Midwestern-Chicago

*(still waiting to hear from Toledo and Cleveland state because they typically don't send interview invites until January ish)


Withdrew Application: Marietta College (denied interview)


Waitlisted: Ohio Dominican, Midwestern-Chicago, MCPHS


Accepted: Baldwin Wallace, Chatham, Ohio University


I'm so excited to be starting PA school this summer!! 


When I was applying to schools I was always so worried looking at the forum because I was a young applicant, but, no worries, my age was never an issue throughout the entire process.  It's really all about your grades, experiences, and your interview!  


Good luck to everyone applying!!


The? Seriously? You typed it out? Not even THE most prestigious university in Ohio from an academic standpoint. smdh.


Signed, an eye-rolling Michigan fan

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So glad to finally be posting in this section. These posts really aided me in finding where I would fit in best. I welcome any questions if you may have them. Feel free to shoot me a DM as well. 


California State University of Long Beach

Major Biology emphasis in Physiology and Molecular Cell Biology

Minor Chemistry


CASPA cGPA: 3.32
CASPA sGPA: 3.23

Postbacc GPA: 3.79

​Prereq GPA: ~3.58

GRE: 146 verbal, 157 quantitative, 4.0 writing 


Age at application time : 24


-Paid Direct Patient Care: Lead Ophthalmic Technician / Scribe 3160 hrs (monolingual Spanish MUA)

-Non paid: Clinical Care Extender 430 hrs (MUA)

-Convenience Store Cashier 8 yrs (monolingual Spanish MUA)



-Urgent Care PA 40 hrs (monolingual Spanish MUA)

-ER PA 40 hrs (MUA)

-Neurosurgery PA 8 hrs

-Orthopedic PA 4 hrs


Extracurricular/Research Activities: 

-Fundraising Chair & Public Relations of Minority-Focused Alliance of Prehealth Students: fundraised and organized free health fairs

-Volunteer 195hrs: with seniors, free health fairs, cancer walks, food bank

-Triathlon Team


Languages: Vietnamese and Spanish


Schools Applied: MEDEX Seattle, MCPHS Worcester, Touro CA, USC, Western, Samuel Merritt, UC Davis, Touro Nevada, StonyBrook, UNT, Pacific U, Barry U, Oregon Health & Science U

Application Submitted Date: 6/20/16


(Still haven't heard from USC, Western, and Samuel Merritt)

Interview Invites: MEDEX Seattle, MCPHS Worcester, Touro CA 

Denied: MEDEX Seattle

Accepted: MCPHS Worcester & Touro CA


Attending: Touro CA MSPA/MPH Class of 2020

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Regis University

MS of Biomedical Sciences

University of California, Santa Barbara

BA of Biological Sciences emphasis in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology



CASPA cGPA: 3.35
CASPA sGPA: 3.23

Last 60 units GPA: 3.9 (includes graduate)

Graduate GPA- 3.81 (32 units)

​Prereq GPA: ~3.6-3.8 (depending on the school)


Age at application time: 27



-Paid Direct Patient Care:

Lead Ophthalmic Technician/Scribe in Retinal Medicine – 2,045 hrs

Ophthalmic Technician in Glaucoma and Refractive Surgery- 1000 hrs

Pediatric Medical Assistant- 170 hrs


-Unpaid Experience

EMT/Paramedic Explorer- 468 hrs

Volunteer on Cardiothoracic/ICU Floor of USC Keck Hospital- 130 hrs



-Urologic Oncology PA- 264 hrs

-Genitourinary PA- 8 hrs

-Hematology PA- 16 hrs

-Dermatology PA- 8 hrs

-Ophthalmic Surgeon- 110 hrs



Teaching Experience:

Professor of Biology- Human Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, and General Biology -2100 hrs


Extracurricular/Research Activities: 

-Staff Assistant at USC’s Norris Cancer Center- 130 hrs

-Graduate Student Extern/Thesis work- University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Department of Infectious Disease- 300 hrs


Languages: English and some Spanish


Schools Applied:  Rock Mountain College, AT Still, Marshall B. Ketchum University, UC Davis, USC, University of the Pacific, Campbell University, University of Charleston, Lynchburg College, Dominican University of California, UT Health San Antonio, Red Rock PA Program

Application Submitted Date: 7-10-2016

Interview Invites: USC, University of the Pacific (did not attend), Campbell University (did not attend), University of Charleston, Lynchburg College (did not attend), Dominican University of California, UT Health San Antonio, Red Rocks PA Program

Denied after interview: USC,
University of Charleston

Accepted: Red Rocks PA Program, UT Health San Antonio, Dominican University of California


Attending: Making this decision this week!



I have applied multiple times. This really has been a journey for me. When I started thinking of PA school as a child, I really didn’t fully grasp or respect the level of dedication, sacrifice, and commitment required of successful applicants and that continually made, everyday, by physician assistants. As I grew and started to fully understand the honor that medicine is, I took no opportunity for granted and used every opportunity to grow and assert that I was ready for this. If you want this, I encourage you to take on every opportunity to grow. If you’re thinking about retaking those classes, giving up weekend time to volunteer, changing your career to get more patient time, or your unsure about getting a second degree, remember the type of provider your patients deserve. Please don’t give up--it is completely worth it! …and the journey is just beginning =)

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Undergrad Ed School: mid-sized public college (BA in International Relations)

Cumulative Undergrad. GPA: 3.57
Science Undergrad. GPA: 3.74 (Pretty sure this was heavily influenced by several classes I took in the two years before and during which I was applying to PA school. These were undergraduate-level courses, but I took them long after college.)
Graduate Ed School: (if applicable) large private research university (MS in Nutrition)
Cumulative Graduate GPA: (if applicable) 3.10
Science Graduate GPA: (if applicable) 3.07

Age at application time : 30-31

1st GRE: Verbal 160, Quantitative 156, Analytical Writing 4.5

Direct Patient Care : (type & hours) Clinical Dietitian x ~4 years, ~8500 hrs


Shadowing: various PA specialities (pulm, ID, CT surg), ~40 hrs

Extracurricular/Research Activities: Volunteer (Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross, ~40 hrs)

Schools Applied: MGH, Tufts, Anne Arundel, OHSU, Quinnipiac, Phila U (both campuses), BU, Duke, Emory, Campbell, Arcadia (Delaware), Campbell, Albany Medical College, Rosalind Franklin

Application Submitted Date: CASPA submitted 7/3/16

Application Verified Date: 7/11/16



1. Team lead at work (registered dietitian)

2. PA from work

3. PA from work

4. NP from work

5. Lab instructor who also happened to be a PA

Interview Invites: Emory, MGH, Anne Arundel (declined interview), Duke

Denied: Tufts, OHSU, Quinnipiac, Phila U, BU, Arcadia, Campbell, AMC, RF

Waitlisted: MGH

Accepted: Duke, Emory


Attempts: 2



On my first attempt, I applied to six schools and got interview invites from exactly zero. It felt horrible, but after a week of feeling sorry for myself I doubled down on my efforts: I took two more classes, started volunteering, figured out how many shadowing hours I needed and made it happen, continued to rack up those HCE hours, and applied to more than twice as many schools the next go-around. When people asked me if I had a top choice, I told them, "Whichever school takes me," and by crikey I meant it. Getting into PA school is no joke! I hope my experience is encouraging to those of you facing the prospect of another attempt. You can do it!

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Undergrad School: Division Two private College, Bachelors in Science

Cumulative Undergrad. GPA: 3.45
Science Undergrad. GPA: 3.25

Age at application time :23-24


I had a rough freshmen year with multiple C's that hurt my GPA. Grades trended up thereafter with mostly A's. I had also retaken the classes that I received C's in after graduation as I knew they looked bad on my application. 


GRE: Verbal 148: Quantitative: 151 Writing: 4.0


Experience: Freshman year began working as a ER scribe and worked my way up to scribe manager of the site my Junior year. After graduating received promotion to regional manager in which I implemented several scribe programs at various sites in both ED and Oncology. Total hours roughly 6000


Volunteer/activities: volunteered around 100 hours at nursing home, played rugby 


LOR: 4 PAs I worked with in the ED, one MD I also worked with in the ED


Schools applied: Tri-C, Dayton, Lake Erie College, Kettering, Ohio U, Ohio Dominican, Mount U

Denied: Dayton, Ohio Dominican

Interviews: Kettering, Lake Erie College, Ohio U, Mount U, (Tri-C still pending)

waitlisted: Mount U

Accepted: Kettering, Lake Erie College


For me, I knew that my grades were not the best but my work history and experiences I felt defiantly helped get interviews and was something I was able to talk a lot about during the interview process. If I was to give advise it would be to definitely start building those HCE hours early as they can really set you apart and will give you valuable experience before starting school. Not only will you gain experience but you can get some great letters of recommendation from the physicians/PAs you work with. Never give up and if this is something you really want you can get it!

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Undergrad Ed School: Georgia Institute of Technology 

GPA: 3.39
Science GPA: 3.8



Age at application time: 26


GRE: 164V  162Q  4.5W 


Patient Care Experience:

- 3000+ hours as an AEMT through a private ambulance company.

- ~2000 hours of ED medical scribe








- 120 hours in an urgent care setting


> ~300 hours at a reduced cost clinic in the pharmacy



- 1 from post-bacc professor who was also an MD

- 1 from my one of the doctors I worked with as a medical scribe

- 1 from PA I shadowed in the urgent care. (only used this for one application that specifically asked for a PA LOR).

- 1 from my supervisor as an AEMT


Schools Applied: 

I unfortunately applied late in the cycle as I was waiting on my GRE scores and letters of recommendation and I missed the deadline for a few schools. I also was straight rejected from Emory as I was finishing some pre-reqs as a post-bacc during this period and they required all pre-reqs to be completed before December rather than prior to matriculation (I will be finishing the A&P 2 in May). Due to financial constraints, I only ended up applying to 7 schools but this also made me more picky.


Emory University, University of Iowa, Augusta University, South College (TN), MCPHS Boston, Mercer University, PCOM (GA campus)


Application Submitted Date:  Late September, early October. 

Application Verified Date: Early October


Interview Invites: University of Iowa, Augusta University, South College (TN), Mercer University

Interviews Attended: All
Denied: Emory University (didn't have pre-reqs in time), PCOM (apparently filled class before I even turned in my application - start early guys!)
Waitlisted: University of Iowa, Augusta University
Accepted: South College (TN), University of Iowa (pulled off waitlist!)

Attending: University of Iowa (First Choice!)

Never heard back: Mercer (still hadn't decided after my interview 2 months later), MCPHS Boston


I'm so excited to be attending my first choice school, University of Iowa! I was so thrilled when I got the call I had been taken off of the waitlist. The school is amazing, the staff all seem incredible and supportive, and I have some family in the area. I've lived in the south my whole life so this will be a bit of a climate shock, but I'm sure I'll get over it. One of the things that interested me the most about University of Iowa was that they have the PA students taken classes with the medical school students. They also have a variety of programs to help support the PA students in their endeavors.


One thing I would change if I could... would be to apply sooner!!! I was part of the last interview group for Augusta University and University of Iowa. Chances are if I had applied earlier, I might have not gotten waitlisted at all. I also would not have missed the interview season for PCOM. I got lucky that everything worked out but applying early is definitely a must!


Attempt: First

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