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What are my chances? Any tips/advice is welcome!


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So, I plan on applying to programs next cycle. Currently, I know my GPA isn't the greatest. I took a total of 190 units during my undergrad, and since then I've taken 23 more, and it hardly raised my GPA since it's so saturated with C's and B's. I know a lot of schools look at the upward trending grades, so I plan on having a great track record for my last units. Here are my stats in a nutshell:

 

Undergrad GPA :2.26

 

Since undergrad, I've taken the following courses:

 

Bio: A

Anatomy: A

Physiology: A

Micro: A

Human Bio: A

Developmental Psych: A

 

I plan on retaking the chem series, since I got a C in the classes. Plan on taking: medical terminology, maybe intro to biochem/ochem, maybe pharmacology.

 

I think my GPA currently is aroud 2.5/2.6 ish, and I plan to get it to at least a 2.8.

 

I have been a CNA for the last 2 years, and plan on working through until I am accepted. I am going to Honduras to volunteer in 3 weeks, and plan on volunteering in a couple of primary care clinics. I'll shadow a few PA's in different settings as well.

 

I do not think the HCE and volunteer experience is that bad, I'm just afraid of my grades... I think if someone gave me an interview, they'd see how far I've come along my journey and have bettered myself.

 

So my question to you is:

 

What schools do you know that I can apply with these stats?

 

What do you recommend I do to make myself a better candidate?

 

What schools do you know focus more on an upward trend?

 

Any other tips would help a ton.

 

Thanks!

 

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The PAEA website has a directory of every current and developing program, with links and a sorting feature that includes a minimum GPA. Start there. There are a lot of programs (200+), so this takes some time. But, it's really the only way to try and find the right school for you. Since you're applying next May, you have some time.

 

I started sorting through the programs about this time last year and it took about three months to pare my list down to a dozen or so programs that I was not only competitive at, but could afford and be willing to move to.

 

Like you said, keep plugging away at the HCE. If you haven't taken the GRE, take some time to really prep for it. I used Kaplan, studied it and took the online practice tests for about two weeks, took the GRE for the first time and pulled a 316. Now, it's done and out of the way.

 

There are a LOT of threads and stickies on here addressing concerns just like yours. Look around the site; it's been here since Bill Clinton was president and has lots of answers.

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Your GPA is alarming. Many programs have a cutoff GPA of 3.0 but if your sGPA is higher then you might have a chance, I'm not sure entirely.

 

Research all 200 programs. I did several hours of research on most of the programs and that's the only way to find a school that fits you. I can tell you that most programs have average GPAs of 3.4-3.5

 

You probably cant improve your GPA anymore considering your 190 units. Just keep increasing your HCE I suppose and volunteering is always good.

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You'll find a number of other threads on this forum on this subject.  Be sure to review a few of them.

 

FWIW, with a BBA and MS degrees, I had to take > 60 additional credit hours to get my GPA over a 3.0.  I took a number of additional useful classes like pharmacology, pathophysiology, etc.  My experience (over last couple of years) is that schools that have a minimum GPA requirement of 3.0 are not going to even look at your appl if your GPA doesn't meet their minimum.  It's not going to get to the AdComm; it's going to get rejected administratively before that point.  It won't matter about your GRE, HCE, or PS.  They just have too many applicants to bother.  There might be an exception if you personally know someone in the program that's on the AdComm; I didn't.  

 

As you'll see from the other threads on this same question, it can be done, but you'll have to meet the minimums and then 1) show a clear upward trend in academic performance, and 2) have exceptional attributes in other respects to offset the low cGPA.

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the paea program guide lets you put in filters for gpa, highest prior degree, etc and can help save you some time navigating the 217 programs. it's a nice resource. I remember applying to pa school in the early 90s pre-internet when there were 52 programs. I bought their book and went through each program 1 at a time crossing out those that had prereqs I didn't have or were in places I wouldn't move. worked it down to 10 or so and then prioritized 2.

http://directory.paeaonline.org/

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Echo the above.  My first step in putting together an application was to go through every single program on the PAEA directory and find those for which I have competitive stats.  It may also behoove you to contact your prospective programs directly and ask this very question - another tactic I used because I did not complete a conventional college A/P series which should technically disqualify my application.

 

It's tedious and will take you forever, but this is how it's done.  You may also benefit from Timon's posts.

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