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Hello everyone my name is Chris. I am just trying to get a handle on how achievable my dream is giving my current portfolio. I currently go to Union University in Tennessee. The school always ranks well among private colleges in the south and across the country. In December I will graduate with a degree exercise science. My major GPA is around 3.6, cumulative 3.2, and science gpa (I'm guessing) is 2.5. I started my first semester with a 1.4 gpa so there has been a major upward trend since the beginning. My science prerequisites only include 1 biology, 1 chemistry (both for science majors), and A&P both 1&2 so I know I have a few I need to take that can help to raise that. My school offers an undergraduate gross anatomy class I plan to take as an upper leve bio. In addition to being a full time student I have worked for 4 years as a full time pharmacy technician while in school. With the exception of my obviously low science gpa, how do I look on paper as an applicant? I have emailed the university of utahs admissions and they said pharm tech was acceptable healthcare experience but I am willing to do more if I need to. Thank you for your comments and suggestions!!

-Chris

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See, I was always told that being a pharm tech wasn't "hands on" enough experience. While it is experience no doubt, schools really like the direct interacting with patients (i.e. medical assistant, EMT, etc.). You didn't mention if you tried taking the GRE yet. It looks like you may have a bit of classes to take to meet most prerequisite standards. The schools I'm applying to require at minimum a 3.0 sciences GPA. If you already took A&P 1 and 2, I wouldn't take another anatomy class and focus on the other classes that you need or if nothing more take upper level BIO classes like genetics, immunology, parasitology, etc. Get a lists of several schools and make sure when applying that your criteria fits them all, unless you are dead set on Utah and have no doubt that you will get in.

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First, you're going to have to figure out exactly where you really stand. On another thread, optimistic3 has mentioned making a spreadsheet of your grades so that you can see exactly what your numbers are now and exactly how new classes might impact them. That's a really good idea. A lot of people have trouble estimating their gpa....so your 2.5 might be a 2.9....or it might be a 2.2. You need to know exactly what you're dealing with before you can make a plan.

 

The other really important thing you can do is research the requirements of every PA program out there. Make another spreadsheet. Many schools require a 3.0 sGPA for application, some won't accept pharmacy tech as HCE, others will take it but consider it second-rate, etc. Some schools look at gpa in prerequisites rather than all sciences. This could be to your advantage since you've still got most of those still to take. Some programs might consider your cGPA (which is adequate if your estimate is correct) more heavily than your sGPA. Your challenge is going to be finding a program that's ok with your sGPA (your weakness) and values your experience (your strength). 

 

Make some spreadsheets, figure out EXACTLY where you stand, learn everything there is to know about as many programs as possible, get As in every one of those prerequisites you have left, write a great PS, and smoke the GRE. Apply to a lot of schools. Then, be willing to move to some place like Utah when they offer you admission. 

 

You CAN do it...it'll just take an intelligent and committed approach. Best of luck.

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You need to put the work in to determine your eligibility with respect to submitting an application.  Btw school rankings are arbitrary and will not help you in any way shape or form.

 

Determine your CASPA c/sGPA.  There are instructions on the CASPA website.  If your CASPA GPA is straddling the 3.0 line, then you may have a shot at an application as of next cycle if you continue to pull off solids As from now until then.  The key to getting in with a past low GPA is to get it up to the minimum standards while displaying a steep positive upward trend and the ability to explain how you have learned from this academic journey.

 

You really need to understand that, while you may be certain that you are cut out for grad school, your GPA indicates that you cannot handle the coursework.  It is rigorous and exacting, and is only becoming more difficult.  The standards exist for a reason.  PAs are no longer assistants and now run their own clinics, some own private practices.  Set yourself up for success by getting that GPA up in the fewest semesters possible.

 

Best of luck to you.

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