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Prerequisites and application

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I am currently a senior in college and will be completing my degree in health sciences in May (2016)... My cumulative GPA is currently a 3.2.  One program that I plan to apply to (MCPHS) allows you to apply to the PA program without completing all the prerequisites, as long as they are complete prior to matriculation. I still need three major prerequisites for the school: A&P II, Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry.... (It is a January start, 24 month program.) 

 

I plan on taking A&P II in the spring, and will take Organic Chem/Biochem in the summer of 2016. Applicants are accepted on a rolling admissions basis until the deadline: March 1, 2016. The general admissions advisor of the school told me that it would be "wise to apply for the following year, once prereqs are complete" and that if I were to apply now, I would be "at a high disadvantage" since they are on a rolling admissions basis and the "class fills so quickly"....

 

So.... I would like some advice from anyone who has encountered a similar situation. Part of me is saying to apply anyways, even at a disadvantage (why not give it a shot, right?) The other half is telling me to wait until the following year to apply, since I basically won't stand a chance anyways.. I understand my GPA is on the low side (I only cared about the sport I was playing my first two years and didn't take school seriously until last year)...

 

I will happily take any constructive criticism...and any other advice you are willing to give me in general. 

Thanks for reading & I look forward to hearing from you,

Amanda

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As a former pre-med advisor I can repeat to you a mantra that many lived by - only submit once you've put together the strongest application possible.

 

Being told that applying now would put you at a high disadvantage would be a closed door for me.  You must understand that the acceptance rate for PA schools hovers around the low single digits for even "mediocre" programs.  To put things in perspective, the most competitive medical school in the country, Mayo, had an acceptance rate of around 3% about 6 years ago.  A whopping three percent.  I just interviewed at a school which admits 2.6% of applicants.  This seems to be fairly common; there are a LOT of hopefuls applying which gives schools a pool large enough from which to draw only the best of the best - granted, the overall pool is not additive because many apply to multiple schools.

 

Were I you, I would not apply until you have completed the two following items:

 

1) Raise the s/cGPA up a few tenths.

2) Get all of your pre-reqs done before time of application.

 

Straddling the GPA cutoff line without your pre-reqs done, while the admissions department is telling you you're at a disadvantage is not a recipe for success.  There are certain things you can do to statistically increase your chances and it seems you are bucking the trend just to hope against hope for an interview.

 

There are disadvantages in re-applying.  I wouldn't chance it, what's the hurry?

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As a former pre-med advisor I can repeat to you a mantra that many lived by - only submit once you've put together the strongest application possible.

 

Being told that applying now would put you at a high disadvantage would be a closed door for me.  You must understand that the acceptance rate for PA schools hovers around the low single digits for even "mediocre" programs.  To put things in perspective, the most competitive medical school in the country, Mayo, had an acceptance rate of around 3% about 6 years ago.  A whopping three percent.  I just interviewed at a school which admits 2.6% of applicants.  This seems to be fairly common; there are a LOT of hopefuls applying which gives schools a pool large enough from which to draw only the best of the best - granted, the overall pool is not additive because many apply to multiple schools.

 

Were I you, I would not apply until you have completed the two following items:

 

1) Raise the s/cGPA up a few tenths.

2) Get all of your pre-reqs done before time of application.

 

Straddling the GPA cutoff line without your pre-reqs done, while the admissions department is telling you you're at a disadvantage is not a recipe for success.  There are certain things you can do to statistically increase your chances and it seems you are bucking the trend just to hope against hope for an interview.

 

There are disadvantages in re-applying.  I wouldn't chance it, what's the hurry?

Thank you so much for your response! I agree...there isn't any hurry... I will wait to apply until the following year once I boost my GPA and finish the prerequisites. Thank you again, I appreciate your insight!

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Glorious_Ignoramus

Makes a great point, applying for the sake of applying is not a smart decision. Take the extra time to focus on your pre-reqs, gain more HCE and shadow some more. Not only will this help solidify your desire to be a PA but it will also improve your application.

As an example my degree was from a foreign university and I had to go back and get another degree here in the US in order to make my application competitive. Good Luck

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