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Getting into PA straight from undergrad?

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Just opening a forum to hear from people who have applied/gotten into PA school straight from undergrad... I know this tends to be rare and I am hoping to hear advice from anyone who has! I have all of the necessary pre-reqs/hours/volunteer/research experience but am still trying to learn a bit more about what it takes to get in right away!



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My friend got into PA school right after undergrad, literally a week before even graduating from undergrad because the program started in mid-May. She was an EMS at school for a couple of years and took all the required pre-reqs, took the GRE (she did better than the 50% required by most schools), and she had a 3.6 GPA. She also shadowed a handful of PA's. And she applied very early. I hope this somewhat helped! Good luck

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  • I worked as a nursing assistant in a variety of inpatient floors including medsurg, surgery rehab, behavioral psych, mood disorders, geriatric, emergency room, ICU, and more for 2+ years.
  • I shadowed multiple PAs in multiple different fields (primary care, hospitalist, and emergency medicine).
  • I had a up trending GPA from the time I took my first pre-req (A&P I), everything was straight As after that including A&P I.
  • My cumulative GPA at time of application was still only around 3.3 I believe though.
  • I did a mediocre job on the GRE (303 I think).
  • I did not have much noteworthy volunteering experience (one of my biggest regrets, personally)
  • No history of research.
  • I wrote a pretty good personal statement IMO (I'm obviously biased though)
  • I had 3 LORs from a MD, PA, and nursing supervisor.
  • I didn't feel like I nailed any of my interviews 100%, but I was genuine with everything I answered.

Did all of this throughout my undergrad. I did not rush my undergrad or follow a program, was in school from fall 2009 to spring 2015. I was 24 years old at time of application. I had no trouble getting into PA school straight out of undergrad.

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Non-traditional student here. I started college a year ago and I'm 26. I plan to apply to PA school after I complete my bachelors, getting HCE while in school (I currently have a full time job anyway, so working won't be new). So from that perspective, I feel like I'm getting old and don't want to take a break between undergrad and PA school. Obviously if I don't get into any programs I would have to, but it's my plan to get right to it. I would really recommend not skimping on your HCE or anything, even if it means taking a year or so off of school to do it.

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Hi there.

I am in my first year and started PA school a week after my last undergrad final. I'm the only student in my class who came straight from undergrad so it definitely isn't the norm but I had no problem getting interviews so it's also very doable. The most difficult part is having the hours so congrats on getting those done! I think the key is knowing early on in undergrad you want to be on the PA path.


I was a microbiology major with a 3.65 (regular and science) and got a 315 on the GRE.


I worked as an ER tech during the summers I was in undergrad and an MA at a plastic surgery clinic the summer before starting undergrad (total I had around 1200 hrs). I also went on two medical mission trips, one in India and one in Ghana. During the school year I worked in a microbiology research lab during all 4 years of undergrad. For volunteering I was a judge/problem captain for Colorado odyssey of the mind (a kids creativity/engineering competition). I did that all 4 years as well. I also had a good amount of shadowing in different specialties that was spread throughout my years in school.

I think my biggest strength as an applicant was the continuity of my volunteering, shadowing, research and health experience throughout my undergrad.

I think the mistake many applicants applying straight out make is trying to cram all the prereqs, shadowing, etc into the year before they apply and i think it reflects a last minute decision instead of a long standing commitment to the PA career.


Congrats on your decision to apply and on getting all the necessary "stuff" done in undergrad, I know it's tough!!

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I got in straight out of undergrad. Of course I didn't start undergrad until I already had 8 years full time as a paramedic along with about 10,000 hours part time, and I continued to work throughout undergrad.


Like E said, HCE is an important part of becoming a PA. Look at the foundation of the profession, and you will understand how a PA can be expected to function as a provider with "only" 24-28 months of training.

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I wouldn't say it's rare. Just most people who have more time out of school have more experience. Focus on standing out as an applicant. For instance, your extracurricular activities, interview skills, and forms of hce. I got in my first time applying after grad school. I'm a slightly non traditional student as it took me a bit longer due to transferring and changing my major, but you have as good a shot as any


Sent from my SM-G900T using Tapatalk

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It struck me during interviews that a number of my fellow interviewees were college seniors. I'm similar to several people above, in that I went to school after 11 years in healthcare (plus another five as a cop). Technically, I'll be going to PA school straight out of undergrad since I graduated just a few weeks ago. But, I honestly believe it was the HCE that got me my seat over anything else.


While the trend has been changing in recent years towards a lower matriculant's age and less HCE, this profession has traditionally been populated by healthcare professionals who wanted to expand their scope and become privileged providers.

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