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Masters programs to consider before PA school


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I'm considering applying for Master's programs before reapplying to PA school next year. I have applied to PA schools twice, the first year with only 1 interview and then waitlisted, the second year 3 interviews all of which I was waitlisted. It is starting to become clear to me that my gpa is what is lacking while my healthcare experience is my strong point. Ideally I would love to continue working while enrolled in a Master's program, but the only realistic way of doing that is completing one online. Does anyone have any suggestions for online programs? One's that have ultimately lead to more acceptances?

 

I am also considering in person programs as well. I fear the possibility of having to relocate with on campus programs and having to refrain from working during that time though. But I am open to any suggestions! 

 

On a side note, I am also considering taking additional pre req courses that I have not taken (genetics, organic 2, biochem, abnormal). Ideally I would like to take these in person as well but it was impossible to register during the regular fall or spring for courses at my only 4 year university close to home as a non degree student...I was only able to get into 1 summer course so far. Are taking courses at community colleges looked at the same in this case? I've taken courses through UNE online and I didn't do as well with the online format as I had wished I would. 

 

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What is your GPA? How many hours of patient care do you have?

GPA is a 3.3 and patient care I have about 2,000 as a medical assistant and scribe, I am a CNA and EMT, and I have been working in the ER as a tech since this summer. I also have a lot of shadowing hours (PA, NP, and MDs). So I have a wide variety of experience and I hope to continue working. So total hours, if I could guess, would be about 3,000 as of right now. 

My GRE scores were pretty average as well... 150 verbal, 152 quant, and 4.0 analytical..I'm hoping to not have to retake it...Ive taken it 3 times with minimal increase.

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While I agree that improving all aspects is great for the next cycle, I think what you really need to look more into is how you interviewed. You got three interviews! That's a lot. Odds are in your favor of acceptance at that point. If at the most you get waitlisted over and over again, it might be what you are saying or your body language at these interviews.

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GPA is a 3.3 and patient care I have about 2,000 as a medical assistant and scribe, I am a CNA and EMT, and I have been working in the ER as a tech since this summer. I also have a lot of shadowing hours (PA, NP, and MDs). So I have a wide variety of experience and I hope to continue working. So total hours, if I could guess, would be about 3,000 as of right now.

My GRE scores were pretty average as well... 150 verbal, 152 quant, and 4.0 analytical..I'm hoping to not have to retake it...Ive taken it 3 times with minimal increase.

I agree with the other comment! Practice those interviewing skills. If you are getting interviews, then what u have on paper is already showing schools you are capable of becoming a PA! I'd say don't waste too much time and money of taking more classes to boost your GPA, as that would probably require a lot of classes and straight As! I was also in your boat before, but I'm totally glad I didn't go and do a Master's. Instead I practiced my interviewing skills and it's all paid off:) You can do it!

 

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I agree with the other comment! Practice those interviewing skills. If you are getting interviews, then what u have on paper is already showing schools you are capable of becoming a PA! I'd say don't waste too much time and money of taking more classes to boost your GPA, as that would probably require a lot of classes and straight As! I was also in your boat before, but I'm totally glad I didn't go and do a Master's. Instead I practiced my interviewing skills and it's all paid off:) You can do it!

 

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk

 

 

While I agree that improving all aspects is great for the next cycle, I think what you really need to look more into is how you interviewed. You got three interviews! That's a lot. Odds are in your favor of acceptance at that point. If at the most you get waitlisted over and over again, it might be what you are saying or your body language at these interviews.

 

 

I hate to sound overly confident here...but I know it's not my interviewing skills. I thought that maybe my interview didn't go so well the first year, but they went absolutely perfectly this year. I walked out of them knowing they went very well and had very high hopes. I'm a very outgoing person and I honestly know it has noting to do with that. I've had bad interviews in the past so I know it's not that and I know the difference between them. I know how well I connected with all of my interviewers. I had even known one previously. 

 

My take on all of this is that they do like me as a candidate, but overall they would rather put me on the waitlist than accept me in case they find other candidates they like just as much with a better GPA. 

 

I want to add that with one of the schools I was missing a prerequisite and I can see how that can be viewed as a potential "risk". 

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Did you consider calling the schools asking them for a reason why you were rejected and what you can do to improve yourself? Maybe you can ask specifically about your interview moments. Many programs take notes while your interviewing and it's probably they keep that in file.

Yes! I have actually scheduled a phone call for tomorrow. They already told me that they usually don't offer feedback like that to applicants but he's happy to answer questions that I may have.

 

I was just hoping to get an idea of all of my options ahead of time. Or to see if anyone else has had similar situations to mine and what they did to improve.

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I hate to sound overly confident here...but I know it's not my interviewing skills. I thought that maybe my interview didn't go so well the first year, but they went absolutely perfectly this year. I walked out of them knowing they went very well and had very high hopes. I'm a very outgoing person and I honestly know it has noting to do with that. I've had bad interviews in the past so I know it's not that and I know the difference between them. I know how well I connected with all of my interviewers. I had even known one previously. 

 

My take on all of this is that they do like me as a candidate, but overall they would rather put me on the waitlist than accept me in case they find other candidates they like just as much with a better GPA. 

 

I want to add that with one of the schools I was missing a prerequisite and I can see how that can be viewed as a potential "risk". 

 

Devil's advocate - generally, if you're getting interviews, your app isn't the problem.  Colloquially once applicants reach the interview phase they are all perceived to be on a fairly level playing field.  Since most programs only interview a small percent (10-20 or so) of all applicants, and your GPA and HCE are not necessarily top 10%, if GPA were THAT important to programs, you likely wouldn't have even reached the interview phase.

 

Have you considered that you are TOO outgoing or TOO confident?  Could it be coming off as arrogance?  You wouldn't be the first person to think your interview went swimmingly only to find out that you were not perceived by others how you perceived yourself.  Outgoing does not necessarily equal a solid interview.  Many a non-outgoing applicant has highly successful interviews.

 

Having a successful job interview is not necessarily equivalent to a successful PA interview (see: your previous lack of acceptances following interviews).  Sure, your GPA and HCE could use a boost to be more competitive, but don't dismiss the interview as a potential area for improvement just yet.

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Devil's advocate - generally, if you're getting interviews, your app isn't the problem.  Colloquially once applicants reach the interview phase they are all perceived to be on a fairly level playing field.  Since most programs only interview a small percent (10-20 or so) of all applicants, and your GPA and HCE are not necessarily top 10%, if GPA were THAT important to programs, you likely wouldn't have even reached the interview phase.

 

Have you considered that you are TOO outgoing or TOO confident?  Could it be coming off as arrogance?  You wouldn't be the first person to think your interview went swimmingly only to find out that you were not perceived by others how you perceived yourself.  Outgoing does not necessarily equal a solid interview.  Many a non-outgoing applicant has highly successful interviews.

 

Having a successful job interview is not necessarily equivalent to a successful PA interview (see: your previous lack of acceptances following interviews).  Sure, your GPA and HCE could use a boost to be more competitive, but don't dismiss the interview as a potential area for improvement just yet.

 

I completely understand that I can improve in all areas, but if these programs truly didn't like me during my interviews, I would have been denied...not waitlisted all four times. I'm not trying to completely dismiss everyones feedback, it really is good to hear, but I'm still mostly convinced my GPA is what's really dragging my application down. If they didn't like me or didn't see me as a fit, I wouldn't even been given that opportunity to be on a waitlist. I see so many posts on here from people with GPAs near 3.8 and higher, I know I'm not nearly as competitive as they are in that aspect. I'm really just looking for what I can do to improve that from here, whether people have completed post bacc programs or masters programs or even additional prerequisites. I know with time and practice my interviews will improve and my HCE will continue to grow, but I need to be proactive about increasing the academic portion as well though. 

 

I feel like these programs like me from my interviews but they see me as a potential risk for their program's success rate because of my average academic history. They want to take students who they know will succeed, ultimately raising their reputation down the line. If they take someone with a lower/average GPA, like myself, it lowers their averages and I can see how they perceive it as "risky". So they figure they might as well waitlist me in hopes they find applicants who they like just as much, with better grades, and ultimately better chances of succeeding in their program. Mainly because 2 out of these 3 programs are still very new, they rely on great numbers at this point. 

 

So with that being said, that is why I want to continue course work from here to prove that I can succeed as a graduate level student. I want them to know how motivated I am and how determined I am to get in.

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I completely understand that I can improve in all areas, but if these programs truly didn't like me during my interviews, I would have been denied...not waitlisted all four times. I'm not trying to completely dismiss everyones feedback, it really is good to hear, but I'm still mostly convinced my GPA is what's really dragging my application down. If they didn't like me or didn't see me as a fit, I wouldn't even been given that opportunity to be on a waitlist. I see so many posts on here from people with GPAs near 3.8 and higher, I know I'm not nearly as competitive as they are in that aspect. I'm really just looking for what I can do to improve that from here, whether people have completed post bacc programs or masters programs or even additional prerequisites. I know with time and practice my interviews will improve and my HCE will continue to grow, but I need to be proactive about increasing the academic portion as well though. 

 

I feel like these programs like me from my interviews but they see me as a potential risk for their program's success rate because of my average academic history. They want to take students who they know will succeed, ultimately raising their reputation down the line. If they take someone with a lower/average GPA, like myself, it lowers their averages and I can see how they perceive it as "risky". So they figure they might as well waitlist me in hopes they find applicants who they like just as much, with better grades, and ultimately better chances of succeeding in their program. Mainly because 2 out of these 3 programs are still very new, they rely on great numbers at this point. 

 

So with that being said, that is why I want to continue course work from here to prove that I can succeed as a graduate level student. I want them to know how motivated I am and how determined I am to get in.

 

Again, if you were an academic risk, you wouldn't have been granted an interview.  You could be on the waitlist for not interviewing as well as other candidates.

 

Not to belabor the point.  This horse is dead.  But, you know, for those of us that have been around the block and know what it took to get accepted....just saying.

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