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Advice for a a pre-pa student with a low gpa

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Hey everyone,

I needed some advice/input from other people.

I graduated in '09 with a BS in Biology. Unfortunately, I did not do well in school. I ended up graduating with a overall gpa of 2.37. After graduating, I decided that I wanted to become a PA. I knew that my gpa would close many doors. I decided to try and dig myself out of the hole that I had created. I decided to take courses. It was not financially possible for me to go back to a university and take courses, so i enrolled into a community college.

I took 75 credits of classes (many of them science classes) and got a 3.91 gpa. I know that this doesn't carry the same weight as taking courses at a university, but it is an effort to show people that I grew up. I managed to save up and I'm currently taking a biochem class at a university.

I also have some work experience. During my undergrad, I worked in an ER, ICU, and heart station. After moving back home, I got hired as a full time ER tech and have been doing this since March of '10. I have also been volunteering at a local firehouse as a firefighter and EMT-B. I have also been doing this since March of '10.

I have not taken the GRE's.


I would like to apply for the upcoming cycle.

Would I be a viable candidate for PA programs? Any suggestions on how I can improve my chances? Any schools that would give me a chance?


So here are my stats:

Undergrad: 147 credits // 2.37 GPA

Community college: 75 credits // 3.91 GPA


ICU Tech- 2 years per diem

EKG tech- 1 year per diem

Radiology transport- 1 year part time

ER tech- 2 years Full time

EMT- 2 years


Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again and hope you all have a good day. :;-D:

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So, I got bored and felt like doing the math. You have roughly a 2.85 GPA. Great comeback!




Most schools have a minimum GPA requirement of 3.0, No exceptions. You upward trend looks awesome and will likely make a good impression (I was in a similar situation and got in at a great school), but you won't be considered at all if you don't have a 3.0 at these school. Instant rejection. There is a thread going on right now with people upset that schools did this.




There are schools that WILL take a GPA under 3.0. You will need to be flexible and apply to the schools that allow lower GPAs/conisider your last 45/60 hours more heavily. That, or figure out how many more As you need to boost over 3.0. Likely it would take a year of full time since you have so many credits already. Your HCE places you in good stead for applying to schools like MEDEX.

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Look for schools that focus on pre-req GPA, last 30/60 hours, have <3.0 gpa reqs, and/or on HCE. You will want to apply as broadly as possible based on your situation and hope your app finds the right desk. Even schools that say you must have X minimum GPA might consider your app if you're close to it. Be prepared to spend a lot of money in the application process and don't be discouraged if you don't get in the first time you apply.

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You are in a tough place. I'd say your best bets are to 1) find schools that focus on people with good HCE, 2) find schools that will consider the last 60 hours, 3) consider schools with low GPA requirements (CA seems to be a state with several of them), and 4) apply VERY broadly (13+ schools).


The tough thing is you hit below the 3.0 mark. This is not a good situation to be in. You can also keep getting more credits and keep boosting your GPA up. And re-take the classes you did bad in (albeit you still "keep" your bad grade, this shows you have the aptitude to go back and handle it now). And explain yourself in your personal statement.

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Looking like you are on the right track. Bachelor programs, such as Medex, may only require a certain GPA on the pre requisite courses. For example...Medex requires no less than a B- on A&P, an extra science, and two english courses. Once you hit those key grades, the rest is whatever UW wants to accept. (UW does not run MEDEX admission...they run their own admissions) So with your sub 3.0 GPA, you can still apply for PA school to a bachelor program assuming you meet their other requirements such as the HCE needed.


Most of my class plans to do an online Masters after we graduate. We can do the Masters while we work full time.


Nice turn around, great to see some work experience. Keep up the strong work and go for it!

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