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Low GPA, looking for opinions

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Hello y'all!

I have been reading and reading everyone's posts and comparing myself to others and decided to finally write one about myself.

I have a bachelors degree in Biomedical Sciences with a cumulative GPA of 3.01 and science GPA of 2.75. I have an average GRE score of 300, verbal 148 and quantitative 152, analytical writing 3.0. I played division I soccer all four years of college and ran track for a semester as well. I have roughly 100 volunteer hours, 50 shadowing PA hours, and 2,000+ patient on hand hours. I did poorly in Organic Chem and Microbiology which I have retaken as a non-degree seeking student at a local college and received A's. I have read contradicting opinions and statements about post-bacc work and if the classes I'm retaking are beneficial to my science and cumulative undergraduate GPAs. I have been going back and forth on what I should do next in order to get into PA school. Second bachelor's degree? Masters degree in public health or health administration? Associates degree at community college in EMT? 

I want to do the most beneficial option that will improve as many aspects of my application as possible in the shortest amount of time (obviously). One more question, when schools say "focus on last 60 credit hours of coursework" is that in reference to the last 60 hours of coursework in undergraduate degree or the last 60 hours of coursework including post bacc and masters? I know a lot of schools solely look at science and undergrad GPA so gaining a masters wouldn't be helpful to those GPAs necessarily.


Thank you in advance to anyone who replies and offers some clarity for me! I'm so appreciative!

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It does seem like quite a tough spot to be in. I think you would have to get a masters and really blow it out of the park, as well as get a lot more health care hours. If this is really what you want then the extra time won't bother you that much. Plus, an MPH or MHA will only help you look better and could open more doors if you wanted a more leadership/admin role in the future. The GPA is obviously the black eye on the app, so I think that would be your best choice. Good luck and keep working hard. Don't lose hope! You won't be the first or last person to have to go through more and more to get that goal. 

"The route may change, but never the destination." 

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If you took around three science courses per semester while working full time you could pull yourself out of this in about a year and a half.  I had similar stats when I first started considering PA school.  I retook classes, got A's in all of them, while working full time.  I did not want to get a masters degree and get in that way, too much money, but it is what ever is best for you.  I also did two summer courses in 2016 and one this summer.  I saved tens of thousands of dollars just retaking classes and bringing up both cGPA and sGPA in a little over 1 year.  

Why work full time while doing that much school?  Because it shows you care and I suspect that was a part in my acceptance to PA school, along with some other things.  You have many options, it just depends on how hard you want to work.

As for the last 60 credit hours I think that would be any school not just undergraduate program.  I am unsure about this though, might be something to ask the schools of interest.


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You and I seem to be in a similar situation with slightly different stats. After being rejected to 20/20 PA schools during my first application cycle, I was trying to decide what my next move would be. I went and gained a lot more patient contact hours (now up to about 2,000 paid, 500 unpaid) first. It seems you are in a good position for hours, but more patient care experience can only help you (and put you above the students with less hours than you). I was primarily interested in the dual degree MPH/MPAS degree but was only accepted to the stand alone MPH programs. This is the program I am in now and I am doing very well so far. I did this partially to increase my science GPA (counts as an other science category) and to earn another degree for when I try for the CDC's EIS program later in life of which an MPH or MS in epidemiology is required. Having another Masters degree can open more doors for you as someone else said above. I would advise against an associates in EMT because while it helps boost your GPA, I doubt it will give you much leverage in your PA school application. Provided you have the finances, retaking the classes you did poorly in or going for an MPH can help not only get your science GPA to where it needs to be, but also help you stand out in the application process. A number of admissions counselors have told me that earning my MPH with a high GPA will definitely make my application stand out from the thousands of Bachelor degree application they receive each year. Hope this helped. 

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