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Do I Have a Chance? What Should I Do?

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Hello,

I am an honors student at Arizona State University majoring in biological sciences. I currently have a 3.52 GPA. I know this isn't great and some of my friends have said that I probably don't have a chance of getting into PA school. I am considering adding a second major in Neuroscience. I would graduate a semester later but I was hoping the second degree/extra education would make me a stronger candidate. Would it? Or should I just graduate in Spring 2018 as planned? I am already planning on taking a gap year after graduation to get medical experience but its just a matter of whether I graduate in Spring 2018 or Fall 2018. Also, please be honest with me. Do I have a chance of getting in? I did a medical internship in Nicaragua summer of 2017 which was great experience. I also recently started working in a psychology research lab. I know I need a lot more experience but some people say that if you don't have a 3.7 GPA or above then you don't have a chance at all or have really low chances.

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Seems like your friends don't know what they are talking about.  I got into PA school with a 3.27 cGPA and a 3.15 sGPA.  You can get the second major if you want, but not necessary.  

Edited by Ket131
wrong number! should be 3.27 not 3.37.
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A 3.5+ is not bad (especially if your science GPA is at or above that level as well), and if the rest of your application is well rounded, you will probably have a good chance. Don't listen to your friends. Yes, PA school is competitive, and yes, a higher GPA makes you more competitive, but many schools have an average GPA for matriculating students in the 3.5 - 3.6 range, which means they are accepting people both above and below those averages (as noted by Ket131).

Just focus on getting A's in the rest of the classes you have to take before graduation, especially your science courses. If you feel the need to take extra classes after you graduate, you can do so, but your current GPA alone shouldn't prevent you from getting interviews. 

Also, you should look into finding a job (or at least a volunteer position) that provides direct patient care experience (like an MA, PCT, or get an EMT cert) so you can start accruing hours and round out that aspect of your application. Find some PAs to shadow, study for the GRE and rock it, and when it comes time to apply to PA school, apply early and with a kick-ass personal statement.

If you do these things you will probably have a pretty strong app, and you don't need a second major (or the time/money that requires) to do it. 

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1. Graduate spring 2018, don't worry about another degree, you don't need it. Plus, you won't be eligible for certain aid(grants) once you have a degree already so you will have to take out certain loans to cover it.

2. Do summer EMT course (1-2 months) work full time until next summer gaining HCE during the year while studying for GRE. Maintain contact with old professors if you will be asking for LOR

3. Apply early after your 1 year worth of EMT experience and you will have very high chance of getting in. 

4. Do happy dance once you get acceptance, chill until school starts, then drink lots of coffee to get through didactic year.

Good luck.

 

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I agree with what @Ket131 said, I don't think your friends really know what they're talking about haha. I just got accepted into PA school and my overall gpa was a 3.5 and science gpa was a 3.6. I also lacked a lot of hands on patient care hours (570 total), shadowing hours (30 total), and volunteer hours (I think I only applied with like 100) compared to most applicants who apply. A ton of schools view your application holistically, and would rather accept an applicant who has average stats and is a pleasant person (who will make a great PA) over an applicant who is perfect on paper but awkward/not friendly/ect. in person. Personally, I wouldn't worry about the second major, and would just graduate in the spring as planned. Make sure to write an awesome personal statement essay and get some good letters of recommendation, and you have a great chance of getting accepted in my opinion. Also, working in research is good experience but I would 100% recommend trying to get a job where you will gain a lot of hands-on patient care experience. If you need to take a gap year to gain patient care experience, shadowing, and volunteer hours, that added experience would improve your application a lot. Best of luck to you! 

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On 2/11/2018 at 8:53 PM, Ket131 said:

Seems like your friends don't know what they are talking about.  I got into PA school with a 3.37 cGPA and a 3.15 sGPA.  You can get the second major if you want, but not necessary.  

Do you mind telling us which school you got into? 

 

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1 hour ago, OldEDRN said:

Do you mind telling us which school you got into?

I sent you a PM.  Keep in mind that there were people that applied to my school with significantly higher GPAs, in the 3.9s that were not accepted.  There is more to getting into school than GPA and applying to a school just because they have accepted individuals like myself with a GPA on the lower end, is a good way to become disappointed when you apply to these programs.

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21 hours ago, Ket131 said:

I sent you a PM.  Keep in mind that there were people that applied to my school with significantly higher GPAs, in the 3.9s that were not accepted.  There is more to getting into school than GPA and applying to a school just because they have accepted individuals like myself with a GPA on the lower end, is a good way to become disappointed when you apply to these programs.

I understand and I've lived through the disappointment thinking that my 15 years of experience as an RN and good GRE score would at least get me an interview. I have now come to understand that GPA is, at least to some schools, a way to make the first cut. I'm getting zero interest from the programs I have applied to (only 2) and am being told it is because my GPA, particularly science is too low. I refuse to give up, though and continue to take more science classes to get my GPA in the range that is considered acceptable. Thanks for your response. 

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On 2/11/2018 at 8:53 PM, Ket131 said:

Seems like your friends don't know what they are talking about.  I got into PA school with a 3.37 cGPA and a 3.15 sGPA.  You can get the second major if you want, but not necessary.  

That's amazing! May I ask what kind of extracurricular activities did you do and work experience did you have? Would it also be too much to ask you what school did you get accepted to?

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On 3/3/2018 at 9:17 AM, OldEDRN said:

I understand and I've lived through the disappointment thinking that my 15 years of experience as an RN and good GRE score would at least get me an interview. I have now come to understand that GPA is, at least to some schools, a way to make the first cut. I'm getting zero interest from the programs I have applied to (only 2) and am being told it is because my GPA, particularly science is too low. I refuse to give up, though and continue to take more science classes to get my GPA in the range that is considered acceptable. Thanks for your response. 

Keep in mind, applying to only 2 programs definitely decreases your odds of acceptance. You should research schools that value solid health care experience, ensure you meet the minimum requirements, and apply early to those schools; apply widely to 10-12 schools, and you are more likely to get some bites. Yes, GPA is important these days since it has become so competitive to gain acceptance, but there are plenty of success stories from people with GPAs on the lower end of the scale to know it isn't impossible. Keep working at it, and good luck to you.

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On 2/11/2018 at 8:53 PM, Ket131 said:

Seems like your friends don't know what they are talking about.  I got into PA school with a 3.37 cGPA and a 3.15 sGPA.  You can get the second major if you want, but not necessary.  

Do you mind asking what school you got in? And what was your PCE? 

 

Thanks!

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On 2/11/2018 at 8:53 PM, Ket131 said:

Seems like your friends don't know what they are talking about.  I got into PA school with a 3.37 cGPA and a 3.15 sGPA.  You can get the second major if you want, but not necessary.  

This is amazing, it there a chance i could know what school this is? I know a lot of people must be asking you this I'm sorry!

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3 hours ago, Theresa118 said:

Do you mind asking what school you got in? And what was your PCE?

Sent PM about school.  Also I missed typed, my cGPA is 3.27.

2808 hrs as medical scribe, 2400+ hrs as dialysis technician.  

3 hours ago, ackb13 said:

This is amazing, it there a chance i could know what school this is?

Sent PM about school.  Also I missed typed, my cGPA is 3.27.

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On 3/2/2018 at 1:03 PM, Ket131 said:

I sent you a PM.  Keep in mind that there were people that applied to my school with significantly higher GPAs, in the 3.9s that were not accepted.  There is more to getting into school than GPA and applying to a school just because they have accepted individuals like myself with a GPA on the lower end, is a good way to become disappointed when you apply to these programs.

Hi! My cumulative GPA is pretty similar to yours (3.3) and my PCE hours (~5000). And, like you, I had to get straight As in a lot of post-bac classes in order to bring this up. My sGPA went from a 2.83--->3.47 from doing this. I've seen your various posts on the forum and it's definitely given me motivation/confidence that I will be accepted as well this year! Can you send me a PM as well about the school and how you're liking it? Thanks!

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1 hour ago, LolaCola said:

Hi! My cumulative GPA is pretty similar to yours (3.3) and my PCE hours (~5000). And, like you, I had to get straight As in a lot of post-bac classes in order to bring this up. My sGPA went from a 2.83--->3.47 from doing this. I've seen your various posts on the forum and it's definitely given me motivation/confidence that I will be accepted as well this year! Can you send me a PM as well about the school and how you're liking it? Thanks!

That is a very good improvement in sGPA, way better than mine. PM sent.

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