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What should I work on to get into PA school?


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Hello everyone! I’m currently working hard to get into PA school, I’m super motivated but I’d like some guidance and advice because PA admissions is new to me despite knowing a lot about the profession. I graduated last year with a 3.42 Overall GPA, in the last year I’ve taken some missing prereqs at a CC and managed to get my GPA 3.48-3.5. My Science GPA is a 3.3. I know it’s not ideal but I am not applying till next year to PA and I will be taking 11 credits of graduate school science courses (plus another class or two at the CC) this year to boost my GPA some more. My GPA is low mainly to getting B’s in college, I only really have 3 C’s (4 technically but I retook one and got an A) so retaking these didn’t make as much sense as doing those grad school upper level courses (medical anatomy, histology, embryology and another course)

 

As far as hours, I am a CNA at a hospital and do about 30 hours a week. I started the job in October so only have 300 hours so far. I am looking into getting my EMT-Basic license this summer as well. 

 

I have 3 years of volunteering at a clinic, lots of research leadership and lab experience as well. I am very passionate about going to PA school and I hope you guys can offer me some guidance and tips. Thank you!

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You sound like you have a fair chance considering your GPA is in the middle. I would not bother with getting an EMT-B if you are already a CNA in a hospital setting. You could always just transfer in your system after your year is up to become a ED Tech or in a different role. I chose to transfer to the float pool which means I'm always moving hospitals/floors and gaining a wide variety of experiences, but that was after I applied and got accepted! 

You have a lot of volunteer experience and leadership experiences that you can incorporate into a personal essay.

I wouldn't worry too much about taking hard graduate courses to boost your GPA. Look at your local CC and consider taking more science courses instead for a lower cost. Even basic sciences like nutrition, healthcare science, environmental sciences, etc apply to your sGPA. Look on CASPA to see a list of which ones do count. Save your money for PA school and the application process unless you really are dying to take a certain graduate course. PA school will teach you what you need to know and you will always be learning in the field!

Consider reading up on JAAPA and staying up to date to prepare for interview questions regarding changes to the profession. Most importantly, keep an open mind as you work and write down any ideas that come to mind for crafting a wonderful personal essay. 

Best of luck to you~

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13 minutes ago, ajames said:

You sound like you have a fair chance considering your GPA is in the middle. I would not bother with getting an EMT-B if you are already a CNA in a hospital setting. You could always just transfer in your system after your year is up to become a ED Tech or in a different role. I chose to transfer to the float pool which means I'm always moving hospitals/floors and gaining a wide variety of experiences, but that was after I applied and got accepted! 

You have a lot of volunteer experience and leadership experiences that you can incorporate into a personal essay.

I wouldn't worry too much about taking hard graduate courses to boost your GPA. Look at your local CC and consider taking more science courses instead for a lower cost. Even basic sciences like nutrition, healthcare science, environmental sciences, etc apply to your sGPA. Look on CASPA to see a list of which ones do count. Save your money for PA school and the application process unless you really are dying to take a certain graduate course. PA school will teach you what you need to know and you will always be learning in the field!

Consider reading up on JAAPA and staying up to date to prepare for interview questions regarding changes to the profession. Most importantly, keep an open mind as you work and write down any ideas that come to mind for crafting a wonderful personal essay. 

Best of luck to you~

Thank you so much! Really appreciate your thorough response. So my thought process to doing the EMT-B is that it is different more varied PCE plus it is 11 credits which go into my science GPA in CASPA if I’m not mistaken?

I’m kind of on the fence about the grad school courses because of the cost ($505/credit) BUT it is associated with my top PA school, it’s part of a grad certificate which they say is helpful for PA hopefuls. Not sure, just seemed like a good thing but it’s expensive. I’ve been taking CC courses and getting A’s, they’re around $105/credit but it’s hard to take too many science courses because they don’t allow you to be in them unless you’re a degree seeking student. I’ll take a look at what’s being offered this summer though. Do you think the grad school courses are worth the extra $$? Only because they’re associated with my top PA program and they’re more upper level. 

Thanks for all your tips! 

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I don't think they are worth the extra cost because I do not think they will make or break your application. Considering your other post, you have a lot of programs that you are going to be applying to in your home state which may better your chances anyway.

I would not sweat over the graduate courses. Imagine, 6k to get a pat on the back for your 11credits*505. Save that money for all the traveling you are going to do if you are offered interviews at the 11-13 programs you are going to be applying to. At a fraction of the cost, 105*11credits=1155 and it does the exact same thing to your GPA if you get an A in those 11 credits regardless if they are graduate level.

Maybe if they ask you about whyyy you took extra classes, you can state that you understand that a PA program is rigorous, so you decided to continue your education at your CC in order to keep up with studying habits and continuous learning to better prepare yourself for this rigorous academic journey. Ultimately, the choice is yours. By the way, you may think one school is your top choice, then come interview season you are blown away by another. The tables are always turning. 

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