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2018-2019 Application Cycle

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1 hour ago, Kay2018 said:

Dear Applicant,

You will be receiving an official deny letter from the admissions office within a few weeks. The admission committee wanted to give you feedback on why your application was denied and that information is provided below. Please only contact Dr. Hadley if your application was denied and was not covered in the list of reasons below.

We often receive inquiries from applicants concerning the reasons they were not offered an interview for our PA program. The information below will help to answer many of your questions, and if not, we are happy to provide you with more specific feedback.

Some common reasons for denial are below. We request that you go through this information, and compare each element to your own application. A good objective look at your own application in comparison to our criteria can be very helpful. In most cases, the reason for denial will be apparent, and the suggested remedies may help to strengthen your application in the future.

Common reasons for denial:

Low GPAs Low academic performance indicators cause significant concern, and we feel we must consider academics as our first priority. We intend for every accepted student to graduate.  We have a great many applicants with truly excellent academic credentials.

We look at overall cumulative GPA, prerequisite GPA, and science GPA. If any of these is below a 3.0, we perceive this as a red flag regarding an applicant's ability to successfully navigate our program's curriculum. If any of these GPAs is close to a 3.0 (e.g. 3.2 or lower), it is still a potential red flag. Most of our interviewees have all these GPAs above the 3.4 range.

The remedy for a low GPA is to concentrate on accumulating additional hours in specific areas to raise the GPA. These should be high level science courses. You could take courses that would satisfy our prerequisites, or other upper level science courses. By showing that you can handle a demanding curriculum, you can demonstrate that you are indeed capable of successful completion of our program.


It is generally NOT recommended that you retake classes to improve your grades. Take new classes and do well in them. There really is no opportunity to retake classes in PA school, so we are interested in how well you can do the first time you take a course.

GRE Scores We do not have a hard cutoff for GRE scores, and we recognize that the GRE does not measure ability in the same way that grades do. However, we have two types of concerns with GRE scores. First, we need to have GRE scores to adequately appraise an application. If we do not have at least unofficial scores listed in CASPA, or hard copy scores that have been sent to the school, we do not consider an application complete, and will not invite the applicant for an interview. We strongly prefer that you submit your scores through CASPA, so that all your data will be compiled together. Occasionally, hard copy GRE scores do not get placed in application packets, but the CASPA scores are always available.

Second, some applicants have low GRE scores that cause us to have some apprehension. Despite having no hard cutoff, scores below the 25th percentile suggest a problem with aptitude, either Verbal or Quantitative. The Analytic/Writing score is sometimes quite variable, and does not necessarily correlate well with the other scores, but scores of 3.0 or less (~17th percentile) raise concerns for some Admissions Committee members.

If you did not have a GRE score submitted, be sure to have that available for next cycle. If your scores were lower than the criteria mentioned above, retaking the GRE is recommended. Sometimes applicants take the GREs when they are not adequately prepared and perform poorly, despite having a good knowledge base. With adequate preparation, this may be remedied and one could see dramatic improvements in scores. Use the GRE web site to become familiar with content and type of question and consider whether an additional prep course (e.g. Kaplan) would be helpful.

Applied too early  Often we see applicants who are not quite ready for admission, and they have significant missing qualifications. These applicants may not have finished their degree yet, may have a large number of missing prerequisites, or have low patient care hours. Sometimes an applicant with a non-science background making a career change will also fall into this category. For all of our applicants, we like to see substantial evidence suggesting that they are both interested in and capable of becoming a PA. Often these applicants who may have applied too early are significantly stronger a year later, so we usually recommend continuing coursework and patient care and then reapplying when they have acquired more experience. 

Other  Nontraditional" applicants, such as second-career applicants, or those with non-science backgrounds, may require some special considerations. We are looking for reassurance that our applicants can succeed in our curriculum (see above), and having a non-science background can put applicants at a disadvantage. The solution here is to provide strong evidence of strong evidence of academic ability and a clear commitment to the PA profession. Due to particular constraints, this applicant is often working full time, and obtains prerequisite classes one or two at a time.  If at all possible, it is best to take on a very full load of all upper level, difficult courses, at least for a couple of semesters. Applicants who have a traditional science education but have been out of school an extended amount of time often have similar issues.

Mitigating factors. Some factors reduce the impact of the above issues. For example, there may be improving trends in grades, with older, earlier grades being poor, but more recent grades excellent. This may be reflected in a low overall GPA, but the recent strong track record helps to alleviate concerns. Nontraditional or second-career students may have lower GREs scores because they have been out of school for a long time, and are far-removed from the core curriculum that would prep one for the GREs. When we look at this whole picture, though, we still need to see solid academic ability.

Please inspect your application with the above in mind. If yours seems to fit one or more of these categories, you may have a better idea of what would be required to show improvement before reapplying. If you feel your situation does not fit the above, please feel free to contact Dr. Robert Hadley (rdhadley@jchs.edu), and he will address your specific questions.

We wish you well in your goal to become a PA.

Best Regards,

James K.

Yeah that’s definitely overkill. At least you know it’s something you can improve and possibly be accepted to another school or next year. Best of luck to you 

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