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General Application Questions

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I will be beginning to apply to PA schools in about a year or so. However, I have some very basic questions that I cannot seem to find good answers to. One being, when can I first apply? I read somewhere that the year that you want to attend (for example, I will graduate in 2020) you must apply a year before (so, 2019). However I will not have even started my senior year yet, so that can't be right? Can it? Just looking for some clarity! Thanks in advanced!

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Some students go right from undergrad to PA school, assuming they have the required healthcare experience. You generally can have some unfinished prerequisites, assuming you still have a good story of academic success. Applications are generally made the year before you would enter PA school.

That said, many programs require patient care experience and that can sometimes be hard to get without taking a gap year to work.

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Each application cycle opens in April.  Schools will review applications and interview summer/fall of the same year and even spring of the next year.  Enrollment starts anywhere from Jan (after the cycle opens) to Fall (the year after the cycle opens).

For example:

Students who are applying this cycle, which opened April 2018, are interviewing now and are hoping to begin school in 2019.

FWIW it's not super common for students to apply during their senior year  and start PA school immediately after (or even the fall after) graduating undergrad.  It happens but is not the norm.

This is NOT your average graduate program where you apply in the spring and start in the fall of the same year.

Edited by MT2PA
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Hi again!

So, I had another question pop up into my head and thought y'all could help me out again! I decided to apply the summer before my senior year, so this summer, to a select few schools. However, one of my top choices has a prerequisite that I have already taken and did not do very well in. I would like to retake it, however it is not possible to retake it before I apply to PA school this summer. Is it ok if I retake it senior year, or will it count against me and I will not be considered because it is not above a 3.0? 

Thanks in advanced!

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Not sure exactly what you are asking here!

Check on the school's website to see if the school allows you to go ahead and apply while that specific prerequisite is still pending completion. I would also call the school and ask about this since its a specific question that only they can answer thoroughly.

But if the school does allow you, then go ahead and apply to the program and retake the course whenever you can.

Some schools have a minimum grade as a requirement for the prerequisites, so you might not be considered, unless they are assuming you will do well when you retake it. Again, I would just call them and ask!

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Most schools I applied to would let you have one outstanding pre-req (meaning you are still in that course) when you submit your CASPA, but usually all of them have to be complete by around the December before starting in the program (that time frame is for schools starting late summer/ fall so it will depend on where you are applying)

But the schools I applied to only accepted updates on outstanding courses if an interview invite was offered or upon acceptance. So If you don't want your application to be considered without the final grade for the re-take, then don't submit CASPA before you are finished with it.

Although with CASPA it is important to note that all your classes will be reported to the school through your official transcript. So they will still see that poor grade even after the retake, and that class will still be factored in to your GPA. The retake will be in addition to that class, and in the program-specific section of the CASPA you can select the retake as your pre-req.

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