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KVB0821

Chances on getting into PA school 2019-2020 cycle

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Hi everyone! This is my first time using this forum and I have found a lot of information so far reading other posts so I just wanted to get some advice on where you guys think I stand. I am going to be applying to PA school in the next upcoming 2019-2020 CASPA cycle. I am getting a little worried about my credentials and just want to hear some opinions on whether or not I have a shot of getting in.

  • I am currently a senior at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst graduating in 2019 with a BS in psychology with a concentration in neuroscience
  • my cumulative GPA so far is 3.56 with a science GPA of 3.44
  • I work at a hospital as a patient care associate and will have around 800 patient care hours by the time I apply
  • I work as a pharmacist technician simultaneously (even though this does not count as patient care hours)
  • I will obtain shadowing hours this upcoming semester in the spring, and all of my pre-reqs are completed
  • A's and B's in all pre-reqs
    • I have one problem regarding organic chemistry and wondering if this is going to have any effect on my chances of admission. I got an A in organic chemistry I and was extremely happy with that. However, I know it is not a pre-req for most programs, but orgo II was required for my major and I did very poorly ending with a C-. Given that it did not heavily effect my overall GPA, most schools do not require it, and after talking to my advisor, I decided not to retake the course. Should I look into retaking it?

My hometown is around Boston and I am really hoping to get into a program near there. I know these programs are very competitive, but if anyone has any advice they can give on what I can do to make me a stronger applicant that would be very much appreciated. I feel as if the field gets more competitive each year and I am starting to get very anxious on whether or not I will be admitted to a program. 

Edited by KVB0821
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Personally, I’d take biochem and pathophysiology and do well in those rather than taking a C and having it at best become a B with CASPA’s averaging.

Also try to crack at least 1000 patient care hours and see what happens.

Good luck!




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Agree with the biochem suggestion especially - I failed orgo 2, took biochem as a "replacement" post-bac, and didn't have a single issue on the interview trail. Biochem is also a pretty popular prereq so it can only help! 

Honestly I would use this cycle as a practice run - if you get in, great! If not, another year of PCE will make you way more competitive for a school you *want* to attend (instead of settling for the first one to accept you). I got into Tufts and Bryant (in RI) and invited to interview at MGH IHP with a 3.55/3.35/2600 PCE hours. You'll have better stats than that next year, so don't stress too much 🙂 also make sure your personal statement/experiences/LORs are strong! Good luck! 🙂

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2 hours ago, nichole96 said:

Agree with the biochem suggestion especially - I failed orgo 2, took biochem as a "replacement" post-bac, and didn't have a single issue on the interview trail. Biochem is also a pretty popular prereq so it can only help! 

Honestly I would use this cycle as a practice run - if you get in, great! If not, another year of PCE will make you way more competitive for a school you *want* to attend (instead of settling for the first one to accept you). I got into Tufts and Bryant (in RI) and invited to interview at MGH IHP with a 3.55/3.35/2600 PCE hours. You'll have better stats than that next year, so don't stress too much 🙂 also make sure your personal statement/experiences/LORs are strong! Good luck! 🙂

Hi! Thanks for the reply, I already took biochem my junior year and ended with a B+. Your stats made me feel a lot better, thank you for that!

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On 12/7/2018 at 11:03 AM, UGoLong said:

Personally, I’d take biochem and pathophysiology and do well in those rather than taking a C and having it at best become a B with CASPA’s averaging.

I would actually advise against taking those two courses unless they are prerequisites for any of the schools the OP plans on applying to. Some schools require one of Organic Chem II or Biochemistry. If that's the case I'd advise taking/retaking whichever one you think you're going to make an A in. The OP's overall and science GPA are already very competitive. They don't need to sink themselves by getting any less than an A in biochem or pathophysiology. I feel like it's an unnecessary risk.

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I would actually advise against taking those two courses unless they are prerequisites for any of the schools the OP plans on applying to. Some schools require one of Organic Chem II or Biochemistry. If that's the case I'd advise taking/retaking whichever one you think you're going to make an A in. The OP's overall and science GPA are already very competitive. They don't need to sink themselves by getting any less than an A in biochem or pathophysiology. I feel like it's an unnecessary risk.


If you want to prove you’re up to doing graduate work in PA school, ace both of these. If you don’t think you can hack it, then don’t.


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The Boston area schools are incredibly competitive. I have a friend who had 10+ years PCE as an EMT/Paramedic and good grades and didn’t get accepted to any Boston schools in 3 cycles. I had considered applying to some of them (because I love Boston) but their requirements are some of the highest I found in the country. Based on what I know, I’d say you are likely not a highly competitive candidate with that GPA and PCE (your stats aren’t bad, though, don’t get me wrong, Boston programs are just that competitive). Definitely apply if you meet the minimums, but I would strongly suggest applying broadly also to other programs outside of Mass. 

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On 12/9/2018 at 1:04 PM, BaxLN said:

I have a friend who had 10+ years PCE as an EMT/Paramedic and good grades and didn’t get accepted to any Boston schools in 3 cycles. 

When I hear things like this it makes me think there was something else in their application or interview that didn't add up. 

Also, yes, Boston programs are competitive, but I don't think they are more competitive that others in major urban areas. 

Edited by HanSolo
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Your GPA is solid, however your hours are lacking and not much you can do about it but just wait it out. Once you hit 1,500-2,000 hours I can see you getting multiple interviews.

 

P.S. Some schools actually do accept the pharm tech as hours because I was also a pharm tech for a while 🙂

gl!

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