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Hi PAs as Pre-PAs: I am fortunate enough to say that I have a choice of PA programs to choose from- Emory and Duke. I have visited both schools during the interview, and both are impressive. I’ll be moving with my husband, who will need to find a job wherever we end up, and it seems like Atlanta may have more opportunities for jobs in his field (landscape architecture). I’m thrilled but a bit stumped as to which to choose. I’d sincerely appreciate some insight from those that are familiar with the programs. What would be on your pro and con list? Thank you!

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Guest HopeToBePAC

So I'm not too familiar with the schools but I'll still give my opinion after doing a quick search. When stuck between two schools you want to look at their PANCE pass rates and their tuition costs. It seems like their pass rates and tuition are both pretty similar, with Emory being a bit cheaper. You may also want to consider location, their rotation sites, and the length of their program. 

Duke is #1 and Emory is #3 for the best PA schools, so they're BOTH great programs, clearly. If you were to ask me, I would go with Emory because that way you would be able to live with your husband, have his support system, and he would be able to have more options for jobs, and you would still be able to attend a great school.

 

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Thanks for your opinion HopesToBePAC! You are absolutely right that these are the things you should be looking at upfront, but since these two schools are so comparable, I am have a really hard time choosing. It’s comparing apples to apples for sure. 

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Think about where felt like a better "fit" during your interview. Where did you mesh better with the other interviewees? Did one place stand out as having faculty you'd be excited to learn from? Did you identify any potential mentors at one program? In my understanding, Emory is pretty urban and Duke is pretty rural - do you prefer one environment over the other? Does one have a curriculum component you'd prefer? Have you  talked to current students? I had to choose as well (it's overwhelming!) and I made a pros/cons list comparing each school, which is super helpful! Congrats!!

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The two programs seem comparable regarding the caliber of education that they will provide. Considering that finding employment as a PA in both Atlanta and Durham shouldn't be a problem, Emory may be a better choice given that your husband would have more work opportunities there (although I have no idea how the job market for landscape architects is in general). If your husband finds a good job and starts establishing himself in Atlanta, then great, you can practice in Atlanta then too!

Edited by pharynxlarynxshmarynx

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Don’t forget cost of living. I have to imagine that Atlanta would be greater COL. In addition, where in both areas would you live. Probably closer to the school and more accessible in Durham. Both are excellent schools and both cities/areas are constantly growing which I would imagine would provide opportunity for your husband’s career. After you finish school, will you be moving back “home” or is there a probability you will stay in your new town. To me, both programs are excellent so I would follow the advise given by nichole96 above and compare all costs (school and living) plus the intangible of where you might rather live, both during school and afterwards. 

 

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Thank you ALL for your insights. On your advice, I decided to fly down to Durham (I’m from New England) to get a lay of the land. I think I can make a much more informed decision if I see my potential new home. 

To @nichole96, your advice was especially poignant because I felt a strong kinship with the students and professors at Duke over Emory. I’ve has my sights sent in Atlanta for so long, I think my brain is having a hard time opening to other possibilities. 

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Hi @MissPrePAJess ! I also had to make the difficult decision between Emory and Duke, and am also from New England! I got a great feeling about both schools during the interviews, so it was a much tougher decision than I expected. I compared components like class size, location, cost of living, tuition, length of program, PANCE pass rate, etc. They are both top programs so its hard to base it off of that. Emory has more elective options, but their program is also a few months longer. I loved Atlanta when I visited, and I liked Emory's class size better as well (~54 students vs ~90 at Duke). Ultimately, I decided on Duke because I have family and friends in the area, and wanted a more suburban place for school oppose to a city. But, it is all what you are looking for! You can't make a wrong decision here 🙂  

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