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2019-2020 cycle applicants. Let's talk!


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8 hours ago, youngbreezy said:

Hope u don't mind me asking, but how do I ask someone to start writing me a LOR before the CASPA portal opens up (without them knowing what questions will be asked on CASPA)? Should they write a personalized letter, and then complete specific CASPA questions? Sorry, I'm just clueless as to how LORs work on CASPA and a bit anxious about the whole thing. ūüôā¬†

As far as I know, CASPA just asks them to write/upload a letter for you, not answer any questions.  As for how to ask, I would email the people you have in mind, explain that you are applying to PA school, and ask them if they'd be willing to write an LOR for you.  When they say yes, email them the link CASPA provides for your LORs.  I've been told that it is helpful if you describe what specifically you'd like them to say about you.  Example: My A&P II professor wrote one of my LORs, and I asked her to highlight the fact that I took all my pre-reqs while working full time and was able to maintain a high GPA.  Ask for your LORs at least a month in advance of when you'd like to have them.

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Guest thePAway

I'm applying this cycle to 10-12 schools and hoping to submit once my grades are finalized mid May! I am super excited/nervous! I am going to be graduating from undergrad in May with only about 1,300 hours but I hope my GPA makes up for the lack of hours!

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Hi everyone!

I'm graduating from UCSD this year and am planning on applying to a few schools across the West Coast this cycle. Super nervous about getting LORs as well (I've been mainly focused on pre-reqs and healthcare experience instead of shadowing). Not to mention that my healthcare experience is as a clinical research assistant, which a lot of programs accept, but not as a first choice. 

Here's a link I found that shows what LOR writers see: https://www.mypatraining.com/pa-school-reference-letter-writers-see/

Good luck!

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9 hours ago, Finntastic said:

I'm graduating from UCSD this year and am planning on applying to a few schools across the West Coast this cycle.

Yay west coast! That was my focus too. Feel free to message me about AZ/NV/NM/OR/ID. I found out some things the hard way, like UNM only accepts ~5 out of state students a year 

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On 2/10/2019 at 2:00 PM, Guest HopeToBePAC said:

That's a lot of schools. I'd say you don't really increase your chances much after 10-12 schools. I think I saw one of your previous posts and you're already a strong applicant. I'd narrow that down but it's entirely up to you.

I agree about narrowing it down. I applied to about the same number my first time (literally any school that I had the qualifications for) and was denied from all,  with the exception of one last minute interview which I was waitlisted at.

My second round I applied to maybe 6, had 2 interview invites and was accepted to both. It really only takes 1 school. I look back at all the money and time I wasted. If you are really hoping for a specific school maybe do research, shadow someone if they are a PA that is on the faculty, go to open houses, etc.  Good luck!

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1 hour ago, haleydawn4 said:

Hi everyone!! 

I will be applying this time around for the first time and super nervous and excited! I live in South Texas so will be applying to primarily the Texas programs. I would love to connect with you if you're applying to any of the programs down here as well!

 

I have a question for everyone. So I graduated with my bachelors in May 2018, and decided to pursue PA school my last semester of undergrad. So, I am taking courses that were not in my degree currently and primarily just at local community colleges. After this spring semester, I will need genetics, immunology, o-chem, and microbiology. There are not any local schools that offer genetics or immunology so I am concerned that I may have to take them online through University of Phoenix. My main concern with this, is I do not want it to look degrading or "easy way out" on my applications. Do y'all think that will affect my application or am I over thinking this all.. 

Someone else is probably better suited to answer your question about online coursework, but I do want to point something out.

Most programs will accept one in-progress prerequisite. Some accept two. I don’t know of any programs that accept more than two in-progress prerequisites. It sounds like you have two to three in progress prerequisites depending on the program. Just something to be aware of. 

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hi, all! I am so nervous. I plan to apply as soon as possible but still have A&P I/II and genetics to take. I'm going to take A/P I in the summer and then A/P in the fall..still deciding if I should take genetics in the summer/fall.

I'm applying to 10-11 schools in GA and CA (where my SO is). Eek. Figuring this stuff out by yourself is hard! But I'll have 4000 PCE hours (MA) and my science GPA (so far) is 4.0...we'll see if orgo this semester will change that! The only thing is that I only have like 20 shadowing hours from different PAs but some programs seem to want a LOR from a PA ūüėě

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2 hours ago, mxstiina said:

hi, all! I am so nervous. I plan to apply as soon as possible but still have A&P I/II and genetics to take. I'm going to take A/P I in the summer and then A/P in the fall..still deciding if I should take genetics in the summer/fall.

I'm applying to 10-11 schools in GA and CA (where my SO is). Eek. Figuring this stuff out by yourself is hard! But I'll have 4000 PCE hours (MA) and my science GPA (so far) is 4.0...we'll see if orgo this semester will change that! The only thing is that I only have like 20 shadowing hours from different PAs but some programs seem to want a LOR from a PA 

I was accepted this year to a program that strongly recommends a letter coming from an MD/DO/NP/PA which I didn't have. For my letter writers I chose supervisors that had mentored me, seen my struggles and development over time, and could speak about my specific strengths. All four LORs came from nurses. I agree that its preferable to have a stellar letter from an MD/DO/NP/PA. However, a mediocre and unspecific letter from an underdeveloped relationship is probably just taking the place of a much better recommendation from someone that can really sing your praises! Obviously, this won't work if the school requires a letter from a PA or other provider.

Also, a word of caution: many programs do not accept more than one (or at most two) prerequisites in progress at the time of applying and A&P is pretty much the most important prereq for PA school. Most applicants will already have this completed before submitting. Make sure to check with each school that you're applying to for these specifics so you don't end up wasting your time (and $$$).

Best of luck!

Edited by mkimbe
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Guest thePAway
On 2/24/2019 at 10:07 PM, youngbreezy said:

@Ejohns20lol. Thank you! ūüėɬ†

Hope u don't mind me asking, but how do I ask someone to start writing me a LOR before the CASPA portal opens up (without them knowing what questions will be asked on CASPA)? Should they write a personalized letter, and then complete specific CASPA questions? Sorry, I'm just clueless as to how LORs work on CASPA and a bit anxious about the whole thing. ūüôā¬†

CASPA doesn't ask them specific questions you just put in their email and CASPA provides them a link to upload their letter. When I asked my LOR people for them I gave them my transcript, resume and personal statement so they could write a letter about me as a student/person!

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1 hour ago, mkimbe said:

I was accepted this year to a program that strongly recommends a letter coming from an MD/DO/NP/PA which I didn't have. For my letter writers I chose supervisors that had mentored me, seen my struggles and development over time, and could speak about my specific strengths. All four LORs came from nurses. I agree that its preferable to have a stellar letter from an MD/DO/NP/PA. However, a mediocre and unspecific letter from an underdeveloped relationship is probably just taking the place of a much better recommendation from someone that can really sing your praises! Obviously, this won't work if the school requires a letter from a PA or other provider.

Also, a word of caution: many programs do not accept more than one (or at most two) prerequisites in progress at the time of applying and A&P is pretty much the most important prereq for PA school. Most applicants will already have this completed before submitting. Make sure to check with each school that you're applying to for these specifics so you don't end up wasting your time (and $$$).

Best of luck!

Thanks for your advice! Yeah this one program I was looking to apply to REQUIRES a letter from a PA unfortunately. Too bad my practice only employs midwives and doctors. I have been making sure to look through all the programs to make sure that my (likely) 1 outstanding prerequisite won't be too much of an issue. 

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On 2/25/2019 at 7:34 AM, LAE198 said:

As far as I know, CASPA just asks them to write/upload a letter for you, not answer any questions.  As for how to ask, I would email the people you have in mind, explain that you are applying to PA school, and ask them if they'd be willing to write an LOR for you.  When they say yes, email them the link CASPA provides for your LORs.  I've been told that it is helpful if you describe what specifically you'd like them to say about you.  Example: My A&P II professor wrote one of my LORs, and I asked her to highlight the fact that I took all my pre-reqs while working full time and was able to maintain a high GPA.  Ask for your LORs at least a month in advance of when you'd like to have them.

There are two parts - a ratings rubric (not questions, but rate you from 1-5 on various criteria) and then they upload a personalized letter. They just shouldn't mention any specific place you are applying since the same letter goes to all of your schools.

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Hey guys!

Figure I'll jump in since I'm new to this site. Graduated in '17 with Behavioral Neuroscience degree, been manager and lead technician of a neuropsych clinic ever since (around 4,000 hrs PCE /¬†management experience). Took some prereqs while working f/t all last year (micro, anatomy, phys) and tried my hand at a super competitive¬†entry level master's in nursing program, got nowhere. Reevaluated my path, did some research, and realized oh - I can apply to some PA schools with my prereqs! I had wanted to be a PA early on in undergrad but ended up changing courses once or twice, so here I am again hoping for the best! I'm in southern California so I'm not counting on anything, but figured I might as well shoot my shot at a few schools before going back to grinding out prereqs at night and working full time ūüė쬆 Feel like I'm a strong applicant but still getting over the recent MSN rejection tbh.¬†¬†Anyway - nice to meet you guys and best of luck with apps! Never tried CASPA before but excited to give it a try..

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Do you guys think mid June is late in applying? My genetics course I'm lined up to take w/ OSU ends around then. I have three outstanding prereqs. A&P 1 I will be finishing on June 11. A&P II I would have to take in the fall. My programs allow up to 2 outstanding credits at application. 

Either I could

1. Take OSU's genetics course and then apply mid June when I am done w/ my AP 1 course. (Genetics and AP II outstanding...technically only AP II would be outstanding when I finish OSU's genetics course on June 15).

OR 

2. Take University of Phoenix's course right now (5 weeks) which would free me up to apply as soon as possible. I would aim for mid to late May. (A/P I and II would be outstanding)

What do y'all think?

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So I actually went  open house Ouse houe ya day

18 minutes ago, mxstiina said:

Do you guys think mid June is late in applying? My genetics course I'm lined up to take w/ OSU ends around then. I have three outstanding prereqs. A&P 1 I will be finishing on June 11. A&P II I would have to take in the fall. My programs allow up to 2 outstanding credits at application. 

Either I could

1. Take OSU's genetics course and then apply mid June when I am done w/ my AP 1 course. (Genetics and AP II outstanding...technically only AP II would be outstanding when I finish OSU's genetics course on June 15).

OR 

2. Take University of Phoenix's course right now (5 weeks) which would free me up to apply as soon as possible. I would aim for mid to late May. (A/P I and II would be outstanding)

What do y'all think?

So I actually went to an open house today and the courses she said to not have outstanding are the a&p courses cause that’s the very first thing they look at on your transcript. If I were you, I would take a&p 2 in July and apply right after that. I will have micro outstanding when I apply which is why I asked at the open house and she said any class outstanding is okay expect for A&P.  Your application would be a lot better quality if you just waited til July opposed to having the missing course.

I hope this helps ya!!

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5 minutes ago, haleydawn4 said:

So I actually went  open house Ouse houe ya day

So I actually went to an open house today and the courses she said to not have outstanding are the a&p courses cause that’s the very first thing they look at on your transcript. If I were you, I would take a&p 2 in July and apply right after that. I will have micro outstanding when I apply which is why I asked at the open house and she said any class outstanding is okay expect for A&P.  Your application would be a lot better quality if you just waited til July opposed to having the missing course.

I hope this helps ya!!

Oh man, unfortunately even if I finish AP I in June, I wouldnt be able to finish A&P II until fall semester :(. Good to know though....well, at least I would have 1 A/P course? Which school's open house did u go to if u dont mind me asking?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I    am applying this cycle as well! Have my LORs lined up, I    have one class left to take this summer and then I    am all done. Super nervous, I    have two PAs lined up for the month of April and May. The only thing I    need to do is take my GREs (AHH). So nervous with this... I    am awful at standardized testing. Took a practice one and I    got a 297.. so close to a 300. But the vocab got me! Anyone have recommendations on how to get these vocab words down better?

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Guest thePAway
23 minutes ago, maria1129 said:

I    am applying this cycle as well! Have my LORs lined up, I    have one class left to take this summer and then I    am all done. Super nervous, I    have two PAs lined up for the month of April and May. The only thing I    need to do is take my GREs (AHH). So nervous with this... I    am awful at standardized testing. Took a practice one and I    got a 297.. so close to a 300. But the vocab got me! Anyone have recommendations on how to get these vocab words down better?

I used the free app "Magoosh GRE vocab" and used flashcards to study the "most common words", there's so many that the app provides and a lot of them actually came up on the exam. I would suggest not just reading the definition of the word and reading the example sentence they provide with it, making sure you know how it would be used in context!

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Hey everyone! I’m applying this cycle too for the 3rd time. My first 2 times of applying I didn’t have great experience, nor did I put much effort into my PS but this time around I’m not playing games! 

 

Stats:

3.5 cgpa, 3.3 s

Roughly 2800 hours working as a personal care aide

about 4500 hours working as an emt

235 hours shadowing a pediatrician 

20-25 hours shadowing a PA in the ER

volunteered in an ED for about a year and accrued 110 hours roughly 

I’m planning on taking the GRE in June hopefully. I’m taking orgo 1 right now and so far have an A+ so once that’s out the way I’ll start studying and take the test. Good luck to everyone! If there’s anything you think I should do to improve let me know. 

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Hi everyone, 

I am applying this cycle for the first time. I had to take some courses at a community college after finishing undergrad because I was not pre-PA before. I was wondering if it would be better to get a LOR from a plant ecology professor from UCLA or if it would be better to get a LOR from a professor that taught my microbiology class at a community college.

 

Thanks!

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Guest thePAway
6 hours ago, Steph29 said:

Hi everyone, 

I am applying this cycle for the first time. I had to take some courses at a community college after finishing undergrad because I was not pre-PA before. I was wondering if it would be better to get a LOR from a plant ecology professor from UCLA or if it would be better to get a LOR from a professor that taught my microbiology class at a community college.

 

Thanks!

My advice is whoever knows you better and can write a more personalized letter!

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Hey everyone,

I am also applying this upcoming cycle. I'm super excited and nervous to apply. I'm glad this website is here so that we can all spread information before/during applying. This is my first time applying and am mostly applying in the South (FL, GA, SC, NC, AL, TN). I'm currently living in FL working as ED scribe. Anyway excited to apply and meet everyone -- good luck!

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As someone who just went through this past cycle (which is still ongoing technically), I recommend you guys apply to a bunch of schools, not just 2-4. I see some peiple saying they will apply to a couple or a few schools. No, apply to more than that. It is very competitive. Ex of a school from this past cycle: over 5,000 applicants, a few hundred interviews conducted, 40 accepted. Feel free to message me with any questions, stats questions, whatever. having used this site to my advantage since last summer..I dont mind helping out at all ūüôā¬†¬†

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