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What Program to Apply based on my stats??

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Hello everyone,

I am very new to this forum and was told by my advisors and peer to check it out. I am currently a college senior and recently developed an interest in becoming a physician assistant. I am very scared to apply for PA programs in 2020-2021, I am not sure why but its just I think I am not qualified or ready enough to apply for the programs yet. 

Undergrad Major: B.S. in Health Science 

cGPA: 3.93

Science GPA: ~3.6 (?) I have already finished basic prereqs requirements but some program requires organic chem/ biochem which I haven't completed yet.

PCE: 2000+ (worked as a CNA/PCT in ER and nursing home)

Volunteer: 700+ hours (community, health organizations, cultural, etc)

Leadership: President of a college club

Shadowing: None, I got accepted to shadow through the hospital shadowing opportunity but due to this pandemic, they are temporarily closing it. This is my biggest concern! Some programs doesn't require it but my state program highly recommends applicant to have shadowing experience.

GRE: haven't taken one because everything is temporarily close right now. So, I am looking to apply for programs that doesn't require GRE. 

Right now, I am planning on applying to programs that doesn't require GRE and shadowing experience and I can only find UC Davis PA Program to match my stats but since I don't have other schools lined up on my list, I am scared to apply for 2020-2021. 

Can you guys think of any programs that matches my stats? Any help would be great. Thank you!



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With a strong personal statement and good letters of recommendation, I think you should be fine to apply for this cycle! The BIGGEST mistake a lot of applicants make is simply not applying to enough programs. If you aim for 12-18, you will probably get in somewhere.

I would apply to a range of schools - some "reach" schools that are above you stats, mostly "target" schools that match your stats roughly, and then a few "safety" schools which might be lower ranked or on provisional accreditation (in a word: less competitive). 

Some schools that come to the top of my head (roughly in order from more competitive to less) would be:

George Washington


Rosalind Franklin

UW Madison

Boston University


Augsburg University 

Ultimately though, only YOU can create a school list. My advice? Go to the U.S. News and World Report, pick a few highly, mid-, and lower-ranked schools in areas of the country you would like to live. Then go look at their websites and see if you roughly match their profile. Keep going until you find a decent list! Good luck.


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  • 4 weeks later...

Your stats are very good and I would highly recommend applying this cycle. Also, there are plenty of PA programs that do not require the GRE, and lots of programs are making exceptions for shadowing requirements due to the pandemic. In fact, CASPA has included an additional essay where you can explain any faults in your application that have occurred due to the pandemic (cancelled shadowing experiences being an example).

As for what schools - I took a very time-consuming route but I honestly just went down, school after school, using this list: 


At first, I just would look to see if I even meet the requirements for the program (for example, I only have 1200 PCE and I haven't taken certain courses such as biochem). If I don't, then I move onto the next program listed. Once I knew that I did, I saved it on a list and then reviewed that list later to see which programs I was really interested in (location, the focus of the school, and so forth). I ended up with a solid 12 programs using this method, all that I meet requirements for and that I like, without going overboard with applying to a bunch of programs or poor fits. This website also clearly shows you which ones are provisional (something I don't really care about, but can make a program less competitive)

It definitely takes a long time but I found it's pretty effective. I'm sure there are websites you could use to search up specific PA programs, like those that don't require GRE, but those websites aren't always up-to-date and accurate. 

Edited by Laybunny
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