Jump to content

Recommended Posts

To sijia:

 

My undergrad GPA was around a 2.3. It took me 5 years of HCE (multiple areas), 2 graduate degrees, MANY certifications, incredible references and all A's in my prerequisite courses to finally get in. It's possible to get in with a bad GPA so don't get discouraged, just do everything you possibly can in 24 hours each day. People change and admissions committees know that. What someone did 10+ years ago in freshman English isn't necessarily an accurate depiction of who they are now. For instance, I couldn't color inside the lines in Kindergarten, but they're not going to hold that against me are they? ;-) People can change and improve, you just have to prove it to them. Good luck.

=======================================================================================================

Thank you so much for your response, Bronco and Timon. It is very encouraging to me! Happy new year!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi paadmissions!

 

I am considering beginning the application cycle starting in April; however, I am not sure if this year is ideal. My stats are the following: overall GPA:3.25, science GPA:3.0, health care hours: just shy of 4000, and new GRE is 309. I am considering taking more science classes to raise my GPA, but if I have a chance I would like to get into school sooner than later. Also, my degree with be in Nutritional Sciences-Dietetics concentration. Any feedback is greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance---Sarah.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@kratos Thank you for your questions. I would recommend retaking the courses in which you did poorly and obviously continue your strong work now. I would guess that your overall GPA needs to be between 3.0-3.2 and your prerequisite GPA needs to be in the range of 3.2-3.4 to be competitive with the applicant pool we're experiencing this cycle. Make sure that your GRE scores are on par or above what is required or recommended to be competitive. You will also need to make sure that your HCE hours are probably exceeding the requirements for the programs you're applying to. If it requires you to take a year or 2 off before applying you may need to consider doing that. Hope this helps!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@bstone Thank you for your questions and sorry for the delay. Yes, I would recommend you retaking the chemistries and consider even retaking the Bio I and II. Chemistry requirements are rather difficult courses and a retake, at a 4-year school, is a way to improve your chances with the applicant pool I've seen this year. CASPA only allows 3 LORs to be submitted. I think 5 LORs is plenty to submit to programs. Have at least 1 academic reference and 2 clinical references for your CASPA application, The others can probably be mailed to the programs you're applying to. I would probably recommend you retake your chemistry courses before applying just based on the competitiveness of the applications I've seen this year. Just a gentle suggestion. Hope this helps!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@sijia Thank you for your questions. If I'm understanding you correctly you have completed your degree outside the US? I'm assuming this bc of the WES evaluation. Policies for completing a degree outside the US will vary for every program so my first suggestion would be to research these policies. Our program, for example, will look at your performance in the other country, but what we will consider the most from the WES evaluation is if your work in the other country is equivalent to a bachelor's degree in the US. If that work is equivalent to a bachelor's degree in the US, all you have to complete is prerequisite coursework here in the US. If the work is not equivalent to a bachelor's degree in the US you will have to complete your degree and prerequisites. Unfortunately, any coursework taken outside the US will not count for our prerequisites...so we rely only on the work you've completed in the US (and where you completed it). If you've taken a solid course load of Biology, Chemistry, Math, Psychology and Medical Terminology courses (the basis of most requirements) and have a 3.96 GPA your chances of being competitive are high. You obviously have to meet other requirements like the TOEFL, GRE and HCE if applicable for the programs you're applying to. My best advice is to contact the programs and see their policies for foreign graduates. Hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@shenth1 Thank you for your questions. I would probably recommend boosting that science GPA to a more competitive range of 3.2-3.4. Just based on what I've seen this year, the science GPAs for our accepted students is ranging from 3.4-3.6. I would recommend retaking upper level bios and chemistry courses as this shows better preparation and are more difficult requirements for most programs. Everything else (GRE, HCE, overall GPA) seems to be competitive with what I'm seeing this year. Hope this helps!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
@sijia If I've totally missed the boat on the WES eval let me know. I'll take another shot at answering your question. :)

Hi paadmissions, thank you so much for taking your valuable time to answer my questions!

Yes, I got my BA degree from China and all my transcripts and degree certificate were evaluated by WES. The result was equivalent to U.S. BA degree with 135 U.S. credits and 2.31 overall GPA. So far I have had some science courses such as pharmacology, phlebotomy, psychology, A&P essentials, A&P I, general Chem I, Microbiology and biology and non-science courses such as statistics, legal and ethics issue, clinical procudure I&II which we used human diseases as one of the textbooks. I feel very interested and ease to learn healthcare and medical related courses, and I have no problem to write academic research papers or lab reports, but I just couldn't get my brain straight up on writing something like a poem, a novel or a fiction etc, or appreciating a famous writer's prose. I guess I really didn't and still don't have those cells in my brain.

I talked with one PA admission office. It sounds like they really focus on the academic performance HEAVILY. With such a low GPA I'm sure there is pretty much no chance at all to get my application open if the first step of their process is to screen Bachelor's degree GPA from high to low. But I know myself that, except for having a low BA GPA, I will be a very competent PA student. I'm saying this because almost 13 years after I graduated from high school (we did not have any science courses in college) I have no problem at all to pick up science courses. I even tutored my classmates for biology, A&P and chemistry. I can't see why PA schools wouldn't consider academic forgiveness for my BA part and focus on my most recent science courses. Unfortauntely, some schools just don't and it is very frustrated as I can't do anything to change my past!

 

Also, I have another question about upper level courses. For financial reason I took all my pre-reqs at a local community college. Now I read this post and learned that many schools require or prefer courses taken with a 4-year institute. In order to show the schools that I do have the competency to handle upper level science courses I am planning to take organic chem and biochem with a 4-year college. I found a "Funamental organic chemistry" with lab. This course is designed for those students who need only one semester of organic chem. I talked with the registra and was told that fundamental is a little bit lower level than series of organic Chem I&II.Do you think this is acceptale for PA pre-req?

 

Again, thank you so much for taking your time to answer my questions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a two-part question, so please bear with me.

 

First, to paint a picture of my application, I would say I'm 'passable' as an applicant. Borderline GPA ~3.1 in Neuroscience from MIT, excellent GRE scores, strong medical experience (1500+ hours with suture removal/staple removal/direct clinic-patient interaction), constant clinic-interaction with multiple PA's, solid recommendations from 2 PA's and 1 past-professor.

 

My question therefore is:

 

1) Is it recommended to re-take classes? I took Statistics, Organic Chemistry, and Biochemistry at MIT and got a glorious 'C' in all three. I don't expect dramatic leeway simply because it was MIT (and definitely don't mean to sound in anyway entitled), but I think it is a reality (I've asked what my friends from other colleges covered in their respective classes) that MIT crams more advanced course material into each course. I am currently considering retaking Orgo or Biochem, but know that some PA programs accept C or better, and wonder if my time wouldn't be better spent taking new science classes if an MIT C might be given a little understanding.

 

2) Using your PA program as an example, how do you react to online courses, and quarter-courses? I actually re-took Statistics already as an online course at Northeastern, I figured if I got a C in Statistics, an online A in Statistics might round it out to just confirm I do not in fact suck at Statistics. The online course was described as 3-credit hours. Would this be acceptable?

 

Northeastern's in-class Organic Chemistry 1 course is only offered in quarters. Although it is described as 4-credit (class+lab), the NEU admin informed me that in order to have a full-semester's worth of Organic Chemistry 1, I would have to take their Quarter-Orgo 1 and Quarter-Orgo 2. Would you agree?

 

Thank you in advance for your time!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello, I am a current undergrad student studying biology with a human biology concentration. I am currently a senior going into my spring semester with a current overall GPA of a 3.35 and a science GPA of a 3.148. I am an EMT and I will have over 250 hours of EMT volunteer hours if I graduate on time. I recently got a job in client registration in an emergency room, and I have a good amount of PA shadowing hours as well. I am aware that my GPA and science GPA are to low to be a competitive candidate for PA school, so I am thinking about staying an extra semester at my school and taking more upper level science courses to help raise my science GPA. Will that look bad, if I stay an extra semester and graduate with more credits than needed? Also, my grades are very consistent, do PA schools take that into consideration?

 

Also I have 3 withdraws on my transcript but all for valid reasons, not because I could not handle the course work. Will the schools I eventually apply to ask me for the reasons?

 

Thank you so much for your help!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi paadmissions thanks for all of the great info! I'm currently an undergrad student majoring in exercise science. i have a 4.0 overall/sciences GPA and scored a 1290 on the GRE (I don't think it matters for the program I'm plan on applying too). I haven't started my shadowing and I don't have any patient contact hours (I have an internship in the spring that I'm hoping will count for HCE hours). However, I'm applying when the next cycle opens so I have time to accumulate this experience. Does my undergraduate degree have any impact on my acceptance chances? My internship will be leading community based exercise classes at a hospital as a type of outpatient therapy for elderly people. I will also be taking blood pressures, pulse ox, monitoring condition, etc. Will this count as patient contact hours? Thanks for your help!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Paadmissions,

 

Thanks for all the time and great information you have contributed to this thread and site. I'm currently a junior undergraduate student. I have ~3.7gpa overall and 3.4 sgpa. I have been trying to get HCE hours but will be short before applying. I will get it before graduation. Is it an absolute must to get the HCE hours before applying or do I have to wait an extra year? Thanks again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@sijia Thank you for your follow up. To first answer your question about the chemistry course, typically a fundamentals of chemistry is a course level below general chemistry and would not transfer into a 4 year institution (college transfer program) at the same level as general chemistry. You'll find this to be true with most schools. A good rule of thumb is to always ask your advisor at the community college if the courses you're taking transfer into a 4 year school. Many universities may even have the college transfer info on their admissions page for transfer students. For example, if you click here, it shows an example of the "articulation agreement" our university has with the community colleges in NC.

Yes, you are correct that programs will focus on your performance. Besides taking and retaking undergraduate courses you may want to consider getting a masters degree in a science field like Biology, Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, Genetics, Chemistry, Public Health, etc. If you are able to be successful in a masters program you may demonstrate to some admissions committees that you are capable of handling the PA curriculum. I would also recommend you consider retaking the lower level prerequisites (fundamentals of chemistry) so you're meeting the requirements for most schools. I think that may be the best route to consider if you continue to pursue the PA profession. Hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@PAinMA Thank you for your questions. I do agree MIT is a challenging university and a C there may be equivalent to an A at another institution. That being said, not all programs will have that type of mentality when considering hundreds of applications. My best advice would be for you to consider retaking the Orgs and Biochemistry classes in the classroom and at a 4 year institution. From our program's standpoint, I advise prospective students to stay from online classes in the upper level biology and chemistry courses. Although not every online course is the same, we find it very hard to justify the lab portions of these type of courses to be equivalent to what you would receive in an actual classroom. We typically don't have a problem with an online stats, psychology or medical terminology courses, but the more challenging courses are strongly recommended to be in the classroom. In response to the Northeastern's organic course being offered in quarters, I'm pretty sure they've advised you correctly in that you would have to take a series of those courses to get a semester's worth of information. I hope this helps and best wishes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@JLChy Thank you for your questions. I like your plan to stay an extra semester and take upper level courses to help boost your GPA and boost your preparation for PA school. During that time, I would also recommend you consider retaking the courses that you may have scored a C especially if it's in any of the prerequisites that are required for the programs to which you're applying. Having withdrawals on your transcripts is not a bad thing, but be ready to justify why those are there should a committee ask you that during an interview. Keep in mind taking a year or 2 off before applying to PA school is not viewed as a bad thing. Time off allows you to experience the real world, retake courses and gain more clinical experience, which will be valuable when going through the admissions process. I hope this helps and best wishes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@JoeM Thank you for your questions. In my opinion you've proven that you can be successful in PA school and your major should not matter when applying to most programs. However, you are right that without the patient hours you will not be competitive. I would double check with the programs you're applying to to see if your internship plan will fulfill the HCE requirements. If you were applying to our program, I would recommend probably seeking a different route to expose yourself to PAs in the medical field. Although your internship seems like a great opportunity and fits along with your major, working more or exposing yourself more to the physician/PAs relationship in the medical field is what we and probably other programs are looking for. You may want to consider medical assisting, patient care tech or nursing assistant positions to help get those hours. These are only suggestions, but something along those lines would be helpful. Again, double check with the programs that interest you. If they accept the internship hours then you should be fine, but consider also shadowing a PA on the side to help you be a little more competitive. Hope this helps and best wishes!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@jaymin8 Thank you for your question. Make sure to contact the programs you're applying to to see when their deadlines are for completing hours. For example, we allow applicants to still be in the process of completing their hours when they make application to the program, but the hours must be complete by July 15th of the year they're planning to enter. I would say the majority of applicants we interview have already completed and surpassed the hour requirement for our program at the time of application. However, some programs have policies in place that hours have to be complete at the time of application or by the end of the fall semester. The the frustrating thing for most applicants is that every program is different so unfortunately you'll probably need to make a spreadsheet to keep requirements and deadlines all separate. Hope this helps and best wishes!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made it as an alternate for one school and i have not been accepted or waitlisted for any other programs. My question is regarding financial aid in this situation. If Im accepted right before classes start, will it be too late to apply for/receive financial aid?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was recently waitlisted, so I emailed the secretary and asked about the alternate list. This is her response, "The admissions committee would rather I not share the exact number on the alternate list."

Do you have any idea why they don't want to share this info? She did tell me that typically every year 1-5 candidates get selected off the alt list.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
@sijia Thank you for your follow up. To first answer your question about the chemistry course, typically a fundamentals of chemistry is a course level below general chemistry and would not transfer into a 4 year institution (college transfer program) at the same level as general chemistry. You'll find this to be true with most schools. A good rule of thumb is to always ask your advisor at the community college if the courses you're taking transfer into a 4 year school. Many universities may even have the college transfer info on their admissions page for transfer students. For example, if you click here, it shows an example of the "articulation agreement" our university has with the community colleges in NC.

Yes, you are correct that programs will focus on your performance. Besides taking and retaking undergraduate courses you may want to consider getting a masters degree in a science field like Biology, Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, Genetics, Chemistry, Public Health, etc. If you are able to be successful in a masters program you may demonstrate to some admissions committees that you are capable of handling the PA curriculum. I would also recommend you consider retaking the lower level prerequisites (fundamentals of chemistry) so you're meeting the requirements for most schools. I think that may be the best route to consider if you continue to pursue the PA profession. Hope this helps.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you paadmission for your advice. I will search some upper level science courses and see how I handle them. Have a nice day!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the quick response! I've done a little more research and all of the programs that I'm applying to do not require direct patient contact hours for acceptance, however, they are preferred. Do you think that if I accumulated a good amount of PA shadowing hours and completed my internship that this would make me competitive, or are jobs like the examples you described the only way to get the HCE hours?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have two more questions regarding LOR and shadowing hours. I am planning to have two of the doctors I used to work with and one of the academic instructors to write me LORs. But some people advise me to have at least one of the PAs I shadowed to write an LOR. I prefer those two doctors because I worked with them every day for over a year and half. I think they know me much better than a PA whom I just shadowed for a few days because I splitted shadowing hours with at least four PAs. And the instructor would know my academic performance wether or not I could be a competent student. One of the schools I'm planning to apply with clearly said they do not want an LOR from a shadowed PA and the reason was the same as I satetd above; but another school prefers an LOR from PA. Man! this is very hard to meet all the requirements for all the schools at the same time. What's your advice about this issue?

 

Most of the schools require supplemental materials. PA shadowing is one of them. I actually had almost 200 hours PA shadowing. One was a PA I actually worked with for three weeks. Unfortunately, the group physicians and PAs left and the practice recruited new staff. Obviously, I cannot obtain a signature from the PA I worked with. My question is does it matter how long an applicant's PA shadowing experience after he/she meets the minimum requirement(let's say at least 30 hours) and has enough HCE? Could the amount of time of PA shadowing affect an applicant's competitiveness? My thought is as long as I understand the PA's role and the scope of their practice and the duties and tasks they perform on a typical day, it is enough to stop there. I was kind of lucky to shadow 3 PAs from family medicine and one PA from orthopaedics, and I had the chance to see the PAs treating all kinds of patients. Unfortunately, it is hard for me to get in ER or ICU to shadow a PA in there because the hospital's policy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@MATTFIN3 I would encourage you to at least fill out the FAFSA form and put the school code on there so they have your information if a seat opens up. That way you're not waiting several days to fill out the FAFSA form and then waiting for the school to get your information. Since it's after the first of the year you are now eligible to apply fill out the new FAFSA form. Hopefully when that seat opens up all you will have to do is do your loan entrance counseling and fill out the loan forms from there (which are all electronic). Hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@TThielen Unfortunately, some programs tend to keep that information to themselves. I don't think it's meant to purposefully deceive applicants, but numbers may change as they continue to go through the cycle. Sometimes if they keep those numbers internal it probably keeps things more in order. That being said, I don't want to speak on behalf of all programs. We tend to be very up front with how many people we place on the list (maybe not your exact placement on the list bc numbers fluctuate every year) and if you are interviewing for an alternate list.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@JoeM I do think shadowing is a a good way to get hours but some programs don't view shadowing the same way. The ones I mentioned in my earlier post are common examples of what we see. If you click here you can view our first year students' class profile. Towards the bottom of the page I've listed how all 40 of those students obtained their hours. If you chose something other than your internship, this may be a starting point for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to the Physician Assistant Forum! This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn More