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@ambsklind Thank you for your question. I would prefer to see a new personal statement from 2nd time applicants, but don't mind if there are bits from the previous statement incorporated in the new one. That said, don't use your personal statement to restate your resume. Your background has been laid out for the admissions committees through your coursework, positions in school or the community, etc. It is important to give insightful thoughts about your understanding of a role of a PA and to talk about what you've recognized to be needed areas of improvement in your preparation for PA school--meaning how you've improved over the last application cycle. Hope this helps!

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@rookiejay Thank you for your question. If you're planning on staying in Ireland, I'm not really sure of the advice to give you except maybe finding a job as a medical assistant (or higher) to get some experience? Is it possible to check with the medical board or similar agency in Dublin to see what you can do as a provider? Sorry, I'm not much help on this one. Best wishes!

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@coemt Thank you for your question. It is common to see applicants retaking courses to increase their GPA. I would say that the majority of accepted students have retaken a few, but not all of the prerequisites...so it's not uncommon to see if it's only a few courses here and there. That said, if you've been out of school more than 10 years and have a different approach to academics than you did when you were 18 or 19 uears old, and retaking a lot of courses is a must to even be considered, we have had a few of these more "non-traditional" students matriculate into our program. You don't see a lot of these applicants, but I don't think it will hurt you to retake a few courses. Hope this helps!

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@becca9 Thank you for your question. I would advise you not to have your firend write a letter on your behalf since you just need one more letter for PA school. I would always prefer to see an applicant have an additional letter from a professor or a clinical co-worker or supervisor. If you need a PA to write a letter for you, she's technically not certified yet so it's not an honest solution to the problem. I'm not sure if the programs you're applying to actually verify the credentials of the people who write the letters, but I don't think it would be a wise approach to consider. Hope this helps.

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@KDavis thank you for your questions and I'm glad the thread has been helpful! I do have to commend you on your graduate work as I think that speaks a lot about your preparation for PA school. In response to those 8 semester hours of biology, our approach would be to find 2 other human or animal biology courses that could count in that category and courses that you've scored higher marks in. For example, if you've taken 2 upper level biology courses that are not specicially A&P and Microbiology (2 required Biology courses for our program) and have done better than the Cs in the intro biology courses we would count th eupper level courses. I can't speak on behalf of every program because I don't know if they'd approach it the same way, but it does not hurt to check with them before you apply. Hope this helps!

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Thank you so much paadmissions for this thread. It has certainly been helpful.

 

 

I have a question. I'm taking Microbiology this summer and applying to PA programs at the same time (1st time). I had taken a micro class and lab before, but back then I didn't realize there was an upper level course, although the lab portion was basically the same, using the same lab book with maybe a couple of labs omitted in the intro course. So that's why I'm taking the upper division one this summer. Because Microbiology is one of the pre-req courses, I would need to send in my summer grades to PA schools, and though I know some school differ, but does that generally mean the schools won't even look at my application UNTIL my summer grades have been submitted? I just feel like that won't particularly help when many schools are on rolling admission basis.

 

What is your take on this? Summer classes don't end until the last week of July and probably 2 weeks for the grades to be officially submitted. The transcript will take about a week to be arrive at the various programs, and if a school has a deadline of August 1, my transcript with summer grades won't arrive until at least in the middle of August. Will this most likely hurt my chance?

 

Thank you for reading this.

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@paadmissions: Do you have an opinion on PA programs with provisional accreditation status? I am interested in one program that is fairly new. Is it risky to enroll there given the fact that they are not fully accredited yet? Thank you.

 

Thank you for all of your advice. I have been following this thread for the last couple years, it has been extremely helpful!

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@doublehelix-7 Thank you for your question. Yes, you are correct that probably every program you've applied to will have a different policy and deadline for these courses. The first thing I would do is contact the programs that you've applied to and see if you're able to submit an unofficial transcript to them when you receive your grade. If you're able to pull an unofficial transcript from your university's website (via a student portal) that may speed up the process and hold you over until official ones are received. Hopefully, the programs have provided this information to you when they confirmed receipt of your application, but if not, I would contact them to double check.

From our program's standpoint, we still consider applications even with outstanding coursework if we know the applicant is in-progress or planning to complete the course(s). However, not all programs will do that I'm sure.

Hopefully, programs will see that the class will be complete prior to their deadlines. I hope this helps!

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@bepearso Thank you for your question and I'm happy the hear the thread has been helpful! I think new programs with a provisional status are fine to apply to. There's a lot of work that goes into getting just provisionally accredited and the ARC-PA is a very detailed organization that expects a lot out of programs to even get to that stage. So yes, I think you're ok to apply to the new program. Hope this helps!

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This thread has been EXTREMELY helpful! Thank you so much for this. I feel like I've been spending so much time working, and not enough time researching my questions.

 

I'm currently applying this cycle. The good: I graduated undergrad at UCLA with a Biology degree, I've been working as an EMT for 2 years, I volunteer in the ED at Cedars Sinai, and my GRE score was 156/170 verbal, 167/170 math. The bad: my GPA from UCLA is very low. I messed around too much in undergrad and have been trying to make up for it with the more recent prereqs, but I'm still afraid it will be low (in the 2.5 range) when CASPA calculates it.

 

I feel confident in my personal statement, but it's been harder than I thought to find a shadowing opportunity here in Los Angeles. Everyone I talk to (hospitals, urgent cares, even some private practices) says that I need to be already enrolled in a PA program, or they don't offer those opportunities.

 

My questions to you are:

1). Just based on that application snapshot (and let's say I can find a shadowing opportunity), what do you think my chances are of getting in anywhere? Or more specifically, at what tier schools should I set my sights on?

2). What else can I do for my application to overshadow my GPA?

3). I've been having trouble deciding who to use for my academic letter of recommendation. Would using my academic counselor look bad?

 

Thanks again for all your help!

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@dloyst Thank you for your question! I think you need to evaluate your GPA for the sciences, specifically the required prerequisites for the programs you are considering and before officially submitting your application this cycle. Regardless of the program, I think I'm safe to say that GRE scores and HCE alone are not going to overshadow a lower GPA. Consider going back and retaking relevant science or prerequisite courses so you can at least be competitive in that area. If your prerequisite GPA is near a 2.5, I can't say with confidence that you'll be a competitive applicant, regardless of your personal statement, strong GRE scores and HCE as an EMT. I've seen applicants who didn't put a lot of effort into undergrad in their first attempt, but have redeemed themselves by going back to retake courses and some have even enrolled in a rigorous, but relevant post-bacc program. In regards to your academic letter, if that counselor is an academic advisor, I think they have the potential to speak to your academic performance, but if you're able to get a science professor who you know well to write a letter that may be better. I hope this helps and best wishes!

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My apologies if this question was asked elsewhere in this thread: When uploading a resumé for PA graduate applications, how critical is it that the resumé be spruced up in a Word document, etc., vs being uploaded in rich/plain text format only? I feel like an admissions committee member will be most interested in getting at the nuts and bolts of the resumé right away given the sheer number of screenings. (Mine currently is in plain text format, seems easy to read).

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To be clear, you wouldn't consider docking an applicant for potential laziness if you saw the resumé in plain text/plain formatting style?

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Thank you for answering all of these questions it has been extremely helpful. I am age 21 heading into my senior year of college and currently have a 3.9 overall with a 3.95 science gpa. I have about 800 hours of various HCE as a PT aide and I am currently trying to find an EMT job. I see that many schools are looking for older applicants with more health care experience. How would you suggest ways to prove to a PA school that I am ready for the rigorous curriculum entailed and that I am mature enough to provide quality patient care at a young age. Thanks

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Hello,

 

I just recently took my GRE's and received the following scores Verbal Reasoning: 150, Quantitative Reasoning: 154, Analytic Writing: 4.0. Would you consider my scores for the verbal and quantitative sections competitive for your program?

 

Thanks.

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Hello,

 

I'm planning on applying to PA schools next year. I'm currently working full-time as an EMT, and I'm going back to my local community college to finish up a few of the pre-reqs. This Fall, I plan on taking Intro to Microbiology and A&P 1.

 

The microbiology class is a 100 level class, but it's 4 credit hours, and it has both a lecture and lab portion. Even though it's an intro course, would it still fulfill the microbio pre-req? I've heard from some people that schools won't count that class because it's not advanced enough? What's your opinion on this?

 

Thank you for your help!

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I want to work locums in America a few months each year, I understand that their are no opportunities here in Ireland for me in the medical field, I've spent the last year and a half looking, and went to Scotland to interview ( they don't pay to fly you out so that interview cost me 500 bucks) to me told again, I've been out of work too long. I have been advised that I need to volunteer somewhere or do a shadow rotation somewhere. I would like to be living in America again in about 5 years but I certainly cant wait 7 years or more to go back to PA work. I feel quite stuck, and don't know what to do.

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@Brndnw24 Thank you for your questions. I would encourage you to keep working on your hours and accumulate as many as possible. I like to see traditional students who plan to enter PA school right after undergrad who have over 1,000 hours of HCE. To me, that shows they've been planning ahead and not rushing at the last minute to get hours then apply. On some occasions the personal statement can show a lot of maturity and also lack of maturity. I've talked a lot about the personal statement in my responses so be sure to read over those if you get a chance. I think your grades are a good sign that you can obviously handle the curriculum, but maturity is usually evaluated the most during the interview process. It's important that you prepare for the interview, not just to respond with the answers everyone wants to hear and what the internet says you should say, but to be able to be insightful and thoughtful in your responses and interactions with others. Hope this helps!

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@rbusta Thank you for your questions. Yes, I think your scores are competitive. They're above the 50th percentile. If you were applying to our program I would not recommend a retake. Thanks!

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@ISUBrid100 Thank you for your questions. Every program has a different answer for this situation. I would recommend contacting the programs that you're planning to apply to to see if the course would be accepted or competitive. If you were applying to our program, I would advise you to take it at a 4-year institution, but realize community colleges are the only option for a lot of applicants. That said, if you can find a higher level Micro course at the cc aim for that one. Typically, Microbiology will not transfer into a 4-year institution and that's the rule of thumb I try to keep in mind. Hope this helps!

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I have a quick question Im not sure has been answered anywhere! I have my BA in English Teaching, and made a career change right after I graduated. Obviously, when I went back to school to do my post-bac, I had little to no science courses under my belt, due to being a liberal arts major. I went back and took my core requirements, and a few algebra courses, plus a semester of organic chem, and did very well. I finished out with a caspa gpa of 3.39 and a science gpa of 3.62.

I have over 12k hours of full time health care experience as an EMT, and ED tech, and a telemetry tech.

My concern is that I have only taken mainly the required science courses. Because of time and money, I haven't been able to take anything extraneous. Is this going to hurt me? Or will most ad coms see that I was an English major and therefore have less science courses on my transcript??

thank you!

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@ejsmith Thank you for your question. It is always desirable to see applicants take above and beyond what is required for programs. That being said, the main focus, in my opinion, is going to be on the required courses. It wouldn't hurt to speak with or email the programs that interest you to have them look over your transcripts to see if there is anything they would recommend you to take outside of their prerequisites. I think you should be safe, but it never hurts to ask. Hope this helps!

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I am applying this cycle through CASPA and did not realize that you can ONLY have 3 LORs submitted on your behalf.

I had asked 4 people for LORs (one professor, two doctors and one PA) they all agreed to do it.

Two of them have already submitted; the professor and one of the doctors.

So now I only have room for one more, the problem is that the doctor that is left is my personal family doctor, whom I've know for years, have shadowed him AND he is a preceptor for the PA program that is my top choice. The other one is a PA whom I shadowed for 125 hours and will be able to write me a favorable letter, but it will be short and to the point (I saw one she wrote for another applicant) and I do not have a personal relationship with her.

The programs I am applying at do not specifically require a PA to write the LOR, they said it can be a doctor(MD/DO) or a PA.

Who should I have write my last LOR? I know both will write favorable LORs, but I don't know which will be better for my application.

I was told it is better when you have a PA write a letter for you than a doctor, but in this situation which one is better for me?

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