|How Can I be Competitive for PA School?|
Admission to Physician Assistant (PA) programs is a highly competitive process. It is vitally important that Pre-PA students prepare themselves to be competitive applicants during their undergraduate years.
Applicants are evaluated on a holistic level, with consideration on GPA, GRE scores, PA shadowing, patient contact (paid), and volunteer, leadership and research experiences.
Work closely with your Pre-Health counselor who can assist you with:
- Pre-requisite academic planning
- Extra-curricular considerations (i.e. shadowing, healthcare experience, volunteering, etc.)
- CASPA and the application process
- GRE planning
- Writing personal statements
- Letters of Recommendation
- Mock interviews
|GPA AND GRE|
NOTE : All grades received for college credit will likely be calculated into your GPA, even if you have retaken courses. If you have taken any courses at a different school or if you have retaken courses, your UVU GPA will not likely reflect the accurate GPA calculation for PA schools.
GPA is a vital part of your application to PA programs. PA programs will consider your science GPA, non-science GPA and cumulative GPA.
Average accepted GPA: 3.5-3.6
Minimum GPA considered: 3.2
The GRE revised General Test is a standardized examination required by many PA programs as part of your application. Research your schools of interest to determine if you need to take the GRE.
Note: Physician Assistant programs determine their own individual requirements. It is important for you to research the specific requirements for each school you are interested in applying to.
Your Pre-Health counselor will help you plan your pre-requisite courses, ensuring a doable sequence and proper timeline. It is recommended you prioritize the registration of pre-requisite courses over major and general education requirements as it is ideal to apply to PA school one year prior to graduation.
Note: It is extremely challenging to be a competitive applicant to PA school without paid clinical healthcare experience.
Extra-curricular activities help Physician Assistant programs evaluate your potential as a clinician and professional. They can help you stand out as an applicant and demonstrate your motivation for pursuing a career in healthcare.
|Choosing a PA School|
Physician Assistant programs vary in their admissions requirements, program delivery, missions, and quality. It is important to research PA schools to determine which schools fit your interests and needs most. Most students apply to an average of 5-6 Physician Assistant programs.
|The PA Application|
Approximately 80%+ of all Physician Assistant programs use the centralized application service for Physician Assistant programs (CASPA). CASPA allows you to apply to several schools without filling out multiple applications. CASPA usually opens in mid-April and runs for nearly one year per admissions cycle.
Plan to apply to PA school as soon as pre-requisites are completed (or almost completed). Ideally, students will apply to PA programs approximately one year prior to graduation.
- What if I my grades are poor from some of my earlier semesters? Can I still go to PA school?
- What if I do not have any paid clinical healthcare experience?
- What kinds of jobs count as clinical healthcare experience?
- I have done a lot of volunteer and leadership with my church, but that doesn’t count, does it?
- What should I major in?
- How do I apply to schools that do not use CASPA?
- How much money will I make as a PA?
- What is the job market like for Physician Assistants?