Answers to Pre-PA Questions #3By
Here is a person that is well prepared and just needs to get ready with the prerequisites. Here is how you get in to PA school:
- Decide to go.
- Get good grades in the necessary prerequisite grades.
- Get some experience so you can get some great references
- Submit your application early, the majority of schools use the CASPA system
- Your essay will get you noticed, your grades have to be great just to be considered.
- The interview which occurs when the faculty wants to meet you gets you accepted
Here is the question from a person called Liz:
Hi. I am very interested in becoming a PA. I am a current MPH student at one of the top 10 Public Health Schools in the US. I am an EMT-B and have had over 6,000 hours of volunteer EMS experience over the past 4 years. I also volunteer 10 hours per week at a free health clinic. I was a liberal arts undergrad with a minor in Spanish, and did not take the required pre-req science courses. As a public health student I have taken biostatistics, biological basis of disease, and epidemiology – as well as several clinical-based classes (like Child Health and Disease). Would doing a formal post-bac program to obtain those pre-req science classes be my best option? Or would taking those classes at a local state school (not a formal program, just course by course) look alright on applications? I have a 3.8 GPA currently and a 3.68 from undergrad. My GRE score was a 1050 (low, I know). I want to become a PA so I can help serve patients from under-served/underrepresented populations and improve their access to good primary health care in the US and abroad. Thank you!
Liz, the GRE isn’t as important as your prerequisite grades and your essay. Those plus your references will get you an interview. I think that even though you have proved your ability to do graduate level work, there are very few programs as intense as the didactic phase of top 20 PA programs. I suggest you take the prerequisite science courses as if you were an undergrad. Being able to demonstrate your ability to handle the work is as important as the individual grades you make. You sound like you are an excellent candidate and I wish you much success.