Answers to Pre-PA Questions #5By
Maria writes to me via Squidoo:
I am planning on applying to PA school this spring. I have a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine, a GPA of 3.25, all my prequisites except for the GRE…which I am taking in March and I just started working in as an Emergency Department Assistant to obtain experience. I’ve shadowed various PAs and have documented 130 shadow hours. I am very nervous about getting into PA school because my GPA isnt that competitive, I have an F in cell biology from when I was a freshman at a huge university and I decided to take a ‘PASS’ in biochemistry my senior year because it wasn’t part of my major and i took the class without a previous organic chemistry course. I am apprehensive because of those faults in my transcript however I plan on taking either a cell biology or biochemistry class in the fall. Is there anything else I should do to make myself a more stronger, more competitive applicant, such as Volunteer experience? More work experience? Thanks for your help!
Maria, I do not know where you are planning to apply but most of the same courses are required. Generally they are:
- anatomy with lab 4 hours
- physiology with lab 4 hours
- chemistry with lab 4 hours
- organic chem with lab 4 hours
- Microbiology with lab
- Cell Biology
- advanced math
You need a 3.2-3.5 to be competitive. Of course you need a degree and yours is an excellent major! You need more experience for some top 25 schools but what you have is sufficient for many. A GRE is important, but you are more mature now and should do well with as my friend Elizabeth Murray says “The GRE mind-set.” Learn a few words a week, use them in conversation. Do a few questions a day and learn how the GRE is structured and how to answer GRE questions.
I suggest you take a semester of under grad courses, repeating some you did poorly in. You can apply and see how you do but if you don’t get in consider repeating/taking the courses to show you can do the work. Sometimes, your essay to the program, not the CASPA essay can be used to show how you have matured and changed. In any case, you need to get your app in early and not make any mistakes in CASPA. Most programs have rolling admissions so the early bird gets the worm.
Look over what I have to offer, perhaps we could talk for 30 minutes through the coaching program I offer. Not matter what, I offer you my best wishes and hope for your success on your PA Path.