Answers to Pre-PA Questions – What about my GPA #12


Hi Bruce,

Thank you for taking the time to create this wonderful resource. I recently graduated from UNC-CH with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Spanish. My final GPA was a 3.127, though I got mainly A’s and only a few B’s in my degree courses. I was wondering if my overall GPA will hurt my application, or if my science GPA is all that matters to admissions committees. Also, I am trying to finish the pre-requisite courses within a year, and am not sure how to go about squeezing in direct patient care experience. I do not have the certification to be a CNA, and would prefer to not have to take the time to complete it if there are other more feasible options. Do you have any recommendations?

Thank you for your help!

Hey Katie,

You have two questions:

First: What about my GPA?

Second: What about experience?

Let me address the GPA. You said in your major courses you got “mostly A’s and B’s”. If you have a 3.2 or above in your major and good grades i.e. 3.3 and up in the science prerequisites then you show you have the power in the classroom to do the graduate level work. A reference from a PA and one from a professor in the sciences or one who taught you upper level courses would help you a lot also. They need to be able to really tell the admissions committee why they want to interview you.

Now for question #2: Experience. If you could read all the articles you get in the membership area of the “Everything You need to know” course you would see that even programs that have no experience requirement weight it heavily. If two candidates were equally qualified, preference is given to the one with the best experience.  I can not tell you how much experience makes your learning better and easier. It gives you a number of hooks when you learn the patho-physiology of various diseases. There are programs that require no experience but they accept students that did their Pre-PA work as undergrads in the same institution. They have sort of a private pipeline. People who are great candidates with little or no experience can get in to some good programs but if you look at the Duke, Wake Forest and ECU sites, you will see that in NC, most programs require some good experience. My suggestion is to get a job where the certification is part of your work and they give you experience that qualifies you for the position like CNA or MA.

Good Luck on your PA Path!

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