Which BS emphasis is advocated for PA Grad school and other fun questions...

Get new comments by email
You can cancel email alerts at anytime.
Comments (15)

aleepaige in Houston, Texas

60 months ago

Hello. I have researched NAACLS, AAPA and ASCP (and many more), however I think my questions are better suited for people in or trying to be in the business. I'm looking for a school in Texas for the "in-state tuitions" aspect, preferably close to Houston in which to earn a BS; in what, I need help figuring out.

Does anyone know which biological science is recommended to have a better foundation in which to enter grad school? I am also inquiring if it matters the level of schooling (ie: UT Austin vs Sam Houston, UH etc.) and if one degree is favored over another for admissions. For example, is it preferred to have a background in Biology as compared to Chemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology or Clinical Laboratory Sciences, in order to have a better chance of getting into the accredited grad programs and succeed. Would my previous degree help at all (see below)?

All of the accredited grad schools state something like this:
"BA or BS in a biological or allied health science with
a mimimum GPA of 3.0."

I have yet to find any sort of precedence of majors, and was hoping to find someone in the field who had an opinion.

In 2006 I graduated from CSU Fullerton having a BFA with emphasis in Photography. My GPA was about 2.7. I am interested in a career in forensic or medical photography, but have always wanted to be a Pathologist. I decided I do not want to do 15 years of school at this point, and the (forensic) Pathologist's Assistant seems like a perfect fit.

An Army friend mentioned that if I go for a 2 year degree as a lab tech of my choice, I could ask the Ft. Hood (or any military base) pathology department to train me. He explained I study with them, they train and pay me and I would work there for 2 years after I pass the test. He's not sure they still offer that program, but does anyone know if there is any truth to that? My Father's a USNA grad and I grew up on base, so that idea sounds awesome.

Thanks for any insight!

Allyson

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

PA Student in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania

60 months ago

Hey Allyson,

Although the pathologists and staff at military bases know as much as other pathologists/staff, the only way to ever become eligible to become ASCP certified is to be enrolled in an ACCREDITED program. Unfortunately there are only 9 schools that are currently accredited to train pathologists assistants. If you were to be trained to gross by the staff at Ft. Hood, you could become an OJT pathologists assistant, however you will never be able to sit for the certification exam unless you eventually go through one of the 9 schools.

As far as Bachelor's programs, definitely focus on biology/microbiology. If possible, go for a biology degree that has required classes in chemistry, microbiology, anatomy and physiology. While A&P isn't required for all schools, it will really help you once in grad school. I can't say whether a bio degree from UT Austin is any better or worse than one from Houston, but it would be pointless to become a chemistry major if you want to become a PA.

Also, keep in mind that the vast majority of a PA's job is gross dissections and that "forensic" PA is kind of a misnomer. While some PAs do gross in the medical examiner's office (mostly just during training), most autopsies performed by PAs are done in a hospital setting and the scene is much less forensic than you may have previously imagined.

Hope this helped a little! Keep in mind that this is just from my personal research (a lot of it) and shadowing experiences, so maybe someone who has been in the field for a while could give you a better idea of how you should continue.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No Reply - Report abuse

aleepaige in Houston, Texas

60 months ago

Thank you very much for your reply! The information helps immensely.

I am aware of the 9 grad schools, but because I was an art major, my BFA doesn't really help me get into PA school. I need to go back for a BS. What to major in was highly conflicting (ie major in chemistry!) in my research, but you narrowed it down. I am not too familiar with the Texas schools, and was hoping someone might have some advice on that too.

Between advice and research, my plan is to apply for my undergrad at colleges across the board, from UT to UH, and go from there.

If anyone else has any input, advice or opinions I am all ears.

Thanks again for your reply!

Allyson

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Jamie

60 months ago

Allyson

Why spend another 3+ years on another Bachelor's degree? Why not just complete the required prequisites?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

PA Student in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania

60 months ago

The thing with just taking the pre-reqs is that your GPA may not be competitive enough compared to the other applicants who have 3.0+ in a science major. I think that if being a PA is really something you want to be and you know that for a fact, work your butt off to get a B.S. and a 3.0. That way, you could show the admissions committee that you are dedicated to the profession and show how much work you went through to ensure that you were the best applicant you can be. Just my 2 cents.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Onychophagist in Detroit, Michigan

57 months ago

PA Student in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania said: The thing with just taking the pre-reqs is that your GPA may not be competitive enough compared to the other applicants who have 3.0+ in a science major. I think that if being a PA is really something you want to be and you know that for a fact, work your butt off to get a B.S. and a 3.0. That way, you could show the admissions committee that you are dedicated to the profession and show how much work you went through to ensure that you were the best applicant you can be. Just my 2 cents.

The program at Wayne State is a PA program that is still a bachelors degree. They have accepted students with less qualifications than yours in the past.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

PA Student in Silver Spring, Maryland

57 months ago

From my understanding, the program is going to a MS degree by the time the next class enters. If not this class than the next for sure, so now you will need a B.S before being able to apply to a Pathologists' Assistant program.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

dcalhoun88 in Padre Island Ntl Seashor, Texas

57 months ago

What are the 9 schools I was only aware of 6?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

A in Skokie, Illinois

57 months ago

Quinnipiac
Duke
Drexel
University of Maryland
Ohio State
Indiana
Rosalind Franklin
Wayne State
University of West Virginia

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

SWSPRING in Iowa City, Iowa

57 months ago

I got my BS in Clinical Lab Sciences or medical technology.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

ziggypiggy in Saint Charles, Missouri

56 months ago

I am about to get a degree in finance. Will this choice hurt my chances of getting into one of these schools? I am taking the prerequisites now. I recently found out about this career and just decided to finish the finance degree.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

PA Student in Silver Spring, Maryland

56 months ago

I don't know if it will hurt your chances of getting, but I will say that it probably won't help that your degree is in finance. The only reason I say this is because on most applications, you will need to put down both your overall GPA as well as your science/math GPA. As a Finance major, I'm sure you have some math courses, but more than likely you only have a few science courses in your college curriculum. Taking the prerequisites is a must obviously, and that will help your Math/Science GPA, but you will really need to show dedication to the field and show that this is what really interests you. Please don't take this as a 'set-in-stone' thought -- I know of a couple people who were not science majors in college and are now accredited PathAs. It is certainly possible and not even improbable -- all the more credit to you if you work hard enough to make it happen. I wish you the best of luck in the future -- let us know how things go and if you have any more questions I will try my best to answer them.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

alex in Woodside, New York

38 months ago

Hi, I'm an undergraduate senior, bound to leave with a BS in biology next spring. I have a 3.2, but I failed two science classes. My gpa is as it is because my school doesn't calculate them into the cumulative gpa. I can imagine however, how low my science gpa is with those F's. Are science/math gpa's calculated during admissions? Are F's included? Any tips on what do in this scenario?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

N. W. in Salt Lake City, Utah

36 months ago

Also, keep in mind that the vast majority of a PA's job is gross dissections and that "forensic" PA is kind of a misnomer. While some PAs do gross in the medical examiner's office (mostly just during training), most autopsies performed by PAs are done in a hospital setting and the scene is much less forensic than you may have previously imagined.

Interesting I wasn't aware of it. I've been trying to get as much information as I can about this field. So are you referring to surgical pathology as opposed to anatomic pathology?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

bepa in Houston, Texas

33 months ago

Does anybody knows if there is any program affiliated in Houston for PA training?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

» Sign in or create an account to comment on this topic.