Admissions with Low GPA

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dmhhmd09 in Homestead, Pennsylvania

42 months ago

Should I give up my hopes of getting into a PA program?? According to CASPA, I have a 2.75 overall gpa and a 2.35 science GPA. This includes classes that I have re-taken post-grad. I now have all A's and B's in the pre-reqs that most programs for PA school require but with CASPA still factoring in the old grades from my undergrad degree, my gpa is still super low. I am continuously advised to take more science classes to raise my gpa but after using a gpa calculator, In order to raise my gpa to a 3.2 (for the particular school that I want) I would have to maintain a 4.0 gpa and take 77 ADDITIONAL CREDITS to raise my cum and 91 additional credits to raise my science. This is just about how many credits in science courses I have for my bachelors degree!!!! This seems impossible with a full time job and would basically be another 4 years of school. Should I give up? Is it a waste of time and money to try and take another 91 credits just to raise my science gpa? This is really what I want to do but at this point it seems like an unattainable goal for me.

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ernk04 in Marquette, Michigan

41 months ago

I need an honest opinion. I am currently finishing my BSN.My overall nursing GPA is a 3.7 including my prereqs for nursing school. I have excelled in my nursing program while working part time and taking care of my 9 month old. I know that I wouldn't have a problem getting into a DNP program b/c most look at your Nursing school GPA. I have always wanted to be a PA, but I honestly dont think I stand a chance! My overall GPA is a 3.2 and my science GPA is a 3.0. This is b/c I did not do so well 8 years ago when I originally started college. A major factor in this was the death of a close family member. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and instead of withdrawing for a couple semesters, I just let my grades go. I have a D in chem 1 and a C in chem 2. I also have a C in biology 1. Fortunately these were not prereqs for Nursing school. It's stupid that these are weighted so heavily b/c I have As in both organic chemistry and biochemistry which I took later. Even if I retook these courses my science GPA whould still be low. I also worked as an LPN for 4 years b/f going back for my BSN. I have worked directly under a PA for two of those years. If I do well on my GRE would I stand a chance with my nursing experience and my low overall GPA? I really want an honest opinion! Is there anyone out there that got into PA school under similar circumstances?????

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ernk04 in Marquette, Michigan

41 months ago

Dmhhmd09 in Homestead, Pennsylvania said: Should I give up my hopes of getting into a PA program?? According to CASPA, I have a 2.75 overall gpa and a 2.35 science GPA. This includes classes that I have re-taken post-grad. I now have all A's and B's in the pre-reqs that most programs for PA school require but with CASPA still factoring in the old grades from my undergrad degree, my gpa is still super low. I am continuously advised to take more science classes to raise my gpa but after using a gpa calculator, In order to raise my gpa to a 3.2 (for the particular school that I want) I would have to maintain a 4.0 gpa and take 77 ADDITIONAL CREDITS to raise my cum and 91 additional credits to raise my science. This is just about how many credits in science courses I have for my bachelors degree!!!! This seems impossible with a full time job and would basically be another 4 years of school. Should I give up? Is it a waste of time and money to try and take another 91 credits just to raise my science gpa? This is really what I want to do but at this point it seems like an unattainable goal for me.

I dont think it's an unattainable goal. Have you ever considered nursing school? You could go into a DNP program after that. If you already have a degree you could do a 2nd degree accelerated BSN program. The scope of practice and pay is very similar btw a DNP and PA. I am more interest in the PA path b/c it is generalized and I wouldn't have to choose a specific specialty. Most DNP programs take the same amount of time as a PA program, but with less clinical hours so you could work while in school. Just an idea

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Sam in Levittown, New York

41 months ago

pnv02115 in Burlington, Massachusetts said: I was just accepted to a master's level program and I did a few C's, so it is not impossible! Have good recommendation letters, lots of direct patient care experience, and a personal statement that stands out. GPA is definitely not the only thing on your application that determines acceptance and rejection. Don't lose hope!!

Hey, sorry to bother you, I was wondering if you can help right a personal statement for my pa application?

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rlc0426 in Ohio

41 months ago

Does anyone know how a 'F' earned in a graduate course would factor into the CASPA score? I was enrolled enrolled in a graduate (non science) program that turned out to be nightmare. However, I want to begin to pursue a path to apply and be accepted to PA school.

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BetterHealthcare in Atlanta, Georgia

41 months ago

rlc0426 in Ohio said: Does anyone know how a 'F' earned in a graduate course would factor into the CASPA score? I was enrolled enrolled in a graduate (non science) program that turned out to be nightmare. However, I want to begin to pursue a path to apply and be accepted to PA school.

ric0426, it is more than likely you are going to face a serious uphill struggle to sway an admission committee that you are the type of student for their program. With that said it does mean you're a bad person or would not make an outstanding physician assistant (PA). It is simply that you made an academic misstep and unfortunately you made it at the graduate level.

What I would recommend is, still apply, also reach out to the program directors of the programs on your shortlist an explain to the them your dilemma. You are going to have to humanize your plight ... make them see you & not just your academic record.

Also, you may want to reach out your local state PA association. Be an active "potential PA-student member" ... gain their trust & confidence, and have them advocate on your behalf ... that your "F" was a fluke, and it is not indicative of your ability as a scholar.

What many students do NOT quite understand is ... admission is EASY ... practicing medicine while balancing be a scholar is the challenge.

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BetterHealthcare in Atlanta, Georgia

41 months ago

Being a PA doesn't stop or start w/getting an acceptance letter into a program. A lot of us ponder over cases, teach, volunteer, and practice medicine all at the same time. And on top of all that, there is the politics of being a physician assistant (PA) at both the state and federal levels. What the medical community expects from PAs is not just being a competent clinician, you HAVE to be a scholar & researcher.

Partnering with other PAs or MDs/DOs to publish information is a significant portion of what is expected and demanded by your patients.

So good luck to everyone and welcome to those that feel they still want to be a PA knowing just a micro-scratch of what you will be expected to do.

M
DHSc, MPH, PA-c
Emergency Medicine

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BetterHealthcare in Atlanta, Georgia

41 months ago

TrevInTampa thank you, but honestly, I didn't do anything! It was all you! Your determination, effort, & commitment is what has gotten you a shot.

Remember it's going to get hard, but you know this, keep your faith, talk w/your classmates, remember you guys are there to help one another through the journey. Although we have never met, I have the utmost confidence that you will make it through to the end. You have to, because there are scores of patients waiting on you to be their primary health provider.

Best wishes & congratulations!

M
DHSc, MPH, PA-C
Emergency Medicine

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Jack

41 months ago

Hey everyone, I am pretty late to the conversation here. But I'm looking for some
Advice. I'm 24 and have a generic BA bio degree. Cumulative GPA 3.32 and science GPA 3.02. I just applied to 9 pa schools. I have heard back from 5 now and they are a no go. I did my own undergrad research, had ~150 shadow hours and 1250 patient care hours. I applied in the Midwest mainly and it's not looking too good. Does any one have some advice to get in somewhere? I really don't want to take more classes as I already have large loan payments to make and taking more classes would be difficult. I just feel a bit lost in this process and could use a helping hand especially from someone who has been in my shoes and made it. And maybe what they did? Thanks!

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pibbles in Brooklyn, New York

41 months ago

FYI, this is incorrect - wanted to clear this up in case anyone else was freaking out about it. CASPA takes into account "+" or "-" on letter grades when calculating your GPA. Good news if you were worried that your C+ would be counted as a C. Not so good news if you thought that your B- would be counted as a B.

You can find info about how CASPA does GPA calculations here:
portal.caspaonline.org/applicants2011/faq/gpas.htm#Q10

Jennifer28 in New Jersey said:
the central application counts B+ as B and C+ as C. It screws over a lot of ppl when it comes to GPA.

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mas465 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

38 months ago

Hi everyone! I am a senior graduating in June with a degree in Psychology, and a minor in Public Health. In college I was a recruited Division 1 athlete, serving as captain on my team my senior year. Besides holding a captain position, I also served on the SAAC board (Student Athlete Advisory Committee), was a 3yr member of Psi Chi Honor Society, and volunteered for 6 months as a Physical Therapy Aide at a pro-bono clinic in the Philadelphia (where I racked up 400+ hrs of direct one-on-one patient contact). In addition, I currently have been volunteering with a Respite program for elders and their families in the city who have dementia and need a helping hand.

Although my freshman year I received an overall GPA of 2.2 (I was a freshman on the varsity boat, changed my major 5 times in one year, and focused on my sport instead of school), starting my sophomore year, I turned it all around, and I have gotten nothing lower then a B-, bringing my GPA up to a 3.3, with 2 more terms left to go until I graduate(hoping to have it at a 3.4 by then). My science GPA is a 3.6. I am waiting to take my GREs after I graduate, but in free practice GREs i have taken(offered through Princeton Review) I have received 150s in both verbal and quantitative section.

Upon graduation I plan on completing the rest of my pre-reqs for PA school (organic chemistry & medical terminology) at my local community college, while continuing to volunteer at hospitals and shadow a PA I know personally in the ER. I want to apply April 2015.

However, although I have great patient contact, leadership experience and a decent GPA, after reading a few blogs, the fact that my GPA is a 3.3-3.4, I am so nervous that I won't get in anywhere!! I made the realization kind of late in the game(after working as a PT aide, then shadowing a PA for a few months) that I want more than anything to be a PA. I guess I just want to hear what you guys think.

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Natasha

32 months ago

I'm located California and want to become a RN or PA. I've been out of school for ten years and goofed up my GPA when I was younger in 2003. I've became a CNA in 2008 and have five years experience. I currently enrolled back in school with a 1.7 GPA from the past. I've taken A&P1 (D+) and Math(D+) back in 2007. Those science classes have expired and need to retake both classes eventually to boost GPA. I've made an appt with a nurse counselor next week and have spoken to the Dean of Health Science and she suggest I become a LVN first. I'm taking chemistry and Eng1A in summer school. What's the best route? I know GPA is very important and luckily I have the Healthcare experience under my belt.
I have been emailing to a couple nurse program counselors to show my desire and persistence by demonstrating my improvement and hopefully when I apply, I've already established a foundation. Any advice?

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Mountaineer56 in Charlotte, North Carolina

32 months ago

Natasha said: I'm located California and want to become a RN or PA. I've been out of school for ten years and goofed up my GPA when I was younger in 2003. I've became a CNA in 2008 and have five years experience. I currently enrolled back in school with a 1.7 GPA from the past. I've taken A&P1 (D+) and Math(D+) back in 2007. Those science classes have expired and need to retake both classes eventually to boost GPA. I've made an appt with a nurse counselor next week and have spoken to the Dean of Health Science and she suggest I become a LVN first. I'm taking chemistry and Eng1A in summer school. What's the best route? I know GPA is very important and luckily I have the Healthcare experience under my belt.
I have been emailing to a couple nurse program counselors to show my desire and persistence by demonstrating my improvement and hopefully when I apply, I've already established a foundation. Any advice?

To be honest it does not sound like you have a clear understanding of the education requirements or possibly job description of an RN and a PA... If this is the case, I suggest besides continuing to better your GPA in all required science courses for any PA school, you do your research on the difference between and RN and PA unless you are thinking your ultimate goal is NP vs PA, thus again, I still encourage you make sure you understand the difference and what all is required for the two different professions. Yes NP and PAs are both advance practice providers but they require different routes of education and training. To me it sounds like you are more interested in become an RN, in which case I do not suggest applying to any PA schools at this time. Getting in is just half the battle, staying in, keeping good grades, and becoming a confident and competent PA requires long hours and nights of studying, way more so than any undergrad classes I ever took and I was a 'B' student.

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Natasha

31 months ago

Mountaineer56 in Charlotte, North Carolina said: To be honest it does not sound like you have a clear understanding of the education requirements or possibly job description of an RN and a PA... If this is the case, I suggest besides continuing to better your GPA in all required science courses for any PA school, you do your research on the difference between and RN and PA unless you are thinking your ultimate goal is NP vs PA, thus again, I still encourage you make sure you understand the difference and what all is required for the two different professions. Yes NP and PAs are both advance practice providers but they require different routes of education and training. To me it sounds like you are more interested in become an RN, in which case I do not suggest applying to any PA schools at this time. Getting in is just half the battle, staying in, keeping good grades, and becoming a confident and competent PA requires long hours and nights of studying, way more so than any undergrad classes I ever took and I was a 'B' student.

Yes, I want to become a RN. My gpa had raised from 2.2 to 2.4 now. I'm debating if I should do lvn-rn instead of traditional adn rn program.

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Kavita in Nutley, New Jersey

31 months ago

Hi All,

I am a FMG/IMG. I was graduated since 12 years. I am using WES to evaluate my documents.
Does anyone know which prerequisite classes/credit I have to take?

Thank you
Kavita

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ally in Mcallen, Texas

31 months ago

Hello all,
I applied to a PA Program through CASPA, and I am 80% sure I will not get in. I have struggled with school and medical issues (I am a patient at MD Anderson). My science GPA after calculated by CASPA was a 2.51, my non-science a 2.65 and the overall a 2.57. I graduated with a degree in Bio with a 2.98 GPA, but when CASPA calculated it, it lowered. I am so devasted, i doubt I'll get in. Does anybody have a similar issue regarding GPA? I think it is too low :( p.s this is my firs try applying. what can I do to better it? I repeated a cell molecular course 4 times, and at one point the professor told me to quit school because of my rare diagnosis :/

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William in Michigan

31 months ago

I'm very sorry to hear about your medical problems. But you should be looking at schools profile for accepted students and see where you match up. I recently applied to pa school and I looked at over 100 programs to determine where I had the way chance of getting in and where Ithe program goals matched my own. My GPA is on the low end however that is 3.3. Through inquiry I have found it is rare for applicant to be accepted with less than a 3.0 overall GPA. Maybe a handful of programs that emailed me back said they accepted an applicant around 3.0 overall and they were the lowest GPA accepted. PA school is rigorous and not that you aren't capable, but they see the numbers, and your GPA is not very competitive. Programs require a minimum of 80% to pass each class or 3.0. By your past efforts you were unable to achieve those grades during undergrad which is much much easier coursework. You can strengthen yor application through more patient care hours, volunteering, mission trips and writing a very solid personal statement/supplemental essay. However, you still need the grades. I don't know of any schools that would review an application with a GPA similar to yours. But if your dream is to become a PA keep working at it! Take more classes and get A's. Most programs require a minimum of 3.0 in both overall and science GPA. Some are lower to apply but the average accepted student is still ~3.5. You might want to look into accelerated Nursing Programs and after you work a while either apply again or apply to NP school or CRNA school depending on yor interests. It will take some serious commitment and effort from you, but stay focused and you can do it! Best of luck moving forward

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Natasha in Fontana, California

30 months ago

sara1234 what classes did you take?
i have a 2. 5 gpa

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Natasha in Fontana, California

30 months ago

how long did it take? did u complete 40 hours in one semester?

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Kysm13 in Arlington, Texas

30 months ago

sara1234 in Maine said: Not necessarily. It may depend upon to what school you are applying, but I was accepted with a General Studies major.

What is the name of the PA school you got accepted into with General Studies major? Could I take some science courses in a community college to boost up my GPA? Will the PA schools accept community college grades? What are the classes have you taken at community colleges to get into PA school?

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Kysm13 in Arlington, Texas

30 months ago

Hi everyone! Does anyone know any PA schools that are easier to get into in Texas?
Please help. I live in Texas and prefer not to move if possible. But if it is easier to get into PA school out of state then I would do that too! Thanks for any advice!

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dew in Sewell, New Jersey

29 months ago

Hello! I'm wondering what my chances are of getting into a PA school with sub-par Ochem grades. I've gotten a C in the first semester and doesn't look like it will be much better for the second. My gpa is hovering around the 3.2 range which is on the lower end of the spectrum. I have a large amount of work experience as I've been a phlebotomist/lab tech for over 10yrs in a local hospital and I've worked in Dr's offices as well. If I obtain another C this semester in Ochem does that ruin my chances of getting in?

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sara1234 in Maine

29 months ago

Natasha in Fontana, California said: sara1234 what classes did you take?
i have a 2. 5 gpa

There are too many classes to mention (40 hours worth!)...but it is not about "which" classes I took, but rather that I took classes I knew were going to be EASY. Lots of higher level classes are easy A's if you do the research with your classmates, etc. Online classes are almost always easy I have found. Good luck to you.

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sara1234 in Maine

29 months ago

Natasha in Fontana, California said: how long did it take? did u complete 40 hours in one semester?

I took about 20 hours per semester and finished roughly 40 hours in just under 1 year.

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sara1234 in Maine

29 months ago

Kysm13 in Arlington, Texas said: What is the name of the PA school you got accepted into with General Studies major? Could I take some science courses in a community college to boost up my GPA? Will the PA schools accept community college grades? What are the classes have you taken at community colleges to get into PA school?

I'm sorry but I cannot reveal the school I where went because of privacy. But keep in mind, most schools are open to non-science majors because they want their students to be well-rounded.
Yes, you SHOULD take science classes in community college to boost your GPA. (I retook Chemistry 1 in a community college even though I had already finished Organic Chemistry because I knew it would be an easy A.)
Yes, PA schools will accept community college credits!
I took over 40 hours of community college during the end of my Senior year for the simple reason to boost my GPA. I took classes from Sociology 1 to Sleep Studies class to Civil History to Spanish Arts...you name it. As long as I heard it was easy, I took it.

Hope this helps and is encouraging. Good luck to you! You can do it!

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Kysm13 in Arlington, Texas

29 months ago

sara1234 in Maine said: I'm sorry but I cannot reveal the school I where went because of privacy. But keep in mind, most schools are open to non-science majors because they want their students to be well-rounded.
Yes, you SHOULD take science classes in community college to boost your GPA. (I retook Chemistry 1 in a community college even though I had already finished Organic Chemistry because I knew it would be an easy A.)
Yes, PA schools will accept community college credits!
I took over 40 hours of community college during the end of my Senior year for the simple reason to boost my GPA. I took classes from Sociology 1 to Sleep Studies class to Civil History to Spanish Arts...you name it. As long as I heard it was easy, I took it.

Hope this helps and is encouraging. Good luck to you! You can do it!

Thanks for your encouragement! :)

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asahmed in Severn, Maryland

28 months ago

I need someone's sincere advice. I am taking microbiology right now and I nearly have a C. I am afraid I might end up with a D. Is it even worth applying to PA schools? Are there any that don't rehire microbiology? I also have not taken more than one chemistry pre req. What schools have the fewest pre-req requirements?

Thanks

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Jun in Woodstock, Georgia

28 months ago

asahmed in Severn, Maryland said: I need someone's sincere advice. I am taking microbiology right now and I nearly have a C. I am afraid I might end up with a D. Is it even worth applying to PA schools? Are there any that don't rehire microbiology? I also have not taken more than one chemistry pre req. What schools have the fewest pre-req requirements?

Thanks

You can definitely still get into PA school. It's not JUST about grades. My GPA was low like yours. I retook a few classes at a CC to help boost my average. Did a bunch of research about what else could help my chances. Eventually I found myPAresource.com. They actually have ADCOMs, physician assistants, and PA school faculty reviewing your personal statement and answering questions. Definitely check them out. And don't give up!

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Mitchelle in Brooklyn, New York

25 months ago

Kysm13 in Arlington, Texas said: Thanks for your encouragement! :)

Hi,
I was wondering if You did this as an undergrad or already having a BA or BS?i already have a BA, I did a post bac program to retake all my science courses and did a lot better in them but a lot of my undergrad courses are still weighing me down and I'm getting desperate but am determined to do whatever it takes.
I had my CASPA verified and am at an overall 2.9, science overall 2.6 and post-bac (this includes all the science courses I retook at a 3.2)
I have emailed a lot of schools and some don't go by CASPA GPA, some use only the overall GPA and recalculate the science GPA in accordance with the pre-req required. But I need to get looked at so I need to boost up my overall GPA . I was considering in getting a masters but that may be a waste of money. Then I considered doing a nursing program but many ppl say it may hurt my GPA.
I'm a little lost...

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Annie in Brooklyn, New York

23 months ago

Mitchelle in Brooklyn, New York said: Hi,
I was wondering if You did this as an undergrad or already having a BA or BS?i already have a BA, I did a post bac program to retake all my science courses and did a lot better in them but a lot of my undergrad courses are still weighing me down and I'm getting desperate but am determined to do whatever it takes.
I had my CASPA verified and am at an overall 2.9, science overall 2.6 and post-bac (this includes all the science courses I retook at a 3.2)
I have emailed a lot of schools and some don't go by CASPA GPA, some use only the overall GPA and recalculate the science GPA in accordance with the pre-req required. But I need to get looked at so I need to boost up my overall GPA

HI Mitchelle,

I have an overall GPa of 3.4 and a Science GPa of 3.0. I calculated the science GPa myself using ONLY the science classes. I failed chemistry once, sheer stupidity on my part, i just stopped going to class and didn't withdraw on time, and a C in Orgo 2 are bringing my GPa down. I don't know why my advisor recommended i take Physics ( got a B ) and Orgo 2 when I only needed Orgo 1 and I already had a B in it. Otherwise, my GPa is a 3.2-3.3, not that it matters.

What schools did you contact that said they calculate GPa based on the Pre-Reqs?
I'm thinking of a total career change due to my inadequate GPa. It's just making me Feel so depressed. Have you looked into Touro? I'm willing to go there, if they'll have me.

As far as experience goes, I have shadowing experience for the 2 years and I worked as a Dental Assistant for one year from 06-07. I have submitted my application to volunteer with DFTA (for the aging) and to volunteer with Methodist in the Health Literacy Department. Hopefully I will get accepted and will help boost my app.

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Louise in Hallandale, Florida

19 months ago

heidi14 in Manchester, Connecticut said: Hi guys I know ya'll have been chatting for months now on here, some 2 yrs. But I have some questions and concerns about PA /med school and was wondering if anyone would be able to email me and help out. :-(. My email is verbatimlifesource316@hotmail.com. if you've applied and gotten in with low gpa's, gre's etc. or know alot about the process if you could shoot me an email that'd be wonderful!! Thanks so much.

Hey, Heidi- Did anyone ever get back to you about this? I'd appreciate the same info!

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helensypoon@*****.*** in Sacramento, California

19 months ago

Thanks for your info. Please advise which Post Bac school you got in. I tried to get in the ones in CA, but they accept only 25 students per semister. THANKS.

TrevTampa in Tampa, Florida said: Well, i have finished all of my classes. I brought my GPA up to a 3.05 but i discovered CASPA will not ignore "grade forgiveness" classes. If anyone has done this it will be averaged into your grade.

This dropped my overall GPA down to a 2.975 unfortunately.

But, i have around 52 post-bach classes which i maintained a 3.6 GPA in with A's in classes like Organic, Micro, and other upper level sciences.

Just wanted to give people with GPA problems a heads up about the whole grade forgiveness thing. If you got a bad grade your freshman year and retook the class CASPA will average both grades in.

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JLG in Hallandale, Florida

18 months ago

pnv02115 in Burlington, Massachusetts said: I was just accepted to a master's level program and I did a few C's, so it is not impossible! Have good recommendation letters, lots of direct patient care experience, and a personal statement that stands out. GPA is definitely not the only thing on your application that determines acceptance and rejection. Don't lose hope!!

Hey there- I know this was ages ago, but would you mind telling where you got into school and how your experience was there?

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PA in Kansas City, Missouri

17 months ago

JC123 in Staten Island, New York said: Hey, so I feel really stuck right now... I applied to 6 different PA schools in NY during the 09'-10' cycle and didn't get into any of the schools. I have a 3.1 science GPA according to CASPA and a 3.09 cumulative GPA. I messed up my freshman year of college and then did postbac at a community college after I graduated. I called 2 of the programs because I wanted to know what I could possibly do to better my chances in getting in. Both schools had told me that their applicant count is around 1000s,2000s and they only have 40-50 seats every year. Why does it seem almost impossible to get a seat... ugh. I'm thinking of re-taking chem and organic chem because I got a C in those classes but I don't want to waste money if I won't get in anyway. Does anyone know of any programs in the NY-NJ area that perhaps accept a larger group of applicants? I also had around 1000 hours of direct patient care as a medical assistant which I'm currently working as now too... Now I started to study for GRE's too because it seems if you do really well on those then it'll give you a little bit of an advantage. I don't want to give up because I really want to become a PA but this whole process is so discouraging and there are never any guarantees... I was even thinking about re-routing into nursing (and then possibly going for NP) but because of this disappointment I feel like I'm just as scared I won't get into a nursing program either. Any advice??

I was wondering if you eventually got in?

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astenger in California

15 months ago

Hi, I was wondering if you ever got into a PA program and if so, which one?

Dmhhmd09 in Homestead, Pennsylvania said: Should I give up my hopes of getting into a PA program?? According to CASPA, I have a 2.75 overall gpa and a 2.35 science GPA. This includes classes that I have re-taken post-grad. I now have all A's and B's in the pre-reqs that most programs for PA school require but with CASPA still factoring in the old grades from my undergrad degree, my gpa is still super low. I am continuously advised to take more science classes to raise my gpa but after using a gpa calculator, In order to raise my gpa to a 3.2 (for the particular school that I want) I would have to maintain a 4.0 gpa and take 77 ADDITIONAL CREDITS to raise my cum and 91 additional credits to raise my science. This is just about how many credits in science courses I have for my bachelors degree!!!! This seems impossible with a full time job and would basically be another 4 years of school. Should I give up? Is it a waste of time and money to try and take another 91 credits just to raise my science gpa? This is really what I want to do but at this point it seems like an unattainable goal for me.

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dmhhmd09 in Homestead, Pennsylvania

15 months ago

AStenger in California said: Hi, I was wondering if you ever got into a PA program and if so, which one?

AStenger, I actually wound up applying for a few schools that I was interested in for 2 years in a row and did not get accepted to any. Regardless of my grades, GPA, and writing letters to them explaining my situation, I was told that it was just way too competitive and a lot of med school students or those interested in med school that had better grades, MCAT scores, essays, experience etc. were sort of beating out the regular or "average" students. Since then, I decided to do an accelerated nursing program and got my BSN instead. It was more worth it to work my way to nurse practitioner and sort of achieve the same goal basically instead of wasting money and time trying to get into PA school.

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PAISAY in Kearney, Missouri

15 months ago

DeAnne in Sterling, Virginia said: Hello all! What a great place to vent about all our PA issues! Hehe..I've applied to 10 schools this year--3 rejected me--no invites for interviews from the others. I think it's time for me to be a pest and e-mail/call them everyday until I get an answer. My science GPA=2.9 and cumGPA=2.8. Only got 800 on GRE, but on the plus side I have 1500+ volunteer experience as an EMT -B and 3000+hrs as a PharmTech. I retook Human A&P and got an A..Organic=A/B..Microbio=B..Genetics=B. Unfortunately, CASPA calculates EVERYTHING which makes me look like a looser. I think about PA school DAY&NIGHT. I'm basically obsessed with becoming a PA. I feel like it's my calling and only until then will I be living up to my maximum potential!

Hey, I was wondering if you eventually got in?

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Yaw in Hackensack, New Jersey

13 months ago

Hey I was wondering if we could swap email information. I am in an very similar position and I was wondering if I could ask you questions you have probably already encountered.

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kale_b07 in Burlington, Massachusetts

9 months ago

I am applying to PA school for a second time and I am extremely anxious about it. I have not taken the GRE and my overall GPA is a 3.12. I spent a lot of time on the essay(s) and I have also strengthened my clinical experience gaining upwards of 5000 hours as a phlebotomist/lab tech. I did well in most of my upper level biology and chemistry courses and I am taking A&P 2 this fall to fulfill the prerequisite. The programs I am applying to include Northeastern, MCPHS, and UC Davis. I plan to take the GRE in the winter and possibly boost my science GPA by retaking Genetics. Does anyone have any input as to my chances of getting in?

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Ford2013 in Topeka, Kansas

8 months ago

-Non-traditional applicant, 29 years old/second career: 2 degrees: BS in biology/chemistry minor Pittsburg State University 2011 (Pittsburg, KS), BHS in Allied Health Clinical Laboratory Science Washburn University 2013 (Topeka, KS)
combined both degrees GPA
cGPA= 3.1
sGPA= 2.98
-Work experience: @ least 2000 hours direct patient care. More if you count the phlebotomy I do as a medical technologist.
-Volunteer work:~120 hours total so far maybe more
-Shadow experience: 40+ hours with a DO in internal medicine, ~40 hours with another DO in general surgery (observed his PA's as well)
biggest thoughts are its been ~5-6 years since I did my core science classes. should I go back and do them again, not counting the clinical science classes I did to become a medical technologist (all clinical classes: hematology 1/2, chemistry 1/2, coagulation 1/2, microbiology 1/2, urinalysis 1/2, immunohematology 1/2, molecular, etc.)
If I retook the core science classes I did poorly in, would that really help me much since I have 189 credit hours since and CASPA combines grades? the science classes would be General Chem 1/2, Organic 1/2, Bio 2, Cell Biology, Immunology. What can I do to boost my GPA?

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John in Charlotte, North Carolina

8 months ago

Ford2013 in Topeka, Kansas said: -Non-traditional applicant, 29 years old/second career: 2 degrees: BS in biology/chemistry minor Pittsburg State University 2011 (Pittsburg, KS), BHS in Allied Health Clinical Laboratory Science Washburn University 2013 (Topeka, KS)
combined both degrees GPA
cGPA= 3.1
sGPA= 2.98
-Work experience: @ least 2000 hours direct patient care. More if you count the phlebotomy I do as a medical technologist.
-Volunteer work:~120 hours total so far maybe more
-Shadow experience: 40+ hours with a DO in internal medicine, ~40 hours with another DO in general surgery (observed his PA's as well)
biggest thoughts are its been ~5-6 years since I did my core science classes. should I go back and do them again, not counting the clinical science classes I did to become a medical technologist (all clinical classes: hematology 1/2, chemistry 1/2, coagulation 1/2, microbiology 1/2, urinalysis 1/2, immunohematology 1/2, molecular, etc.)
If I retook the core science classes I did poorly in, would that really help me much since I have 189 credit hours since and CASPA combines grades? the science classes would be General Chem 1/2, Organic 1/2, Bio 2, Cell Biology, Immunology. What can I do to boost my GPA?

I honestly don't see much chance here. There is some though. You need to redo your core classes.. Most schools don't accept them over 5 years, although some max out at 7. Your overall GPA and Science GPA are too low to be competitive to be honest. But if you take 60 credits and crush them you will have a chance. Many schools look at the last 60 credit hours. I think some even do 30. If you do that and keep going at the health care experience you can do it. Only problem is that it will probably take you a couple years of full time school and part time work before you become competitive. Since you have so many credit hours already, it's very difficult to raise it. Best of luck to you!

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Steph PA in Deerfield Beach, Florida

7 months ago

*****Low GPA do not given up*******bust your but*******

Could not wait to right this comment...I think 3 years is long enough. I graduated with a degree in psychology and all the prerequs for PA school. I tried my hardest in all my classes and still ended up with a 2.67 science GPA, overall 3.1. University was hard and I was working full time to support myself and my grades suffered. Came to the realization real quick that I wasn't competitive at all for any program and was denied from all my schools the first time around...I knew even before I submitted apps that there was no way I would get into school....this was in 2014. After getting rejected I set a two year plan. I started working as a medical scribe full time in a Urology office and went back to school to take strictly science courses to boost my GPA. I took a mix of easy and hard classes and made sure I got only all A. Finished 40 science credits with straight A's. I took easy classes like Oceanography, Astronomy to hard courses like Physics 1 and 2, Organic 1 and 2, Botany. I received letters of recommendations from PA and physicians at my medical scribing job and from my new teachers.

By the time I applied again I raised my science GPA from a 2.67 to a 3.28. and overall close to a 3.5. This took a lot....but its important to make your resume package ready....The 2 year working period sucked...I was working full time at the hospital, every penny I saved up went to pay for my classes(no financial aid for non degree seeking students) and had to clean houses over the weekend and study every spare chance I had. Now in 2016 my application was stellar. I had 5 solid letters of recommendations, an honest compelling statement that touched on the low and high points of my application and now an average GPA with a solid upward trend. Applications were in the minute CASPA cycled opened and i sent them to 16 schools($2000 :x) . So far I have 3 interviews, and 1 acceptance. So don't give up.

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Jen in Sammamish, Washington

6 months ago

That was very inspiring Steph PA. I am in the same boat as you before you had your two year plan. My science GPA is 2.74 and overall GPA is 2.57 per Caspa. Did you take any other courses? Or only 40 science credits? Do you think I should mainly focus on science classes or have a mix with easy non-science courses?

May I ask what schools you applied to? I am currently a medical scribe but I feel that many schools look down on it because it is not hands on direct patient care. Thanks for any input.

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astenger in California

6 months ago

This is so inspiring! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Can you private message or say which schools you applied to?

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steph pa in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

6 months ago

Jen in Sammamish, Washington said: That was very inspiring Steph PA. I am in the same boat as you before you had your two year plan. My science GPA is 2.74 and overall GPA is 2.57 per Caspa. Did you take any other courses? Or only 40 science credits? Do you think I should mainly focus on science classes or have a mix with easy non-science courses?

May I ask what schools you applied to? I am currently a medical scribe but I feel that many schools look down on it because it is not hands on direct patient care. Thanks for any input.

Take only science classes. CASPA measures 3 GPAs-overall, prerequ and science. Science and prereq are the most important. I took 40 credits-plant bio, org 1/2, physics 1/2, ecology, astronomy...and other random science courses. Look at CASPA they have a list of classes that factor into the science GPA- behavioral sciences and psychs do not. Look at rate my professor when you are picking the classes do not take if you think you will get a B or you are wasting time...you need A!!!

Scribing is great experience and is becoming more respected in the medical field. Everyone I interviewed with are medical scribes/medical assistants. Its important that you stress te experience you learned while scribing and why it led you to becoming a PA. This is done with your personal statments and interviwe. For example I work in Urology as a scribe..see a variety of really personal experiences with my patients. I also see 5/6 people get diagnosed with cancer(prostate bladder kidney). In my personal statement I made it into a story and tied together who I am into that and my experiences solidified by passion to being a PA. Started off by grabbing their attention with a story...

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steph pa in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

6 months ago

This is how I opened my statement...

"Opening up his chart I review. Custom complaint: Elevated PSA, DRE 25g prostate with induration on the right lobe - suspicion of cancer. Family history: father deceased, prostate cancer. As I look up from my tablet I see Leslie, waiting for his biopsy results and nervously cracking jokes with Jen our Physician Assistant. Leslie has been anticipating these results and after reviewing his pathology report I know what to expect. I stop, and remember the concern his wife expressed on his last visit. I’m reminded that Leslie is someone’s husband, someone’s dad, someone’s son. Results are in: six cores positive, Gleason 6, Adenocarcinoma. On this typical Monday at the office, I realize that Leslie’s life is less than typical now that he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. It’s in intimate moments such as this where my yearning to become a Physician Assistant continues to manifest itself.

As a medical scribe for...., I have enjoyed being a crucial team member in the practice of delivering the best in health care treatment. The experience of being relied on by the attending physician, PA and patient has given me responsibility as well as the opportunity to learn and observe besides them.

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steph pa in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

6 months ago

Now the fun part...the INTERVIEW.

Thought about that phone call for months and would get emotional just thinking about it. This is my passion, my future career, everything I have been working for...can't mess it up. You will be nervous...I was! But what I learned is that they just want to know WHO ARE YOU? WHY ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT THIS CAREER? So you must be sincere and genuine. Cannot stress this enough...when it came down to the interview everyone was experienced and qualified..medical scribes, EMT medical assistants, stellar, poised qualified people...and Im thinking wow his is some serious competition. But what I learned is that this interview part isnt so much about GPAs, GRE scores and hours of experience anymore. It was who are you...to your core...are you passionate about being a PA and why. As corny as it sounds they want to see your soul. So let it shine and say statments that are powerful and sincere..show your "passion" cannot use this word enough! I didn't even finish the interview and they offered me a seat right there...it was a wild experience.

I was honest and prepared for the quesions they were going to ask me..
"Why did you get rejected in 2014, what have you done since then, what about this grade..?"
And that was my chance to tell my story ...own up to it, what I did to change it and MOST IMPORTANTLY what did i learn from it.. and trust me you learn alot. This process was very emotional and real for me...I would read these forums and think "wow I dont know if I can do it...no one is going to look past those "Ds" in anatomy, physics." It is difficult to have faith in this process but you must and most importantly you must believe in yourself AND FIGHT for what you know if your future lifes work. I personally could not see myself doing anything else and there was no throwing in the towel for me.

So how to answer these tuff questions they were throwing my way...(next post)

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chrissy in Miami, Florida

3 months ago

Where did you apply if you don't mind me asking? I'm kind of in the same boat and I am completely lost

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Megan Anderson in Las Vegas, Nevada

2 months ago

Hi Steph,
Your hard work and determination is incredibly inspiring. I am an aspiring PA school applicant and can relate to your story. Would it be possible for me to ask for your email so that I could ask you a few questions in regards to your previous posts? I would really appreciate the opportunity to learn more from your experience. Thank you and congratulations on a job well done!

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ish124 in Kansas City, Missouri

1 month ago

sonia in Glenside, Pennsylvania said: I'm currently in optometry school (first semester) and I'm thinking to drop out and pursue another health profession- most probably PA. i will not find a job with optometry which i realized after starting school so therefore i have no interest completing 4 years and being in 150k+ debt just to maybe have a part-time job.

in undergrad., i had a 2.96 gpa. and somehow i got accepted into optometry. are PA gpa requirements close to 3.0 or higher? i also had a D and an F on my transcript because of organic chem 1 and 2, but i did retake it and got a C and C+. would this be ok for admissions ? I have also researched more info. about PA, and is it true that most schools want close to 500 hours of shadowing done before applying?

Lastly, would you recommend the switch from optometry to PA? I want to be in the health profession but i also want to make a decent amount ($80k at least)?

hi what optometry school did you get accepted to with those stats? I have an overall 3.3 gpa but low science gpa

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