Admissions with Low GPA

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Mike in Sacramento, California

21 months ago

Jokerism in Miami, Florida said: Hi I'm 25, graduated with a BS in biology . I have a 3.05 overall gpa and a 2.7 science GPA. I currently still work at the emergency room as a transporter and have over 2500 hours of patient contact. I have shadowed over 40 hours and have 3 recommendation letters. First one to go to college and bilingual . Do these standards give me a chance with a low GPA for PA?!

Hey jokerism, I have the same situation of yours. I have graduated with 3.06 in biology and 2.8 science GPA. My interest is to get into a graduate school, but I don't know if I ever will get in with my GPA. Did you learn something new from any biology fellows? just wondering.

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Jokerism in Miami, Florida

21 months ago

What exactly do you mean? Biology has a wide range of classes, especially when you are completing your electives. I also minored in chemistry and recently attending a 3 mo. course of EMT to help my resume

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Mike in Sacramento, California

21 months ago

Hello Jokerism, I meant those who already graduated with a degree in Biology. Have you met or known any biology graduates with low GPA in science course like 2.8 and a cumulative GPA of 3.06 and they were able to get in a professional or a graduate school. I'm also thinking of going to graduate school, but I'm afraid my GPA will hold me from achieving my goal in Research. Also, what is the EMT course are you talking?. Is it a certificate course in medical technology?. I'm now taking some courses to get a certificate in Biotechnology, hoping that will help my resume as well.

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Jokerism in Miami, Florida

21 months ago

Well not that I know of, I just don't know many who pursue the career in my area. EMT is : Emergency medical technician. Its a certification which also improves your application.

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Dmhhmd09 in Homestead, Pennsylvania

21 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

20 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

20 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

20 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

20 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

20 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

20 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

20 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

20 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

20 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

17 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

11 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

11 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

10 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

10 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

9 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

9 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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sara1234 in Maine

9 months ago

Bergk in Riverton, Utah said: Hello All,

I was wondering if anyone has some insight as to how prerequisite class from a community college will affect the strength of my application. As of right now I have a 3.94 GPA with a 4.0 in my science classes. I have over 8,000 patient care hours as an EMT and Critical Care Tech ( CNA in the Thoracic ICU). Honestly one of the biggest reason I am taking the classes from the community college is because it is so much less expensive than the university’s, but if it is going to make it difficult for me to get into a program obviously the savings is not worth it.

You are on the right path, my friend! I am a PA graduate and that's exactly how I got into school two years ago. Well, not exactly. I had a 2.9 GPA....errrgh...so I took about 40 hours of EASY classes through community college and online...and got straight A's in all of them (bc they were so easy) and ended up with a 3.3 cumulative. The schools were impressed I had triumphed through 20hours per semester with those scores, and they never even noticed most of them were Freshman classes I took online. You're already ahead of the game with your stellar GPA, but for the rest of you out there struggling with your GPA....I offer you a fig leaf of advice: stay away from those high level BioChem classes (yuck) that are going to hand you "B"s. It's all about the GPA.

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Natasha in Fontana, California

9 months ago

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

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Natasha in Fontana, California

9 months ago

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

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Kysm13 in Arlington, Texas

9 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

9 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

8 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

8 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

8 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

8 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

7 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

7 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

7 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

4 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

2 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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