Acceptance into the PA School of your choice

The PA school application process is a difficult endeavor to navigate. Each school has different deadlines, requirements and start dates. But that’s a whole different topic and rant that we’ll try to avoid on this post.


Receiving that acceptance letter to the PA school of your choice is an exciting prospect. But turning those day dreams into reality is a whole other thing. We all know that getting into any physician assistant school is a highly competitive process. Most schools have low acceptance rates based on the total number of applicants. That and the fact that PA profession is routinely listed as one of the best careers year after year by major media, such as US News and other outlets makes getting in an even taller order.

The basics

getting-into-pa-schoolEvery applicant that is accepted into PA school boasts a competitive application. This means; good GPA (especially science), high GRE scores, and appropriate amount of healthcare hours. We know everyone has those 3 things. To make matters more difficult there are no standardized admission requirements or prerequisites to get in. Each school has there own version of what you need in order to apply. But basically they all require a bachelor’s degree (you will need to send transcripts), some combination of science courses (who knows how they actually come up with which ones), a certain amount of health care hours, a personal statement and letters of reference. For most schools you need to go through the CASPA portal to apply.

Of course it would be nice if all schools required the same prerequisites to get in, such is the case for most medical schools, but not the case for PA schools. So do your research well before hand (like years) as into which schools you are interested in so you can have all your classes planned out, and your hours complete. Use our PA school finder map for a comprehensive list of all PA schools by state.

Every school also has there version of basic technical standards you need to meet. We can assume if you are ready to apply that you meet those standards.

What it takes

Okay so everyone applying to your school has the basic courses required, a competitive GPA, an appropriate amount of health care hours at the very least. So how do they choose  which candidates to interview? Likely the admissions team has a basic profile of the type (or types) ideal students. To differentiate, schools rely on three basic elements:

  • References
  • Personal Statement
  • Resume (CV)

Each one of these elements needs to be strong and are your foot in the door for an interview. Click on the links above to find out how to be a standout in each of these three categories. Hopefully, you’ll find the tips in those links helpful as you prepare your application. Good luck as you go through your application process!