So you wish to enter physician assistant (PA) school? Understandable considering the demand for practitioners. The profession will expand by 28% by 2031 and ranks as the second-best job in healthcare. It is no surprise that PA programs are becoming very competitive. To become a PA, you must hold an undergraduate or master’s degree in any subject area. You must gain acceptance into a PA school where programs average 26 months and include classroom instruction and clinical rotations. Completing the requirements and learning how to craft a competitive application are essential for admittance into PA school. If you wish to become competitive in the PA school application process, your application must showcase your strengths. Here are the items you will need.
A bachelor’s degree from an accredited academic institute is a requirement for all PA schools. GPA depends on the institution and its expectations for consideration. The national average for PA school consideration is currently a GPA of 3.6.
The majority of PA schools typically require the following courses. But keep in mind that each program has a unique list, so check the requirements at each school. Some basic needs include:
- Human Anatomy
- Organic chemistry
Many candidates are working or have prior experience in the healthcare profession. This experience is beneficial for allowing candidates to get hands-on experience and many programs require previous healthcare or patient care experience. The average hourly requirement is 1,000 hours, although some schools do not have this requirement.
Order transcripts from undergraduate university approximately six weeks before the application deadline to ensure they are received.
Request Letters of Recommendation
Three to five letters of recommendation are the requirement. Typically, professors and former or present employers in the healthcare field provide these letters of recommendation. When you receive a letter of recommendation, it is a good policy to send a written thank you note along with a report once you gain admission.
Letter of Intent
The letter of intent is a detailed declaration of why you want to become a PA. Eight hundred words are typical, and if you have a story to tell that sparked interest in the field, keep it concise but compelling. After composing your letter of intent, have a trusted friend review it.
Submit the Application
Once you have your materials ready, submit your PA application. Be sure to follow up on the status of your application. Remember that going above and beyond will greatly help your chances of getting accepted into PA school. Good luck!