easiest pa programs to get into

easiest pa programs to get into

Physician assistant programs

Physician assistant programs are some of the most competitive in the world. Since they prepare you to work in medicine, it’s no surprise that PA schools have high standards and strict admissions requirements. This is why it’s so important for applicants to fulfill all prerequisites before applying.

Admissions committees look for evidence that you can handle a rigorous program. If your undergraduate GPA isn’t impressive, consider taking post-baccalaureate classes at an accredited college or university to demonstrate your ability to do well in a rigorous academic setting.

Even if you don’t get into your first choice program, try again next year! The more times you apply, the better your chances of acceptance—and with so many wonderful programs out there, there’s sure to be one that’s perfect for you. The University of Utah offers a great program on their website here: https://www.utahpa.org/about-us/

The George Washington University Physician Assistant Program is another popular choice with potential students: https://smhs.gwu.edu/aspa/admissions


The centralized application service for PA programs is called CASPA. You’ll use this website to submit your application information, and it will be distributed to the schools you select. The same goes for letters of recommendation, transcripts, and any other documents required by different schools.

CASPA also collects some basic demographic information as part of the application process (gender, ethnicity, etc.). This is mostly just a formality–it’s not used in admission decisions–and filling it out is optional (but recommended).

Personal statement

Your personal statement is the most important part of your application to PA school. This is the place where you have the most control over what you say, and you don’t have to worry about numbers (GPA or test scores) or external factors influencing how it’s received. Admissions committees want to see that you understand what physician assistants do and that you’re set on this career path. It’s also a way for them to get some insight into who you are and how committed you are to becoming a PA. You probably won’t be surprised by what I’m about to say—you will need a well-written, compelling personal statement that tells your story in an authentic voice.

It’s common for students applying to PA school to stress over their personal statements, but there are two key pieces of advice that can help:

  • Be specific about what you want out of being a PA and why this career fits with your skills and personality.

Admissions committees want someone who’s specific in his/her goals because they know PAs have many options and great work-life balance. They want PAs who really choose the profession because they love it rather than doing it as an alternative plan B when they couldn’t get into medical school or another healthcare program. The more specific you are, the better!

  • Keep your statement succinct while creating an engaging narrative arc, with a beginning, middle, and end (but not too long).

There’s no set length for essays like these—it’s more important that your essay can stand alone as something interesting for others to read than that it follows some strict word count rule or writing style guideline (i.e., APA vs MLA). In general though, most essays should not exceed 2 pages double spaced — sometimes less is more! Remember: admissions committees often read through hundreds if not thousands of personal statements per year so yours needs to stand out from other applicants’ submissions​

GRE requirements

The GRE is not required for all programs. Below are listed a few of the easier PA schools to get into, according to PaerPrograms.com:

  • University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley
  • Western Michigan University
  • University of St. Francis
  • William Carey University Physician Assistant Program
  • Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania Physician Assistant Program
  • The College of St. Scholastica (MN) Physician Assistant Program

As you can see, there is no overarching standard when it comes to scores and GPAs. For example, while William Carey has an average overall GPA requirement of 3.9, Lock Haven’s average overall GPA requirement is just 3.2. If your GPA isn’t stellar or you didn’t perform well on the GRE, some programs will be more forgiving than others.[4] It’s also important to know that a good GPA is still very important since even though the GRE isn’t required in some places applying with a low GPA still decreases your chances.[5]

one of the hardest parts of being a PA student is being accepted, gre scores are not as important as good grades.

One of the hardest parts of becoming a PA is gaining acceptance into the PA program. It’s often said that being accepted into the programs is more difficult than medical school for several reasons:

  • The competition is high – with rising numbers of applicants to schools, only about 50% actually get accepted.
  • The majority of students have strong grades – it’s not enough just to have a 3.0 GPA, as many students have much higher GPAs than that.
  • GRE scores are not as important as good grades when applying to programs. Some schools may accept low GRE scores based on your academic performance, but most will not take you with a subpar GRE score if you don’t have a great GPA behind you.
  • PA programs are hard! They are expensive and require at least 30 credits of prerequisites before applying to a program

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