PA school has evolved from the first class at Duke University 50 years ago. PAs today can now hold a masters degree in the profession and students as young as high school graduates begin their journey toward earning the most expensive “C” of their life. A lot has changed and will continue to. Prior to applying to programs, I did alot of research, like many people do. The initial part of my research focused on my transcript. I knew I wanted to be a PA from high school, so I tailored my classes toward meeting my prerequisites as well as taking classes that I had interest in, although not neccessary for PA school (i.e African American Lit, Drama & Women Fiction). As of 2016 when I sent in my applications, schools began to increase necessary classes to have, such as requiring and not recommending biochemistry on your transcript. This pattern of requiring more from applicants would only increase as schools tries to create a more competitive pool of applicants.
So how can you create a competitive transcript?
Start early and be patient. Check out requirements for multiple PA schools. If you’re just starting college, that’s great. You have a blank canvas, so create and plan accordingly. Anatomy, Physiology, General and Organic Chemistry, Psychology, Statistics and/or Calculus, English Composition and Microbiology are the most common basic requirements for the program. Work with an advisor to anticipate when you will take these classes if you’re still an undergrad. If you’re a post grad student, check your transcripts and make sure you have the most basic requirements the school ask for. If you don’t, enroll and give yourself enough time to get those classes before applying. Most schools accept one or two prerequisite to be in process if you’re applying for the current cycle. If you’re going to be a PA, don’t put a time stamp on when you must achieve it.
Advance science courses such as Biochemistry, Histology, Molecular Biology, General Physiology, Genetics, Embryology, Analytical Chemistry should be considered. Schools look for students who have more than the minimum requirements. Some of these classes are going to be part of your curriculum if you’re a Biology or Chemistry major anyways.
Take classes outside of your major that can help to reflect a well rounded student. Take an additional psychology class that you find interesting, or an advance writing class. It helps to add character to your transcript.
Check if your prospective PA schools have an advisement committee for incoming students or open houses. Some schools hold advisement during open houses for students to see if they do have the correct requirements and allow their staffs to give advice. Some schools will look through your transcript, so inquire if you need to.
Seek help with your classes. If you’re struggling with a class, ask for the help of tutors. Putting in your best effort in each class will yield great results at the end of the semester. Most undergraduate school have learning centers and since you’re already paying tuition, might as well make use of your money.
If you’re a post graduate student and you need to re-take a class because of a low grade, do so. Retaking the class & working hard to earn a better grade is important. It shows that you’re determined and learn from your mistakes. I don’t recommend withdrawing from a class if you’re in progress, but if you need to, do it. Life happens and you must always make a decision that will benefit you. Better to retake the class and give it your all, than to finish half baked.
Look up your professors prior to taking their class. I used ratemyprofessor site while in undergrad and it saved me from alot of heartache. Ask your seniors about the professors, tips to help with the class. Remember a closed mouth doesn’t get fed.
Bonus : Make sure your classes are still within the time frame for your perspective program. Some schools have limited course life, some up to 5, 7, 10 years since you took the class. Check with the schools you’ll like to attend to make sure your courses are still in good standing. Applications are expensive and you don’t want waste your time and money.
PA school applications are much more than your transcript and grades. They’re looking at the overall student, but making sure you are solid on areas that may easily be fixed prior to applying is crucial. Double, triple check your transcript and plan ahead. If you’re not prepared for the long journey of PA school, you’ll be frustrated and discouraged very easily.
If there are other tips or ideas to help someone with creating a competitive transcript, share!!!
And don’t forget to share and comment if this post was helpful.
A friend and I was discussing our high school summer reading list mandated for English class and how I never read the books until a few days before school started. It got me thinking of creating a short summer reading list of my own and encouraging others to join. This summer, I will read 3 books with different genres, cultures and each set in different times. I think this will be a fun challenge along with finishing up graduate school and having Sunday brunch.
When you read this book, you will make many assumptions. It’s about a jealous wife, obsessed with her replacement. It’s about a younger woman set to marry the man she loves. The first wife seems like a disaster; her replacement is the perfect woman. You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships. You will be wrong – Goodreads
A breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan’s last thirty years—from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding—that puts the violence, fear, hope, and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives—the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness—are inextricable from the history playing out around them –Goodreads
This is the story of what it’s like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie’s letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that the perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.- Goodreads
I will start with The Wife Between Us, make sure you follow my instagram for updates.
Do you have any books you’ll be reading this summer?
If you’d like to join for all three or any of them, please comment or email.
Exactly 2 years ago, I was graduating from undergrad and worrying about PA school. When I woke up that morning, I felt like sh!t because the last school who had me on a waiting list was hosting the incoming class orientation the same day I was getting my B.A. On my way to the ceremony, I got a call from the Administrator asking if I still wanted to be on the wait list. I was shocked cause I thought the class was completed. Ofcourse I accepted and she promised to get back to me later that day. I checked and rechecked my phone all day. This was worse than waiting for a reply after sending a guy a lengthy or risky message. By the end of the day no phone call came. That night, after beating myself up mentally, I opened up CASPA and started entering my data for another application cycle.
2 days later – spongebob voice
On June 1, I got another phone call. The person asked if I still wanted to join the class. I thought someone was playing a cruel joke on me. I was a few seconds from cussing someone out! After he explained that he was part of admissions committee, he asked the question again. My initial thought was to say “No”. I had chucked up the cycle as a lesson and that I’ll do better the next time around. I asked my cousin who was laying next to me, what she thought and she looked at me as if I was crazy!!
Maybe I was…
I mean who turns down what they had been praying for?? I almost did because I was scared. I was scared that just maybe, I wasn’t ready, or that if they took that long to get to me, it wasn’t meant for me yet. I know you’re probably like “girl are you mad?”. Obviously you know I ended up accepting because I’ve shared the journey over the last two years with everyone who will listen but I wanted to share that the road to your dream may not happen as you imagined it. I surely never imagined that I’d be starting PA school 2 days after the whole class started but it happened. Your journey will be different from mine, at your own allotted time stamp according to God. And when that time comes, don’t let fear or doubt win.
Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo
Buy or Borrow: Buy Yejide and Akin have been married for quiet some time and trying to get pregnant. Their family members are putting pressure on them, especially Yejide, to find a solution and give them an heir. As the pressure increase, choices are made by all parties involved to make the best of the situation and protect their loved ones. But no one considered the consequences of their decisions and how fate has it’s own idea of how their lives will turn out.
Stay With Me is a story that will make you grab on from the first page and never let you go. I went from trying really hard not throw away the book after a couple of chapters, to wishing and praying for better choices for the characters, to rooting then begging the characters to just figure out their life! It was a rollercoaster and I was not disappointed.
I felt that I may have loved this book alot more than other readers because I’m from Nigeria. I’ve seen a lot of the actions in the book played out when I lived there or when a fellow Nigerian share their story. So, it wasn’t just a “fiction” novel for me. This book could honestly be a Nigerian family’s reality and that’s what I loved most about it.
I liked Yejide’s character. She tried and went through so much and often time, when a family is planning for a child, a woman receives majority of the blame, when everyone knows, it takes two to get pregnant.
I was very invested and I loved it. I was not ready for the impact that this book was going to have on me. As a woman, I saw several issues that I’ve discussed with my friends and family in this book: how society looks at woman, treat women and men and the unbalanced responsibities placed in a marriage. (If you’d like to have a discussion on this topic, comment below, I can creat another post on this). Each character in this book felt real to me, they evolved accordingly and Adebayo did an amazing job crafting a story I’ll remember, share and recommend to others.
what are you currently reading and is it moving you ?
I’m reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and imagining all the scenes in my head and I’m so happy about the increase in diversity in the book world.
I mean, growing up, I read alot of books but I’m sure if I kept a list of them, I can probably count how many had a POC or diverse main characters or relatable social stories.
So, here is to more positivity and acknowledging that the world is full of different people who will like to be represented 🖐🏾🖐🏼
Before you go Marie Antoinette on me, I love flowers and chocolate , especially the chocolate part BUT when it becomes repetitive, you want something new. So I have compiled a list that’s suitable for both men and women that will bring a smile to your partner’s face.
-Edible Arrangements : delicious, and kind of like flowers and chocolate together !
-Books! Lots of Books! Go to the bookstore, read while browsing, spend time with each other while lost in another world 💛💛
-Sephora or Ulta’s gift card: you can thank me later. Makeup, skincare & perfumes/cologne?? Yep!
-Indoor Sky diving; something your partner will remember without actually wanting to kill you for taking him/her for the REAL skydiving
-Jewelry: Alex and Ani bracelets are amazing. The new Apple watch? maybe even a RING? **wink wink**
-Private Chef for the evening if you want to wine and dine