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The PA School Application Timeline

Are you considering applying to physician assistant school? Understanding a basic PA school timeline will help you prepare properly, increasing your chances of a successful application by staying on schedule.

Before looking at your timeline, you must first understand the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistance. This service allows potential PAs to apply to multiple schools on one platform. Each school has its own deadline, so you will need to keep track of all of those deadlines, but having the CASPA properly filled in will streamline the process.

As you make plans for your application to PA school, here is a timeline that can help keep you on track:

Start of Junior Year

As you start the junior year of your undergraduate schooling, start looking at the PA schools that are of the most interest. Once you narrow down your list to a couple of good candidates, find out what their requirements are.

During the junior year, you will also want to get some clinical experience. No matter which school you choose, the admissions team will want to see if you have worked with patients directly. Advanced eClinical Training offers a fully online program for pre-PA students that will help you gain those clinical hours, even while still in your undergraduate program. This can streamline your application to PA school and avoid the need to take a gap year to get your clinical training.

Next, start preparing for the GRE. Some schools don’t require it for PA students, but you will want to pass this test if your school does or if you are unsure which school you’re applying to. It takes about three months to fully prepare. Taking the test in the spring will give you a good buffer to get your scores in on time.

Finally, check the prerequisites for the schools you’re considering. If you’re lacking any necessary classes, make sure you get them in this year or next year.

Mid-Year Junior Year

Around January, you need to start preparing for your application. Here’s what to do:

  • Make your list smaller: You should have only two or three schools on your list at this point, with maybe one more for backup if you suspect your application won’t be competitive.
  • Take the GRE: Aim for a February or March testing date.
  • Gather letters of recommendation: Talk to your teachers or any doctors you’ve worked with to ask for letters of recommendation. Doing so now will give them time to think about the letter and make it as appealing as possible.
  • Start your personal statement: Your personal statement will be a vital part of your application, so start thinking about what it should include.

Spring of Junior Year

The spring of your junior year is when you should be completing your application. The CASPA will open at the end of April, and you want to have your information submitted by the end of May, if possible.

At this point, decide if you need a better score on the GRE and retake it if desired. Then, submit your test scores and your transcripts as part of your application. Check out these application tips from Advanced eClinical Training to make your application as appealing as possible.

Summer Between Junior and Senior Year

At this point, you should have your CASPA submitted, and you may have additional applications specific to the school to submit. Take care of these during the summer when you don’t have as much coursework to do.

If you’re given an interview invitation from a school, take it. Summer is a good time to tackle these, especially if you need to travel.

This is also the time to start looking for options to pay your tuition costs. Look for scholarships and grants to help with the high cost of PA school.

Start of Senior Year

Once you’ve done all that you need to for your application, then you need to focus on your training. Don’t let your grades slide during this season. Having a high GPA will continue to be important.

You may find that interview requests or supplemental applications continue to trickle in. Take the interviews and fill in the applications until the point you get an offer that seems appealing.

When you do get acceptance letters, make sure you note any deadlines for those as well. Keep up with all of the things you need to submit to ensure you’re ready to go when PA school starts.

Get Help from Advanced eClinical Training

PA Schools acceptance rates are competitive, and finding a way to make yourself stand out in a sea of applicants can be challenging. You need good grades, clinical experience, and the right recommendations. Advanced eClinical Training can help you as you prepare to become a physician assistant. Take advantage of our training, pay attention to these PA school application deadlines, and you’ll be well prepared to take the next step in your medical training. Enroll now with Advanced eClinical Training to get the right support along the way.

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