Thursday, May 10, 2012

Timeline of PA School Application Process

     As you dive into your research of PA schools, you will undoubtedly hear "APPLY EARYL!!!!" BUT, what does apply early mean?

    Overall the application process to PA school is roughly a YEAR long process. Let me say that again a YEAR LONG PROCESS. Let me break it down:

Mid April- CASPA opens up

Deadlines for CASPA applications range from September 1st (2012) to the end of January (2013).

Supplemental Applications- some schools give a specific date and some give a set time period. For example I applied to Stony Brook in NY and once we had access to the supplemental application we had 2 weeks from the time we accessed it.  So, do your homework! Make sure understand each schools' application process.  (I know this is frustrating, but right now that is the way it works. If others can figure it out, so can you!)  Some schools even have early submit deadlines. I know for my Duke application they had an early submit date.

Interview dates range widely depending on the school. My first one was in late October and I know of schools that will do interviews all the way up to March.  Again you have to know the process of each school you are applying to!

Hopefully it is now clear that the process takes a long time. (I based this off using CASPA, some school don't use CASPA so please keep this in mind. Learn each schools application process!)

I am going to use myself as an example for those of you that are in school and ready to apply.  (Are you ready?  Please think long and hard about this question!) I was in my 4th year at CSULB and I started my CASPA application on April 15ish while I was finishing that spring semester I worked on entering in all my college courses and extracurricular activities.  (I was also very involved on campus, and volunteering at 2 hospitals, so I still had things in progress).  Over that summer (Summer 2011) I was working on studying for the GRE and my personal statement. I was seeing an advisor just about every other day to go over my personal statement (I was and currently not the greatest writer).  The last 2 weeks of July and the first 2 weeks of August I went to Lima, Peru to study Spanish (More on this later). BUT before I went to Peru I submitted my CASPA application and had taken the GRE.  I submitted my application early July, I WOULD CONSIDER THIS SUBMITTING EARLY (this is my opinion so don't sue me if you don't agree, DO YOUR HOMEWORK!)  While in Peru I studied Spanish and worked on writing my supplemental applications. I believe I had to submit one application while I was in Peru, but the others I was able to review with my advisor when I arrived home.

So, why apply early?
    In general (but not always) the earlier you apply, the earlier you interview, the earlier you get in! :) Less stress! Demonstrates that you are on top of your game and want to be a PA bad!

**Please don't take this as then end all be all!!*** Some people submit there application later and still have great success (there are probably stellar applicants).  You have to look at yourself see what you have, see what you need, see how much time you have to get whatever it is you need done.

Applying to PA school is a self exploration project with the occasional gut check!  Get ready for a crazy, stressful, rewarding and fun time!

As always if you have questions don't hesitate to ask!  I appreciate the people that have emailed thus far with questions!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Pre-PA Conference was a HUGE Success!!!!

I would like to thank everyone that was able to come to the Pre-PA conference. We have gotten a lot of positive feedback and some great suggestions of how to make it better.  I would also like to thank all the speakers, USC PA Program, CAPA, Touro University and Western U.  I know all the PA programs in CA get many applicants but taking the time to come out to the Pre-PA conference meant a lot to me and to the eighty one people that were able to come.

Many people have asked about the next conference and a small handful have asked about having one in Northern California. So far we are not sure when or where the next one is going to be. We have a lot of ideas that we are trying to explore and put together to back the next conference that much better.

If you are interested in attending the next conference please click here (please note this does not mean you will be guaranteed a ticket to the next conference):

After going through the feedback that people have left us and some of the questions I have gotten since the conference I will try and tailor some of my next post to those areas. They include:

  • Understanding the timeline of the application cycle
  • Time management as a busy Pre-PA student
  • What counts as clinical experience
  • Life as a PA-S (while I plan on blogging through PA school, for now I will point you to other PA-S blogs)
  • And more
If you have any other topics you would like me to discuss please do not hesitate to ask/suggest.

Also here are some pictures from the first Pre-PA Conference: