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Your PAth to Success


One of the most frequently asked questions on the PA Forum (,) by PA school applicants is, “What are my chances of getting accepted to PA school?” Many applicants will post their GPA, GRE, and medical experience wanting to know the answer to this crucial question; as if anyone could possibly tell them yes or no based on this information alone. The question should be rephrased to possibly, “Are my credentials competitive with respect to other applicants?”


Statistics on paper, are simply facts about your background. The admissions committee makes decisions based on your essay, and your interview, more than the facts on your CASPA application. Facts are cold and cerebral, whereas your essay and interview provide a chance for you to connect at the emotional level with the reader of your essay, and with your interviewers. I’ve personally reviewed many applications where the applicant looked like a superstar on paper, but either wrote a horrible essay, or failed to make that emotional connection at the interview and, therefore, failed to gain acceptance.


If you would like to know if your “stats” are competitive, look at the data below. The Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) published first-year students statistics in a publication titled; By the Numbers: Program report 31.” Here are some actual (Mean) statistics from accepted, first-year students:


Average Age 25.7
Undergraduate Science GPA 3.5
GRE Scores
Verbal 154.3
Quantitative 154.1
Analytical writing 4.1
Healthcare Experience

# Hours

Patient contact 3,138.5
Other healthcare experience 1,147.7
Other work experience 3,272.3
Community service 869.0
Shadowing 160.4
Total 4,837.3


So, are you a competitive applicant? (Remember, these are mean numbers.)

What are your chances of getting accepted? It all depends on your communication skills, likeability, and how prepared you are at your interview.

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