Over the years, I’ve helped many students get accepted into Physician Assistant (PA) Programs across the country. To apply to PA programs, you will use the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). To help you send in an application that effectively presents your qualifications, I’m including five tips below to ensure that you, too, will be successful in applying:
1. Review the CASPA Application BEFORE you apply as part of your preparation.
In order to strategize, it’s helpful to review all sections of the application so that you can make careful decisions about how you will approach each one and how you will set yourself apart as an applicant. Create a to-do list with a timeline that is realistic for your schedule.
2. After identifying the programs that you want to apply to, check each individual program’s requirements because they vary.
Before you begin taking the prerequisite coursework, double check the websites for the schools where you are interested in applying. If you have already taken your coursework, confirm that you have met these requirements before submitting your application.
3. Make sure your recommenders meet the recommender requirements for the schools you are applying to and request the letters of recommendation early.
Different schools will require different combinations of letters. For example, if a program requires a letter from a PA on your behalf, do not apply to that school if you can’t find a PA to write a letter for you. It’s worth taking the time to check what the letter requirements are because they could limit the number of schools you apply to.
4. Order a copy of your transcript and review before you order copies to be mailed to each program.
It’s important to review a copy of your transcript for errors. They happen. Give yourself enough time to correct any errors, before you need to order copies to submit to CASPA. The transcripts should be mailed four weeks before your deadline because it takes that same length of time for your application to be processed before it can be mailed to each individual program.
5. Begin working on your application essays early.
Since these essays represent you, take the time to make sure they offer a true reflection of your character. Since it can seem overwhelming to decide what details to include or what to highlight about your background, working with a professional editor like me and my colleagues at Accepted can give you a significant advantage. I want my clients to be excited to submit their applications because they are so proud of the essays that they have written.
Check out my next post, 5 More Tips to Help You Become a Physician Assistant.
Be thoughtful with your essays and words and carefully explain your background and reasons for applying. For assistance in these areas, contact me or my colleagues at Accepted.Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs. Want Alicia to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!