florida

Accepted!: Ananya - Florida International University

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Undergraduate education: B.A. in Sociology from Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL

Overall GPA: 3.4

Science GPA: 3.3

GRE: 316 - Verbal: 156 Quantitative: 160 Writing: 4.5 

Total HCE hours: ~1500 - Worked in medical records for a physician's office in summers from 11th grade through sophomore year in college; went on medical missions trips twice

Total PCE hours: ~3000 - Worked as a medical assistant in the summers at a physician's office from junior year through graduation and then full time through my gap year, in my senior year of college I worked as a triage specialist for a clinic that served patients without insurance

Shadowing hours: 200+ - I shadowed in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Family Medicine, Critical Care and ER

Other volunteer hours: I was involved in a lot of extracurricular volunteer opportunities through clubs I was in and organizations on campus

LORs: I had one from the physician whose office I worked in from 11th grade - my gap year; one from my mentor who's an internist, one from a teacher I had when I was in medical school (for a year), and one from a PA who I shadowed

How many times did you apply?: This was my first cycle

Age: 24 (almost 25!)

Gender: Female

How many programs did you apply to? 18. (I don't necessarily recommend this - I was told to apply to more schools due to the idea that some schools might reject me right off the bat for having attended medical school previously. Then, I got nervous in November because I didn't have any interviews at that point so I applied to 6 other schools whose deadlines hadn't passed and weren't on my radar before)

How many programs did you interview with and what were the outcomes? 6; I was accepted to 2 and on the waitlist at the other 4 (also 3 of the schools were ones that I applied to earlier on in the cycle, and the other 3 were schools that I applied to later on)

Any red flags on your application? I spent a year in medical school in the Carribbean, so I'm sure that was a red flag; Also had Cs in 2 classes (but I retook them and received As)

Anything you found surprising about interviews? I was more nervous before going into the room than I was during the actual interview. I think the way the conversation evolved really gave me insight for whether I was a good match for the program. The schools I was most comfortable with were the ones in which it seemed like I was having a conversation rather than being interviewed. Also, I participated in one MMI style interview and it wasn't as bad as I was expecting it to be. I think it's best to get rid of preconceived notions and truly showcase who you are as a person in all of your interviews - In the end, I believe that's what matters the most. 

Were there any helpful resources (books, websites, apps) you used to get through prerequisite courses, the application or interview process? I followed and connected with pre-PA, PA-S, and PA-C instagrammers :) For GRE prep, I used Magoosh (and LOVED it) & for interview prep I used The 100 Interview Questions from The PA Platform (thanks Savanna!).

Any other advice for other pre-PA students? YES - STAY POSITIVE! It is so easy to get bogged down with trying to get everything done right, making sure you're competitive and then waiting to hear back about interviews and acceptances. Remind yourself of all of the great things you've accomplished, continue working hard and know that in the end, it will all pay off. 

Where can we find you? (website, instagram, etc) Instagram: @livingthatPAlife is where I am documenting my journey through school and eventually in the field. In addition, feel free to email me anytime at amahajan.pa@gmail.com and I will help as best I can. 

Up and Coming: Florida Gulf Coast University

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Location:  Fort Myers, FL

Number of students: 20

Application Cycle:  CASPA, this year was open January-March 1, but this may change once the school is accredited with the FGCU Graduate School application

Interview dates: Late winter and spring 

Start date: August 2017 (if approved)

Length of Program: 27 months 

Public/Private: Public (significantly cheaper tuition for Florida residents)

PCE/HCE: Minimum 250 hours PCE - most competitive if requiring certification and paid 

GPA: Minimum 3.0 for last 60 credits of Bachelor's degree and minimum 3.0 for Biology/Chemistry/Physics

Shadowing: 20 hours strongly encouraged 

The Good Stuff:

  • Minimum of a C in prerequisites
  • Prerequisites must be done within 7 years
  • GRE required
  • Required letter of recommendation from a PA 
  • No out of state rotations allowed - all will be in Florida

Program Link: Florida Gulf Coast University PA Program Website

For the most up to date information on PA programs in one place, check out The Applicant’s Manual of Physician Assistant Programs. (Affiliate link)


Program Spotlight: Florida International University Herbert Werthelm College of Medicine

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Location: Miami, FL

Number of students: 45

Application Cycle:  CASPA and supplemental June - January; for early consideration, submit by October 7th 

Interview dates: One week in November and one week in February

Start date:  August

Length of Program:  27 months

Public/Private: Public

HCE:  Not required, but strongly recommended

GPA: Minimum last 60 hrs, overall and science GPA of 3.0

Shadowing: Highly recommended, and "extra points" given if greater than 800 shadowing hours

The Good Stuff:

  • Pre-entrance exam to determine whether or not you receive an interview
  • GRE required
  • Open houses are available to learn more about the program 
  • Goal of 50% students from Florida (tuition is less for in-state students since it is a public program)

Program Link: Florida International University PA Program Website


For the most up to date information on PA programs in one place, check out The Applicant’s Manual of Physician Assistant Programs. (Affiliate link)


Up and Coming: Florida State University

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Location:  Tallahassee, Florida

Number of students:  40 

Application Cycle:  CASPA by October 1st, and a supplemental application

Interview dates:   For 2017, starting January

Start date: Pending start date in August 2017 (will be evaluated for provisional status in March 2017)

Length of Program:  27 months

Public/Private: Public (In-state tuition for Florida residents)

HCE:  Minimum 500 hours of direct patient care (scribe does not count)

GPA:   Minimum overall of 3.0 and minimum math/science of 3.0

Shadowing:  No specific requirement

The Good Stuff:

  • GPA exception - If you have completed a graduate program with at least 30 hours and your graduate GPA is higher than your undergraduate GPA, you can write to ask for consideration of your graduate GPA.  
  • GRE required in the last 3 years.  No listed minimum
  • HCE exception - If you do not have the required 500 hours, you can take a course at FSU called "Introduction to the PA Profession" that waives this requirement.  They would still like for you to have some patient experience.  
  • Preference is given to Florida residents, South Georgia and South Alabama residents of counties with borders on the Florida line, and veterans

Program Link:  Florida State University PA Program Website


For the most up to date information on PA programs in one place, check out The Applicant’s Manual of Physician Assistant Programs. (Affiliate link)


Up and Coming: South University (West Palm Beach)

Location:  West Palm Beach, FL

Number of students: Planning to accept 50 students

Application Cycle: April - November 1st through CASPA

Interview dates: June - unknown due to this being the first class.  Rolling admissions, so likely until class is full. 

Start date: Expected to start first class January 2017

Length of Program: 27 months

Public/Private: Private

HCE: Recommended, but no specific requirement

GPA: Overall >3.0, BCP science >3.0, all prerequisites with grade of C or better

Shadowing: No specific requirement

The Good Stuff:

  • Program is seeking accreditation this year for Provisional status
  • GRE is required, with preference to scores >50th percentile
  • Biochem OR organic chem
  • Courses from 4-yr college or university are given preference
  • Labs recommended, but not required, for General Biology courses
  • On a quarter system instead of semesters
  • Cannot have more than 2 outstanding prereqs at time of application to be considered
  • "Behavioral interviews" - 2 general interviews (either 1-on-1 or 2-on-1), and 1 with the program director

Program Link: South University (West Palm Beach) PA Program Website


For the most up to date information on PA programs in one place, check out The Applicant’s Manual of Physician Assistant Programs. (Affiliate link)


Program Spotlight: Barry University

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Location:  3 campuses - Miami (52 students), St. Petersburg (24 students), St. Croix (24 students)

Application Cycle:  Mid-April to October 15th recommended (must receive complete application from CASPA by December 1st) - rolling admissions

Interview dates:  September - March

Start date:  Fall

Length of Program:  28 months

Public/Private:  Private

HCE:  No set requirement, but recommended 1000 hrs

GPA:  Overall and science GPA greater than 3.0

Shadowing:  Strongly recommended, and "looked upon favorably"

The Good Stuff:

  • Medical Spanish is part of the curriculum
  • Organic Chemistry OR Biochemistry can be taken 
  • No supplemental application
  • No cadaver lab, but plastic models are used
  • 4 students are chosen at both the St. Petersburg location and USVI campus to receive a 20% tuition discount (St. Croix students must agree to work in the US Virgin Islands for 2 years)
  • One of our Pre-PA coaches, Samantha, attended Barry University. Schedule a mock interview with her now! 

Program Link:  Barry University PA Program


For the most up to date information on PA programs in one place, check out The Applicant’s Manual of Physician Assistant Programs. (Affiliate link)


Program Spotlight: South University (Tampa)

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Location:  Tampa, FL

Number of students:  24 (rumors of this increasing for 2016 cycle)

Application Cycle:  April 1st - August 1st through CASPA

Interview dates:  July-November

Start date:  January

Length of Program:  27 months

Public/Private: Private

HCE:  Recommended, but no specific requirement

GPA:  Minimum 2.8 overall; recommended science GPA of 3.0

Shadowing:  Recommended, but no specific requirement

The Good Stuff:

  • Quarter system
  • Working is not recommended, but allowed up to 15 hours during the didactic year
  • Interview consists of 3 individual interviews, Behavioral style interviews, 10 people per interview session

Program Link:  South University - Tampa PA Program


For the most up to date information on PA programs in one place, check out The Applicant’s Manual of Physician Assistant Programs. (Affiliate link)