Common Mistakes Made By Applicants

Completing the Application Late

While November 1 is the CASPA deadline, we highly recommend you complete your application early.  This includes all supporting documents and fees.

Remember, applications are considered in the order in which they are completed, not submitted. You should follow-up with anyone who is writing letters on your behalf; make sure CASPA has all the necessary items needed to complete your application.

Poorly Written Personal Statements
While there is no template on what should be written in your personal statement, applicants should use this opportunity to express their thoughts and ideas in an organized and meaningful manner. Typically, we ask applicants to identify their underlying motivation for a career as a physician assistant. Applicants are encouraged to explain any personal qualities they have which they believe will benefit them as a PA.

Not Including Specific Information in Response to Questions

The Admissions Committee carefully evaluates your extracurricular and health-related activities. Be sure to provide in-depth information about the timeframes and number of hours you work per week. Lack of information or providing inconsistent information does not present itself well on your application.

Failing to Complete the Prerequisite Courses

Prerequisite courses are required for admission. There is no policy for waiving these requirements. Therefore, you should demonstrate on your application that you will complete them no later than December 31 of the year prior to expected enrollment.

Demonstrating No Improvement from Last Year’s Application

The Admissions Committee expects improvement on your reapplication. If you were unsuccessful in your previous application, you should consider how you can improve your future application. On the Secondary Application, there is space to explain what you have done to improve your application from the previous year. Do not leave this question blank. If you have nothing to add, you should be concerned about how your reapplication will be perceived by the Admissions Committee.

Submitting False or Misleading Information On the New Application

Unfortunately, there are occasions that applicants submit materials that either misinform the Admissions Committee or omit information that was asked of them during the application process. It is the best policy to be honest and complete during the admissions process.

Applicants Who Do Not Interview Well
One of the key components of being a good PA is having the ability to communicate ideas well. Interviews are a very important part of the admissions process. Communication skills are demonstrated during the interview.

If you have difficulty answering questions or know that it is difficult for you to communicate well with strangers, you may want to practice interviewing with friends. Consider taking a public speaking course to help you overcome anxieties you may experience in an interview situation.

File Review

Applicants who have not been admitted may have their file reviewed by a member of the admissions staff to determine if there are any areas of concern that may be addressed during the reapplication process.  Requests are addressed on a first-come, first-served basis.  Only those who have a completed application on file may obtain a review. To obtain a file review, you must complete this online request form.  The Office of Admissions typically responds to file evaluation requests between February and May.

This page was last modified on January 27, 2015