PA School Admissions With All Prerequisites From A Community College

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Hi All,

I'm new to SDN and am excited to be here! I just wanted to create a post on some research that I conducted to clear up any issues/concerns that future PA students may have regarding taking all or most of their prerequisites at a community college.

First, a quick background on myself. I started out in the medical field working as a CNA for many years. Then, I made a switch to work in accounting during college thus changing my educational and career paths (due to family pressure and discouragement from the medical field). I realized now that I am meant for the medical field and I want to go back to school to become a PA. I am an older (non traditional) student (34 years old) and I am at a point where my financial resources/abilities to go back to a 4 year university for prerequisites doesn't seem feasible (Will be cheaper as I have to pay out of pocket). I work full time (during the day) and don't have as much flexibility with work. That being said, it makes more sense for me to go to a community college for prerequisite coursework (more course offerings at night). I don't currently have many science courses completed as I graduated in business. So I will need to take virtually all of my prerequisites at a community college.

So what I did was I emailed 25 PA schools (10 of which I want to attend and the rest were random) from all around the United States. I got the schools information from: PAEA Program Directory. **Side note: This is a great website to compare PA Schools as it is the equivalent to what MSAR is for medical schools**. I had basically said in my email what I just described in my background information above. But my question to the schools was: Will having taken ALL of my prerequisites AND upper level science courses at a community college have a negative impact on my application? All 25 schools responded to me. 2 schools said that they would prefer upper level science courses from a 4 year college/university but the other 23 schools responded and said (generally speaking) that it will not effect my application in the slightest. They only care if your course work comes from an accredited institution and are not concerned if the courses were from a 2 or 4 year institution. They will be looking at you application as a whole.

Now, this does not speak for ALL PA Schools but I figured 23 out 25 schools that cleared up this concern for me was significant enough to share with you all! Just my advice to anyone who is concerned with community college prerequisite course credit is to email the PA school that you are interested in attending and ask the question I asked. I hope this thread serves as encouragement/motivation to those who are in the same situation as I am in. If you're not and can attend a 4 year institution, it's always advisable to complete all prerequisite coursework there as it seems to be the standard for most healthcare related graduate programs.

I apologize if this issue/concern has been cleared up in previous threads.
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