CASPA Application Process: Top 3 Actions for Pre-PA Students

PA School • May 27, 2023

The PA school application opens an exciting journey but you may feel a little intimidated at the same time. It’s not as complicated as it may seem, you just need a good game plan. Here are the first things you need to do when the CASPA application process opens.

Top 3 Things Every Pre-PA Student Should Do When CASPA Application Process Opens

The CASPA application process (Centralized Application Service for PA School) plays a pivotal role for most PA programs. It can be overwhelming for pre-PA students, but with a clear plan, you can navigate it successfully. In this article, we will discuss the top three things that every pre-PA student should do when the CASPA application process opens. Whether you’re applying in the current cycle or future cycles, these steps will help you start your application on the right foot.

Transfer Information or Start a New Application

When you log into your CASPA account for the new application cycle, the first step is to transfer any relevant information from previous applications, if applicable. CASPA will prompt you to transfer existing data or start a new application. If you are a re-applicant or have previously worked on an application, transferring information can save time and effort. Even if you haven’t applied before but started working on an application, it’s advisable to transfer that information. Note that it may take some time for the transfer process to complete, so be patient.

Pick a Program and Initiate the Supporting Materials

After logging in, CASPA will prompt you to select a program. You don’t need to pick all your programs at once, and if your desired program is not listed immediately, don’t panic. Some programs open their CASPA applications at different times. Select any program to proceed to the next step of the application process.

Request letters of recommendation (LORs)

In the supporting materials section of CASPA, you can submit your evaluators’ names and email addresses. Take this opportunity to send a polite note to your evaluators, specifying that the LOR is for your PA school application. Set a deadline for submission, as it can help expedite the process. Once you request an LOR, CASPA sends an email to your evaluator with a questionnaire to fill out and a link to upload the recommendation letter. Ensure all three letters of recommendation are submitted before submitting your application.

Request Transcripts

If your academic transcripts are complete, it’s time to request them from your colleges or universities. Official transcripts should be sent directly from your institution to CASPA; you cannot be the intermediary. Contact your academic institution to initiate the transcript request. Transcripts can be sent electronically or by mail, depending on your program’s requirements. If your coursework is not yet finished, it’s advisable to wait until your transcripts are complete before requesting and sending them to CASPA. However, consider the timing, as submitting transcripts too late in the cycle may impact your application.

Complete the Personal Information Section

Once you have requested LORs and transcripts, it’s a good time to complete the personal information section of CASPA. This section includes demographic and pipeline information, providing an overview of who is applying to PA school. While this section does not heavily influence your application, it’s essential to fill it out accurately and thoroughly. Take the time to complete this section promptly and move forward with other parts of the application.


When the CASPA application process opens, it’s crucial for pre-PA students to approach it systematically. By following these initial steps, you can set a solid foundation for your application. Transfer any relevant information, request letters of recommendation, and send your transcripts. Additionally, complete the personal information section promptly. Once these initial tasks are accomplished, you can proceed with other sections of the application with care and attention to detail. Remember, submitting a well-prepared and comprehensive application will increase your chances of securing a spot in a PA program.

Also read: Burnout Rates for the Highest Paid PA Specialties

About me:

I’m Michele Neskey, aka The Posh PA. Welcome to my YouTube channel! My mission is to provide personalized guidance, education, and motivation to build confidence and promote wellness for aspiring physician assistants and beyond.   

Having been a PA for 17+ years and helped hundreds of students gain acceptance into PA school,  I understand the admissions process. I know what they are looking for, and I can help you tailor every component to make you shine, giving you the BEST chance of getting accepted to a program.  But it doesn’t end there. I create personalized plans for PA students and practicing PAs including test-taking strategy for the PANCE, contract negotiations, and tools to overcome and prevent provider burnout. 

My goal is to get you into a physician assistant (PA) school & survive the rigorous program, help you prevent burnout as a practicing PA, and help you take care of yourself so you can be the best version of YOU for your patients, family, and most importantly YOU!