How Many PA Schools Should I Apply To?

PA School • May 24, 2023

After working with applicants for years, I have seen some apply to 40 physician assistant programs (schools) and other apply to one. So the question is “how many PA schools Should I apply to?”

In this video I will break own the averages for you and how to leverage your statistics.

How Many PA Schools Should I Apply to?

Deciding how many programs to apply to when applying to PA school can be a daunting task. The number of applications can vary greatly among applicants, but finding the right balance is crucial for success. In this article, we will explore the ideal number of PA programs to apply to and the reasons behind it.

  1. The Applicant’s Circumstances and Location: Consideration of personal circumstances and location is essential when determining how many PA schools to apply to. Factors such as financial constraints, family responsibilities, and geographic preferences can influence the number of programs one can realistically apply to.
  2. The Opinion of an Experienced Advisor: While opinions may differ, the advice of experienced advisors can provide valuable insights. Their expertise in helping numerous students gain acceptance into PA programs can guide applicants in making informed decisions.
  3. Applying with Intention: Applying with intention means focusing on programs that genuinely interest the applicant and align with their goals and values. Instead of sending blanket applications to numerous schools, it is crucial to carefully select programs that resonate with their mission. Applying with intention enhances the quality of essays and interviews, showcasing the applicant’s genuine interest in the program.
  4. The Magic Number: Eight to Ten Programs: Based on the experience of helping hundreds of students gain acceptance, applying to eight to ten PA programs is considered an ideal number. While some applicants may apply to a higher volume of programs, the risk of overlooking specific requirements increases significantly. By limiting the number of applications, applicants can dedicate more time and effort to each program, ensuring they meet all prerequisites and present themselves as competitive candidates.
  5. Financial Considerations: Applying to a large number of programs can incur substantial costs. Each application comes with fees, and additional expenses may arise for supplemental applications, travel for interviews, or seat deposits. While financials should not be the sole determining factor in program choice, it is essential to consider the financial implications when deciding on the number of applications to submit.

So how many PA schools should I apply to?

Selecting the appropriate number of PA programs to apply to is a decision that requires careful consideration. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, applying to eight to ten programs strikes a balance between maximizing opportunities and maintaining a focused approach. By applying with intention and dedicating sufficient time and effort to each program, applicants can increase their chances of success. Ultimately, it is crucial to choose programs that align with personal interests and goals to ensure a fulfilling and successful PA school journey.

How many PA schools should I apply to? The answer lies in finding the right balance between quantity and quality, focusing on programs that truly resonate with your aspirations and investing the necessary effort to become a competitive candidate.

Also read: Patient Care vs Healthcare Experience Explained!

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!