Applicant Self-assessment

If you are a current or future applicant, the questions below can serve as a guide to help you prepare your application. If you are an applicant who has been denied admission, the checklist may also be helpful for evaluating the strength of your application and thinking about how to improve your application for a future admission cycle.

Please note that admission to our program is extremely competitive. Given our high volume of applicants, we regret that we are not able to provide individualized feedback to applicants.

Please note that the self-assessment checklist is a tool designed to assist you with evaluating the competitiveness of your application. It is not a “prescription” and does not constitute any explicit or implied guarantee of acceptance to this or any other PA program. However, answering these questions as honestly as possible should provide you with some insight regarding the strength of your application.


  • Was my application in “Complete” CASPA status by the application deadline?
  • Do I have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized academic institution in the U.S. or Canada (or equivalent as described in the Entrance Requirements page)?
  • Did I submit CASPA sufficiently in advance of the application deadline?


  • Did I complete a recommended standardized test (GRE) by the application deadline?
  • Did I request letters of recommendation from at least three (3) professional references? Were these references people who know me well and can speak directly and specifically about my potential as a PA and/or my potential to successfully complete graduate-level academic work? Am I reasonably sure these people have a good impression of me?
  • Did I successfully complete the recommended preparatory coursework and include it accurately in my application?
  • Do my transcript(s) and test scores demonstrate my potential to successfully complete rigorous academic work, particularly in biosciences? If there are gaps or “red flags” in my coursework, grades, or test scores, have I addressed them in my personal statement? Have I excelled in other areas of my application?
  • Did I complete at least 500 hours of clinical experience?
  • Does my clinical, research, and/or volunteer experience show depth and breadth of interest in a career as a PA?
  • Does my experience align with PA Med goals? If there are gaps or “red flags” in my experience, have I addressed them in my personal statement?
  • Have I excelled in other areas of my application?
  • Did I complete the CASPA personal statement and the additional PBA-specific essay questions?
  • Was the length of my personal statement and additional essay within the maximum character limits? (Please note that any text after the maximum character limit is cut off by CASPA.)
  • Did my personal statement and additional essay offer the admission committee a clear sense of who I am, why I want to be a PA, and how I contribute to the mission and goals of the PBA MMSc PA program? Did I answer the essay questions clearly and concisely? Were my essays free of spelling and grammatical errors?

Program Fit

  • Am I familiar with the PBA MMSc PA program’s mission and goals? How well do I align with the program’s mission and goals? Did I clearly demonstrate this alignment in my application materials, particularly my essays?
  • Am I familiar with the physician assistant profession? Do I understand the role of a PA in different settings and specialties?  How did I demonstrate this in my application materials, particularly my essays?
  • How many of the recommended preparatory courses have I taken? How did I perform in those courses? (Please note completion of the recommended preparatory courses with strong grades helps make your application more competitive by showing the admission committee that you are able to successfully undertake this type and level of coursework.)
  • PBA complies with all applicable federal and state nondiscrimination laws and does not engage in unlawful discrimination on the basis of age, gender, disability, veteran status, race, color or national origin in any employment practice, admissions, education program or educational activity. This nondiscrimination policy covers admissions, employment and access to and treatment in University programs, services and activities. For additional information on nondiscrimination policies, contact:
    Student Accountability- Lassiter Student Center
    Palm Beach Atlantic University
  • How direct (i.e. involving sustained, hands-on interaction with patients in a medical setting) are my clinical hours? Does my clinical experience involve critical thinking? How active (versus passive) is my clinical experience? Did I clearly communicate the scope of my clinical experience in my application materials?
  • How did I demonstrate potential as a future PA leader in my application materials?