If you are applying to PA school, you know that writing a strong personal statement is not enough.
You also need to craft compelling supplemental essays that showcase your fit for each program and highlight your unique strengths and experiences.
Supplemental essays are extra questions asked by individual PA programs to find out more about you as a candidate. They vary from school to school, but they usually focus on topics such as why you want to attend their program, how you deal with diversity and challenges, and what are some of the issues facing PAs in the future.
Writing supplemental essays can be daunting, but they are also a great opportunity to stand out from the crowd and demonstrate your interest and suitability for each program.
In this blog post, I will share 50 PA school supplemental essay prompts that you can use as inspiration for your own essays. Need strategies to answer these prompts? I have included a link at the end.
50 PA School Supplemental Essay Prompts
- Why our program? Why do you want to attend California Baptist University? (Describe in 250 words or less)
- Variation - Why have you chosen to specifically apply to the Northwestern PA Program? (600 words)
- How do your values and experience make you a good fit for KGI?
- Please describe, in your own words, what qualities and experiences you possess that would make you a unique candidate for the OSU-CHS PA Program.
- You may use the following space to address any issues you would like the admissions committee to know about. This could include time-lapse in higher education, academic issues, or clinical experience issues. If you are a reapplicant, what have you done to improve your application?
- How has your healthcare experience and/or community service activities influenced your decision to become a physician assistant?
- How has your approach to your academic coursework prepared you to be a successful PA student?
- Describe your greatest strength and your greatest weakness as it pertains to becoming a PA student and a graduate PA.
- Describe your exposure to PAs in clinical practice.
- Describe a time when you misjudged someone and what you learned from that experience.
- Please write a concise narrative stating your reason(s) for wanting to attend the Emory PA Program. This is your opportunity to tell the Admissions committee why you deserve serious consideration for a place in the next class. This should NOT be a duplication of your CASPA narrative. Do not cut and paste your CASPA narrative. Specifically, tell us:
- How have your activities and life choices prepared you to become an Emory PA?
- What do you bring to the Emory PA Program that will help the Program meet its mission?
- What does the Emory PA Program offer you?
- The M.S. in PA Studies program requires each student to select an area for scholarly concentration. The areas include Community Health, Health Services and Policy Research, Clinical Research, and Medical Education. Which scholarly area do you envision selecting and why?
- Please state how you plan on fulfilling the Mission of the Program. (600 words)
- Please provide example(s) from your prior experience that demonstrate your readiness to work with underserved communities and people different from yourself when you become a PA. (600 words)
- Describe the details of your patient care experience. (500 character limit including spaces)
- Discuss the three most important priorities in your life, and how they apply to your interest in our PA program. (500 character limit including spaces)
- What do you expect to contribute to this University and community? (500 character limit)
- Choose one of the following topics to write about (500 character limit including spaces): a) Tell us about a person from history or present day who has influenced your life and how. b) Tell us about a talent or interest you have outside of medicine. c) Tell us about a book you read in the last year that had a big impact on you, and why. d) Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Please discuss any deficiencies in your application that have not already been addressed. (300 characters)
- Variation - Do you have any weakness in your application?
- Please consider submitting an optional diversity statement that specifically addresses how, if admitted to the Physician Assistant Practice Program, your admission would contribute to the diversity of the Rosalind Franklin University Community.
- Create a title for yourself placing the title in quotation marks. What best captures your identity - Who you are/What you are - and explain your choice in 500 characters or less.
- Please describe your interpretation of what integrative medicine means and why you are interested in attending SCU.
- Noting the missions and objectives of the PA profession and PCOM, please describe your personal characteristics that demonstrate your interest in the field. Include an example of the event in which your actions directly influences the life of another person and relate this to your goal of becoming a Physician Assistant.
- In what way(s) will you contribute to the mission of the program?
- What connections and/or interests do you have in Arizona?
- Have you participated in research that resulted in publication of abstracts or manuscripts in the peer-reviewed literature? OR Have you presented your research (alone or in collaboration with others) at the state, national or international levels? If yes, please describe below.
- Have you participated in significant athletic or artistic activities after completing high school? (the activity may have begun prior to high school graduation) If yes, please describe below.
- What attracts you to the University of South Alabama Physician Assistant Studies Program?
- How did you hear about the program?
- Mercer University’s mission is to teach, to learn, to create, to discover, to inspire, to empower, and to serve. Please write an essay demonstrating your readiness to participate in this mission. (750-word maximum)
- Tell us how your values and experience make you a good fit for MEDEX
- Why is now the right time to apply to MEDEX?
- What are the biggest challenges you face in returning to school, and what is your approach to managing these challenges?
- What strengths, skills, and perspectives do you bring to the classroom and to healthcare?
- Do you believe your academic history accurately reflects your academic ability to successfully complete PA school? Please explain. (1000 words)
- Please describe, in your own words, what qualities and experiences you possess that would make you a unique candidate for the OSU-CHS PA Program?(2500 characters)
- Describe your experience working with members of underserved communities, or describe your approach to working with people who are different than you. Please include a specific example. Please answer only one of these two questions.
- Of the PA programs you have decided to apply to, why have you chosen Temple University? (1000 characters)
- Please describe yourself in one sentence. (250 character limit)
- Please describe what you believe sets you apart from other applicants for our program? (300 character limit)
- Describe a non-academic challenge you have experienced and what you learned from that. (1000 character limit)
- Describe your understanding of Community Health Centers (CHCs) and how being a PA in a CHC setting fulfills your career aspirations.
- Describe how your identity(s), personal experiences, and/or professional experiences have prepared you to contribute to the diversity of the Central Coast PA (CCPA) classroom and the PA profession.
- Describe a situation where you significantly influenced or led others, helped resolve a dispute, or contributed to a group’s goals. (For example: What was your role? What responsibilities did you assume? Did you encounter any obstacles? If so, how did you overcome them? What did you learn? Would you do anything differently?)
- Describe a community or organization you have contributed to. (For example: How long have you been involved with this group and why did you choose to get involved? How did you serve and/or contribute? How has your involvement helped make the community better?)
- Describe an interpersonal interaction where you were involved or witness to an act where an individual or group was being treated unfairly or discriminated against. (For example: What happened? How did you respond or not respond? Do you wish you would have responded differently? What did you learn from this experience?)
- Describe a situation where you were conflicted on what action to take or how to remedy a problem. (For example: What happened? What did you do or not do? Did you rectify this situation? What did you learn?)
- Describe a personal goal that you have completed and the resources you used to complete it. (For example: How did this goal originate? What plan did you set to achieve this goal? Did you ask for help or did anyone support you during this journey? What did you learn about yourself in completing this goal? How did achieving this goal impact you?)
- Describe a non-academic interest where you have learned a skill or gained new knowledge. (For example: How long have you been involved in this special interest? What knowledge have you developed? How has it expanded your ability to try new things or think differently?)
- In addition to academic and professional health background experiences, the P.A. Program is interested in life experiences which have been formative to your growth as a person and in definition of life goals. Please use the space below to describe any experience of personal significance to you. This essay is required. (limit 2500 characters)
- Describe the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in medicine.
Bonus: Covid Supplemental Essay Prompt
Please describe how COVID-19 has impacted your pathway to becoming a Physician Assistant. The questions below will help you get started, but do not limit your responses to only these considerations. (2500 character limit)
- Academic: Did your school move to an online-only curriculum? Were you able to interact with your professors? Did you have to leave an academic program stateside or abroad? Did your school require you to move to the Pass/Fail grading system? Did your original GRE exam get canceled or delayed? Were there Other academic barriers?
- Professional: Did you hold a job? Did you have to go out and seek new job opportunities? Did you lose a job? Were there other financial or professional barriers that you faced?
- Personal: Did you have to move out of a house or dorm? Did you have to cancel travel plans? Did you modify your planned experiences related to healthcare or volunteer opportunities? Did you seek out volunteer opportunities that arose from the crisis?
Recommended reading: How to Write Your CASPA COVID-19 Optional Essay
Looking for strategies to answer these supplemental essay prompts?
Recommended Reading: Are you looking for tips on how to write effective and engaging supplemental essay responses that will impress the admissions committees? Watch - Webinar Replay: The Ultimate Guide to PA School Supplemental Essays