Personal Essay

The personal essay is an opportunity to share motivation for pursuing PA including unique aspects of the candidacy, family background that influenced the path, personal characteristics that will lead to success, and any other compelling information. While almost anything can be included the essay, ultimately it should explain a candidate's reason for becoming a PA, as well as an understanding of the roll PAs play in the US health care system. 

The finished length of the essay is 5,000 characters and it can include the entire lifespan of the candidate. It should be written in a word processing program before being retyped in CASPA. Students typically spend 2-3 months writing this essay. The personal essay should be complete by winter of the application year so that it can be provided to any letter writers who request it. The PMHSC provides workshop support on writing the personal statement each February. Other campus resources include the WRT Zone, and previous English instructors. University of California-Santa Barbara has excellent resources posted on their website to help with brainstorming and structuring the essay. The PMHSC advising team will meet with students one time during the application cycle to review a final draft.