CASPA Application Tips

The most common application errors can be avoided by reading the Before Applying and Instructions and FAQ section of the CASPA Application Portal before submitting your application.

To avoid a significant delay in processing your application, read the links above and tips below before you start your CASPA application.

Check your PA program letter of recommendation requirements before completing the reference section.

Confirm what kind of recommendations your PA programs require — health professional, health advisor, professor, etc. A request is immediately sent to the reference once it is entered into the system.

Once a reference author begins a request, that reference cannot be removed from your application for the duration of the cycle, even if you have not yet submitted your application. A bad decision about a reference can disqualify you for consideration at PA programs for the entire cycle.

List all former names under personal information.

If you do not list all your former names, there will be a delay in matching your documents with your application. CASPA has no way of knowing to whom a transcript belongs when this happens. If you notice a delay in receipt of documents, contact CASPA immediately.

List all colleges and universities you have attended, including study abroad institutions.

CASPA requires official transcripts from all US and English-speaking Canadian colleges and universities you have attended. You need to enter transfer credits under the college at which they were originally taken, any college credits you earned as a high school student and all the courses you took in college or university — even if they seem irrelevant to PA school.

Enter all coursework completed on your application.

Applicants often only list in-progress work. You must enter all completed coursework. Don’t leave out the following classes:

  • Gym classes
  • Repeated classes
  • Failed classes
  • Ungraded labs that appear on the transcripts

If you have questions during the process, contact CASPA customer service. They can assist you with your questions about coursework and transcripts.

Expect verification time to take up to four weeks.

Your application is considered complete when you have submitted it and all transcripts, payment, and at least two letters of recommendation have been received by CASPA.

After your application is complete, it then can take up to four weeks to be verified and emailed to your designated PA programs. To ensure your application is not late, make sure you complete it at least four weeks prior to your earliest deadline.

Send college- and university-issued transcripts directly to CASPA.

CASPA is only authorized to accept transcripts directly from a registrar’s office. Transcripts sent by you, even if official and unopened, will not be accepted.

If CASPA receives a transcript indicating it was issued to, picked up by, or mailed to you, the transcript will be rejected and a new one will have to be provided. Contact your registrar to request that they send the transcripts directly to CASPA.

A transcript request form can be found in the Institutions Attended section of your CASPA application. If your school will not accept this request form, please ask that they include the word “CASPA” and your full CASPA ID number directly on the transcript when it is sent.

Follow ALL coursework instructions.

It is important to follow the instructions for entering coursework carefully, as major errors in this section can cause significant delays in processing your application. The most common errors are:

  • Listing coursework under one term, rather than dividing it into separate terms
  • Failing to convert credits from a school on a unit system
  • Listing letter grades when the transcript lists numeric grades
  • Listing transfer credit as it appears on the transcript of the school it transferred to, rather than getting a copy of the transcript where the work was originally taken

If you have questions during the process, contact CASPA customer service. They can assist you with your questions about coursework and transcripts.

Understand CASPA’s GPA calculation method prior to applying.

Read how GPAs are calculated in CASPA and why they are likely to differ from those that appear on your transcript. Take the CASPA GPA calculations into consideration prior to applying, as it can affect your eligibility to programs with specific prerequisite GPA requirements.

Regularly monitor your application’s message inbox.

All messages sent by CASPA are sent to both your email address and your application inbox. Some emails may be filtered as spam and not reach your inbox, so it is important for you to check your application inbox for important messages regarding your application.