The study of medicine is not easy, and PA schools want to ensure (in my opinion) that the students that are enrolled in the program have the aptitude and grit to be able to learn and practice medicine. Learning medicine has been likened to “trying to drink from a firehose”. Its a tremendous amount of information, and in PA school its in a relatively short period of time.
GPA is one marker that is “standard” across different universities and provides a quantitative way to compare applicants.
Limitations of GPA
Admissions committees recognize that GPA is just one facet of an applicant. GPA doesn’t give the entire picture of your capabilities and well-roundedness as an applicant. (e.g. written or verbal communication, bedside manner, professionalism, etc.).
This is why there is also submission of a supplementary application or letter of intent, references, as well as a PA interview (MMI style here in Canada).