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Low (<3.0 GPA) to vet school?

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by futureapppsy2, May 5, 2012.

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  1. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Ed Psych PhD student Moderator Gold Donor

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    One of my good friends graduated from a reputable state u (with a vet school, if it matters) a year ago with a 2.75 GPA after 5 years. She had some MAJOR family issues her junior year (death of an immediate family member :() that really hurt her GPA that year, but her grades rebounded nicely after that. She has an interest in large animal vet med and has tons of vet and animal experience (both large and small animal but primarily large animal) both during and after college.She has a definite passion for and knowledge of vet med in general and large animal vet med in particular that really shines through.

    She wants to go a masters program to compensate for her low GPA and prove that she can do the work in vet school but found when she applied last year that most graduate programs have a pre-requisite of a 3.0 GPA to even be considered (I noticed this seemed to be standard general cut off when applying for grad programs myself). I know there are Special Masters Programs specifically designed to give pre-med with low GPAs a chance to "prove themselves." Does anything similar exist for vet school? Any other advice or BTDT stories?

    Thanks. :)
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  2. heylodeb

    heylodeb UC Davis c/o 2015 :)

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    I'd recommend taking some more classes as a post graduate to boost the GPA. They should be upperdivision bio classes to prove she has what it takes and she should ace them! :)
  3. Fly Racing

    Fly Racing

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    I would retake the lowest grades. A couple of D's or below will trash an otherwise good academic career. I would retake enough to get above a 3.0 (required min. for many schools OOS) then do grad school. She'll likely have to do that any ways to get into a grad program. Definetly retake any prereq courses C or below (C-'s arent considered "passing" by most vet school standards and will be an automatic rejection). But also remember that often the undergrad GPA is one of the first things looked at so, if she doesnt make the first cut, a 4 point in grad work might not even be seen. They might not even go to effort of looking further (calculating last 45, ect).
  4. Fly Racing

    Fly Racing

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    Purdue (or it might by another Indiana school) has a pre-professional sciences 2 semester masters program. It is intended for those that have already cometely all the requirements of professional schools and a degree, but didn't get in (so it's a one year program of upper division science to improve application during one application cycle). It still has requirements to get into the program, so if I were her, I would get registered for the courses she should retake asap! I think when you are that low on grades you need to prove you can perform on that level before expecting to be given a chance as proving your self on harder stuff (grad work). It's not the same as saying, well, I got a C in biology as a freshman, but I've gotten A's and only a single B in upper division biologies. That would mean the C was the outlier. On the other hand, 5 years with a pretty low GPA with a couple of upper division A's tacked on at the end makes the A's the outliers. Sad but true. So I would start with repairing the current GPA, then moving on to proving one's self attar next level. She could do a lot of repairing and probably some extra upper division biology courses in the next year and then apply. The info about losing a family member would go in the explanation section.
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  5. jmo1012

    jmo1012 SGU (NCSU) c/o 2015!

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    this is probably kind of controversial, but...

    both Ross and St. George's have a bit of a reputation for accepting lower GPA students. That being said, these lower GPA students aren't any better or worse than other DVM students I've met, and not all of the students at these schools applied with low GPAs or even mediocre backgrounds. That being said, I'm not sure how either school would look at a GPA that low for the DVM program, but they both have "foundations" programs that they are building. this is a pre-DVM but post-pre req semester that students do giving them a "foundation" to their first term classes. they are required to maintain a certain GPA during this term and take a qualifying exam at the end for the DVM program, but it is another step in the right direction. i know quite a few people who have been in the program who have LOVED it. it's pretty solid one-on-few time and because the DVM professors teach some of the classes, the basic A and P stuff is geared directly at being DVM related.

    anyhow, may or may not be worth looking into. just know it's an option. your best bet with questions about the DVM and foundations programs at both schools is to talk to someone in admissions :)
  6. LetItSnow

    LetItSnow UMN CVM Gold Donor

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    In general, no, there aren't programs like what you asked about. 2.75 is going to be awfully rough to get into vet school. I hate to say things like 'impossible', but ... that's pretty low.

    Two ways to deal with it: The first is to be selective about schools based on how they look at your academics. Some schools only look at pre-reqs, or recent GPA, or both, instead of a cumulative GPA. Depending on how she finished, that might help. The second way to deal with it is go back to school, put in some semesters of high-quality work, and then take option one (look at schools that weigh pre-reqs and recent GPA more highly).

    Best of luck.....
  7. bipolarbear123

    bipolarbear123

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    Just FYI, the minimum GPA requirement for Western U CVM is 2.75. I'm not sure what the chances of being accepted with that GPA are, but at least they'll accept your application.
  8. Cypress

    Cypress

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    A low GPA is not the end of the road - I have ~3.00 GPA and just got accepted - my GPA is low because I'm a solid B student with TONS of credits under my belt - took me 3 rounds (2 really solid tries) to get in - and I made changes every year to try and improve. My most recent change was to obtain as Masters in Biology with a pre professional focus

    http://biology.iupui.edu/sites/biology.iupui.edu/files/binder1.pdf

    It was a hell of a program but I am more prepared than I ever thought I could be for vet school. They have a minimum GPA of 3.0 but if you read through the information they do accept on a conditional basis - so that could be an option. Most of the students in the program were pre med or pre dental - but there were several that were pre vet - of the 5 I know about - 4 of us got in this year - so the program really helps boost your application. (And just as a side note - we were accepted to 4 different schools so its not just a program that helps people transition to Purdue but helped us get in across the board, Colorado, WI, Auburn, and Purdue)

    I would also recommend your friend reach out to the schools they want to apply to and get feedback about her stats. That was one of the best things I did - I had to push a little to get some more specific feedback that was more than the general "get better grades". It was kind of hard to hear their feedback and not take it personally but I did my best to take what they said and make a plan to prove them wrong.

    I'm a firm believer that if this is what someone wants and they are willing to push through the rejections and keep working on improving their application by working their a** off, then you will get in. It only take ONE yes - I applied to 7 schools this year and only got one interview - and one acceptance. You have to be self critical and willing to admit where your weaknesses are, but also confident in your strengths - there are plenty of us out there with lower GPAs that made it happen.

    Tell your friend GOOD LUCK!!!
  9. Dsmoody23

    Dsmoody23

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    Great post, and much respect for gutting it out.

    It's good to hear the stories from folks who weren't valedictorian of their entire lives. Because, in the end, I don't think it makes much of a difference one way or the other.
  10. SnowyRox

    SnowyRox Pennwe c/o 2016

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    I would recommend doing a post-bac instead of a master's program. 5 years of credits adding up to <3.0 is going to be tough to fix. She's going to need several semesters of solid A grades to bump up her gpa any significant amount.

    What state is she a resident of? If she's going to have to delay applying to up her gpa, then she ought to establish residency somewhere that accepts low gpa students. I know Louisiana accepts a ridiculously high % of in-state applicants, but they are pretty focused on gpa.

    There's no shame in going to the Caribbean, and the transition is easier now that Ross (and SGU?) is accredited by the AVMA. I would be wary of going there if I wanted to do some tough specialty but wouldn't hesitate for general practice. She should look into the UK and Australia/New Zealand too. Those programs have a 5 year option, which might be easier for her.

    What is her pre-req gpa? Last 45 hours? Those are important.
  11. abbercadaver

    abbercadaver LSU MMXVI

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    I got into LSU with a 3.45 cumulative GPA and an average GRE score. LSU is really really good at helping you out on the GPA front, though. If you have taken an upper level science and have gotten an A in it, they factor that into your required course GPA. It can only help you. That boosted me up to like a 3.65. Which actually made me a little competitive.

    However, in the last 7 application cycles, the lowest required course GPA from someone who matriculated was 3.31

    70% of the class is IS this year, and last year about 45% of the qualified IS applicants were accepted. However, for the class of 2012, it was only 35% of qualified IS applicants who were accepted. Take those numbers how you want. :)

    But if she can get her cumulative GPA up to about a 3.3 by taking other classes, I'd say she'd be just as competitive wherever she has IS status. But depending on how everything is calculated, she may be closer than she may think.
  12. Audrey007

    Audrey007 VMRCVM C/O 2016

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    My friend has a 3.3 GPA, A few of the schools wouldn't even look at her with that GPA and few other schools looked at her but didn't give her interviews because of her GPA....The programs are so so competitive, that GPA is a Big Deal. There are tons of students who apply with 4.0s who never had to retake anything. Your friend would have to retake all those classes they didn't do well in, then do something in the animal realm that would wow the schools.
  13. nyanko

    nyanko all i do is win Gold Donor

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    Whatup I had a 3.12 cumulative and a 2.99 required courses GPA when I got in. It caaan be done!
  14. abbercadaver

    abbercadaver LSU MMXVI

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    :thumbup: This. But I'm sure you had to work HARD to finally get in! Lots more hours? Retaking several of your classes? What'd you do so she can try to do similarly? :)
  15. nyanko

    nyanko all i do is win Gold Donor

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    I didn't retake any courses or really improve my GPA much - I did a thesis-based Masters between my first application (interviewed but not accepted) and my second (accepted) because my interest is in research - so I guess that would count as getting more experience in my area of interest more than it would for grades.

    I also had a very high GRE score, which helped me get an interview the first time because my IS (UC Davis) actually weights the GRE and GPA equally in the "academic" portion of the application. So I'd say the most important thing is to figure out what schools are realistic for you based on things you can change (so like, for me a school that averages retakes of courses and doesn't put much emphasis on the GRE was probably not realistic, while that might play to other people's strengths..) and apply to those.
  16. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Ed Psych PhD student Moderator Gold Donor

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    Bumping this up because I was talking to her recently and so this is back on my mind.

    First of all, thanks for the advice, though it seems grim. :( The advice to take post-bacc classes to raise her GPA makes sense--it's a question of how doable it would be to raise a 2.75 GPA after five years of credit by .25 or more. It seems like it would be a very uphill battle to me, but probably a necessary one.

    She's a Utah resident, so I guess the new DVM program at USU would probably be her best bet? She has family/personal ties to CO and CA as well, but I don't know how much they would take that into consideration, if at all.

    Thanks again.
  17. bunnity

    bunnity Penn 2014

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    If you have her google "GPA calculators" she can get an idea of how many classes she'd need to take to change the GPA.
  18. nyanko

    nyanko all i do is win Gold Donor

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    To be honest, I think her cumulative GPA is pretty much tanked at this point. Whether she raises it from 2.75 to 3.0 is probably not going to make that much of a difference for her in the long run (exception of schools that have an absolute minimum of 3.0...but I personally would be reluctant to apply to those with the absolute minimum anyway).

    She does need to get better grades in upper division classes - some schools will more heavily weight the last 45 credit hour GPA or at least take it into account, but she should really focus on making her application shine in other ways. The GRE is one that can balance a poor GPA. Really stellar experience and letters of recommendation are another. I'd recommend not paying any more attention to the "cumulative" GPA. It is what it is, and it is low. She needs to do the best she can now in all aspects and (sorry to say) she needs to have a backup plan in case it doesn't work out.
  19. Maschka1

    Maschka1 CSU c/o 2017

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    I personally have nearly 200 undergraduate credits. Let me say, pulling my GPA up is hard. Even with my last 60 credits = 4.0 GPA, I am still just barely hitting a 3.0. Every school calculates it differently, too. Some will still calculate both the 1st time and the retake into your GPA, so unless its less then a C in a pre-req course, your friend is better off taking more upper division science classes, then re-taking old courses (IMO). Also some schools weigh the last 45 or last 60 credits more heavily. Others, (I think Missouri) will let you drop all courses that are 6 years old or older (of course this means retaking pre-req if they fall in that time frame). additionally, schools like Wisconsin claim they ONLY look at your GPA up to your first bachelors degree, so in that case Nothing else would count. Every school is a little different, your friend should just sift through the websites of the ones she likes and figure out what they require.

    Also, there are all sorts of 1 year, non-thesis based masters programs, and even though the say you need a 3.0 GPA, many will take students and place them on probation. (Meaning you get kicked out if you fall below a 3.0)

    So there is hope...
  20. prevetdreamer

    prevetdreamer ... c/o 2018?...

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    Go Utah! I'm there for my undergrad and applying to the vet school this fall. USU works with the tier system just like Washington State, so the best thing that she can do to get her grades looked at in a decent light would be to get the best GRE score she can. If she can get out of that lowest tier with a good GRE, then all the other stuff on her application will be able to really shine.

    here's a link to the info from WSU's site, and USU is doing the same thing:
    http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/prospectiveStudents/AdmissionProcedure.aspx
  21. LetItSnow

    LetItSnow UMN CVM Gold Donor

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    I don't think it's "grim" so much as .... she just needs to recognize that her past performance - however reasonably explained - will require hard work to correct, and that she actually has to do the work, not just fall back on having a good reason. Admissions people like to gamble as little as possible, so she needs to give them something they can hang their hat on and say "yup - she can do great, it was just those tragic circumstances."

    Anyway, look at it this way. Let's say (hypothetically) she spends the next couple years and takes 12 classes and gets straight A's. Then let's say she does pretty well on the GRE.

    If she were to apply at my school, she'd bounce right through the academic hurdle (the first stopping point), because she'd get lots of points out of the GRE, lots out of her most-recent-GPA (4.0), and a mixed bag on the pre-req GPA. No sweat. Raising her cumulative GPA isn't really the way to go because it's so hard to do - she needs to look at schools that use other GPAs alongside the cumulative (or just plain don't look at a cumulative).

    If I can fail out of college twice, and turn in an institutional GPA of 0.0 on one transcript, then damn near anyone can recover from a bump in their academic road and get into vet school if they just take the long view and put in the time.
  22. fromthebox

    fromthebox SGU DVM/MPH 2017

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    I hate to be a downer on the GRE but I spent a lot of time looking at which schools would rank GRE equally with GPA etc as a way to help me out. I did really well on the GRE, and several schools that supposedly liked to see high GREs ignored me both times.
    and I have an above 3 GPA with 4.0s in post bacc work.

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