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The **NEW & IMPROVED** official low gpa thread...

Discussion in 'Postbaccalaureate Programs' started by junebuguf, 05.28.04.

  1. junebuguf

    junebuguf Yo ***...Pimp My AMCAS Moderator Emeritus

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    It depends on whether you've already exhausted all of the undergrad courses. It would seem futile to retake gen bio if you've already taken micro, genetics and molecular bio. Unless some university can offer at least 8 undergrad upper level classes you havent taken yet, I would consider graduate programs. Particularly special masters programs.
  2. liverotcod

    liverotcod Lieutenant Crunch

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    With a 2.6 GPA, will kelly9ac be a candidate for special masters programs? It seems as though they mostly use 3.0 as a cutoff. Perhaps there is an exception for certain MCAT or GRE performances.
  3. Phil Anthropist

    Phil Anthropist SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    My understanding is that most of the SMPs do have a 3.0 cumulative gpa cut-off and in some cases, a science gpa cut-off of 3.0 (Georgetown). I know at least one SDNer went through BU's program w/ a sub 3.0, but he did have an exceptional MCAT score.

    But even if kelly9ac can't get into a real special masters program (I define this as a one-year masters program w/ the majority of classes taken with med students), there's a lot of other pre-professional masters (1-2 years) and certificate programs (preaching to the choir here ;) ) that seem pretty solid and aren't as strict about cut-offs.

    I'm taking the GRE next month and sending out apps. When I get those out of the way, I'll try and get around to posting a list I made of some of the pre-professional enrichment programs out there.
  4. Lindyhopper

    Lindyhopper Senior Member

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    It seems to me that a good way to go for low GPAers is to go to a one year certificate at an osteopatic school such as LECOM or PCOM. Most schools look favorably on people in their own prep program. A solid showing will probably get you into a DO program the next calendar year. (And leave one well prepared for the first year.) Of course, one may also apply to other pograms including allopathic.
    I'm kind of making the not necessarily true assumption that many low GPA applicants might be best served by focusing on DO programs.
  5. Smittyballz

    Smittyballz Member

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    Hello,
    I am currently graduating from Bridgewater State College with a 3.8 gpa, but I was wondering if when applying to post bac or medical school in general when they ask for all of your transcripts if they will take all of the classes that I took and then recalculate my gpa. When I transfer in my classes for undergrad they dont count into my gpa. So my question is will they count when i am applying to med school cause I did really bad at the first school I attended. I was also wondering if because I attended a state school that it will refect my chances of getting into med school. I am applying now to a post bac program because i dont have any of the science classes that i need Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. ThanksSo what about transferred credits taken at 2 year school during the summer what year do they count for, and also am I at a huge disadvantage if i failed classes in my freshman and sophmore years. I have almost all a's now so I am doing better, but I am worried that no matter how good I do on the post bacc they might take one look at my 1.7 gpa throughout my first 2 years of school and say no way. Since I transferred they only took my grades and didnt count them in my new gpa. I tried to add up all of my grades and came up with a 3.0 including every class ive ever taken. Also if you took a class that you did bad in over does that erase that class from your gpa. So am I screwed???
  6. Sundarban1

    Sundarban1 Devil in disguise

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    All of your undergraduate grades count, regardless of whether you transferred or not. Your summer school grades count also. If you have omitted these grades, your GPA is incorrectly calculated, and yes, medical schools will ask and calculate all undergraduate school and summer school credits completed.
  7. LorinE

    LorinE Member

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    Do any of us have a chance at getting into one of the better schools? I am interested in Mt. Sinai... Any of you apply there or planning on applying there?
  8. goldbeda

    goldbeda Junior Member

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    finished applying for post bacc
    starting gpa 3.07, bs. computer engineering technology

    no bio or chem takin yet

    should i bother retaking physics, i got B in physics 1 but a C in physics 2 , A's in both the labs though

    what you guys think

    i hope i get in... then i was thinking rather then trying for medical school right after trying to get my masters in biomedical sciences with a linkage what you guys think about that plan? thanks

    btw i'm trying to go osteo
  9. Smittyballz

    Smittyballz Member

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    Hello,
    I am currently graduating from Bridgewater State College with a 3.8 gpa, but I was wondering if when applying to post bac or medical school in general when they ask for all of your transcripts if they will take all of the classes that I took and then recalculate my gpa. When I transfer in my classes for undergrad they dont count into my gpa. So my question is will they count when i am applying to med school cause I did really bad at the first school I attended. I was also wondering if because I attended a state school that it will refect my chances of getting into med school. I am applying now to a post bac program because i dont have any of the science classes that i need Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. ThanksSo what about transferred credits taken at 2 year school during the summer what year do they count for, and also am I at a huge disadvantage if i failed classes in my freshman and sophmore years. I have almost all a's now so I am doing better, but I am worried that no matter how good I do on the post bacc they might take one look at my 1.7 gpa throughout my first 2 years of school and say no way. Since I transferred they only took my grades and didnt count them in my new gpa. I tried to add up all of my grades and came up with a 3.0 including every class ive ever taken. Also if you took a class that you did bad in over does that erase that class from your gpa.
    Ok now that i know that they will look at all of my grades are my chances nill even if i get into apost bac program and get all a's because i got 2 f's and a lot of d's but am graduating from a differnent school with a 3.8 gpa undergrad bac in psych. PLEASE HELP ME ANY ADVICE
  10. goldbeda

    goldbeda Junior Member

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    do a post bacc like me or a masters, try and do well on the mcat and pray


    there is always the chance that you can get in, its just harder

    they take all your grades to calculate your gpa from every school you've gone too... you really don't have a 3.8 gpa
  11. terrapin82

    terrapin82 New Member

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    Hi, here's my story I'm not exactly a "traditional" student, I did the army thing for a couple of years after high school, when I got out I enrolled in college. I'm currently a senior at UMD majoring in Biological Sciences with an overall gpa of 2.9 and a science gpa of around 2.45, the few A's that I'm have received have been outside of my major, ie. philosophy and history courses. I started out thinking I was going to be doing medicene. I started out my freshman semester in college with a 3.5 gpa, and then that's when things started going downhill. My grades started slipping due to a combination of me losing focus, health issues, and stress brought on taking care of an ill parent. So yeah a couple of D's in genetics and cell bio and general chemistry 2, a F in organic chemistry, a C in an evolution class and calculus 2. In the past couple of semesters things have been going better as I'm now a much more mature person but time is running out as I'm going to be graduating after this semester.


    The only thing I've been hearing from the premed advisors at my school is that I should forget about medicene and they've advised me not to waste time on the MCAT. Also that most med schools have a cutoff for gpa at 3.5 and that I should of changed majors a long time ago which is pretty discouraging. I'm not sure are they telling me the whole truth or not since my school aims for younger more "traditional" premed students.


    My question is if I still want to do medicene, is it possible for me to enroll in a postbac program to get my grades up or am I a lost cause? By the way I'm 26. Any advice would be useful, thanks.
  12. Hets

    Hets Member

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    hey terrapin,

    i've been in a similar situation, and i think you still have a chance. from all the advice i've been given from my pre-med advisor, you'd think it would be best to never even try! but i realized a lot of the time they deal with a lot of students who are more than qualified on a daily basis... and they interact with them from early on in their undergrad careers... regardless, i would suggest retaking your pre-reqs or doing a post bac, although redoing your pre-reqs would probably be of more help to you in the long run. also, i would suggest doing extra volunteering, clinical stuff, etc. a post-bac would be the essential way to increase your gpa...

    just my .02. good luck!!
  13. liverotcod

    liverotcod Lieutenant Crunch

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    Terrapin, I hate to nitpick, but need to point out: it's "medicine," not "medicene."

    Because you are a bio major, you have a pretty big chunk of credits at a poor GPA. For that reason, you will need to pursue a post-bacc or, perhaps better in your case, a masters degree. In order to be competitive, you need to show the adcoms that you can handle the intense science coursework of medical school, which your record to this point doesn't show. A strong showing on the MCAT would also help a lot.

    I'm in at 6 schools with a 2.95 GPA, so obviously it can be done if you really want it. It may, however, take a great deal of time, effort and money for you to make it, so you should be VERY sure it's what you want.

    Do you have clinical experience?
  14. Singing Devil

    Singing Devil Displaced Southerner

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    I'm with Liverotcod on this one... I've had 6 interviews with around a 2.6 undergrad GPA (and a 3.77 grad GPA). I also was expelled during my undergrad experience, so I have to check that little box on the AMCAS, which scares away several schools.

    So, to let Phil Anthropist know, I'm probably the one you were refering to regarding low GPA and high MCAT at BU. However, I get the feeling that even if you didn't have above a 3.0 GPA you could get into the BU program, as long as you have performed well recently. That's the main reason I got in, because my MCAT score alone wasn't really sufficient.

    So, if you're below 3.0 GPA, you don't have to go the DO route, you just have to do a lot of work to prove that you're worthy. It takes a lot of time and effort, but it's completely doable.
  15. Phil Anthropist

    Phil Anthropist SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    Phil Anthropist has noted your comment Singing Devil! :p And yes, I was referring to you. ;)
  16. terrapin82

    terrapin82 New Member

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    Hahaha, sorry about the spelling error. Yes I've heard about post-bacc programs, but what type of master's program would let me in? I keep hearing my biology professors at my school that master's programs are not interested in people with gpa's below a 3.5. Is there any truth in this? Or are they just jerks trying to discourage me from doing anything.
  17. liverotcod

    liverotcod Lieutenant Crunch

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    I think the term is "Special Masters" and the way it works is that you take first year med school classes alongside the med students. Take a look at this site:
    http://services.aamc.org/postbac/
    I believe that you will have a good shot at admission with an upward trend in your grades.
  18. joy77

    joy77 Member

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    Hi Terrapin82! Your post caught my eye because I took post- bacc classes at UMD last year. Have you taken one of the free practice MCAT's that Kaplan or TPR offers on campus? There is no way to say you'd be "wasting your time" with the MCAT when you may do really well on it! As for the GPA cutoff, it's not hard and fast for most schools, just an "average" GPA.

    If you can raise your GPA and BCMP GPA to a 3.0 or excel in a special master's program (which sounds like the most common route for people who have already taken lots of science classes), you may be able to use a compelling personal statement to get your foot in the door for an interview. I am also former military, about your age, and I applied to med school with grades just over the 3.0 mark. My background helped me to present an interesting story to admissions committies and get into the 5 schools where I interviewed. Good luck!
  19. organicmatter

    organicmatter Member

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    I'm a third year medical student in the upper 1/3 of my class who scored a 230 on Step I of the boards (average was a 217 or so). My undergraduate GPA was a 2.3, I kid you not, and my science GPA was even lower. When I graduated from college I kissed a career in medicine goodbye.

    But I went to graduate school and busted my ass. I also gained experience in the real world as a teacher and busted my ass. I then retook some undergraduate requisites (ochem and physics) and busted my ass. Then I studied for the MCAT and REALLY busted my ass. It's all about busting one's ass. If you want it badly enough, and you're reasonably intelligent, medical school is within reach.
  20. tolachi

    tolachi Junior Member

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    Well, that was a good way to end the night. I just read this thing from start to finish and can't decide whether to cry or rejoice.

    UGPA 2.76 from Pomona College BA in Biology 2001

    I'm currently trying to decide whether to start retaking my prereqs or to go for a masters in Biology. SFSU is close by but it would be nice to do it at a more competitive school. Planning on volunteering at the SF Free Clinic or the Berkeley Free Clinic while I do whatever I do. Any advice welcome.

    Specifically though, any thoughts on whether or not a 4.0 in a SFSU Bio Masters would be good enough to get me over the hump without redoing my prereqs? How would you stack that up against the Mills postbacc program?

    TIA
  21. BabyHuey

    BabyHuey Junior Member

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    Hey Tia, I graduated from CMC in 2001. Right across the street.

    I was a Chemistry major with a dual major in Psychology. Anyway, my overal was 3.1 and BCPM was like 2.8. So, life was kinda lousy after graduation. I did some post-bac work the next two years, volunteered here and there, but always in the back of my mind were my sucky stats. Oh and I took the MCAT twice and blew it miserably.

    So in 2003 I applied and got into the Drexel MSP program. I figured that this was my one last chance to do something right for a change. I definitely busted my ass and got the grades. I also hugely improved my MCAT. Two years later I'm sitting here typing to you, with 2 acceptances, and just want to let you know that if you strongly want to be a doc, you can be and nothing can stop you. I would apply to post-bac programs that allow you to improve your MCAT and grades at the same time. There are quite a few. Personally I think the MSP program at Drexel is the best, but of course I'm biased.

    Hey good luck! Never stop believing in yourself!!!
  22. mizzoudude

    mizzoudude Guest

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    I am just like the rest of you here in that my GPA is low. I drank and had sex too much in college. My GPA is a 3.29 with a 27 MCAT. I am graduating in May. All of this leads to a little bit of depression as I realized what I screwed up. Living in Missouri is also a huge pain with the weather, so I have decided to move. I am planning to move to California with my friend. What do you all think that I should do? After I move, I plan to work for a year and then pursue my options. I was thinking that I should retake all my pre-reqs (approx. 30 credits?) and ace them all. This should lift my GPA a little bit. I also plan to retake the MCAT and get atleast a 31. Does this seem like a good option. And will achieving this make admissions committees realize that I am committed to succeeding? And want to pursue this career? Should I take upper level classes or basic pre-reqs again? Thanks for all your help. This forum is great as it connects all kinds of people together.
  23. maryle7

    maryle7 New Member

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    kfjalfja
    Last edited: 08.07.08
  24. sidewalkman

    sidewalkman

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    Dude your stats really aren't that bad, despite 'screwing up.' Definately do NOT retake your prereqs. I would seriously look into doing a special master's program, like the person who posted right before you. Also, you'll get more responses if you post this as a new thread. Good luck.
  25. sidewalkman

    sidewalkman

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    The answer is maybe. This topic draws an incredibly heated debate if you search the forum on it. This is because some master's programs are filled with easy research credits, while others have quite difficult coursework. If you really want a master's, get one where you're taking classes with first year medical students (a 'special masters'). This is the best option to prove to adcoms that you're fit for medical school.
  26. EvilAngelfish

    EvilAngelfish Junior Member

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    Tricky question:
    Since I have a few Cs and Ds under my belt and since most med schools do not even count science grades lower than a C (someone at Syracuse told me that the did not count Cs, even), can I apply to one of those post-bacs for students who haven't finished their pre-reqs? I mean, yes, technically, I've finished them all and I didn't fail any of them but if they're not even going to count my grades (the woman at Syracuse made it seem like no school would), would I be eligible for one of those science-fortifying post-bacs? My other options are just picking up a few chem and physics courses at a grad school (as a non-degree student), applying to a postbac program with my pitiful science grades or doing an all-out masters.

    oh, another question:
    why do so many postbac programs require you to have taken the MCAT once? When I take it, I don't want to have to do it again and the only reason I haven't taken it yet is because I don't feel that my science skills are strong enough to get me a respectable score (as my low science gpa woud suggest), which is the reason I need to enroll in a postbac program in the first place... it seems like a paradox to me.

    Any advice/support is appreciated. I'll do my best to offer advice and support in return. :luck:
  27. tolachi

    tolachi Junior Member

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    Yo, thanks for the encouragement and congratulations on getting in!
  28. doxielover

    doxielover Junior Member

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    Forgive me for cross-posting, but this seems like a better place for my question.

    Does having a strong GPA in a non-science field help to offset a less than superstar undergrad GPA? I have an MS with almost a 4.0, but only a 3.3 undergrad. Don't have the sciences at this point, so I can't say what they would be. Or would the sciences be the thing that mattered most?
  29. doxielover

    doxielover Junior Member

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    Another question I have, it seems like people add post-bacc classes into their original undergrad gpa. Is that correct? Under what circumstances can you do that? I would assume they would have to be for-credit classes as opposed to non-degree credit. What about say community college classes? Or when people post their GPA is that mostly the original undergrad score?
  30. Phil Anthropist

    Phil Anthropist SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    The pertinent AMCAS GPA sections are:

    Freshman
    Sophomore
    Junior
    Senior
    Postbac
    Graduate

    The graduate category is the only one that does not go on your *undergrad* cumulative and bcpm (science) GPAs. All postbac courses taken for graded credit as a degree-seeking or non-degree-seeking student will contribute to your undergrad GPA; it's not really circumstantial. Community college classes would count too, but be aware that some adcoms will frown on this if done in excess or if you had the chance to take the same courses at a four-year institution.

    Now these aren't my actual numbers, but to give you an example:

    Let's say I graduated with a 3.2 cume, 3.1 science. Now let's say I did a bunch of postbac work after that and got a 4.0 over say 30 credits. I might raise my cumulative gpa to 3.33 and my science to 3.25 or so (assuming all science).

    So after my postbac work is taken into consideration I could say, "I have a 4.0 postbac gpa, 3.3 cume, 3.25 science." The reason some people say, "I have a postbac gpa of 4.0," is that they're showing how they've improved in comparison to their undergrad years. Also, the postbac designation IS its own section. Adcoms will vary in the way they view this. Someone with a 2.8 cume, but 60 credits of a 4.0 in postbac work and a high MCAT might be competitive at some schools. Some schools will look closely at the cumulative undergrad gpa as a whole and pitch the application in the trash without thinking twice.

    The postbac and graduate designations give you a clean slate to work with and some schools take your most recent coursework and trends into consideration. For a person with around a 2.4 cume, 2.3 science, fixing the GPA might be a worthless pursuit. This will depend on the goal of the applicant and the schools the applicant is interested in. For example, if an applicant wants to get into a state school that won't consider anyone with a GPA lower than 3.0 and that school is the applicant's first choice, then it makes sense to work for that 3.0. For others this may seem time-consuming and futile. When undergrad postbac classes only do so much or prove to be ineffective, it may be wise to go for a hard science graduate program (certificate or master's) so that you have a new GPA to start from (i.e., graduate GPA). And if you're going to do this, I would go all out--special master's (G-town, BU, RFU, etc.) or special certificate programs (Drexel IMS certificate, VCU pre-med certificate, maybe Loma Linda's biomed certificate, etc.). The reason I say this is that these programs tend to simulate the intensity of med school because they are typically 27-48 credits and must be completed in one year. A traditional master's might only be 18 credits/year for two years. Also, traditional master's often include a lot of research and graduate classes that are sometimes viewed as easy As (depends on the program, but in general). Furthermore, the special master's/certificates often include medical school courses to show you can compete.
  31. dca_55

    dca_55 Member

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    I recieved advice from my advisor to re-take any class with a grade below a C. I spent the two years after graduating retaking gen chem II and orgo I and the MCAT (as well as picking up more volunteer/clinical experience) and did well. I am now applying to the hard science postbac's that enhance records. The academic enhancing postbac's are meant to give people a second chance if they believe the low grades are not indicative of their true academic potential. Taking the MCAT is one way to show you can handle the science, and is why many postbac's require it. The postbac's for people with no science background seem to target strong students that did well in their non-science field, and therefore could likely do well in the pre-med curriculum. If you've taken other upper science courses beyond the pre-med reqs, that should be an indication to the academic enhancing post-bacs that you deserve a second shot. On the other hand, if you haven't done any advanced science or the MCAT and done well, it might be more difficult to get into a postbac. I noticed that the Drexel MSP program, allows you to use the GRE, if you havent taken the MCAt. That program has review courses in the pre-med sciences as well as additional grad level classes and MCAT prep.

    Or you could do what I did, and take a year or two to retake the classes and the MCAT on your own before applying to a postbac. This was a better choice for me because I'm also a career changer and wanted to pick up more clinical exposure/experience as well.
  32. roadkill52

    roadkill52 Junior Member

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    Im so glad I found this thread, I was having a meltdown at like 4 in the morning worried about if I will ever be able to get into med school. After I read a few posting I see there might still be some hope for me...maybe. But I followed the AMCAS guide someone posted and here are the numbers I came up with:
    Cumulative - 2.91 BCPM - 2.50 All others - 3.2. I still have physics to finish up and another yr to finish my major. Im doing a Biology A.B major and maybe do a minor in music because I need extra units to graduate and since I'm familiar with it, why not. Questions...what kind of post-bac program should I be doing? Do they just let you retake your pre-med classes or it's something else. I did a search for the postbac programs, maybe I'm searching the wrong ones but alot of them require a gpa like 2.8 science and cumulative or something for example...? Are they hard to get into? Well I just feel a bit better now that I found there are so many people who don't have a great gpa but still be able to get into med school and good to know that so many people still try. Thanks for your help. :)
  33. Singing Devil

    Singing Devil Displaced Southerner

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    Hmm, science major, lots of science already, bad record. This sounds a job for.... SMP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (cue special music).

    If you really want to learn a lot about your options, there are a ton of SMP threads (special masters program) on this forum regarding master's programs for people just like you. BU, Georgetown, and a host of others.

    I direct you to any post that mentions the words, masters, Georgetown, BU, Drexel, SMP, MAMS, or anything else. I'd provide more info, but I'm petered out right now.

    Don't fear--you aren't the first person in this situation, and it isn't impossible from here.
  34. liverotcod

    liverotcod Lieutenant Crunch

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    roadkill, I think it's important for you to first consider the reasons for your poor science grades in the past. Have your recent grades been better than your earlier grades? Remember that whatever post-bacc program you do (not to mention med school) will be considerably harder than the undergrad science courses you didn't do so hot in.

    I don't mean to discourage, but you need to do a little self-assessment to see where you're at. We can help.
  35. medtechv79

    medtechv79 Senior Member

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    So I have a question....if your overall GPA is like a 2.3-2.4 it would seem futile to do a post bacc for med or vet school? What do u think would be the best way to increase your chances then? A master's degree? I would really just like some opinions on this, because this is my experience.
    I know most vet schools do calculate overall GPA but some look only at the last 45 credits or so....I would have to look into it. Good Luck to everyone!
  36. Phil Anthropist

    Phil Anthropist SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    Not necessarily futile. It depends on what you're going for. Check out the very first post of this thread, Junebug's going the undergrad GPA enhancement route (graduated with a 2.24 undergrad cume). Others on this thread didn't want to spend years trying to get their GPAs up to a 3.0, so they opted for 1-year special masters programs instead. Either route is reasonable, in my opinion. But some schools are more receptive to solid graduate performances, while others are more concerned with your undergrad numbers only. I'm taking some courses a la carte this year (undergrad upper division science), but next year I intend to do a one-year biomedical master's of some sort. So I'll be doing a little bit of both. Luckily, my GPA wasn't super low, but I still am not satisfied with my undergrad performance. I know I'm capable of more.

    I know nada about veterinary apps, sorry. I don't know whether undergrad and grad are combined, whether undergrad is much more important, etc. But I do know that there are pre-professional masters for pre-vets. One example is Colorado State's 1-year program (Biomedical Sciences--veterinary track) and if you give me a sec I'll edit this post and add another one (Laboratory Animal Science).

    Edit:

    here's a link for some of the vet programs http://hpap.syr.edu/pblist.htm

    Colorado State (Plan B, 1-year) MS in Biomedical Sciences:
    http://www.cvmbs.colostate.edu/bms/planB.htm
  37. roadkill52

    roadkill52 Junior Member

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    My priorites weren't set straight when I took all those science classes, I was just trying to get it over with. Not until now I realize how important it was and how I know I could have done so much better. Currently im putting a lot more effort into doing well in my classes. I believe if I get the chance to do post bacc I would definitely do better. Since i've already done the prereqs the post bacc program I would be doing a SMP? or is there post bacc that allows you to retake your prereqs? Thanks for all the comments and I need to spend some time reading this thread from the beginning. Lots of info!
  38. liverotcod

    liverotcod Lieutenant Crunch

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    Post-baccalaureate programs come in two flavors: the first I'll call "science catchup," and it's for folks who didn't take science in undergrad, or took it many years ago. That doesn't sound like you.

    The second I'll call "credential enhancement," and is for folks who need to show adcoms that they're capable of auality high-level science work, while at the same time preparing themselves for the med school level of academic rigor. These can be either certificate programs (and count in UG GPA) or masters level programs (like SMPs, and count as graduate GPA).

    Of course, you can retake your prerequisites if you choose to, and perhaps you should start with that, especially if you have C or below in any of them. Then after you have established yourself in the undergrad courses, you could move on to a SMP. It'll take a while, but it can be done.

    For myself, I had taken gen chem, organic and calculus in my first undergrad, and retook all of it because I had Cs and Ds and it had been almost 20 years.
  39. roadkill52

    roadkill52 Junior Member

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    Can someone confirm, I thought only way you can retake a class is if you have a D in the class otherwise you can't retake it. Which program do you guys suggest to do knowing what my my grades are... certificate programs or the smp would I have a better chance of getting into? Seems like SMP is a better choice from a few comments but would I be able to get in?
  40. 6ONSP98

    6ONSP98 Junior Member

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    hi....this post is on behalf of my both myself and my friend with no internet wishing she could post on SDN.

    First off we are both older. She graduated in 2000 and I, in 1999. My mcat 38R, hers 30R. My gpa situation: 3.3. overall, 3.1 science. Hers: 2.8 overall, 2.68 science. I guess the question about improvement has to do with the many years it has been since taking the prereqs. The last time I took a hard core science was in 1998 and my friend, 99. I guess my mcat speaks for itself. i am pretty proficient in the core sciences. However, my grades don't show this. I started off wonderfully in my first year and half. And then after having a child, I received 2 Fs in physic II and an upper level bio course...which I was forced to repeat and got A- and B respectively. And I received C-'s in Biochem, Genetics and Orgo II. But this seems like forever ago. I am confused about how to make my application look better. My friend is in a similar boat with her grades. We both have research positions and families, plethora of experiences. How do I improve? I have taken so much science I feel like a postbacc isn't going to do much to increase my GPA BUT, if retake my prereqs it will give the adcoms some sense of security that I have got a handle on time management. Part of me feels like it is for my own sanity also. I know i could have aced undergrad. what do you all think?
  41. Phil Anthropist

    Phil Anthropist SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    Welcome to SDN, Random Numbers and Letters! :D

    My opinions...

    In your case, I think it would be pointless to retake prerequisites. The only ones I would consider retaking would be courses that you got a C- or less in. Like you said, your MCAT clearly demonstrates proficiency. I think retaking the prerequisites would probably be seen as regressive. If I were in your shoes, I'd opt for a special masters/certificate program (Georgetown SMP, BU MAMS, Rosalind Franklin AP, EVMS Biomed, Drexel IMS certificate, VCU certificate, etc.). These are intense programs that range from 27-48 credits in one year. 18-24 credits in one year is considered a normal full-time courseload in grad school, so 27-48 is pretty intense. Many of these programs allow you to take courses with the medical students. If your undergrad performance is not representative of your academic abilities, the special masters/certificate programs can prove your worth. Keep in mind, however, that these programs will give you a new GPA, Graduate, on the AMCAS (the US MD application) that will not contribute to your undergraduate 3.3/3.0 GPAs. On a related AMCAS note, your 2 Fs will still be averaged in your undergrad GPA. I'm not sure whether you're aware of that or not, so I thought I'd throw that out there. However, for the AACOMAS (the US DO application) if you retake, only your most recent grade shows up (regardless if it's higher or lower than the previous one).

    In your friend's case...Spend 1 year, ~32 credits, taking mostly undergraduate upper-division science courses. This should push her cume/bcpm GPAs to 3.0 territory. I would then do a special masters/certificate program. She needs a postbac/special graduate program to prove that she has what it takes to handle the academic rigors of med school. With her low GPA, Rosalind Franklin's MS in Applied Physiology would give her the highest probability of an acceptance. Even though her MCAT is good, it's not great. But coupled with a solid special masters/certificate program (not necessarily Rosalind Franklin), it might be sufficient.
  42. liverotcod

    liverotcod Lieutenant Crunch

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    Phil, you really know your sh!t. Thanks for taking the time to share your expertise with the forum. :thumbup:
  43. Phil Anthropist

    Phil Anthropist SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    liverotcod, your story is inspiring. Thanks for giving us hope. :thumbup: I've given my own postbac plans a lot of thought, but it will still be a few years before I secure that coveted acceptance! Hopefully someday...
  44. 6ONSP98

    6ONSP98 Junior Member

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    Thanks so much for your reply...

    My gpa science and overall does include the Fs I received...so you can imagine my first year and half..which included 2 summers of work was pretty wonderful..not to mention I pretty much aced all the "write essays for exams" classes throughout college.

    I would say your advice sounds pretty solid. And I appreciate the thoughtful response.

    Thanks...

    SP98
  45. sunnyjohn

    sunnyjohn Got Mustard?

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    Hey where can I find liverotcod's story. Man, you got so many posts it is taking forever to piece it together! :p

    I am trying to compile my own "SDN Hall of Fame" for inspiration on those days when I look at my terrible stats, all the work I have left to complete, and I ask myself, "What the hu-ha were you thinking? Med school? HA!"

    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:


    Agape
  46. Crake

    Crake I drive a Dodge Stratus!

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    Wait? You got expelled, had a 2.6 undergrad GPA and you managed to land 6 interviews? You say your MCAT alone wasn't sufficient to get into BU SMP so what's the story? Do you have a Ph.D. or a Nobel Prize or what? I'm not saying you're lying, I'm just stunned that you got that kind of reaction with those numbers.
  47. liverotcod

    liverotcod Lieutenant Crunch

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    My story, briefly:
    High school was rather easy for me; I graduated in 1986 at the top of my class with a strong SAT, and had to choose between UW-Madison's Medical Scholars program (a 7-year BS/MD program) and Harvard. I chose Harvard, which was probably not the best decision I have ever made. I really struggled my first year there, being neither intellectually, emotionally nor spiritually prepared for the challenges of the academic work and of being away from home for the first time. I had a bad first semester, and instead of rising to the challenge, I took up drinking - something I hadn't done at all in high school but was now readily available.

    This led to a pretty severe drinking problem that got steadily worse over 3 years until one semester where I attended the first day of classes, then went again to take the final, with a blur of drunkenness in between. I failed 4/4 courses that semester, and Harvard asked me to leave to get my act together.

    I worked for a year in my home town, attending AA, then returned to Harvard to finish up while continuing to work full time. Academically, I did just fine upon my return. After graduation, I really had no continuing educational prospects (or so I thought) so I stayed with the job, accepting a promotion and moving down the east coast, landing in Richmond. Since then, I have gotten married, had two children, taught myself network and software engineering and started a new career doing that, learned to fly, and run a marathon. I continue to consider myself a recovering alcoholic and therefore a teetotaler.

    In the spring of 2002, I went back to school, thinking I would earn some credentials in computer science to enhance my career. After rocking a calculus and proofs class that had stymied me completely back in 1987, I realized that I might still have the academic ability to seek the career I had once thought was the only one for me. It turns out I did, and I'm more sure than ever about the decision to seek a career in medicine.

    My job has been very helpful and understanding in allowing flexible hours to complete my pre-reqs at VCU, and gave me two very nice LORs. I volunteered 300 hours or so at a local ER, and shadowed two doctors. I applied broadly and am really grateful for the success I have found:
    So far, of 27 completed applications, I have gone to 9 interviews (with several other offers that I turned down after my first couple acceptances). Of these, I have 1 rejection, 1 waitlist, 1 awaiting result, and 6 acceptances. My MDApplicants profile below has the specifics.

    I'm glad to share my record and whatever small wisdom I have with others who are brave--or crazy--enough to take big risks in the interest of a fulfilling career. Here are the numbers for my app:

    Harvard
    Freshman 2.2
    Sophomore 2.3
    Junior 2.2
    <required to withdraw in here>
    Senior 3.7

    VCU
    50 Credit post-bacc 4.0

    Overall 2.9
    Science 3.4

    April 2004 MCAT 39Q
  48. 6ONSP98

    6ONSP98 Junior Member

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    Your story is really amazing and inspiring and which ever school you choose will be lucky to have you.

    Goodluck.... :luck:
  49. sunnyjohn

    sunnyjohn Got Mustard?

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    Gee liverotcod,

    Ya' got me in tears!!! WAY TO GO!
    So where are you gonna go? EVMS or Wisconsin?
    Good fortune...

    Agape
  50. liverotcod

    liverotcod Lieutenant Crunch

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    I have that most delicious of all problems: trying to decide among a host of good things. It's like the terminally delicious brunch buffet at the Jefferson Hotel here in Richmond.

    I don't know. Wisconsin is closest to family and is "home" for both me and my wife. We really want our kids to be closer to family. Minnesota is still a possibility too, at least until they reject me :). Meanwhile, I'm fantasizing about the Pitt scholarship. EVMS is pretty unlikely, I guess. I'm going to sit down with my wife tonight or tomorrow and cull the list to release some positions for wait listers.

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