I'm currently a rising junior at a Top 30 school, and my cGPA is 3.32 and my sGPA is much lower, hovering around a 3.0. I did poorly in my orgo and physiology classes my freshman and beginning of sophomore years, but I did much better this past semester, finishing with a 3.7 sGPA for the semester. I really hope that I can keep this up, but I still have to take general chemistry 2 and biochemistry, two classes notorious for taking a toll on gpa's. I think that I can get my grades up to a 3.5 cGPA/3.3 sGPA by the end of my senior (4th) year. I'm interested in MD programs, so I'm contemplating a 5th year to get my gpa up closer to a 3.7, the median gpa for accepted students. During this 5th year, I would take courses like medical microbiology, parasitology, and virology, that I am confident I can do well in. Assuming I do great, I can increase my gpa up to a 3.6-3.65, as well display an upward trend. A 5th year would cost the same as a SMP, so finances wouldn't influence my decision. Additionally, I am URM, which I know plays some role in the admissions process. I would feel much more confident during the application cycle if my gpa was above a 3.6, which is why I'm leaning more towards a 5th year. Also, I really am enjoying my years in my college, and would not mind at all staying an extra year, strengthening my extracurriculars. As for an SMP, I am interested in looking into one because many have linkages to medical school, and really show adcoms that I can handle the rigors of medical schools. So would a 5th year that results in an increased gpa and stronger upward trend be more beneficial than an SMP? Or would I even be fine without either of these?