Lengluiii

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I am a nontraditional student who got kicked out of my first school with a 1.8 gpa...went to a community college and graduated with an associates and gpa of 3.8... I'm currently at a university and its my first term... I calculated my cumulative undergrad gpa and if I even had a 4.0 at this schoo, it would only bring me up to a 3.7.

I decided to do a secondary associates degree as a paramedic while obtaining my bachelors. I will be part time at the other school and finish them up during the next two summers and maybe take 1 or 2 classes per fall and spring session. If I complete another associates degree, it could boost my GPA up to 3.0 if I get all A's in this.

Is this a smart move?
 
Oct 21, 2009
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Is your goal medical school? You're throwing a lot of GPA's around in your post. There's only one that matters...all of them averaged together.

Every course you complete from here on out has the same impact on your gpa, except for DO grade replacement. Additional upper level science courses (genetics, biochem, etc.) would be better than paramedic courses. Whether you pursue an additional associates degree is up to you, but if applying to medical school is your ultimate goal it may not be the best route to take. My opinion would be to complete the prerequisite courses as quickly as possible - without distraction - and obtain your bachelor's degree in the process. Get involved in volunteering and shadowing opportunities. Look for a part-time job that gives you additional clinical experience. There are many opportunities that don't require much additional training.

It looks like if you do well in your studies, you'll end up with a competitive overall and science gpa. That's great news...not everyone digs themselves out of such a shallow hole :)
 

Lengluiii

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O noo i'm sorry typo 2.7 cumulative. the reason i want to take a secondary associates is because it will give me extra credits towards my cGPA. if i take 50 credits with all A's it will bring me up to a 3.0. I wanted to take the paramedic program because it will give me clinical experience around hospitals.

a post bacc typically needs a 3.0 which i wont have if i'm only aiming towards my B.S degree solely.
 
Oct 21, 2009
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I still think you will benefit more by taking additional upper-level science courses instead of paramedic school if you're certain on medical school as your goal.

Odds are your first attempt at college didn't include many science courses, so your SGPA should be much better.

Look into DO school. It allows grade replacement, which is the only way some are able to get a competitive GPA.

Personally, my goal is to be a physician. There are a lot of strong opinions on MD vs. DO here on SDN. I've got a 3.96 gpa and my practice MCAT scores are currently in the mid 30's. I am applying to both MD and DO schools. Both routes provide opportunity for a great medical education.
 

Lengluiii

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I actually took engineering courses but they were programs that fused bio and chemistry together chem and physics etc.... all of that was messed up but it didn't strictly say "biology" or "chem" it was under another name called "tdec" e.g. "Tdec 121- Foundations of biology/chemistry"

I was thinking of going the post bacc route after i successfully gain the 3.0 for my undergrad cumulative. Therefore, I was gonna take the science classes I need after I graduate which would help to increase my chances... I decided on paramedic because it would involve me in the hospital and I can gain more experience that way. I've read med books that say taking up those types of licenses help to single you out in a positive setting
 
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Is your goal medical school? You're throwing a lot of GPA's around in your post. There's only one that matters...all of them averaged together.

Every course you complete from here on out has the same impact on your gpa, except for DO grade replacement. :)
I'm wondering about this, too. My GPA since returning to college (full four years from scratch) is about 3.8, sGPA also in the 3.85 range. I dropped out of my first semester of college 15 years ago mid-semester, with 15 credits of 0.0. I'm not sure whether they average into my GPA. I took about 16 credits of community college classes in the interim, with an overall GPA hovering around a 2.8. I either finished the class with an A, or couldn't make it due to an 80-hour work week and got a C.

Since I have about 140 credits with a 3.83 or so in the last four years, I'd like to think that prevails. When med schools look at my transcripts, I'm sure it will. But I'm worried about getting screened out with a 3.5, despite the fact that the classes weighing me down were taken over 12 years ago.

Am I just screwed? Will most decent MD schools forego a second look beyond the initial number? I have years of health care experience, volunteering, research presentations at national conferences, a currently high GPA, etc., but I am legitimately worried that my best efforts at repeating college successfully were doomed from the start!
 

agirl

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deleted.

I am a nontraditional student who got kicked out of my first school with a 1.8 gpa...went to a community college and graduated with an associates and gpa of 3.8... I'm currently at a university and its my first term... I calculated my cumulative undergrad gpa and if I even had a 4.0 at this schoo, it would only bring me up to a 3.7.

I decided to do a secondary associates degree as a paramedic while obtaining my bachelors. I will be part time at the other school and finish them up during the next two summers and maybe take 1 or 2 classes per fall and spring session. If I complete another associates degree, it could boost my GPA up to 3.0 if I get all A's in this.

Is this a smart move?
 
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Oct 21, 2009
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I'm wondering about this, too. My GPA since returning to college (full four years from scratch) is about 3.8, sGPA also in the 3.85 range. I dropped out of my first semester of college 15 years ago mid-semester, with 15 credits of 0.0. I'm not sure whether they average into my GPA. I took about 16 credits of community college classes in the interim, with an overall GPA hovering around a 2.8. I either finished the class with an A, or couldn't make it due to an 80-hour work week and got a C.

Since I have about 140 credits with a 3.83 or so in the last four years, I'd like to think that prevails. When med schools look at my transcripts, I'm sure it will. But I'm worried about getting screened out with a 3.5, despite the fact that the classes weighing me down were taken over 12 years ago.

Am I just screwed? Will most decent MD schools forego a second look beyond the initial number? I have years of health care experience, volunteering, research presentations at national conferences, a currently high GPA, etc., but I am legitimately worried that my best efforts at repeating college successfully were doomed from the start!
I'm pretty sure you aren't going to get automatically screened out with a 3.5 at most schools. When they look deeper at your application, certainly they'll notice your gpa by term as reported in AMCAS. I think that's where the distinction will be made. It's easy for a reasonable person to see how well you've done with recent coursework. I could see it as an interview question, maybe, and you should have an explanation for the rough start.

There's lots of talk of "upward trend" and "downward trend" on the forums I've read. I think most of those discussions apply to traditional students in their junior and senior years.

riverjib, you are going to be choosing among multiple acceptances...I'm sure of it. The nontrads that struggle with gpa competitiveness, in my opinion, are those who have no hope of achieving above a 3.0, regardless of additional credits. Those are the folks who risk being screened out and who need to seriously consider the DO grade replacement route as possibly their only likely option.
 

Lengluiii

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so would i really be screened out because I dont have the 3.0 gpa? i sure hope i am truly not as "screwed" as you say.. I really dont know what the best viable option is. I'm 23 and still an undergrad junior status. Does taking extra credits not help as you say??
 

mspeedwagon

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Dude... even Harvard does not screen out a 3.5 GPA. That is not low enough to be thrown out.

I'm sure it will. But I'm worried about getting screened out with a 3.5, despite the fact that the classes weighing me down were taken over 12 years ago.

Am I just screwed? Will most decent MD schools forego a second look beyond the initial number? I have years of health care experience, volunteering, research presentations at national conferences, a currently high GPA, etc., but I am legitimately worried that my best efforts at repeating college successfully were doomed from the start!
 

mspeedwagon

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Unfortunately below a 3.0 the vast majority of schools will not look at your application at all. Your best option is to repeat classes and use grade replacement at D.O. programs.


so would i really be screened out because I dont have the 3.0 gpa? i sure hope i am truly not as "screwed" as you say.. I really dont know what the best viable option is. I'm 23 and still an undergrad junior status. Does taking extra credits not help as you say??
 

eablackwell

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What is the usual gpa/mcat cutoff for 1st aamc apps. I've heard a lot of different things when it comes to people not getting secondaries.
 

mspeedwagon

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My understanding is 3.0/24 (no individual section lower than a 7). That is close to the very minimum.
What is the usual gpa/mcat cutoff for 1st aamc apps. I've heard a lot of different things when it comes to people not getting secondaries.
 

Lengluiii

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I can't redo those classes because theyre at an old institution... so what else can I do... other than hope to study my butt off for a 40 on the MCAT
 

mspeedwagon

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They don't have to be at the old institution. They have to be equivalent. If another institution has similar classes that should work.

You have two other options:
- Take more classes in general to boost your GPA (to at least a 3.0)
- Study for the MCAT as hard as you can to get the highest score possible.


I can't redo those classes because theyre at an old institution... so what else can I do... other than hope to study my butt off for a 40 on the MCAT
 

Lengluiii

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thats why i was asking if it would be a good idea to do the associates degree so that I can take more credits at a community college and get a paramedic degree at the same time

to do or not to do? is that a good choice?
 

mspeedwagon

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If possible, better to take classes at a 4 yr university. Also, paramedic programs are not seen as rigorous, so definitely not ideal. If you want to become a paramedic, I'd recommend this, but in conjunction with other classes at a 4 yr school. If not, then just take classes you're interested in or need to improve your grade in.


thats why i was asking if it would be a good idea to do the associates degree so that I can take more credits at a community college and get a paramedic degree at the same time

to do or not to do? is that a good choice?
 
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I am a nontraditional student who got kicked out of my first school with a 1.8 gpa...went to a community college and graduated with an associates and gpa of 3.8... I'm currently at a university and its my first term... I calculated my cumulative undergrad gpa and if I even had a 4.0 at this schoo, it would only bring me up to a 3.7.

I decided to do a secondary associates degree as a paramedic while obtaining my bachelors. I will be part time at the other school and finish them up during the next two summers and maybe take 1 or 2 classes per fall and spring session. If I complete another associates degree, it could boost my GPA up to 3.0 if I get all A's in this.

Is this a smart move?
You must have made a typo or something. In paragraph one you say that you can bring it up to a 3.7 then you claim that, upon completion of even more coursework, you can bring it up to 3.0 (which is actually down from a 3.7... maybe you meant to say a 2.7 could be brought up to a 3.0)

Inconsistencies aside, this is a lot of coursework, which equals a lot of opportunity to screw up your gpa, so be careful. It is certainly doable, but make sure that you can remain focused. Balancing community college courses with that of the university simultaneously can be disasterous, esp considering that you'll be taking upper level courses at the university, not just some weasel freshman classes.
 
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I'm pretty sure you aren't going to get automatically screened out with a 3.5 at most schools. When they look deeper at your application, certainly they'll notice your gpa by term as reported in AMCAS. I think that's where the distinction will be made. It's easy for a reasonable person to see how well you've done with recent coursework. I could see it as an interview question, maybe, and you should have an explanation for the rough start.

There's lots of talk of "upward trend" and "downward trend" on the forums I've read. I think most of those discussions apply to traditional students in their junior and senior years.

riverjib, you are going to be choosing among multiple acceptances...I'm sure of it. The nontrads that struggle with gpa competitiveness, in my opinion, are those who have no hope of achieving above a 3.0, regardless of additional credits. Those are the folks who risk being screened out and who need to seriously consider the DO grade replacement route as possibly their only likely option.
Thanks econ and mspeedwagon! I hope you're right. It's hard to know what really happens in admissions. I'd like to think that they at least glance at the whole transcript before tossing out an application!
 

kpete1986

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thats why i was asking if it would be a good idea to do the associates degree so that I can take more credits at a community college and get a paramedic degree at the same time

to do or not to do? is that a good choice?
I'm actually kind of in the same boat as you and am wondering if the paramedic route is a good one. I already have a BS in Biology with a 3.35 GPA and no grades in any of the sciences below a B. Is it worth retaking any classes and getting an A or should I just focus on other parts of the application (i.e. EC's. I'm currently volunteering in the ER at the local hospital). Currently I'm all set to take a summer class at the local technical college to get my EMT-B certification and am wondering if I should continue on and get my paramedic certification for the experience and possibly a slight GPA boost or if I should just focus on the MCAT and try to get a job as an EMT-B (not too many opportunities for this in central Wisconsin, though).
 

jslo85

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I'm actually kind of in the same boat as you and am wondering if the paramedic route is a good one. I already have a BS in Biology with a 3.35 GPA and no grades in any of the sciences below a B. Is it worth retaking any classes and getting an A or should I just focus on other parts of the application (i.e. EC's. I'm currently volunteering in the ER at the local hospital). Currently I'm all set to take a summer class at the local technical college to get my EMT-B certification and am wondering if I should continue on and get my paramedic certification for the experience and possibly a slight GPA boost or if I should just focus on the MCAT and try to get a job as an EMT-B (not too many opportunities for this in central Wisconsin, though).
Are you applying for osteopathic or allopathic schools?

Your GPA is fine for osteopathic schols if you have an MCAT over a 26+ I feel you would do fine if you applied early and broadly.

If allopathic schools you GPA is subpar and you would be looking at a 34+ MCAT.

As for the EMT degree, that is your personal choice but I will say that the degree itself is meaningless other than another point to list on your E.C. What does help from obtaining an EMT degree is what experiences that you can gain from working either on the job or using the degree to allow yourself new clinical experiences that would have otherwise been impossible such as ER scribe or working as a clinical assistant or any other lower tier job in the hospital setting. You can take from this what you will because it is my personal opinion as a fellow EMT-B. It will come in handy if you are able to put it to use to gain the trust of your shadowing physician to allow you to take vitals, learn differential diagnosis, and take up the tasks of a clinical assistant while you're in the office or if you're working on the job. I will say this as well though, as an EMT-B if you work for an ambulatory service, you will for all essential purposes be driving the BLS rig and watching the senior paramedic do his thing. Going all the way to paramedic is the way to go if you want to go down that path.