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Best way to Med School for Nontrad w/low GPA?

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clarity16

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Hello all,
I am new to the forum, so thanks in advance for your understanding. I'm in a bit of a rough spot, as I went through undergrad as a transfer student in biomedical engineering; my GPA was 3.7 pre-transfer, but fell to 3.2 once I hit upper division. (My institution doesn't factor in prior GPA, so the 3.2 reflects only upper-level science courses.) To maintain a scholarship, I probably took more course hours than was wise (I am the mother of a young child and primary caretaker.) I have since learned how to manage, but will graduate with a 3.2. I am fortunate to have done research, won a design award, and have good letters of recommendation. But I feel at a disadvantage; I did not take the pre-med curriculum within biomedical engineering, instead opting for other courses to expand my horizons. Is a post-bacc my best option here, or should I just take a few extra courses on my own and try to ace the MCAT?
 

Eccesignum

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What is your cumulative GPA counting all undergraduate classes you've ever taken? AMCAS doesn't distinguish between GPAs at different institutions; it's all lumped together. They will, however be able to see your GPA by technical year (freshman/sophomore/etc). It sounds like your total cumulative is higher than a 3.2, though you may have a downward trend.

"Post bac" just means any class taken after completion of your bachelor's. If you haven't done any of the medical school pre-reqs, chances are you're not in a terrible position (depending what your science GPA is right now). You can do formal programs if you really want to spend a lot of money, or you can take them a la carte as the majority of us do. Make sure those "few extra courses" covers all the pre-reqs you need for medical school. This is more than an issue of the MCAT; you won't be admitted to medical school without certain classes under your belt. Purchase the MSAR to see all US MD schools and what they require.

DO is slightly different in that DO schools practice grade replacement -- if you go back and retake any class they'll only consider the second grade. Obviously this is a boon for many people coming from a low initial GPA. If this is an option you might want to consider it (depending what your real cumulative and science GPAs are).
 
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clarity16

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Not sure if anyone is still checking out my post, but calculated my basic science GPA. It is around a 3.4. If the bio-related courses from engineering are considered (biomechanics, biotransport, biomaterials, biosignals, etc.) are processed, it gets closer to a 3.5. Adding in the math courses from before I transferred helped immensely. It seems that the computer science related courses are not considered- these are the reason for my low GPA. Unfortunately, I did take several prereqs that I bombed (Bio C+, Orgo B-, Biochem B) but if I take the remaining prereqs plus an upper level course or two, I could end up with a 3.6 science GPA over the course of several semesters.( Provided I get A's, of course.) Should I delay graduation until I do this? Just keep watering down the bad marks? Or should I still be considering a special masters?
 
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