Jul 15, 2009
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Hi all, I just graduated from a liberal arts college with a BA in Biology. I had no idea what I wanted to do, but my dream has always to become a vet. There is one little problem....my cumulative GPA is only 3.06 and sad enough my science GPA is 2.54. Ok, make that a huge problem. I also haven't taken physics, stats, microbiology, or animal nutrition. I can get the prerequisites out of the way at a local community college. My other problem is that I have a C- in both organic chemistry classes and some colleges say you need a C or better to fulfill the requirements. I also have absolutely no experience with vets. I have not taken the GRE yet either. My question is, is if I get the prerequisites out of the way, take the GRE, and get experience do I even have a chance at getting into vet school with such a low GPA? I honestly don't think that I would be able to make it into a vet school.
 

No Imagination

I
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You can certainly still make it in, no reason to give up on your dream just yet, it all depends on you, and if you are willing to put in the work needed.

Your two C-'s, while you probably wouldn't HAVE to retake them, considering you situation (poor GPA, poor Science/Math GPA) you are going to have to retake them, and get high B/A in both I would think.

You other pre-req's you are going to have to really nail. Now, depending on how many credits you already have (I assume ~120 if you have you BA), will determine how much you can realistically up that GPA.

If you take all your pre-reqs, retake those 2 C-'s, and get some vet experience (and pull mostly A's, some B's, no more C's), you can PROBABLY have a competitive application in 2 years time.

Also note, Community College probably will not cut it. While you can do SOME re-reqs at CC's (some schools don't accept any CC classes), I doubt you will have a strong application if all your pre-req classes are CC.

Two years of hard work may seem like a lot, but it really isn't, a lot of people put in a lot more time to make an application truly competitive, and if you really want this, go for it!
 

david594

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To maximize your chances you may need to do a bit more than just take the pre-reqs, the GRE and get experience.

Your GPA is definitely going to be a major hurting point for you. On top of the remainder of your pre-reqs, you might want to consider retaking any sciences you did marginal in first time around, and also taking some additional upper level sciences courses. It will help your cumulative gpa some, your science GPA significantly, and your last 45 GPA which will show your ability.

Any interest in getting a second bachelors degree before vet school? Good grades with a full time course load also helps show you can handle a heavy course load.
 

twelvetigers

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I think that for most schools, retaking any required courses you made below a C in is going to be necessary. I would plan on retaking those no matter what.

Just adding that. NI and David have given good advice so far, and I don't really have much to add. :)
 

sumstorm

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I would also be prepared to explain WHY vet med is an interest now. You say it has always been your dream, but that will lead interviewers to ask "if that is the case, why didn't you work towards it before now?"

As others have said, if the schools you are applying to don't accept C- in pre-reqs, you will have to retake those. How those are calculated depends on the school; some average the grades, others replace.

Raising a GPA with a year of classes is difficult. I only raised mine by 0.02 after a full year of classes. There are GPA calculators online that will help you figure out how many classes you need a 4.0 or a 3.7 or such in to raise your GPA x points.

Beyond that, you will also need to make sure your early pre-reqs don't expire. Some vet schools limit the age of pre-reqs to 6 years, which can cause problems if some of your classes were freshman year.

It will not be easy...and it may not work. It may also be expensive to fund the classes while getting the experience. And you need to ask if the lower grades, especially in the sciences, are due to a lack of ability in those subjects. If so, vet school may be tough and adcoms will question your ability to complete it.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Raising a GPA with a year of classes is difficult. I only raised mine by 0.02 after a full year of classes.
You must have had a high GPA to start with. If the OP has a 2.54 cumulative GPA with 120 credits (just throwing that number out there), and she takes 30 more credits and receives, let's just say, an A- in all courses, she can raise her cumulative GPA to 2.76.

Unfortunately, that's still not competitive... but it never hurts to try.
 
OP
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Jul 15, 2009
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Thanks guys. I didn't realize that community college might not work. I looked at some of the classes and they looked like the prerequisites. I was looking at community college because it was so much cheaper than going back to a regular college. To be honest, it was chemistry that made my GPA so low. And the fact that I was working full time and taking classes full time for at least one year of my college experience.
 

cRose

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If you were working full time and also a full time student, admissions committees will definitely take that into consideration. Be sure to mention that on you applications.

David mentioned getting a 2nd bachelors degree. You may also want to look into getting a 2-year non-thesis graduate degree (I did this myself to boost my GPA a little). It could help to demonstrate to the ad coms that you can handle more challenging coursework. Not all schools have these, so you just have to do some poking around to see who does.
 

badcats

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Another way to maybe make up for a not so stellar GPA would be to kick some GRE butt and make sure the other parts of your application are rock solid. That means lots of hours of diversified veterinary experience and getting glowing letters of recommendation.

Plus like everyone else has said take a high upper division science course load, and get As or B+s at the lowest.

Good luck
 

david594

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Thanks guys. I didn't realize that community college might not work. I looked at some of the classes and they looked like the prerequisites. I was looking at community college because it was so much cheaper than going back to a regular college. To be honest, it was chemistry that made my GPA so low. And the fact that I was working full time and taking classes full time for at least one year of my college experience.
Its not so cut and dry as "community college might not work".

One of the big things you want your vet school application to do is demonstrate that you can handle the academic rigors of vet school. Which entails a heavy course load of science classes taken concurrently. With your current GPA's it doesn't necessarily sound like your grades would demonstrate this. By taking the remainder of your pre-reqs at a community college part time it doesn't necessarily demonstrate this either.

This is why we would recommend going back to school full time, taking a heavy course load of sciences, and doing well in them.

You want the ad-com to look at your application and say to themselves "I think this person will have no issue handling the academics of vet school."

For some other people community college is a fine option, or the only option. Your case is just a little different with already having a science degree, with some not so stellar grades in some very important classes.
 

SaintSamson

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Hey,

I'm sort of in a similar situation at the moment, so I thought I'd offer my game plan :)

My problem is that I have C in general Chemistry and I have a VERY bad gpa following me from my last school. While things are improving academically, my gpa will always cause a huge dent in my overall gpa.

I recommend taking all the classes you need and retaking those science classes you got poor grades in. If you can manage it, get As in all over them.
Study ridiculous amounts for the GRE and do well on it. Additionally, get as much varied vet experience as you possibly can and if you still have more free time, volunteer someplace, preferably where you'll get animal experience.


Having that much of a handicap doesn't mean you won't get into vet school, it just means you need to do as much as you can to fix your stats so you can be as competitive as possible with the stats that you can't change very much.
 

sumstorm

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If you were working full time and also a full time student, admissions committees will definitely take that into consideration. Be sure to mention that on you applications.
Actually they may or they may not. I worked FT throughout college )also FT). I did post mortems with 3 schools now, and specifically asked if they had taken that into consideration with my lower (3.4) GPA and 2 said that it was not considered, and the other said she couldn't comment one way or the other. I asked why it wouldn't have been considered and didn't get any solid answers, other than other factors were considered first, with reasons or explanations for GPA only considered towards the end of the selection process. Unfortunatly, I don't think anything is definite with any of the adcoms! Part of the application frustration!
 

sumstorm

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Oh, just a side note, some schools do offer 'grade forgiveness' or similar options. The issue there is that you basically wipe the slate clean...so if you had a semester with A's and C's, you lose both. So say you had a really crummy freshman year, and you took bio and chem and calc that year, and did poorly, and plan to retake them. At some schools you can request the grades past X date be ignored....but it would mean you would have to take those classes again because they won't be considered for pre-reqs. Other schools have grade exception programs for candidates who are excellent in other areas.
 

VeganChick

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Also, you can consider the schools themselves. Every school I did a post-mortem with said that it was my grades that cost me admittance. One school (Cornell) also told me that working FT and PT, going to school and doing all the "life" stuff (I own my own house, no SO so do all household items myself, take care of 7 pets, etc.) was actually a liability since they couldn't see if I could handle a full-on courseload. Luckily, Ross doesn't place as much emphasis on GPA so I got accepted there.