Chances at MSTP programs? 3.9 GPA, subavg MCAT (32), and 2.5+ yrs of research

Jan 5, 2014
Hi All,

I was hoping to get some feedback on what are my current chances of mid-tier and top-tier MSTPs and also whether I should retake my MCAT.

3.9+ GPA at top 10 public university
32 MCAT (8V) - very concerned with verbal and reason why I plan to retake before applying next cycle
3 yrs of research (2.5 in undergraduate and currently working full-time in same lab.. will be 3.5+ yrs of experience by the time I interview). I have presented a poster at a national conference and have currently 2 publications (a 4th author and a 3rd author and a 2nd author in submission)

Thank you all for your responses.
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Total nerd
Staff member
15+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2002
the beach
Attending Physician
You're in a decent position for a mid-tier MSTP as it is. These cases are always hard. If you're sure you can improve your MCAT score, it might be worth it to get over a 36 (with at least a 10 in verbal) which will put you in top-tier land. If you don't, I suspect you'll land at a MSTP regardless. The problem is if you re-take your MCAT and go down in score. That would be damning. Overall, I don't think it would be worth that risk, but I don't think a re-take is unreasonable.

The candidates who tend to have the worst trouble with MCAT verbal are those for whom English is not a first language. If you are not a US citizen or permanent resident, I would advise the re-take because it is much harder for that group to obtain a position.