SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

Chances of being accepted into a masters degree program

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by cocantu, May 29, 2008.

  1. cocantu

    cocantu 2+ Year Member

    Aug 14, 2007
    Brownsville Tx
    I am currently an undergraduate pursuing a pre-med biology degree. I have a 2.66 GPA. I had a difficult time in the beginning. Do you think that it is possible that I get accepted into a graduate masters program, in order to get a better GPA and try to apply to medical school? Thank you in advance.
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. tbo

    tbo MS-4 10+ Year Member

    May 5, 2002
    It should be known that this is an uphill battle, but not a lost cause. There's so many Master's programs out there that you need only be smart about which ones you target. Depending on your year (Freshman, Soph, etc), I'd say if you still have at least 1-2 years left (the more the better), I'd start looking for professors doing the kind of research you'd want to do in your Masters (and at the institution you want to do it in, if it's not the one you go to already). If you do good work and show an aptitude for research/biology/whatever, they can be a strong advocate for your graduate admissions. I think any ambitious professor out there would love having someone who already knows what their lab does come into a graduate program - it's a win-win. I know a number of people who have been accepted or even actively recruited into grad programs by just working with professors that can vouch for your research/intellectual ability.

    Grad school admissions as I know them are GPA, GRE scores and a good reason why you want to pursue a Master's. In my view, this is both easier and more challenging than a med school app. A Master's is often an applied degree so trying to explain why you want to pursue one can be tough to do. Thankfully, the application process is not as competitive and I'm convinced a good solid look is given to grad applications and far less computerized screens are used.

    Now, the question I have for you is more important. Why do you want to pursue a Master's? If you're trying to wipe away a bad undergrad GPA, DON'T DO IT FOR THIS REASON. If you're applying for med school, this strategy will not work as your undergrad GPA will still be displayed in its entirety. For those schools who screen, this will not help you past the screen. Pursue the master's if it's going to help you get where you want to go. I should note what I'm saying has less to do with the Special Master's Programs that are built to aid students with a low GPA get into med school. Try the post-bacc forum for info on that.
  4. gman33

    gman33 Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 18, 2007
    How many UG credits have you taken so far?
    You need to fix that UG gpa if med school is your goal.
    If you are interested in DO schools, they will only count your latest grade if you retake a course. This is the fastest way to raise the gpa if you are already far along in school.

    The only masters program that will help is a SMP, but your current gpa is too low to get accepted.

    If you still have a ways to go in school, you need to figure out ASAP what is holding you back. If needed, take few credits each semester.
    Post some more info if you want more directed advise.
  5. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    You are mixing concepts. You can only improve your GPA for med school by getting into an UNDERGRADUATE level postbac. Because the GPA for med school purposes is the ug GPA + ug postbac. An SMP (special masters program) is graduate level, and its GPA will not effect or improve your GPA. It may show med schools you are capable of handling the med school level courses. Which is why the better SMP programs require applicants to already have around a 3.0 and some level of MCAT. Because at the base level, you need at least those stats for the graduate program to have any effect -- it can't overcome the low GPA part.

    Thus if you need to improve your GPA, you need to take more undergrad level courses -- probably in an informal postbac (open enrollment) type setting. Once your GPA is up around a 3.0, you can contemplate graduate programs to improve your application.

    It's a long climb, but some have made it.

Share This Page