Dec 29, 2013
9
1
Hi,
I just got done with my first semester at University of Virginia. I took 19 credits this semester while participating in the medical research lab in the med school. I got a 3.0 this semester, which is really really disappointing, that 3.0 really freaked me out. I am applying for those summer medical internship programs at various institutions, including Penn, Harvard, Hopkins, Cornell, Verdy, and Virginia. Since these programs are very competitive, should I just give up due to the low GPA? Furthermore, I'd love to go to one of the top medical schools after college, is there any way for me to raise my GPA up to in the 3.7-3.9 range?

I am double majoring in Biochemistry and Music. I got 2 Cs the first semester in Calculus 2 and Chemistry lab (I took the accelerated gen chem class as well as the accelerated gen chem lab. One thing that's really annoying is that I got an A in gen chem, but a C in lab. Also, my TA said my lab reports are not good enough, which is even more frustrating, since I did have two research papers that are currently being reviewed for publication.)

In any case, the two Cs are past history. There's nothing I can do now other than try to raise my grades up the next 7 semesters... So my questions are:
1. how difficult will it be to raise a 3.0 to a 3.7-3.9 by the time I graduate?
2. If I get to a 3.5 by the end of freshman year, how are my chances of getting into those competitive summer internship programs?

Thank you all!

I do realize that I might be overreacting a little bit, and that I sounded really whiny about my 2 Cs. I just can't stop freaking out about this grade...

Again, thank you!
 

ponyo

人魚姫
7+ Year Member
Aug 12, 2009
581
82
North of Key West
Status
Medical Student
Hi,
I just got done with my first semester at University of Virginia. I took 19 credits this semester while participating in the medical research lab in the med school. I got a 3.0 this semester, which is really really disappointing, that 3.0 really freaked me out. I am applying for those summer medical internship programs at various institutions, including Penn, Harvard, Hopkins, Cornell, Verdy, and Virginia. Since these programs are very competitive, should I just give up due to the low GPA? Furthermore, I'd love to go to one of the top medical schools after college, is there any way for me to raise my GPA up to in the 3.7-3.9 range?

I am double majoring in Biochemistry and Music. I got 2 Cs the first semester in Calculus 2 and Chemistry lab (I took the accelerated gen chem class as well as the accelerated gen chem lab. One thing that's really annoying is that I got an A in gen chem, but a C in lab. Also, my TA said my lab reports are not good enough, which is even more frustrating, since I did have two research papers that are currently being reviewed for publication.)

In any case, the two Cs are past history. There's nothing I can do now other than try to raise my grades up the next 7 semesters... So my questions are:
1. how difficult will it be to raise a 3.0 to a 3.7-3.9 by the time I graduate?
2. If I get to a 3.5 by the end of freshman year, how are my chances of getting into those competitive summer internship programs?

Thank you all!

I do realize that I might be overreacting a little bit, and that I sounded really whiny about my 2 Cs. I just can't stop freaking out about this grade...

Again, thank you!
1. Stop freaking out. It's fine. Re-evaluate your studying habits and try to learn from older students at your institution about things that might be specific to the courses you took or to your university, like what they want out of a lab report. Unless you actually just can't write English, the TAs probably had specific requirements that you missed.

In terms of raising your grades and finding the right classes to take, your best advice really will come from successful premeds and biochem majors at your school. Don't pester them and don't whine, but those insider tips can go a really long way.

2. You should never give up due to low GPA. You never know. You don't lose anything by trying. It's not like those types of apps cost money.

3. I really hope you're not actually named your username and going to UVA, because you should at least pretend to anonymize yourself. Some people on this forum will figure out who you are regardless, but don't just give it away...
 

Aerus

Elemental Alchemist
7+ Year Member
Apr 21, 2012
3,224
2,371
Status
Medical Student
You can probably do the math for the GPA. How many credits of A (4.0) do you need to pull it back up? Then plan your semesters accordingly.

For summer internships, if they focus a lot on GPA, you probably have a very tiny chance. Other programs, if they focus on research experience, might give you a chance. I know for some summer research programs, they let truly exceptional applicants an extra quarter/semester to pull up their GPA above the minimum.
 
Sep 18, 2013
50
9
Status
Pre-Medical
OP I did a little algebra for you. If you want a cumulative of a 3.7 by the time you graduate you'll want to average a 3.8 for the next 7 semesters. Your first semester at a 3.0 is fine. Just pick it up from here.
 

BurberryDoc

Account on Hold
Account on Hold
Jun 7, 2013
2,267
376
Pawnee, IN
I am not too familiar with the actual application process for these summer programs (the summer research program I did was through a connection..hehe) However, if the programs have a minimum required GPA for consideration that exceeds 3.0, you may be out of luck for only those programs. Maybe cut things back a bit with your current lab (but don't drop it completely!) - if these programs are anything like applying to graduate school, your research experience trumps your grades (to a certain extent.) You shouldn't give up on yourself though. Another thing to consider though, is that some of these programs have application deadlines in February/March, and tend to make their decisions prior to the end of the spring academic term, to give their participants a heads up on relocating for the summer, what to bring, etc. Make sure you get a recommendation letter (a good) one from your lab's PI or a post-doc if you want to be taken seriously by any program you are applying to.

Biochemistry & Music? That's pretty awesome dude. Rock on. +pity+
 
OP
Z
Dec 29, 2013
9
1
You can probably do the math for the GPA. How many credits of A (4.0) do you need to pull it back up? Then plan your semesters accordingly.

For summer internships, if they focus a lot on GPA, you probably have a very tiny chance. Other programs, if they focus on research experience, might give you a chance. I know for some summer research programs, they let truly exceptional applicants an extra quarter/semester to pull up their GPA above the minimum.
Thanks so much! can you please give me some info on those summer research programs that allowed extra time to do that? it's not that I have no faith in me, it's just to have a back up.
 
OP
Z
Dec 29, 2013
9
1
1. Stop freaking out. It's fine. Re-evaluate your studying habits and try to learn from older students at your institution about things that might be specific to the courses you took or to your university, like what they want out of a lab report. Unless you actually just can't write English, the TAs probably had specific requirements that you missed.

In terms of raising your grades and finding the right classes to take, your best advice really will come from successful premeds and biochem majors at your school. Don't pester them and don't whine, but those insider tips can go a really long way.

2. You should never give up due to low GPA. You never know. You don't lose anything by trying. It's not like those types of apps cost money.

3. I really hope you're not actually named your username and going to UVA, because you should at least pretend to anonymize yourself. Some people on this forum will figure out who you are regardless, but don't just give it away...

thank you so much! and my username is not my real name, thanks for the reminder though.
 
OP
Z
Dec 29, 2013
9
1
OP I did a little algebra for you. If you want a cumulative of a 3.7 by the time you graduate you'll want to average a 3.8 for the next 7 semesters. Your first semester at a 3.0 is fine. Just pick it up from here.
thank you so much! It won't be super difficult (I think/hope) Quick question, is a 3.7 good enough for those top med schools? not that I'm wanting the "fame" of going to a top med school or anything, it's just that Hopkins is super close to home, and other top institutions offer really good financial aid. I don't want to put more stress on my parents.
 
OP
Z
Dec 29, 2013
9
1
I am not too familiar with the actual application process for these summer programs (the summer research program I did was through a connection..hehe) However, if the programs have a minimum required GPA for consideration that exceeds 3.0, you may be out of luck for only those programs. Maybe cut things back a bit with your current lab (but don't drop it completely!) - if these programs are anything like applying to graduate school, your research experience trumps your grades (to a certain extent.) You shouldn't give up on yourself though. Another thing to consider though, is that some of these programs have application deadlines in February/March, and tend to make their decisions prior to the end of the spring academic term, to give their participants a heads up on relocating for the summer, what to bring, etc. Make sure you get a recommendation letter (a good) one from your lab's PI or a post-doc if you want to be taken seriously by any program you are applying to.

Biochemistry & Music? That's pretty awesome dude. Rock on. +pity+
Thanks so much for the advise! I will definitely keep these in mind. and you're right, the deadline for all the programs I mentioned have the deadlines set in Feb/Mar. should I just apply anyway with this pretty horrible gpa?
 

EvenStevens

Renaissance Man
5+ Year Member
Jun 30, 2012
231
100
Status
Pre-Medical
OP's gunner classmates at UVA will shame him for the enxt 4 years
gotta be anon bro
 
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Jul 30, 2013
20
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I made a 3.0 my first semester too, but I kept at it and made a 3.8 next semester, and I just made a 3.9 last semester, so stick at it!
 

BurberryDoc

Account on Hold
Account on Hold
Jun 7, 2013
2,267
376
Pawnee, IN
Thanks so much for the advise! I will definitely keep these in mind. and you're right, the deadline for all the programs I mentioned have the deadlines set in Feb/Mar. should I just apply anyway with this pretty horrible gpa?
Yes. Just emphasize your research, don't talk about your grades - just write in the GPA in the space for the GPA.
 

nemo123

5+ Year Member
Jul 22, 2011
2,035
986
Status
Medical Student
If you're a freshman, a lot of summer programs are biased against freshmen unfortunately. Make sure the ones you apply to are open to accepting applications from rising sophomores.
 
Aug 21, 2013
119
34
Status
Pre-Medical
If you're a freshman, a lot of summer programs are biased against freshmen unfortunately. Make sure the ones you apply to are open to accepting applications from rising sophomores.
This. You should stay at UVA and continue working in your lab for the freshman summer. (maybe take a course alongside working?)
 
OP
Z
Dec 29, 2013
9
1
Hi,
I just got done with my first semester at University of Virginia. I took 19 credits this semester while participating in the medical research lab in the med school. I got a 3.0 this semester, which is really really disappointing, that 3.0 really freaked me out. I am applying for those summer medical internship programs at various institutions, including Penn, Harvard, Hopkins, Cornell, Verdy, and Virginia. Since these programs are very competitive, should I just give up due to the low GPA? Furthermore, I'd love to go to one of the top medical schools after college, is there any way for me to raise my GPA up to in the 3.7-3.9 range?

I am double majoring in Biochemistry and Music. I got 2 Cs the first semester in Calculus 2 and Chemistry lab (I took the accelerated gen chem class as well as the accelerated gen chem lab. One thing that's really annoying is that I got an A in gen chem, but a C in lab. Also, my TA said my lab reports are not good enough, which is even more frustrating, since I did have two research papers that are currently being reviewed for publication.)

In any case, the two Cs are past history. There's nothing I can do now other than try to raise my grades up the next 7 semesters... So my questions are:
1. how difficult will it be to raise a 3.0 to a 3.7-3.9 by the time I graduate?
2. If I get to a 3.5 by the end of freshman year, how are my chances of getting into those competitive summer internship programs?

Thank you all!

I do realize that I might be overreacting a little bit, and that I sounded really whiny about my 2 Cs. I just can't stop freaking out about this grade...

Again, thank you!
OP's gunner classmates at UVA will shame him for the enxt 4 years
gotta be anon bro

haha, thanks for the advise. but this is no where close to my name. :)
 

ponyo

人魚姫
7+ Year Member
Aug 12, 2009
581
82
North of Key West
Status
Medical Student
thank you so much! It won't be super difficult (I think/hope) Quick question, is a 3.7 good enough for those top med schools? not that I'm wanting the "fame" of going to a top med school or anything, it's just that Hopkins is super close to home, and other top institutions offer really good financial aid. I don't want to put more stress on my parents.
You can have <3.7 and still get a full ride from top 10. There's no point in stressing out about something you can't change--just do better from now on and make sure you're good outside of academics too.
 

bambam92

Membership Revoked
Removed
Nov 26, 2012
454
190
Library Basement
Status
Pre-Medical
OP, you can still absolutely matriculate into a US allopathic program. But, you need to raise your grades! A lot of people on here are saying to stress your research, and avoid talking about grades when applying. While your research is impressive, you need at least a 3.6 cumulative GPA to appeal to allopathic schools I would say. First off, looking at your schedule I can say it seemed brutal for an incoming freshman! 19 credits is a lot I have done 18 credits two semesters since being in undergrad (now a junior) and it is definitely busy! Also calc II at most schools is the most difficult of the series--so just breathe on that one. Next semester take 15 credits, cut down on research lab time ( still stay involved) and crush a 4.0! I mean gun for a 4.0 like your life depends on it. And once you pull a 4.0 or damn close to it then start sprinkling in a lab or two here and there as you feel comfortable and more research lab time. GPA is so important, and if you don't pull yours up you will be in trouble. I feel you can certainly pull it up but you have to be proactive about it. Don't put the volunteer research before your grades EVER. As long as you have some worthwhile research you will be okay in that department, during undergrad isn't the time to be trying to get published in Nature. lol. I see you express interest in getting into a top allopathic program by you're posts, for those you will need a 3.8+ to be honest. The median GPA's at schools in the top 10 are 3.9's. For laughs I looked at Harvard selection factors on the MSAR, and the 10th percentile for GPA was a 3.7. So a 3.7 certainly isn't going to lock you up for any top programs. But don't worry about this--right now you have bigger worries such as raising your GPA to a 3.5/3.6 which would give you a fighting change at some allopathic schools. This is a competitive process OP! Good luck.
 

Longshot6

5+ Year Member
Oct 8, 2013
347
401
Library
Status
Pre-Medical
1. Yes, it will be very hard to get a 3.7, with near all A's. However, very possible! Just adjust your schedule, maybe take the normal 15 credit hours and quit the research job until you can manage. Then build your way up to a harder schedule.

2. To be honest, I think you have a VERY small chance to get into these elite summer programs this year. This is because the application deadline is around February for most of these programs and thus your 2nd semester freshman grades won't matter. In addition, your a freshman and these programs usually want at least sophomores to apply.


These are just my thoughts. Don't be discouraged to apply since it does no harm, but I suggest having a plan b for your summer.