Did horrible undergrad w/ 2.86GPA in Bioengineering.... what should I do next?

Jul 12, 2009
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I just graduated from UF in Biological Engineering with a horrible 2.86 GPA. The only reason why I chose engineering was because I wasn't sure about Medschool as a freshman in college and decided this was the best route in order to have a good back up plan in case Medschool wasn't my dream. Some time during my 3rd year in college I decided engineering wasn't what I wanted to do for the rest of my life but it was too late to change majors so I finished the degree.

I know want to do Medschool and I'm determined to do whatever it takes. I took all of the premed courses as part of my major but performed poorly on most. What should I do next? I was thinking about Paramedic School (since I already did EMT-Basic) and then MCATs but I'm sure that won't cut it. Should I not do Paramedic and do Postbacc instead? What about a second major???

Help please, I don't know what is best!!!!!
 

herbb

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I think you should look into Special Masters Programs, because that's what worked for me. But <3.0 GPA is kind of tough because some programs require a minimum of 3.0 GPA. Also you might need an MCAT score to apply. I'm not sure how much paramedic school would help. I would think your main concern would be fixing your GPA unless you don't have enough extracurricular activities.
 

jtimmer1

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What is your MCAT score?

It will be hard to raise a GPA that already has so many credit hours averaged in. You could do one of the following:


  1. Retake a few "important" courses that you did not do so well in and raise your AACOMAS GPA up. For D.O. schools, of course.
  2. Post-bacc for 1-2 years to raise GPA.
  3. "Try" to get into a SMP program- a 3.0 is generally recommended.
These are dependent also on your MCAT score, so we would need to address that as well.
 

Van Chowder

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I just graduated from UF in Biological Engineering with a horrible 2.86 GPA. The only reason why I chose engineering was because I wasn't sure about Medschool as a freshman in college and decided this was the best route in order to have a good back up plan in case Medschool wasn't my dream.
You know what is wrong with this? Having a back up plan that can ( and did ) jeopardize your primary plan seems unwise,no?

Honestly brother, you have got an all uphill battle from here, take the MCAT, rock it, and apply to all Osteopathic schools.

Good luck to you.
 

muhali3

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Retake all courses that most negatively affect your GPA. Make A's in all those classes. Then apply to D.O schools, they will only factor the retake grade into your GPA.
 

JamesBond15

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More importantly, do you know why you did poorly in your pre-med classes? You first need to figure out what caused you to do poorly. Then retake the classes and get As.
 

ensuii

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Your GPA probably falls short of the mark a lot of school set for sending out secondaries to. That being said, it's not the end of the world for you. Doing a post-bacc is one option. However, a lot of them have GPA cutoffs as well so you should look at what your options are and re-evaluate from there. Alternatively, you could pursue a master's degree in some sort of science program. Doing well there would definitely go a long way towards improving your residency. You could apply DO this cycle just to give it a shot...but I'm not too sure. From what I remember, a lot of them have averages in the range of 3.3-3.6. Might be worth a shot tho. Good luck; you're a smart guy and can make it if you want it bad enough.
 
OP
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You know what is wrong with this? Having a back up plan that can ( and did ) jeopardize your primary plan seems unwise,no?
.
Yes, it was unwise and that is why I didn't do well in my premed core - my engineering core was too hard.
 
OP
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What is your MCAT score?
I haven't taken the MCAT because I figured the reason why I didn't do well in my premed courses was because I didn't know enough of the material.
I don't want to take the exam unprepared so I was thinking maybe after retaking some courses or taking more advanced ones and getting A's in them I would be more prepared to take the MCAT.
 

determined1985

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Your GPA probably falls short of the mark a lot of school set for sending out secondaries to. That being said, it's not the end of the world for you. Doing a post-bacc is one option. However, a lot of them have GPA cutoffs as well so you should look at what your options are and re-evaluate from there. Alternatively, you could pursue a master's degree in some sort of science program. Doing well there would definitely go a long way towards improving your residency. You could apply DO this cycle just to give it a shot...but I'm not too sure. From what I remember, a lot of them have averages in the range of 3.3-3.6. Might be worth a shot tho. Good luck; you're a smart guy and can make it if you want it bad enough.
Hey, I have a 2.8 UG with a 28Q, and I submitted my AMCAS June 2nd. I have recieved 10+ secondaries so far (Creighton, GWU, Temple, Jefferson, UIllinois, Rosalind Franklin, ULouiseville, Med College of Wisc, Loma Linda, and even Boston and Georgetown) and anticipate receiving 8-10 more. Anyways, Mississippi College has a Master in Medical Sciences that doesn't really have a GPA cutoff... Check them out. (**Side note: Mississippi College has courses that are meant to mimic the medical school level. The dean/ one of our professors is an adjunct gross anatomy professor at the Univ of Mississippi Medical School. Another professor is a US MD with a degree from UofMississippi Medical School... They offer neuroanatomy, gross anatomy, histology, medical physiology, pharmacology, biochemostry, immunology, and embryo. Some of the students who were in the program with me this year got into med or dental schools while we were still in the program: Tulane, Ol' Miss, LSU, NYU Dent, Tufts Dent, and a whole bunch of DO schools...) Anyways, I went there, did pretty well, and am hoping that it will all work out.

My point is that if this is what you really want, then fight for it. Don't give up. My premed advisor told me that the only one stopping me from getting into medschool is myself and that the day I stop trying to get into Med School is the day I don't become a doctor.

Do as well as you can on the MCAT, apply to a whole bunch of SMP's (hopefully you can get into Miss. College) and then do well at your SMP. Take a serious, good, hard look at your application... and fix whatever holes you KNOW you need to fix. Then apply broadly and early to medical school. If you have to reapply, work at a hospital in the meantime or do some research.

Goodluck and keep on truckin'!!!
 
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StPlayrXtreme

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Hey, I have a 2.8 UG with a 28Q, and I submitted my AMCAS June 2nd. I have recieved 10+ secondaries so far (Creighton, GWU, Temple, Jefferson, UIllinois, Rosalind Franklin, ULouiseville, Med College of Wisc, Loma Linda, and even Boston and Georgetown) and anticipate receiving 8-10 more.

My point is that if this is what you really want, then fight for it. Don't give up.
Not to be a downer, but just so you are aware, most secondaries do not screen applicants. Most schools require ~$100 check, so it's in their best interest to let everyone apply. It's going to be tough, but I hope things work out.

To the OP, while I agree that you shouldn't give up if you are really want to become a doctor, you have some serious repair work to do. You should not apply until you are confident that you are competitive. While engineering would give you a slight edge (as a bioengineer, I got into a couple schools with 3.8 average gpa, with a 3.55)...but I also had As on my prereqs.

Applying is expensive, time consuming, and reapplication also comes with more challenges. I think you should build up your application as much as possible before you apply.
 

herbb

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Med. school is still very possible, so don't lose hope! But you're going to have to work very hard for probably at least two years to fix that GPA.
 

PinkIvy08

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I'm in the same boat as determined1985, and I agree that it can be done. I say no to the Paramedic route. I had a slightly sub-3.0 (2.98 something) and to ensure I got interviews for post-bac programs, I took the MCAT before applying, to show admissions offices that I was perfectly capable of achieving just as high as my peers, and honestly explaining to them why I didn't do so well in ugrad.

Personally, I took the route of UPenn's post-bacc (i don't know your geographic location or preferences). If I had to do over again, I probably would have taken classes at my local state school. You don't get a committee letter (whoopty-do, just use Interfolio or VE and round up letters yourself), but it saves you a lot of money, therefore enabling you to take many more classes.

Just because you didn't necessarily start off the strongest, doesn't mean you can't reach your goals. At least you have the right attitude and outlook on this. Make sure your LORs are strong and your ECs solid and diverse. Above all, beast the MCATs - they are standardized, and while they can't completely make up for a lacking GPA, they can show how academically prepared you are as compared to the rest of pre-meds across the country.

My best wishes to you!
 

econdr

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I had a 2.9 in undergrad, and got straight As in my postbacc program to raise my gpa to 3.1.

I'm starting med school in a few weeks, so it really is possible. plus, engineering majors are expected to have a little bit lower gpas than, say, sociology. all this factors in. you should do a SMP. there are ones that allow you to matriculate directly into medical school if you do well. i'd look into one of those.

http://services.aamc.org/postbac/
 
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delicatefew24

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I just graduated from UF in Biological Engineering with a horrible 2.86 GPA. The only reason why I chose engineering was because I wasn't sure about Medschool as a freshman in college and decided this was the best route in order to have a good back up plan in case Medschool wasn't my dream. Some time during my 3rd year in college I decided engineering wasn't what I wanted to do for the rest of my life but it was too late to change majors so I finished the degree.

I know want to do Medschool and I'm determined to do whatever it takes. I took all of the premed courses as part of my major but performed poorly on most. What should I do next? I was thinking about Paramedic School (since I already did EMT-Basic) and then MCATs but I'm sure that won't cut it. Should I not do Paramedic and do Postbacc instead? What about a second major???

Help please, I don't know what is best!!!!!
I can completely relate to you. I decided on a biomedical engineering major because I wanted it to be a backup plan in case I didn't want to do medicine. Mistake. The ave GPA of BME at my school is ~2.8, probably like your school. At the end of my freshman year, I had gotten a 2.85 on my second semester, 3.0 cumulative, and completely hated engineering. Since I took all these courses first year I ended up with a C in physics, C+ in calc, etc etc... Lucky for me I decided a little earlier than you that engineering was not for me and I was determined to go to med school. Switching majors to Molecular Biology I got my GPA up to almost a 3.5 and am now applying. Who knows if I'll make it, but my suggestions are:
1. DEFINITELY take post bacc classes, show that you've become completely determined, and GET A's. Bring up that science gpa.
2. shadow a lot of doctors, do a lot of volunteering, and in general get a LOT of good extracurriculars before you apply.
3. ACE the mcat. Take the time to study enough that you are getting 35+ on your practice tests
4. Apply to your state schools!! Hopefully you're not from Ca like me...

And once you get your GPA >3.0, hopefully your MCAT really high!! and lots of ECs and motivation, and don't forget a great personal statement - med schools will see your engineering major and all the steps you've taken from there and I really think you can make it.

Don't let people tell you to settle for DO schools if you don't want to. This is your career so you can take some time to get there! :luck:
 

dru2002

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I can completely relate to you. I decided on a biomedical engineering major because I wanted it to be a backup plan in case I didn't want to do medicine. Mistake. The ave GPA of BME at my school is ~2.8, probably like your school. At the end of my freshman year, I had gotten a 2.85 on my second semester, 3.0 cumulative, and completely hated engineering.
Dude that sucks. I don't get why a school would do that to their students. Almost all of the engineering majors at my school have a minimum 3.3 GPA entrance to major requirement. And I'm at a major research university.
 

ensuii

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Dude that sucks. I don't get why a school would do that to their students. Almost all of the engineering majors at my school have a minimum 3.3 GPA entrance to major requirement. And I'm at a major research university.
Same...my school was a huge hardcore pre-med factory, but I think the engineering kids had the worst out of any bunch. It's pretty weird...as a former teacher, I always viewed kids not doing well as a failure on my part as their teacher. It seems like the norm for engineering profs is to artificially keep grades low for some reason which is pretty stupid; a grade should reflect mastery of content relative to reasonable/feasible standards and nothing more.
 

delicatefew24

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Yeah, some schools' engineering departments just have no concept of premed mentality and think if the average on their tests are 30s and the average final grade a 2.0 - its fine! I, on the other hand, don't think anyone has learned the material if 0 people make an A in the class. I don't think medical schools really take grade deflation or grade inflation into account, because they don't have to, and I honestly don't believe medical schools do things like add .1 for their top 20 school, .1 for their engineering major...
 
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Masters or Post

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So I know this isn't all too related to the thread, but wanted your opinions. UGpa is 3.12, bcpm is probably around there. Wasn't even planning on applying to anything for this Fall because I need to spend a year gaining clinical/ volunteer experience. Although I feel I should have, since I'm hearing of a lot of friends getting into good post-bacc programs like upenn, drexel, etc... w/ much lower GRE's (I took it in July just for the professor I was doing research w/ to see if he could get an NIH grant to start paying me, ended up getting a 1400 and he managed to get a nih grant so i could do a masters in vet. medicine, but it would be 2 years and i don't know how much it would have helped me get into med school so i didn't accept) Anyways.... So my plan is to take my MCATs in Jan, then apply to both post-bacc and smp programs. Do you think a post-bacc is necessary, or if I do very well in a smp will that offset my undergrad experience. I applied last minute, since I already had my GRE's, to VCUs CERT program, and they accepted me, but I feel I really need to spend this year filling the void in my clinical/volunteer work. Just kind of lost and would like some reassurance on my plan / whether I should go straight to a SMP (hoping my MCAT will get me into BU's program) or whether a post-bacc is a must to raise my ugpa? And if I do a post-bacc, would I still need to do a SMP after that? My goal is to get into the best medical school possible, and I'm determined to do w/e it takes.
 
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Yeah, some schools' engineering departments just have no concept of premed mentality and think if the average on their tests are 30s and the average final grade a 2.0 - its fine! I, on the other hand, don't think anyone has learned the material if 0 people make an A in the class. I don't think medical schools really take grade deflation or grade inflation into account, because they don't have to, and I honestly don't believe medical schools do things like add .1 for their top 20 school, .1 for their engineering major...
Average of my major (EE/CE) here is around 2.5 or so. I'm sneaking around with a 3.5 barely. Engineering profs care more about you learning the material than giving you a "good" grade, as you could be part of the team designing the next-gen of ABS or FADECs or safety-critical systems.

I'd like to think that adcoms look at undergrad majors when comparing GPAs...
 

Poliscidoc

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I guess I am kind of in the same boat. I am a current junior that just realized I wanted to be a Dr. I have 3.01 GPA but I still have 2 years (128 Credit Hours) left, so I am hoping to raise my GPA to around a 3.6 so I could be somewhat competitive. A question I have, is how do the adcom's look at not science related activities. I have worked on as a Senators Intern and played college football. I still have 300 plus hours of volunteer work (at a hospital) every semester. Also I will have studied abroad for a year (Volunteering and Internine at a hospital in Australia) is there anything else I can do that will make me more compeitive.

Sorry for cutting in on your post.
 

sunset823

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I guess I am kind of in the same boat. I am a current junior that just realized I wanted to be a Dr. I have 3.01 GPA but I still have 2 years (128 Credit Hours) left, so I am hoping to raise my GPA to around a 3.6 so I could be somewhat competitive. A question I have, is how do the adcom's look at not science related activities. I have worked on as a Senators Intern and played college football. I still have 300 plus hours of volunteer work (at a hospital) every semester. Also I will have studied abroad for a year (Volunteering and Internine at a hospital in Australia) is there anything else I can do that will make me more compeitive.

Sorry for cutting in on your post.
PoliSciDoc, I'm guessing from your name that you're a poli-sci major, and I was definitely in a similar situation to you. Poli-sci major who did well in almost all my poli-sci courses, but not so hot in some of the sciences (especially orgo). I think I've been extremely lucky, because I pursued my passions, many of which were non-science, and I didn't have any meaningful clinical/hospital-volunteering experience, but my passion got me a seat in medical school.

A couple of things I did that got me into med school despite my crappy prereq GPA (and I mean CRAPPY) were:
1) do well in upper level bio classes - I had a great junior and senior year, all As with only two Bs, and this upward trend definitely made a difference.
2) I did a completely unrelated masters (public policy), but it allowed me some time to get some great experiences and distance myself from my undergrad GPA. I didn't do an SMP, but if you feel that your science GPA still needs some work, that is an option (a friend who was an English major did it and it has been helpful for her in med school since she, like me, didn't have a super-strong science background)
3) Do stuff you are passionate about, and the passion will show through. Don't do anything just to get you into medical school.

Hope that helps!
 

TopSecret

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I just graduated from UF in Biological Engineering with a horrible 2.86 GPA. The only reason why I chose engineering was because I wasn't sure about Medschool as a freshman in college and decided this was the best route in order to have a good back up plan in case Medschool wasn't my dream. Some time during my 3rd year in college I decided engineering wasn't what I wanted to do for the rest of my life but it was too late to change majors so I finished the degree.

I know want to do Medschool and I'm determined to do whatever it takes. I took all of the premed courses as part of my major but performed poorly on most. What should I do next? I was thinking about Paramedic School (since I already did EMT-Basic) and then MCATs but I'm sure that won't cut it. Should I not do Paramedic and do Postbacc instead? What about a second major???

Help please, I don't know what is best!!!!!
Your chances are not good. You could do grad school but that's another 2-4 years before you re-apply.
 

Poliscidoc

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I just graduated from UF in Biological Engineering with a horrible 2.86 GPA. The only reason why I chose engineering was because I wasn't sure about Medschool as a freshman in college and decided this was the best route in order to have a good back up plan in case Medschool wasn't my dream. Some time during my 3rd year in college I decided engineering wasn't what I wanted to do for the rest of my life but it was too late to change majors so I finished the degree.

I know want to do Medschool and I'm determined to do whatever it takes. I took all of the premed courses as part of my major but performed poorly on most. What should I do next? I was thinking about Paramedic School (since I already did EMT-Basic) and then MCATs but I'm sure that won't cut it. Should I not do Paramedic and do Postbacc instead? What about a second major???

Help please, I don't know what is best!!!!!

Just a thought, but what about doing an international study program. Australia has some awesome research schools and also it takes a shorter amount of time to do a graduate degree. The classes are also graded a lot more easier (85-100=A).. Just a thought. Might also add a little flavor to your resume and might help in an interview.