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Do Students with a masters need as high of a GPA?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by rpames, Dec 15, 2000.

  1. rpames

    rpames Optometrist
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    I was just wondering if anyone knew what a medical school applicant needs to have if they earned their Master. I want to know because I have a lab instructor for anatomy that is a grad student working on his master and want to get into med school after he graduates.
    Thanks for the help!

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    "If you have the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed."
    -David Viscott
     
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  3. alceria

    alceria Senior Member
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    Did your lab instructor ask you to ask for him? As a teaching assistant myself, I'd be a little put off if one of my students was telling me what he or she thought my chances of getting into med school were.

    I'm going to assume that your lab instructor is going for his masters in bio, since he's working in an anatomy lab. I'm guessing that adcoms would want to see that he does reasonably well in grad school, keeping at least a 3.5 GPA. If he does average or below average work in grad school, I doubt they are going to cut him slack, just because he's working on a masters. He needs to prove that he can handle a heavy load of science classes. If his grades are poor and he doesn't have a strong MCAT, he might not make a strong applicant. I don't know his situation though. If he's so interested, he should really talk to a pre-med advisor or post here himself.

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  4. If his grades are poor, he won't last in a grad program. C's are considered F's.
     
  5. rpames

    rpames Optometrist
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    alceria,
    Thanks for the info. The only reason I mentioned my lab instructor is because he sparked my interest in the question. He didn't ask me to ask and I don't ever give my instructor advice on his chances. I don't want his forum to form around my instruct either, my question is about the master degree. I've read some of your post in other formus and you don't seem to be a person to come off on the attack but it sound from your responce that I hit a nerve, I didn't mean too. Sorry.
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    "If you have the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed."
    -David Viscott

    [This message has been edited by rpames (edited 12-16-2000).]

    [This message has been edited by rpames (edited 12-16-2000).]
     
  6. There's lots of grade inflation in graduate programs. Nobody gets lower than a C. The professors know not to give any really low grades. In fact, at my school the professors give either an A or a B, so it's really easy to get through a graduate program (if you put in a little effort, you can even have a really high GPA). Maybe that's why adcoms don't really look at grad school GPAs with as much "umph" as undergrad ones. Who knows. But it's really easy!

    Imtiaz
     
  7. fiatslug

    fiatslug Senior Member
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    Grad school GPA doesn't get factored into the "screening" undergrad BCPM (bio, chem, physics & math) AMCAS calculates from your transcripts and from which most schools make their initial applicant screen. If the person in question has a crappy undergrad GPA, now amount of stellar grad coursework will offset it; he/she will have to work at raising the undergrad BPCM GPA. The grad work, like meaningful medical experience, great letters of rec, and "interesting life experiences," will of course help any applicant who gets past the initial screen.
     
  8. gower

    gower 1K Member
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    Shoto and Imtiaz are right about grad grades. A and B are usually the only passing grades, C is equivalent to a failure. That means that B is a second-rate grade, although passing.

    Matriculated students in grad school have already been selected from the high end of a distribution curve and are expected to perform at a higher level. C students are not typically admitted as matriculants. There should thus be stiffer competition than at the undergrad level.

     
  9. As someone with a Master's degree I thought I'd comment (besides its raining outside and I'm bored). Fiatslug and the others are correct about "grade inflation" - and all medical school AdComs know about it. IMHO, no one really seemed to care about my high grad school gpa, they were only concerned about courses from the undergraduate record. I suppose you could argue that since my degree is in Exp. Psych and many of the courses were Mathematics/Statistics that they aren't directly applicable to med school and that a grad degree in Anatomy would be viewed differently. Fair enough.

    Bottom line is that the "going to grad school" route to increase your chances of getting into medical school is a well traveled road. If you cannot retake your undergrad courses and/or do well in the MCAT, then a grad degree isn't likely to give you/your friend/whomever a signficant advantage in medical school admissions. THE best thing about grad school for me was the teaching experience. I'm being asked about it quite frequently during my residency interviews.

    Best of luck...
     
  10. Test Boy

    Test Boy Senior Member
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    At one school where I applied, they told me you needed as last a 3.75 GPA in grad school to be considered.
     
  11. alceria

    alceria Senior Member
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    Hrmm, at my school, I've heard horror stories of professors failing entire classes of grad students. Perhaps the grade inflation depends on the instructor and the department. It seems awfully unfair. If someone gets an A in a class where the teacher doesn't inflate the grades, and someone in a different department gets an A for C work, it doesn't seem very fair to the first person.

    I will end up graduating either the semester before, or the same semester that I take the MCAT. So I most likely will have an empty year ahead of me, while I go through the application process. Do you think it would be better to get into a one-year master's program (right now I'm thinking about Community Medicine, which is offered at my first choice med school) or should I just find a job in the field, or volunteer, or travel or what? Assuming that my grades stay as strong as they are now, and I'm a strong applicant, would grad school make any difference, if I didn't get in the the first year I apply, and need to reapply later on?

    Oh, and to rpames - I wasn't offended! [​IMG]

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  12. wannabedoctor

    wannabedoctor Member
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    Grade inflation huh,,
    Being in a graduate program in speech language pathology... I feel getting a B in a few of my classes was a tough achievement..
     

  13. No one is saying that it isn't difficult to get good grades in graduate school. The issue is that the average gpa of the average grad student tends to be higher for a couple of reasons:

    1) the average grad student tends to have been in the upper rankings of his undergrad class and therefore, is perhaps more academically inclined

    2) grad professors (and students) readily see a failure as lower than a "B". Call it conventional wisdom or common knowledge, but a "C" grade is considered failing in grad school and medical school admissions committees know this. Grad school professors know this and are *perhaps* more inclined to give a "B" grade to a less than stellar student than "ruin" his record with a C. In my program, anyone with a C grade was required to retake the course. Would you have failed your courses if you received a C?

    At any rate, it is not unusual for grad students to have perfect 4.0 gpas or close to it. This tends not to be the case for undergrad education. Because of this, and the above reasons, IMHO grad school gpas are not given the same attention during medical school admission as are undergrad grades. Obviously this will vary from department to department and school to school, and I have heard professors say that, "I don't inflate grades", so you may find your experience differs from others.
     
  14. biophysicsbadass

    biophysicsbadass Junior Member
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    Since I am a graduate student I have something to offer here. My program is medical physics and is offered in the school of medicine at my university. I think the whole getting lower than a B thing (at my school a B- is a fail) was implemented because at the graduate level they expect you to not only understand the material, but also apply it. Getting lower than a B probably demonstrates that you were not able to do this. Many of my professors WILL NOT HESITATE to give out a C or D or even a B- if you do not understand the material or do the work, but the reason this is unlikely is because our program directors make sure that all we have to do is study. Most everyone commits themselves to the program, and don't work unless it is TA or research related. I personally busted my ass last quarter to get my A's, it was a lot of work. So for all you guys who think a masters is a way to show off a high GPA, I would think twice. Of course I can't speak for all graduate programs, I am sure some are not that tough to get a good GPA in. But I am sure the adcoms will know differences in quality with regards to grad programs. Another thought,99% of those who go to medical school pass all their classes and get their MD. That doesn't mean that no one busts their ass in medical school, so eqauting grades and passing stats with difficulty isn't fair in my opinion.
     

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