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Ending college with cumulative sGPA < 3.3, what to do next?

celloman1230

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Jun 3, 2017
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Stats/Info:
  • MCAT: not taken yet, most likely sometime in 2021
  • Freshman sGPA: 2.90
  • Sophomore sGPA: 3.21
  • Junior sGPA: 3.20
  • Senior sGPA: 3.68
  • Undergrad cumulative sGPA: 3.29
  • Undergrad cumulative GPA: 3.51
  • Paltry volunteer service record: I started in June 2019 and volunteered at a hospital and then volunteered through my school at a free medical clinic.
  • I helped a post-doc with her research for half a year, but I had to leave because I decided to focus more on my academics in the Spring 2020 semester.
  • Basically, I have nothing to show for myself.
Current Plans:
  • Study for MCAT now, testing in early half of 2021
  • Working at a private practice as a scribe/medical assistant/tech full time Mon-Fri (2 years agreement)
  • I am trying to get CNA certification so I can work on the weekends as a CNA at a hospital nearby.
  • Taking Physics 2 at my local extension school in Spring 2021 (last prerequisite)
  • I still need to prepare for the alternate career that is PA school or nursing school (because with my GPA this is really risky to try applying for medical schools), so I am going to be taking Human Anatomy & Physiology I in the fall of 2020, and then A&P II in the spring of 2021.
    • I'm just putting these classes as an example. I know some entry level nursing programs have different requirements)
  • It will take me 52 semester hour credits of straight A's to get a 3.60 sGPA if I did a DIY post-bacc. This is not feasible for me, so I was thinking about doing a SMP after I complete my 2 years at the physician's private practice.
Questions
  1. Should I take Physics 2 online this summer or wait until Spring 2021 in case classes are held in-person again?
  2. Is DIY post-bacc or SMP advisable in my situation?
  3. How is SMP GPA taken into account when applying to medical school?
Thank you very much.
 

Faha

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Sep 15, 2012
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A DIY post bacc in the coming year would help. You could take undergraduate level science courses at a local college in order to increase your sGPA. Your current GPA is fine for the majority of DO schools. As long as your MCAT is 500 or higher you will be competitive for majority of DO schools. Post your actual score here next year and I can suggest schools.
 

celloman1230

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Jun 3, 2017
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A DIY post bacc in the coming year would help. You could take undergraduate level science courses at a local college in order to increase your sGPA. Your current GPA is fine for the majority of DO schools. As long as your MCAT is 500 or higher you will be competitive for majority of DO schools. Post your actual score here next year and I can suggest schools.

Thank you for your advice, I really appreciate it. If I am seriously considering SMP over DIY post-bacc, is it still necessary for me to take additional science classes? (Aside from Physics 2 because it's a prerequisite I need to complete).
 
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Faha

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Thank you for your advice, I really appreciate it. If I am seriously considering SMP over DIY post-bacc, is it still necessary for me to take additional science classes? (Aside from Physics 2 because it's a prerequisite I need to complete).
If you decide to do a DIY post bacc then take science courses in order to increase your sGPA.
 
Jun 11, 2010
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  1. Should I take Physics 2 online this summer or wait until Spring 2021 in case classes are held in-person again?
  2. Is DIY post-bacc or SMP advisable in my situation?
  3. How is SMP GPA taken into account when applying to medical school?
1) best to take pre-res NOT in summer
2) Yes, if you're boning for MD You're fine right now for DO schools. Read this: Goro's advice for pre-meds who need reinvention
3) The SMP GPA is seen separately from UG GPA and cGPA. It's the thing that will stand out to those med schools that reward reinvention.
 

celloman1230

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Jun 3, 2017
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  1. Should I take Physics 2 online this summer or wait until Spring 2021 in case classes are held in-person again?
  2. Is DIY post-bacc or SMP advisable in my situation?
  3. How is SMP GPA taken into account when applying to medical school?
1) best to take pre-res NOT in summer
2) Yes, if you're boning for MD You're fine right now for DO schools. Read this: Goro's advice for pre-meds who need reinvention
3) The SMP GPA is seen separately from UG GPA and cGPA. It's the thing that will stand out to those med schools that reward reinvention.

Thanks so much! Are non pre-reqs like Cell Biology okay, or should I hold off on summer classes entirely?
 
Jun 11, 2010
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@Goro
What is the reasoning on summer courses?
Does taking pre-reqs at a CC vs 4yr change the calculus?

Thanks for all your advice!
Many MD schools recommend against taking pre-reqs at CCs. MSAR tells you exactly who does and doesn't.
 

celloman1230

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It's OK to take non-prereqs over the summer.

Is it bad to take a good chunk of science classes over the summer (not pre-reqs, just stuff like Genetics, Cell Bio, Neuroscience)? I personally feel that summer science classes are not as fulfilling as their normal semester counterparts, but with summer classes, I could probably shorten my post-bacc by a semester or so. Is there a certain limit/percentage on how many summer classes one should take (non pre requisite)?
 
Jun 11, 2010
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Is it bad to take a good chunk of science classes over the summer (not pre-reqs, just stuff like Genetics, Cell Bio, Neuroscience)? I personally feel that summer science classes are not as fulfilling as their normal semester counterparts, but with summer classes, I could probably shorten my post-bacc by a semester or so. Is there a certain limit/percentage on how many summer classes one should take (non pre requisite)?
It will be fine. Just don't take the pre-reqs over the summer.

Also, be careful of biting off more than you can chew. Summer sessions, because they're shorter, might very well be more intense.
 
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paradoxic_toxic

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If I already have one pre-req taken over the summer (2nd semester Chemistry), and the college I took it at is considerably less prestigious than the one I attended for undergrad, would that be harmful to my application?

1 pre-req is fine. As long as you do the rest of them in a 4-year college and do well, you'll be ok.
 
Jun 11, 2010
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Somewhere west of St. Louis
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If I already have one pre-req taken over the summer (2nd semester Chemistry), and the college I took it at is considerably less prestigious than the one I attended for undergrad, would that be harmful to my application?
Nope. Just do well.
 
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