BMEkid09

BMEEEEE
10+ Year Member
Jul 27, 2006
12
0
Status
Pre-Medical
g
 
Last edited:

Robizzle

1K Member
10+ Year Member
May 28, 2006
2,831
10
Boston & NYC
Status
Medical Student
BMEkid09 said:
Hey guys, I'm a Biomedical Engineering major at one of the top two public universities in this country. I'm on the pre-med track, but the engineering major is harming my GPA because of Math (calculus). My first semester i had a hard time adjusting to college life and was overtaken by calculus I, receiving a C-. This was the only class to bring down my GPA to a 3.12 :( . But second semester i did a little better, receiving a B in Calc II and bringing my second semester GPA up to a 3.55 (cumulative now is 3.33). I'm involved with a bunch of clubs, do shadowing and hospital volunteering also. I needed to know what GPA i need to aim for before I apply to med schools to be competitive? Also, i heard med schools add "0.1" to GPA's of Engineering students to take into account the difficulty of the major. Is this generally true? Any response would be greatly appreciated! Med school is the only place i want to be! :D
a GPA around 3.5 for an engineer is both competitive and impressive. you're almost there. Work hard but know your upper level BME courses are way harder than calc I. In fact, I didn't even start taking BME classes until I was a junior. The rest were all pre-reqs for medicine and ENG. As for the 0.1 i highly doubt it.. They'll definitely take ENG into consideration but i don't think there's actual numbers involved here.
 

ADeadLois

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Dec 18, 2005
3,158
6
Status
Medical Student
BMEkid09 said:
Hey guys, I'm a Biomedical Engineering major at one of the top two public universities in this country. I'm on the pre-med track, but the engineering major is harming my GPA because of Math (calculus). My first semester i had a hard time adjusting to college life and was overtaken by calculus I, receiving a C-. This was the only class to bring down my GPA to a 3.12 :( . But second semester i did a little better, receiving a B in Calc II and bringing my second semester GPA up to a 3.55 (cumulative now is 3.33). I'm involved with a bunch of clubs, do shadowing and hospital volunteering also. I needed to know what GPA i need to aim for before I apply to med schools to be competitive? Also, i heard med schools add "0.1" to GPA's of Engineering students to take into account the difficulty of the major. Is this generally true? Any response would be greatly appreciated! Med school is the only place i want to be! :D
The "0.1" addition is a myth; some schools may take into account the difficulty of your major holistically, but as far as simply adding points that is not the case. There is not set GPA for which you need to AIM for, just do the best you can in your classes. Since you're BME, you'll have a bunch of science classes in addition to your pre-reqs which will give you an opportunity to raise your GPA.
 
About the Ads

KrispyKreme

Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 27, 2006
36
0
Status
BMEkid09 said:
Hey guys, I'm a Biomedical Engineering major at one of the top two public universities in this country. I'm on the pre-med track, but the engineering major is harming my GPA because of Math (calculus). My first semester i had a hard time adjusting to college life and was overtaken by calculus I, receiving a C-. This was the only class to bring down my GPA to a 3.12 :( . But second semester i did a little better, receiving a B in Calc II and bringing my second semester GPA up to a 3.55 (cumulative now is 3.33). I'm involved with a bunch of clubs, do shadowing and hospital volunteering also. I needed to know what GPA i need to aim for before I apply to med schools to be competitive? Also, i heard med schools add "0.1" to GPA's of Engineering students to take into account the difficulty of the major. Is this generally true? Any response would be greatly appreciated! Med school is the only place i want to be! :D
Are you at UVA? they have a good BME program from what i've heard. i'm guessing all your classes are curved to a 2.7, meaning that your engineering profs. will tell you that a B/B+ is a good grade in their class, and it's sufficient for all jobs/grad school (which it is from what i've seen), but maybe not for med school. i would suggest not worrying about your GPA so much and getting good work experience in a biomedical setting and making a contribution to the field to show that you can apply what you learn. also, your grades will go up a lot senior year when you start taking engineering classes you really like so maybe take a year off? our pre-health dean tells almost all engineers to take a year off, even with a good GPA/MCAT score after junior year. your senior design project could be a good addition to your application too. also, summer classes might help to relieve some of the workload during the year.
 
OP
B

BMEkid09

BMEEEEE
10+ Year Member
Jul 27, 2006
12
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks for the advice so far. But how hard does BME actually get? And if it does get super hard, shouldnt med schools see that we're getting eaten alive here by engineering while other students are doing like english, or some arts major?
 

TSK

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
May 25, 2006
372
1
Status
Medical Student
Hey,
I graduated with a degree in BME from an ivy and then did a post-bac for my pre-meds at a different ivy. Schools will take into account the difficulty of your coursework but, like others said, they won't add some agreed upon number to your GPA. You may also be able to substitute some of your BME courses for your pre-med requirements, I did. Also, diff schools have diff GPA/MCAT medians. So, how competitive you are/need to be will also have something to do with where you intend on applying.


BMEkid09 said:
Hey guys, I'm a Biomedical Engineering major at one of the top two public universities in this country. I'm on the pre-med track, but the engineering major is harming my GPA because of Math (calculus). My first semester i had a hard time adjusting to college life and was overtaken by calculus I, receiving a C-. This was the only class to bring down my GPA to a 3.12 :( . But second semester i did a little better, receiving a B in Calc II and bringing my second semester GPA up to a 3.55 (cumulative now is 3.33). I'm involved with a bunch of clubs, do shadowing and hospital volunteering also. I needed to know what GPA i need to aim for before I apply to med schools to be competitive? Also, i heard med schools add "0.1" to GPA's of Engineering students to take into account the difficulty of the major. Is this generally true? Any response would be greatly appreciated! Med school is the only place i want to be! :D
 

MollyMalone

I'm a Score Quadruplet
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 30, 2004
5,796
20
45
The anterosuperior branch of the inferomedial some
Status
BMEkid09 said:
Thanks for the advice so far. But how hard does BME actually get? And if it does get super hard, shouldnt med schools see that we're getting eaten alive here by engineering while other students are doing like english, or some arts major?
They can see your major. It's on AMCAS.
 

KrispyKreme

Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 27, 2006
36
0
Status
BMEkid09 said:
Thanks for the advice so far. But how hard does BME actually get? And if it does get super hard, shouldnt med schools see that we're getting eaten alive here by engineering while other students are doing like english, or some arts major?
we're supposed to pick a major that we're interested in and will do well in. adcoms will also evaluate the difficulty of your individual school's program.

BME can be hard sometimes. i've seen a ton of kids just happy to get B's in their classes. you're basically applying electrical engineering to biology in a lot of cases to make medical devices, and the high level math you have to take will be used in other projects too. i don't think i would have been nearly as interested in any other major, especially after all that i've done in my labs. just don't get stressed about the problem sets; the TAs are pretty helpful.
 

DrZaius

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 1, 2005
177
0
California
Status
Non-Student
Robizzle said:
Work hard but know your upper level BME courses are way harder than calc I.
I have to disagree with this. I think that the first two years of an engineering education are the hardest. Once you start engineering classes, I think it gets much easier, at least conceptually. You may have more work to do (I don't think so though), except in terms of projects, which should be fun for you if you enjoy engineering!

Think of it this way. In your physics class dealing with mechanics, you cover a LOT of concepts, probably about a chapter per week. Once you take statics, you take ONE chapter from physics and do an entire term on it! It's really easy! Circuits, I could draw the same analogy to physics, but it really does go places physics never went.

I think the important thing to think about not is difficulty, but what is expected you bring with you into these classes. They assume you can use the tools you picked up in calculus and physics. They don't ask you to do crazy things (usually), but they want you to know how.

That said, your GPA is pretty good right now, and you still have THREE YEARS left to bring it up! You can have any GPA you want. You're in a position now to go wherever you want, remember that!
 

Brick

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2006
19
0
35
Austin
Status
Pre-Medical
If all you want to do is go to medical school like you said you shouldn't do BME. Engineers who have solid GPA's still hardly get 4.0's its rare and killing yourself in engineering is pretty tough even if its gets easier, all the engineering physics and o chem at my school always give less A's and are the most competitive and the guy who majors in something easier takes o chem or physics and gets a slight break, that being said if you can do well on your mcat it may help you out and level your chances
 

Phillyborn

illadelphia
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 20, 2006
102
0
Status
Resident [Any Field]
DrZaius said:
I have to disagree with this. I think that the first two years of an engineering education are the hardest. Once you start engineering classes, I think it gets much easier, at least conceptually. You may have more work to do (I don't think so though), except in terms of projects, which should be fun for you if you enjoy engineering!

Think of it this way. In your physics class dealing with mechanics, you cover a LOT of concepts, probably about a chapter per week. Once you take statics, you take ONE chapter from physics and do an entire term on it! It's really easy! Circuits, I could draw the same analogy to physics, but it really does go places physics never went.

I think the important thing to think about not is difficulty, but what is expected you bring with you into these classes. They assume you can use the tools you picked up in calculus and physics. They don't ask you to do crazy things (usually), but they want you to know how.

That said, your GPA is pretty good right now, and you still have THREE YEARS left to bring it up! You can have any GPA you want. You're in a position now to go wherever you want, remember that!
I've found the complete oposite, with BME at least. For us, our Junior consists of getting a more in depth look at engineering disciplines with a biology emphasis. This means biomechanics, bioelectricity, biomaterials and biological transport processes. After completing these classes we are allowed to take electives in our department or others (this is important because they need to establish equivalents between our classes and those of other engineering majors). So Biomechanics is deemed the equivalent of the first 2 semester Mechanical Engineering, Bioelectricty the first 2 semesters of Electrical Engineering, Biomaterials the first semester of Material Science and an upper level composites class, and Transport is the first 3 semesters of Chemical Engineering. You're cramming 2 of these classes a semester in along with other sceince electives. So, at my school at least, you have a lot more material to catch up on, and are definitely not easier.
 

dwigt

Assistant^RegionalManager
10+ Year Member
Jun 16, 2006
233
0
TX
Status
Medical Student
I think engineering kids is wrong. I mean, just because you want your little bobby to be a track star doesn't give you the right to change his DNA.
 

KrispyKreme

Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 27, 2006
36
0
Status
FrogDoc07 said:
I think engineering kids is wrong. I mean, just because you want your little bobby to be a track star doesn't give you the right to change his DNA.
Who wants their kid to be a track star? Pick a sport that will pay off! now i feel like watching GATTACA again.
 
About the Ads

as06

Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 22, 2006
191
0
Houston
Status
Pre-Medical
In my experience with chemical engineering, the final two years are challenging, but more managable than the first two, in which you're covering a lot of ground in math and the basic sciences in order to build a foundation for the rest of your undergrad career. That said, I have to agree that getting top grades in engineering is more of a challenge than in other majors, including the life sciences. If you are absolutely set on medicine, you might consider switching into molecular biology and supplementing your education with coursework and research in the physical sciences.

If you do stick with engineering, you'll probably find the physical sciences section of the MCAT rather easy. And as a BME, your biology background should permit you to do well on the biological sciences section. So BME is a great preparation for the MCAT.

Your GPA right now is fine. As others have said, you have plenty of opportunities to improve it, but it'll probably require hard work over the next few years. Another major may be easier, but if you enjoy BME, stick with it, and rock the MCAT. Best of luck.
 

Zuerst

Plutonium Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 4, 2005
407
3
Republic of Texas
Status
BMEkid09 said:
Thanks for the advice so far. But how hard does BME actually get? And if it does get super hard, shouldnt med schools see that we're getting eaten alive here by engineering while other students are doing like english, or some arts major?
I'm doing EE premed and IMO, with a solid understanding for your basic sequence classes, "higher level" classes are very managable.
 
OP
B

BMEkid09

BMEEEEE
10+ Year Member
Jul 27, 2006
12
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Great advice from everyone. This post should help many engineering pre-meds out there. But back to something i thought i should bring up...I know i am pretty much set on med school, but i can't envision myself majoring in something like Biology or Chemistry to get there. I know BME isnt the easiest route, but the exciting, growing and challenging nature of the field makes me want to major in it, since it is 4 years of my life. (I was also lucky enough to get accepted into the major, my school caps off the # of students at 60 :eek: ) I'm sure a lot of people feel this way about their undergrad major and BME. Also, i have heard many times that BME majors have the highest acceptance rate into med school, another reason why i chose it.
 

Slackenerny

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2005
71
0
www.phdcomics.com
Status
Pre-Medical
You can always strech your program out a year and have fewer math intensive courses per semester until you become more comfortable. No one will look down on you for it.

BMEkid09 said:
I'm on the pre-med track, but the engineering major is harming my GPA because of Math (calculus).
Many liberal arts/life sci/social sci students also choose a difficult path in their own fields and work hard for a good GPA. Citing that your major "harms" your GPA just ain't cool. Redouble your efforts and rock some test scores!
 

gridiron

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Jun 4, 2006
479
3
Status
Medical Student
BMEkid09 said:
Thanks for the advice so far. But how hard does BME actually get? And if it does get super hard, shouldnt med schools see that we're getting eaten alive here by engineering while other students are doing like english, or some arts major?
In my opinion, it depends on the professors you have. The first two years can be gruesome because of the heavy science load (classes in mechanical, electrical and chemical engineering and the courses in physics, biology and chemistry) but the last two years are a bit different. You get exposure to the field of fluid dyanmics, biomaterials, thermodynamics, as well as design classes. The real difficulty depends on which track you choose (cell and tissue engineering, medical imaging, or neural engineering). For some, you will have to take upper level electrical engineering courses and for others 400 level plus computer science and physics courses. I actually minored in medical physics and medical imaging so I had to take 400 level physics and computer science courses. They were challenging, but it depended on the professor I had--some were real good and some were just horrible. Don't be nervous of the work that lies ahead---instead be excited about the practical exposure you will receive with the field. Good luck!
 

gridiron

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Jun 4, 2006
479
3
Status
Medical Student
as06 said:
If you do stick with engineering, you'll probably find the physical sciences section of the MCAT rather easy. And as a BME, your biology background should permit you to do well on the biological sciences section. So BME is a great preparation for the MCAT.
I agree. For me it was different though. In college, I never took a multiple choice exam because everything was essay. At first, the PS on the MCAT was challenging because none of it was calculus based and it was multiple choice. But with enought practice and preparation, you should be fine!
 

MrMet31

DWright for MVP
10+ Year Member
May 30, 2006
102
0
Shea Stadium
Status
Pre-Medical
I graduated BS BME and now am working on an M. Eng BME. The first two years of undergrad engineering are way harder than the last two of BME. The first two years are all general engineering pre-reqs like diff-eq, thermal and fluid enigeering, calc, dynamics, statics all out the ass. But the last 2 years get easier becuase you actual enjoy the material that you learn. Thats when you get into the core of BME. I loved biomechanics and tissue biomaterial interaction, implant design, etc. because those classes reminded me why I wanted to do BME in the first place. As a helpful hint to a successful and fulfilling undergrad BME career, go on a co-op for 6 months. I worked for stryker orthopaedics and loved it (plus I made like $12,000!). It stuff like this that reminds you why you are taking it in the a$$ studying engineering.
 
OP
B

BMEkid09

BMEEEEE
10+ Year Member
Jul 27, 2006
12
0
Status
Pre-Medical
BME is the most bad ass field out there.
 

cerulean

Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 24, 2004
73
0
Visit site
Status
I love biomaterials and think BME is one of the most interesting engineering fields out there (though I'm biased), but doesn't BME run the potential of hurting pre-meds GPA-wise?

I've heard that a lot of med schools screen for secondaries based on GPA & MCAT, which is why I'm worried. Difficulty of major can be factored into admissions decisions, but that typically doesn't happen until post-secondaries/interviews, right? And how is one to get those secondaries unless the numbers are really good?

Blah, I'm a BME entering my senior year and only decided about pre-med during junior year. GPA-wise, I'm currently ~3.7 overall, ~3.5 BCMP. For engineering, I thought that was pretty good, but for applying to med schools, ehh...i think it's just within the range of being acceptable (looking at the MSAR, my non-top-tier state school had average overall/science GPAs of 3.8). I only have 3 BME classes left in my major (2 design classes + quantitative physiology) + 2 pre-med reqs left (Orgo II + upper level bio lab), so I'm seriously thinking about hardcoring it with an extra 3-5 unneeded bio classes next year to try to boost my science GPA. Except that may not end up working out (tons of rote memorization, bio can be harder to get A's in than BME since BME's mostly concepts + some memorization) and it'd make my senior year miserable in terms of life.

BME = really interesting field but sorta useless. It can be tough getting a job in industry for biochemical concentrators vs. maybe biomechanical and bioelectrical (for biomaterials, I should've majored in materials science engin w/ a masters in BME if I wanted to be able to get a job). BME at my school isn't THAT big and out of many of the biochemical BMEs of my class, I only know of one with a legit BME-related internship (at Abbott, and she's pre-law!). Everyone else is doing research in some on-campus lab, or if they have internships, they're all molecular bio research related which could've been done w/ a degree in bio vs. BME (so all the extra math + engin courses are unncessary).

If I had known I wanted to go pre-med, I should've gone into my state school's BS/MD program. I could've graduated from undergrad in 3 years w/ no debt (national merit scholars are given full rides + a stipend) and gone into med school a year early. Instead, I find myself in a position where I'll need to take a gap year, I'll have paid a lot more to go to a good engin school, and I probably won't even get into my state med school.

Sorry for the personal rant, but I think these are all things to think about if you're BME & pre-med.
 

KrispyKreme

Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 27, 2006
36
0
Status
cerulean said:
BME = really interesting field but sorta useless. It can be tough getting a job in industry for biochemical concentrators vs. maybe biomechanical and bioelectrical (for biomaterials, I should've majored in materials science engin w/ a masters in BME if I wanted to be able to get a job). BME at my school isn't THAT big and out of many of the biochemical BMEs of my class, I only know of one with a legit BME-related internship (at Abbott, and she's pre-law!). Everyone else is doing research in some on-campus lab, or if they have internships, they're all molecular bio research related which could've been done w/ a degree in bio vs. BME (so all the extra math + engin courses are unncessary).
This is the most uninformed comment i've ever seen on here. wait, that's not true, there have been some bad ones. But are you serious? Companies love kids with BME degrees. It teaches you a different way of thinking that you don't get from most other majors. My friends from class are doing anything you could imagine. Consulting, I-banking, teaching, engineering, research, medical devices, all types of grad/professional schooling, computer science...etc. Have you looked at any of the big biotech companies? here: Medtronic, St. Jude, Stryker, even Boston Scientific...it is not tough getting a job in industry.
 

ADeadLois

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Dec 18, 2005
3,158
6
Status
Medical Student
cerulean said:
I've heard that a lot of med schools screen for secondaries based on GPA & MCAT, which is why I'm worried. Difficulty of major can be factored into admissions decisions, but that typically doesn't happen until post-secondaries/interviews, right? And how is one to get those secondaries unless the numbers are really good?
Not many schools screen your primary as you might think. Out of the 15 schools I'm applying to, only UCLA is a screener.

Yes, the difficulty of your major is taken into consideration, but you don't get inherent extra-credit for a hard major like BME.

And you're GPA is very competitive as it is. I really wouldn't worry too much
 

gridiron

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Jun 4, 2006
479
3
Status
Medical Student
KrispyKreme said:
so you mean it was worthless.
No not worthless....but it was tough for me to adjust because I am used to approaching physics from only a calculus perspective...nonetheless it was manageable!
 

ChillDoc2010

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Aug 1, 2006
10
0
Status
Medical Student
Hey guys, I'm a chemE with biomedical engineering minor who is starting med school in a couple weeks...I would say for the most part not to worry about being BME and applying to med school

Med schools love engineering applicants b/c they are able to think critically and analytically, two skills which are important in med school regardless of how much memorization they make you think there is. Also, with the OP GPA I would say he has nothing to worry about, esp if he has good extracurriculars and all that, b/c I've had friends with less than 3.5 get into top 20 schools through good recs and interviews...it's definitely a very flexible process, more so than alot of ppl think before going through it.

Enjoy BME and the unique path you can take to med school...I was able to do a co-op my junior year at a pharmaceutical company which I think definitely added to my application even if I couldn't have a 4.0 perfect gpa.

And who can't say it's fun to rock the physical science section of the MCAT while all the bio majors are freaking out? I mean if you didnt your fellow engineers would kill u ;)
 
About the Ads