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MD GPA/MCAT discrepancy- need help with my list!

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scaredadvocate

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GPA: 3.6 (science and overall)
MCAT: 519 (129/132/129/129)


morehouse
pitt
temple
tulane
penn
columbia
duke
emory
 
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SpartanWolverine

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I don't see a major issue with the "discrepancy". Your MCAT is equivalent to a ~36-37 and the GPA is fine. You'll be good with a well-balanced list.
 
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LuluLovesMe

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Virginia Tech and Hofstra definitely go on that list for schools that like high MCATs
 
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WedgeDawg

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Shoot for upper mid with some top tiers thrown in and you should be fine. I'm a little worried about complete lack of research for top 20s, but I think you'll get a good shot at a solid school nonetheless.
 

Goro

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Sky's the limit for you. Start with Harvard, the HBCs and your state schools. If you're applying this cycle, hurry! Suggest Jefferson over Temple. Other schools that like service to others include Gtown, Keck, BU, SLU and Loyola.
 
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scaredadvocate

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Sky's the limit for you. Start with Harvard, the HBCs and your state schools. If you're applying this cycle, hurry! Suggest Jefferson over Temple. Other schools that like service to others include Gtown, Keck, BU, SLU and Loyola.

Are you serious? I was very very concerned that my GPA would hold me back. The only HBCU I'm really interested is Morehouse and its safe stats-wise.

I've been thinking about Keck and Gtown and I'll look into the other ones.
 

efle

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African American with a 37 MCAT equivalent, 3.6 and good EC's...I'd be very very surprised if lack of research held you back. What is your state of residency? What kind of clinical exposure have you had? Are you aiming to get a masters plus MD?

I'd say take your pick of like half of the Top 20, add your state school(s) and some high MCAT lovers like Hofstra mentioned above, plus a few other midlevels that interest you.
 

scaredadvocate

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African American with a 37 MCAT equivalent, 3.6 and good EC's...I'd be very very surprised if lack of research held you back. What is your state of residency? What kind of clinical exposure have you had? Are you aiming to get a masters plus MD?

I'd say take your pick of like half of the Top 20, add your state school(s) and some high MCAT lovers like Hofstra mentioned above, plus a few other midlevels that interest you.

Pennsylvania.
I'm looking at MPH or MPP

Clinical shadowing is probably about ~20 hours now but I will increase that to at least 75 by next year when I apply.

Do you guys think a summer research program would be enough to "check" the research box for top schools? I'm really really not a lab person....

Edit: I am getting involved in public health/policy research and should get 1-2 3rd author pubs out of it. Legit journals.
 

efle

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Good range of schools in PA

A full time 10+ week research program would do a lot to check the box with 400+ lab hours, yes. How do you know you aren't a lab person? Research is absolutely nothing like class-associated labs, if you enjoy problem solving it can be a lot of fun.

Do everything you can to pump up the clinical hours!
 
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Goro

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ZedsDed

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Stats-wise I think you're totally fine.

If you really are that averse to research then don't bother. That being said, not all research has to be in a basic science lab. Look around and be a little creative. I have a friend who obtained a first author publication with a psychiatry lab.
 
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GrapesofRath

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PA provides plenty of lower tier options. Apply to all. Then apply wherever else you want. We can debate about the merits of Affirmative Action all day but bottom line is its an enormous benefit to you and you are competitive at any school in America.
 
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scaredadvocate

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I hope you all are right. After some MSAR digging and other research, here's my list:

howard
morehouse
pitt
temple
tulane
penn
columbia
duke
emory
yale
chicago
mayo
harvard
stanford
hopkins
 

LuluLovesMe

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I hope you all are right. After some MSAR digging and other research, here's my list:

howard
morehouse
pitt
temple
tulane
penn
columbia
duke
emory
yale
chicago
mayo
harvard
stanford
hopkins
Ok now that I see you are URM with those stats, my advice is different.

The very top schools are definitely good matches for you, but I think it still might be better to see more mid tiers too.

IMO for you, there are no reaches. Matches would be any school with an MCAT average of 36-38 (basically the top 15-20 schools), a "safety" for you would be a school with an MCAT average of 33-35.

If I were you, I'd apply to 1/2 matches, 1/2 safeties and add in any school that you have a specific reason to want to go to. I see no reason for you to apply to any school with an MCAT average 32 or under, unless you really want to go there for specific reasons.
 
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scaredadvocate

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Ok now that I see you are URM with those stats, my advice is different.

The very top schools are definitely good matches for you, but I think it still might be better to see more mid tiers too.

IMO for you, there are no reaches. Matches would be any school with an MCAT average of 36-38 (basically the top 15-20 schools), a "safety" for you would be a school with an MCAT average of 33-35.

If I were you, I'd apply to 1/2 matches, 1/2 safeties and add in any school that you have a specific reason to want to go to. I see no reason for you to apply to any school with an MCAT average 32 or under, unless you really want to go there for specific reasons.

I really love the mission of HBCUs, would enjoy either socially and would happily attend with the right scholarship.
 

scaredadvocate

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My concern is that my 3.6something is at the 10th percentile for most of the schools with my MCAT as their median.
 

LuluLovesMe

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My concern is that my 3.6something is at the 10th percentile for most of the schools with my MCAT as their median.
That shouldn't be a concern to you. I think your GPA will be entirely forgiven since you are URM. It's not super low to begin with. Do add more schools in the 34-35 mcat range though. You do need some schools to add as fallbacks.
 

scaredadvocate

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That shouldn't be a concern to you. I think your GPA will be entirely forgiven since you are URM. It's not super low to begin with. Do add more schools in the 34-35 mcat range though. You do need some schools to add as fallbacks.

Interesting. I feel like this may be a classic SDN exageration of URM admissions but hopefully you're right. I've been considering Georgetown and Brown but I'm not sure what schools to switch them out for. I'm financially limited to 15 apps.
 

GrapesofRath

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I hope you all are right. After some MSAR digging and other research, here's my list:

howard
morehouse
pitt
temple
tulane
penn
columbia
duke
emory
yale
chicago
mayo
harvard
stanford
hopkins

You'll be fine
 
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ZedsDed

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WedgeDawg

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I hope you all are right. After some MSAR digging and other research, here's my list:

howard
morehouse
pitt
temple
tulane
penn
columbia
duke
emory
yale
chicago
mayo
harvard
stanford
hopkins

You have a solid app, but literally 80% of your list is top 20.If you're going to stack your list with top 20s, you might as well do so smartly. That means looking at where your GPA falls (above or below 10th percentile) and where your MCAT falls (36-37).

The following schools have a 10th percentile GPA of 3.65 or higher. That means less than 10% of their accepted students have your GPA or lower: Harvard, Hopkins, WashU, Penn, Vanderbilt, Stanford, Yale. Their MCAT medians are all 37-38 (except Hopkins which is 36, but Hopkins has a 10th percentile GPA of above 3.7 so not a great option).

These schools have 10th percentile GPAs between 3.6 and 3.65: Chicago, Michigan, NYU, Northwestern, Sinai

As such, I might suggest removing those if you're financially limited to 15 schools and want to stack it with as many top 20s as possible. Schools that have 10th percentile at or below 3.60 are Pitt, Cornell, Columbia, Duke, Emory, Case.

Howard and Morehouse should absolutely be on your list. Pitt, Cornell, Columbia, Duke, Emory, and Case Western as well. That's 8. Mayo is super low yield, so I think that should be dropped (it's a great "add on hail mary" school when you don't have a limit because there's no secondary, but not when you're strictly limited to 15 schools. They accept fewer than 85 students TOTAL for a class of ~50. Additionally, if you're interested in health policy, you're better off at a big research institution like Columbia or Hopkins than at Mayo, which is good for getting residency at the Mayo Clinic, but doesn't have quite as much clout in the political arena). Tulane is low yield and probably not a great "safety" when you have Howard and Morehouse on there (you are like their ideal applicant).

If you want to maximize your chances at a top 20, I would recommend Northwestern, NYU, Michigan, Sinai, and then 3 less-intense schools (admissions wise) like Einstein, Rochester, UVA, USC-Keck, Hofstra.

Actually, I would absolutely include USC-Keck on there, as they fit with your career goals, like high MCATs, and are generally forgiving of "lower" GPAs. You could also, if you really want to, knock off a couple of the NW, NYU, Mich, Sinai for Harvard/Hopkins/Stanford if you really really want to (I would recommend Hopkins and then Harvard and then Stanford last - Stanford is arguably the most competitive medical school based on stats, CVs of accepted students, and acceptance rate, which is a whopping 1.9%). I would keep as many NYC schools on there as you can because they all network with each other.

So then your final list would look something like this:

1. Howard
2. Morehouse
3. Pitt
4. Cornell
5. Columbia
6. Duke
7. Emory
8. Case Western
9. USC-Keck
10. NYU
11. Michigan/Hopkins
12. Northwestern/Harvard
13. Sinai
14. Einstein
15. Hofstra
 
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efle

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You have a solid app, but literally 80% of your list is top 20.If you're going to stack your list with top 20s, you might as well do so smartly. That means looking at where your GPA falls (above or below 10th percentile) and where your MCAT falls (36-37).

The following schools have a 10th percentile GPA of 3.65 or higher. That means less than 10% of their accepted students have your GPA or lower: Harvard, Hopkins, WashU, Penn, Vanderbilt, Stanford, Yale. Their MCAT medians are all 37-38 (except Hopkins which is 36, but Hopkins has a 10th percentile GPA of above 3.7 so not a great option).

These schools have 10th percentile GPAs between 3.6 and 3.65: Chicago, Michigan, NYU, Northwestern, Sinai

As such, I might suggest removing those if you're financially limited to 15 schools and want to stack it with as many top 20s as possible. Schools that have 10th percentile at or below 3.60 are Pitt, Cornell, Columbia, Duke, Emory, Case.

Howard and Morehouse should absolutely be on your list. Pitt, Cornell, Columbia, Duke, Emory, and Case Western as well. That's 8. Mayo is super low yield, so I think that should be dropped (it's a great "add on hail mary" school when you don't have a limit because there's no secondary, but not when you're strictly limited to 15 schools. They accept fewer than 85 students TOTAL for a class of ~50. Additionally, if you're interested in health policy, you're better off at a big research institution like Columbia or Hopkins than at Mayo, which is good for getting residency at the Mayo Clinic, but doesn't have quite as much clout in the political arena). Tulane is low yield and probably not a great "safety" when you have Howard and Morehouse on there (you are like their ideal applicant).

If you want to maximize your chances at a top 20, I would recommend Northwestern, NYU, Michigan, Sinai, and then 3 less-intense schools (admissions wise) like Einstein, Rochester, UVA, USC-Keck, Hofstra.

Actually, I would absolutely include USC-Keck on there, as they fit with your career goals, like high MCATs, and are generally forgiving of "lower" GPAs. You could also, if you really want to, knock off a couple of the NW, NYU, Mich, Sinai for Harvard/Hopkins/Stanford if you really really want to (I would recommend Hopkins and then Harvard and then Stanford last - Stanford is arguably the most competitive medical school based on stats, CVs of accepted students, and acceptance rate, which is a whopping 1.9%). I would keep as many NYC schools on there as you can because they all network with each other.

So then your final list would look something like this:

1. Howard
2. Morehouse
3. Pitt
4. Cornell
5. Columbia
6. Duke
7. Emory
8. Case Western
9. USC-Keck
10. NYU
11. Michigan/Hopkins
12. Northwestern/Harvard
13. Sinai
14. Einstein
15. Hofstra
As a URM with a 37, they are material for that 10%. To OP I would keep like half the Top 10s on your list.

EDIT: Seriously, there was a whopping 45 black w/ 3.6+ 36+ last year. 45. That's like the top half of the top percent of apps. You can absolutely shoot for the high end instead of stuff like Sinai
 

WedgeDawg

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As a URM with a 37, they are material for that 10%. To OP I would keep like half the Top 10s on your list.

EDIT: Seriously, there was a whopping 45 black w/ 3.6+ 36+ last year. 45. That's like the top half of the top percent of apps. You can absolutely shoot for the high end instead of stuff like Sinai

I just looked it up and in two application cycles, there were fewer than 75 black/AA applicants with 36+ MCAT scores, so yeah looks like you're right.

Revise list to

1. Howard
2. Morehouse
3. Pitt
4. Cornell
5. Columbia
6. Duke
7. Emory
8. Penn
9. USC-Keck
10. NYU
11. Michigan
12. Hopkins
13. Harvard
14. Einstein/Hofstra
15. Stanford/Yale
 

scaredadvocate

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Thank you everyone for all of the insight!

@WedgeDawg your breakdown makes a lot of sense. Thank you so much! However, I have less than 0 interest in being in Michigan and really like Tulane as a school so I'll probably switch those. I'm on the fence about USC-Keck (their website isn't compelling lol) and I know almost nothing about Einstein and Hofstra so I guess I'll look into those.
 

scaredadvocate

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That shouldn't be a concern to you. I think your GPA will be entirely forgiven since you are URM. It's not super low to begin with. Do add more schools in the 34-35 mcat range though. You do need some schools to add as fallbacks.

Not an exaggeration at all.
https://www.aamc.org/download/321514/data/factstable25-2.pdf
You will be totally fine.

Everyone's (least) favorite chart. I'm not worried about getting accepted into any medical school but I'm not sure which ones I have legitimate chances at.
 

efle

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Everyone's (least) favorite chart. I'm not worried about getting accepted into any medical school but I'm not sure which ones I have legitimate chances at.
Like I said above, you're among an extremely sought after group of only a few dozen per year that hit 3.6+ 36+. You are twice as rare as a 3.8+/39+ is overall! You have a legit chance at every school.

Consider putting WashU on your list by the way, they love high stats applicants
 
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ZedsDed

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Everyone's (least) favorite chart. I'm not worried about getting accepted into any medical school but I'm not sure which ones I have legitimate chances at.
In your position, I would add ~4 points to my mcat score and go from there.
 

ZedsDed

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what do you mean?
I'm still using old mcat terminology:p. What I mean is that I would make my list as if I had a 40 mcat score. I'm just spitballing though.
 

GrapesofRath

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I'll add personally that I definitely don't put as much weight in 10th/90th percentile stats for URMs as for others. The type of people who get in below 10th percentiles are in a number of cases precisely URMs. Regardless of what you think of the merits of it, that's how I view it and that's definitely part of why my general advice is just apply anywhere you want( and I don't dole out the apply wherever you want motto very often)
 
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I just looked it up and in two application cycles, there were fewer than 75 black/AA applicants with 36+ MCAT scores, so yeah looks like you're right.

Revise list to

1. Howard
2. Morehouse
3. Pitt
4. Cornell
5. Columbia
6. Duke
7. Emory
8. Penn
9. USC-Keck
10. NYU
11. Michigan
12. Hopkins
13. Harvard
14. Einstein/Hofstra
15. Stanford/Yale
@WedgeDawg where di you find this data for AA students? Would love a link!
 
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