Sep 8, 2017
5
0
I heard that many PGY1 residences will cut off applicants with a GPA below 3.5. As a P4 looking to apply to residencies in the Chicago area, I'm pretty worried with my GPA of 3.44. I do have VALOR intern and retail work experience, research, publications, leadership on local, regional, and national levels, teaching assistant experience, clinical competition experience, various volunteerism, and a poster submission for Midyear. Will my extra activities likely balance my GPA? I would love to get a residency in a big city, but I'm starting to think maybe I'm not being realistic. Should I mainly apply to programs in smaller cities to improve my chances of getting a residency?
 

SparkLy09

7+ Year Member
Apr 21, 2009
372
14
Denver!
Status
Pharmacist
I applied 2 years ago (graduated in 2015) with a 3.4 GPA - I received interviews to all of the Chicago area programs that I applied to and you had much better overall experience than I did (no peer received publications at that time, no national leadership positions) - so while I know competition increases every single year, I definitely DEFINITELY would not count yourself out. If you love the program and have a bit of extra cash, you have nothing else to lose by applying.
 
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lionheart555

7+ Year Member
Aug 25, 2012
161
102
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Resident [Any Field], Pharmacist
I heard that many PGY1 residences will cut off applicants with a GPA below 3.5. As a P4 looking to apply to residencies in the Chicago area, I'm pretty worried with my GPA of 3.44.
Not necessarily true. GPA is just one category to assess candidates for an interview. Obviously better GPA (meeting higher threshold cutoffs) will raise your standing relative to others but definitely not a requirement. I know some 3.2, 3.3 GPAs that got residencies at JBVA, UIC, Rush, among others. They had way more to them than GPA though. Some of the most incredible volunteers, researchers, and leaders I have ever met.

I do have VALOR intern and retail work experience, research, publications, leadership on local, regional, and national levels, teaching assistant experience, clinical competition experience, various volunteerism, and a poster submission for Midyear. Will my extra activities likely balance my GPA? I would love to get a residency in a big city, but I'm starting to think maybe I'm not being realistic.
It's not just about what you have done, it's about how you spin it and what you learned from it. VALOR intern for example. Can you answer simple questions like what projects you have worked on, what was the most important thing you learned, how did you work as part of the clinical/admin team..." More isn't always better. That said, you look like you will have a great CV. Make sure you are putting due diligence to documenting those activities in a clean and organized way. Most CV reviewers aren't going line by line (in my experience talking to people and reviewing CVs myself).

Should I mainly apply to programs in smaller cities to improve my chances of getting a residency?
Sure, the more you expand your net, the better your chances for any match are. Definitely consider not just staying in state too.
 
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rl123

7+ Year Member
Oct 9, 2012
63
49
Status
Pharmacist
Some programs will do a hard cut for a GPA less than (fill in the blank), especially if they are hit with a huge number of applications. Some programs will be upfront about this in their pamphlets/brochures they hand out at midyear, some will institute this screening after seeing all the applications come in. Unfortunately you may never know if this is the case prior to applying.

What you can do is participate in PPS. Sometimes that extra face time with an RPD prior to the actual application screening begins may win them over and make that RPD willing to bring you in for an on-site interview to see how the rest of the preceptor staff like you

Good luck!
 
Sep 26, 2018
49
5
I applied 2 years ago (graduated in 2015) with a 3.4 GPA - I received interviews to all of the Chicago area programs that I applied to and you had much better overall experience than I did (no peer received publications at that time, no national leadership positions) - so while I know competition increases every single year, I definitely DEFINITELY would not count yourself out. If you love the program and have a bit of extra cash, you have nothing else to lose by applying.
What hospitals in Chicago did you apply to? Thank you!
 
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