DoctorDrewOutsidetheLines

Pink Panther & Hope Diamond
Removed
Jul 17, 2015
668
516
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Me:

cGPA: 3.34
gGPA: 3.45
no math/science classes yet

Currently deferred admission to a post-bacc, matriculating either Summer but probably Fall 2016.

Spring 2016 and Summer 2016 I will most likely be taking some pre-reqs at my state school or maybe a community college depending on $

I fully expect to get a 4.0 during my post bacc classes or something very damn near.

I'm shooting for a 3.8ish cumulative GPA by the time I apply to med schools for 2018/2019 and I realize that's not including graduate school, but I'd be happy with a 3.6.

Is that a realistic goal?
 

Eccesignum

I Narcanned Your Honor Student
7+ Year Member
Oct 13, 2011
1,622
3,073
Favorite med school on the citadel
Status
Medical Student
Short answer: Depends on how many credits you already have. GPA involves diminishing returns; the more credits the harder it is to budge.

Search SDN for an AMCAS GPA calculator (which will show you both cGPA and sGPA). Plug in all your classes, then plug in phantom credits to represent the rest of what you intend to take.

Also check an AACOMAS calculator. If you apply DO, any classes you re-take will only count for the second grade (ie if you got a C in English at some point and retake the same class with an A, only the A will count).
 
OP
DoctorDrewOutsidetheLines

DoctorDrewOutsidetheLines

Pink Panther & Hope Diamond
Removed
Jul 17, 2015
668
516
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Thanks @Eccesignum

I never understood this stuff. I'm looking at my transcripts now:

Undergrad earned credits: 125 units, Grade Points (no clue what that even means) 417.50 GPA: 3.34
Graduate earned credits: 36 units, Grade Points: 124.40, GPA: 3.45

Both were taken at the same university. ^

A Master's degree I withdrew from elsewhere has something called Quality Points and a QPA and I have no clue how that factors in at all so that wasn't counted in my above gGPA. It wasn't a good fit so I applied and went back to my alma mater.

I don't intend to apply DO and I'm not big on retaking classes, but thanks for the info. Am looking for the AMCAS calculator. :)
 

Eccesignum

I Narcanned Your Honor Student
7+ Year Member
Oct 13, 2011
1,622
3,073
Favorite med school on the citadel
Status
Medical Student

DrMidlife

has an opinion
10+ Year Member
Oct 30, 2006
7,506
2,604
Status
Resident [Any Field]
GPA is math. The lower your GPA the cozier you need to get with that math.

You would need 10 years of full time study at 4.0 to raise a cuGPA 3.34 to a 3.8. Nobody expects you to do that. You will never, ever be competitive with a squeaky clean 21 year old with a 3.8/520. But by producing a multiple year full time very consistent very heavy load of mostly science with a very high GPA, you can get medical schools to take you seriously. Because that's what a squeaky clean 21 year old produced.

People get very confused by this, which I find astonishing. For the sake of providing usable help, I suggest breaking it down by word groupings:
1. multiple years
2. full time
3. very consistent
4. very heavy load
5. mostly science
6. very high GPA

Your cumulative undergrad science GPA might increase faster than your overall cumulative, because there are fewer P (points) in that A (average).

Graduate GPA is not combined with undergrad GPA. On occasion an individual med school will consider your graduate work as more representative of your abilities than your undergrad GPA. No there's no list of these med schools, and the rules change every year.

Generally you have no control over the outcome of a low GPA comeback except for two things:
1. getting lots of new A's and a good MCAT score
2. not quitting

Every single other thing is subjective and/or out of your control: how long it will take, whether schools will take you seriously, whether doing an SMP will do more for you than more undergrad or grad work, whether you have to move cross-country, whether you will keep your cost of attendance under a quarter million, etc.

Focus on the things you can control.

Best of luck to you.
 

elgauchotejano

It's High Noon
Lifetime Donor
5+ Year Member
Sep 23, 2014
2,004
1,338
Status
Medical Student
Thanks @Eccesignum

I never understood this stuff. I'm looking at my transcripts now:

Undergrad earned credits: 125 units, Grade Points (no clue what that even means) 417.50 GPA: 3.34
Graduate earned credits: 36 units, Grade Points: 124.40, GPA: 3.45

Both were taken at the same university. ^

A Master's degree I withdrew from elsewhere has something called Quality Points and a QPA and I have no clue how that factors in at all so that wasn't counted in my above gGPA. It wasn't a good fit so I applied and went back to my alma mater.

I don't intend to apply DO and I'm not big on retaking classes, but thanks for the info. Am looking for the AMCAS calculator. :)
Your grade points is the number of credits timed by 4 it is the maximum points you can have throughout your college career dividing your points over the total amounts to your Gpa.

Like many before me have said it's not worth it. Do a 2 to 3 semesters of post bachelor and you get it up to a ~3.55, assuming an average of A or A/A- by semester. That is competitive enough for low tier MD and all DO with reasonable MCAT and CV.
 
Last edited:

jl lin

7+ Year Member
Oct 9, 2009
5,098
1,261
GPA is math. The lower your GPA the cozier you need to get with that math.

You would need 10 years of full time study at 4.0 to raise a cuGPA 3.34 to a 3.8. Nobody expects you to do that. You will never, ever be competitive with a squeaky clean 21 year old with a 3.8/520. But by producing a multiple year full time very consistent very heavy load of mostly science with a very high GPA, you can get medical schools to take you seriously. Because that's what a squeaky clean 21 year old produced.

People get very confused by this, which I find astonishing. For the sake of providing usable help, I suggest breaking it down by word groupings:
1. multiple years
2. full time
3. very consistent
4. very heavy load
5. mostly science
6. very high GPA

Your cumulative undergrad science GPA might increase faster than your overall cumulative, because there are fewer P (points) in that A (average).

Graduate GPA is not combined with undergrad GPA. On occasion an individual med school will consider your graduate work as more representative of your abilities than your undergrad GPA. No there's no list of these med schools, and the rules change every year.

Generally you have no control over the outcome of a low GPA comeback except for two things:
1. getting lots of new A's and a good MCAT score
2. not quitting

Every single other thing is subjective and/or out of your control: how long it will take, whether schools will take you seriously, whether doing an SMP will do more for you than more undergrad or grad work, whether you have to move cross-country, whether you will keep your cost of attendance under a quarter million, etc.

Focus on the things you can control.

Best of luck to you.

Seriously, ^this sums it up quite well. Power of the underlining theme here is this: "Focus on the things you can control." It's like the age question. A person has no control over her/his age, and thus he/she must make the most out of her/his own individual application. Pointless to worry over that which you cannot control. Strategize the best/most of what you have and can do.
 
Sep 5, 2015
17
2
GPA is math. The lower your GPA the cozier you need to get with that math.

You would need 10 years of full time study at 4.0 to raise a cuGPA 3.34 to a 3.8. Nobody expects you to do that. You will never, ever be competitive with a squeaky clean 21 year old with a 3.8/520. But by producing a multiple year full time very consistent very heavy load of mostly science with a very high GPA, you can get medical schools to take you seriously. Because that's what a squeaky clean 21 year old produced.

People get very confused by this, which I find astonishing. For the sake of providing usable help, I suggest breaking it down by word groupings:
1. multiple years
2. full time
3. very consistent
4. very heavy load
5. mostly science
6. very high GPA

Your cumulative undergrad science GPA might increase faster than your overall cumulative, because there are fewer P (points) in that A (average).

Graduate GPA is not combined with undergrad GPA. On occasion an individual med school will consider your graduate work as more representative of your abilities than your undergrad GPA. No there's no list of these med schools, and the rules change every year.

Generally you have no control over the outcome of a low GPA comeback except for two things:
1. getting lots of new A's and a good MCAT score
2. not quitting

Every single other thing is subjective and/or out of your control: how long it will take, whether schools will take you seriously, whether doing an SMP will do more for you than more undergrad or grad work, whether you have to move cross-country, whether you will keep your cost of attendance under a quarter million, etc.

Focus on the things you can control.

Best of luck to you.
When working full time, what is considered a "heavy load"? I am currently in the "GPA repair" portion of premed time and I work full time as an RN. I work about 48 hours a week and can really only take 2 sciences per semester with lab and achieve an A.
 

DrMidlife

has an opinion
10+ Year Member
Oct 30, 2006
7,506
2,604
Status
Resident [Any Field]
When working full time, what is considered a "heavy load"? I am currently in the "GPA repair" portion of premed time and I work full time as an RN. I work about 48 hours a week and can really only take 2 sciences per semester with lab and achieve an A.
If I'm looking at your app I'll appreciate that you're working full time and getting A's in the med school prereqs after work. And then I'll go looking for transcript evidence that you can handle a very heavy full time load of mostly science. Because that's what med school is. Med school is a very heavy (double? triple?) full time load of mostly science for 2 straight years and then you still have to take shelf exams all 3rd year and that's not to mention the board exams. Failing out of med school, or needing to repeat a year, is a trainwreck. So it doesn't matter how capable and high achieving you are in your job. I'll fight for you if you have real world experience, but only after I see in your app that you can handle a heavy science load over the long haul. How you manage to produce that confidence-inspiring transcript asset is subject to interpretation.

The academic load of med school absolutely must be respected by those who come with a fat resume. For better or worse, competence, perspective, and/or a real life rent-paying work ethic are not med school prerequisites.

From a low GPA, yes, worry about getting a med school to accept you, but worry twice as much about surviving, and three times as much about keeping up with your future high-achieving classmates. Your career options after med school depend on your exam scores and board scores during a 2 year constant crushing load of studying studying studying. If you burned out in school before, be very afraid that you will be deeply miserable in med school. Gotta be really, really sure you want it and accept that it's a whole lot of constant suffering before competence plays any kind of role.

Best of luck to you.
 
Sep 5, 2015
17
2
If I'm looking at your app I'll appreciate that you're working full time and getting A's in the med school prereqs after work. And then I'll go looking for transcript evidence that you can handle a very heavy full time load of mostly science. Because that's what med school is. Med school is a very heavy (double? triple?) full time load of mostly science for 2 straight years and then you still have to take shelf exams all 3rd year and that's not to mention the board exams. Failing out of med school, or needing to repeat a year, is a trainwreck. So it doesn't matter how capable and high achieving you are in your job. I'll fight for you if you have real world experience, but only after I see in your app that you can handle a heavy science load over the long haul. How you manage to produce that confidence-inspiring transcript asset is subject to interpretation.

The academic load of med school absolutely must be respected by those who come with a fat resume. For better or worse, competence, perspective, and/or a real life rent-paying work ethic are not med school prerequisites.

From a low GPA, yes, worry about getting a med school to accept you, but worry twice as much about surviving, and three times as much about keeping up with your future high-achieving classmates. Your career options after med school depend on your exam scores and board scores during a 2 year constant crushing load of studying studying studying. If you burned out in school before, be very afraid that you will be deeply miserable in med school. Gotta be really, really sure you want it and accept that it's a whole lot of constant suffering before competence plays any kind of role.

Best of luck to you.
I am not afraid of hard work in the least. I prefer it because if I don't have something I'm working toward and working hard for, I am dissatisfied. That is partly what draws me to MD from nursing. With nursing you do continually learn, but not on the same scale, not even close. Not to mention almost none of my nursing peers share the same drive for knowledge and caring for patients. It's just a 12 hour shift and then go have a beer. I do not enjoy that.
Fortunately, I have a significant amount of work to be done still with several sciences to bring up the GPA. Thank you for the insight and honesty.
 

TheShowGoesOn

2+ Year Member
Mar 8, 2015
201
116
Nothing to something
Status
Pre-Medical
Hey guys, don't mean to thread jack or anything- but this is a relevant post?
I am currently looking at options to boost my GPA and take some pre reqs at the same time. Would a program like the one in this link provide me with the opportunity to do both? Would the GPA I receive from this program count towards admissions or would it be combined with my undergrad GPA?

https://apps.aamc.org/postbac/#/program/467
 

DrMidlife

has an opinion
10+ Year Member
Oct 30, 2006
7,506
2,604
Status
Resident [Any Field]
tons of info on that program and many more in the postbac forum down under interdisciplinary
 

jl lin

7+ Year Member
Oct 9, 2009
5,098
1,261
I am not afraid of hard work in the least. I prefer it because if I don't have something I'm working toward and working hard for, I am dissatisfied. That is partly what draws me to MD from nursing. With nursing you do continually learn, but not on the same scale, not even close. Not to mention almost none of my nursing peers share the same drive for knowledge and caring for patients. It's just a 12 hour shift and then go have a beer. I do not enjoy that.
Fortunately, I have a significant amount of work to be done still with several sciences to bring up the GPA. Thank you for the insight and honesty.
Pwhit, I so hear what you are saying. There is just no way, however, to underemphasize what Dr. ML shares.
I had to give up a rewarding, salaried RN job in leadership, b/c the longer hours couldn't be helped--and that put obvious demands on school and other responsibilities. You have to take enough of the right kind of coursework each term, and you have to excel in every course. If that was all I had that might be doable, but I have family and other demands on my time as well, and that is just the reality for me. If you can work 4, 12's per week and take 3 or more required sciences with labs and excel in them, go for it. (Dear Lord, I hope they aren't night shifts, or worse, rotations, but it's either per diem, weekends, or getting someone to give you a schedule that doesn't move, so that you can get your courses on certain days/evenings.)

I'll give up my weekend, but I can't do 70+ hours--with some hours all over the place + deal with family and other issues--only to end up killing everyone in my path in order to maintain 4.0 in all those courses. LOL It sucks to cut your income, but I think many people here have had to do it.

So, regardless, the course load has to be obviously the right courses, a heavy load, and that load has to be "done" well. And then there is MCAT preparation along with everything else (application requirements and such).
 

GreenDuck12

5+ Year Member
Mar 30, 2014
534
253
If you're looking at osteopathic medical schools, you may be able to up your gpa more quickly. At osteopathic schools, you are allowed to replace lower grades with higher ones if you retake the course (allopathic schools would average the two, diminishing the return). If your cumulative GPA is low because of a couple F/D/C- grades, retaking those courses and applying to osteopathic schools could be a good route. Alternately, if your gpa is a 3.3 due to many C+/B-/B grades, this route may not be worth it. Either way, Dr. ML is offering some solid advice that should be followed regardless of allopathic or osteopathic.

I am not afraid of hard work in the least. I prefer it because if I don't have something I'm working toward and working hard for, I am dissatisfied. That is partly what draws me to MD from nursing. With nursing you do continually learn, but not on the same scale, not even close. Not to mention almost none of my nursing peers share the same drive for knowledge and caring for patients. It's just a 12 hour shift and then go have a beer. I do not enjoy that.
Fortunately, I have a significant amount of work to be done still with several sciences to bring up the GPA. Thank you for the insight and honesty.
 

Spirit of the Student Doc

Worrying will never change the outcome
Mar 24, 2014
987
233
GPA is math. The lower your GPA the cozier you need to get with that math.

You would need 10 years of full time study at 4.0 to raise a cuGPA 3.34 to a 3.8. Nobody expects you to do that. You will never, ever be competitive with a squeaky clean 21 year old with a 3.8/520. But by producing a multiple year full time very consistent very heavy load of mostly science with a very high GPA, you can get medical schools to take you seriously. Because that's what a squeaky clean 21 year old produced.

People get very confused by this, which I find astonishing. For the sake of providing usable help, I suggest breaking it down by word groupings:
1. multiple years
2. full time
3. very consistent
4. very heavy load
5. mostly science
6. very high GPA

Your cumulative undergrad science GPA might increase faster than your overall cumulative, because there are fewer P (points) in that A (average).

Graduate GPA is not combined with undergrad GPA. On occasion an individual med school will consider your graduate work as more representative of your abilities than your undergrad GPA. No there's no list of these med schools, and the rules change every year.

Generally you have no control over the outcome of a low GPA comeback except for two things:
1. getting lots of new A's and a good MCAT score
2. not quitting

Every single other thing is subjective and/or out of your control: how long it will take, whether schools will take you seriously, whether doing an SMP will do more for you than more undergrad or grad work, whether you have to move cross-country, whether you will keep your cost of attendance under a quarter million, etc.

Focus on the things you can control.

Best of luck to you.

Very well put together post. Commendable :)
 
Oct 8, 2015
42
13
Status
Pre-Medical
For reference, I'm taking 17-20 credits of science classes to boost my science GPA from 2.73 to 2.95 (provided that I get A-'s in all courses). Depending on how many credits you took, you might see different results. For example, my science GPA with 66 credits goes higher much quicker than my overall GPA, which has 105 credits.