Mar 23, 2010
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i have a low undergrad GPA of 3.1 in biomedical engineering from one of the top schools. i started out undergrad with a 2.8 and every semester improved so last semster of undergrad i had a 3.8. i am also just about to finish a master's program in molecular biology with a gpa of 3.4 (first semester also low - 3.2 and second much better a 3.6). i took the mcats twice. first time as an undergrad soph and got a 30 and then re-took this past sept and got a 38. i have a lot of research expereince and am an author on 3 papers (second, third and fourth) and i've volunteered at hospitals, shadowed physicians and i am also chair of philanthropy at a service sorority at my school. i was wondering what kind of medical schools can i be applying to? will my GPA prevent me from applying to mid-tier schools?

thanks you!
 

vc7777

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Welcome!

The name of the game is to be 'limber'. Apply as early as possible and as broadly as possible. 'Midtiers' are not an unreasonable goal for someone with a 38 and a track record of grade improvement! :thumbup:

I also had a 38 (and I took the MCAT twice before, many moons ago and scored in the low 30s too). Check out my MDapp profile (on the left) for comparison. PM me if you have specific questions about some of the midwest schools.

Good luck,

-vc7777
 

Pemberley

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I had the same GPA (but in an even harder major), an MS in physics, and a higher MCAT, so I'm pretty well placed to answer...

Apply to a broad range of schools, any of which you could actually see yourself attending. Be prepared for the fact that you may very well get spreadsheet-sorted out of the running before a human ever looks at your application at some places.

Oddly, the one school that admitted me is considered far tougher to get into than 10 or 12 of the 16 that rejected me! The medical school admissions process frequently seems to be a black box that generates fairly random-looking results. Not to say that I know for sure that there aren't rhymes and reasons, just that if there are, they aren't necessarily apparent from our viewpoint.

So I'd say, don't apply all-low-tier or all-high-tier or all-medium-tier. Go for a wide range and have a back-up plan. The low-GPA thing is no joke, and a relatively high MCAT isn't, unfortunately, a cure-all.

Also apply osteopathic if that training pathway fits with your career goals. (I didn't because I was never able to obtain an objective understanding of the career limitations imposed by DO degrees -- still don't know, for that matter -- and partway through the admissions cycle, with no admittances in hand, I was very much wishing I had. However, I don't know for sure whether DO schools would have been happier or less happy with our particular screwed-up stats.)

Feel free to PM me for more details.
 
Mar 21, 2010
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unless you are from California, always apply to your state schools.

If your school is one of those top-ranking schools you might want to apply to the medical schools in the vicinity of your undergraduate.

and you should use the manual published by AAMC which tell you the range of GPA a school accept.

You might want to explore some post-bac or SMP program that has linkage to a medical school. For some program if you do well enough you will enter the M1 program the following fall
 

riverjib

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i have a low undergrad GPA of 3.1 in biomedical engineering from one of the top schools. i started out undergrad with a 2.8 and every semester improved so last semster of undergrad i had a 3.8. i am also just about to finish a master's program in molecular biology with a gpa of 3.4 (first semester also low - 3.2 and second much better a 3.6). i took the mcats twice. first time as an undergrad soph and got a 30 and then re-took this past sept and got a 38. i have a lot of research expereince and am an author on 3 papers (second, third and fourth) and i've volunteered at hospitals, shadowed physicians and i am also chair of philanthropy at a service sorority at my school. i was wondering what kind of medical schools can i be applying to? will my GPA prevent me from applying to mid-tier schools?

thanks you!
Apply broadly. You never know who will accept you. ADCOMs at my school are getting fed up with high GPA/mediocre MCAT students with all the "normal pre-reqs." You sound like you're pretty unique and med schools will take a second look at your application with your fantastic MCAT and experience. Who knows? You might actually fare better at more competitive schools. Unless you're a "perfect applicant," it's all a guessing game. Your 38 will definitely set you apart.

If you don't mind sharing, how did you study for the MCAT? I'm tired of everyone's advice...I like to hear from those who did unusually well. I have work/school/etc., and less time than I'd like to focus on studying for the MCAT. I've done fairly well on practice exams, but I'm starting to find that those who got 37+ scores didn't necessarily take classes or study for a full year or summer (in the case of traditional students living with parents). What was your secret?
 

BuckFMP

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For those of you who went from 30 to 38, how'd you do it? I'm sitting on 30 now and looking at a retake this summer.

Thanks!
 

vc7777

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For those of you who went from 30 to 38, how'd you do it? I'm sitting on 30 now and looking at a retake this summer.

Thanks!
Well, I took my first MCATs on paper as a lefty => smudge bad handwriting. I also had about a dozen years to mature, seriously.

I was so concerned with the new computer based method I took a refresher course through Princeton Review. However, the vast majority of my studying was post TPR (~ 2 months) where I treated it much like a job. Literally started and stopped at the same time everyday even if I was not in the mood to study. I lost my job just before my exam date. So I made the best of the situation and did full length practice exams at the same time each day for about a week and a half before the actual exam. PM me if you have specific concerns or areas of weakness you want to dicuss.

If someone wants to start a new thread, so we don't highjack this one (anymore!), I'd be glad to expound upon my experience.

later,
vc7777