Matt Foley

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May 16, 2008
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Hey guys, I'm new here and I'm sure you've all been asked this a million times, I was just wondering if you could answer it one more time. I've been out of undergrad for three years now, and I started a masters program last fall. My undergrad science gpa was pretty crappy (2.95), but so far I've completed 30 units of grad work with a 3.95. My MCAT was a 34 the first time around, and even though I'm gonna have to retake it since the old one expired, I'm sure I'll be fine. But I just can't help wondering how much this masters can really make up for my undergrad gpa. Do the schools just lump all your science course work together and calculate the gpa? Do they give special consideration to grad work? Will they calculate separate gpas for undergrad and grad? I really have no idea, if anyone could enlighten me here I would really appreciate it, thanks a lot.
 

gman33

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Grad gpa is calculated seperate, and it counts for next to nothing.
Getting an MS will do little to help someone in your situation.
The only masters that will really help is an SMP.
If you are not going to do this, you would be better off taking more UG courses.

The general thinking is that Masters programs aren't graded as tough, therefore the grades don't count for much.
 

nontrdgsbuiucmd

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But I just can't help wondering how much this masters can really make up for my undergrad gpa. Do the schools just lump all your science course work together and calculate the gpa? Do they give special consideration to grad work? Will they calculate separate gpas for undergrad and grad? I really have no idea, if anyone could enlighten me here I would really appreciate it, thanks a lot.
GPA undergrad/grad are reported separately on the AMCAS primary, science grad GPA is reported separately from non-science grad GPA. Main concern likely would be that many schools have an academic prescreen to ensure that "candidates have the capacity do succeed at medical school-level work". If you can have a school really LOOK at your application rather than screen it out using their formula, someone with grad level science work would be viewed more favorably than someone without this experience.

I'd call the schools of interest to see if they do this "pre-screen" process, or just to ask them "were any students with a 2.95 GPA accepted in recent years?". Some schools seem to look favorably on repplicants, as a reapplicant, one can often get more insight as to what a school really is looking for (due to admissions counseling that many schools offer, meetings that some school offer to unsuccessful applicants, etc) I highly suspect that by taking a few more undergrad courses and getting the undergrad GPA up, you'd be considered much more competitively.

fyi I just e-mailed an MD program-accepted SDN member with a slightly higher GPA (under 3.1) and a similar MCAT score to yours, it can be done!
 

sawood

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Aug 22, 2007
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Hey guys, I'm new here and I'm sure you've all been asked this a million times, I was just wondering if you could answer it one more time. I've been out of undergrad for three years now, and I started a masters program last fall. My undergrad science gpa was pretty crappy (2.95), but so far I've completed 30 units of grad work with a 3.95. My MCAT was a 34 the first time around, and even though I'm gonna have to retake it since the old one expired, I'm sure I'll be fine. But I just can't help wondering how much this masters can really make up for my undergrad gpa. Do the schools just lump all your science course work together and calculate the gpa? Do they give special consideration to grad work? Will they calculate separate gpas for undergrad and grad? I really have no idea, if anyone could enlighten me here I would really appreciate it, thanks a lot.
A Masters can help in that depending on the school and on the major, you might be able to participate in better or more in depth research/projects, etc. As far as the GPA goes, yeah, grad courses are easier. I'm finishing my MS now, but I took a lot of undergrad courses in addition to the graduate to fulfill prereqs, so those helped my GPA. My grad classess were separated out on AMCAS.

I agree you should talk to some of the schools you are interested in and ask for their advice on how to proceed.
 
B

Blade28

Grad gpa is calculated seperate, and it counts for next to nothing.
Getting an MS will do little to help someone in your situation.
The only masters that will really help is an SMP.
If you are not going to do this, you would be better off taking more UG courses.
Totally agree.

I would take post-bac classes to improve that GPA.

Unfortunately, a strong showing in a Master's program (that isn't an SMP) is basically only a nice extra-curricular.
 

osli

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As far as the GPA goes, yeah, grad courses are easier.
I wish someone had clued my alma mater in to this. :( Some of my courses for my MS in Mechanical Engineering were absolutely brutal. We lost several students from our graduate class who were from our own school and couldn't keep their GPA above the minimum requirement.

And to think... there was probably some smug adcomm who looked at my transcript and thought "hmm, wonder why he couldn't pull a 4.0 in those fluff MS courses?" :thumbdown:

I think engineers get screwed pretty much all the way around as far as the field of medicine is concerned. :laugh: Our saving grace is that we are fairly well prepared for the rigors of med school, and thankfully there are a few schools who recognize that.
 

QofQuimica

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You can think of your graduate degree as being basically a really nice EC. If the rest of your app is strong, it gives you one more thing going for you. Unfortunately, it's not going to do too much to make up for your poor UG showing, though. As others have said, you'll need to either take more UG classes or do an SMP for that. Your UG GPA is low enough that you would be automatically rejected by many screening schools. If you have a ton of credits where it would take a long time to raise your GPA to a reasonable level, you might consider retaking some of the classes you did poorly in and applying to osteopathic schools. They allow for grade replacement, so you can raise your cumulative GPA much faster versus having the new good grades averaged together with the old low ones (which is what AMCAS does). Best of luck to you. :)
 

bioteach

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I was in a similar boat. My uGPA was 3.07 and my undergrad BCPM was 2.93. 33 MCAT. 3.87 grad GPA. The master's degree helped, but it was a serious uphill battle. What helped me more was my experience teaching A&P and Bio at the college level (a job I could have only obtained with that master's degree). I applied to 23 schools and many didn't give me the time of day.

My MDApps for all the gory details.
 

rogue0722

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May 10, 2008
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I'm sure this has been answered somewhere but I really can't find it, what is the difference between an MS and an SMP?

I'll probably have to do an SMP if it does help the process as I've been told (my UG GPA while it does have a major upward trek isn't in the highly competitive league).