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Older Non Trad w/low GPA??

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by dwc, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. dwc


    Apr 17, 2007
    I am a 31 year old non trad who did whatever needed to graduate from undergrad. I had a dismal 2.5 GPA. I have had a very successful business career in the time from graduation to the present. I am looking to do whatever is needed to get into medical school. I have called some schools with a post-bac program and have been told that it is a non-starter beacuse of my GPA. I have been hung up on!! I am looking for suggestions. Take individual courses? Second Bachelors? Masters? Thank you in advance.:)
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  3. Pemberley

    Pemberley Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 30, 2005
    Well, one of your issues isn't that much of an issue -- 31 isn't all that old.

    Sadly, 2.5 really is that low compared to most allopathic applications. I suggest going to the osteopathic forums and soliciting more advice there -- many of us who only applied allopathic really don't know what the differences are. An entire four more years of undergraduate coursework, equal to your first four years but carried out with a 4.0, would still only raise your GPA to a 3.25, which is VERY VERY low for an allopathic school.

    You don't want to put that much work in and still not get in.
  4. postbacker

    postbacker Banned Banned

    Mar 27, 2007
    Set up a spreadsheet and do the math: how many additional hours of UG courses, including the required science pre-reqs, would you have to take to raise your 2.5 to at least 3.3 (and preferably 3.5 or higher), assuming you made all As on this course work? Remember, Bs won't get it done...

    Report back to us...
  5. DiggsNYC

    DiggsNYC New Member

    Jul 25, 2006
    If you're really set on going to medical school, don't let anything or anyone stand in your way. Go to and look up the postbac programs. Also, search the postbac forum on here. If necessary, calculate how many hours you'd have to take to raise your GPA up to a 2.8 or so and then apply to some of the postbac that accept students with those kind of GPA's (like VCU-MCV) If would be best if you could get your GPA up to the 2.8-3.0 range so that you will have more options. You can do a postbac that will cover the sciences and help you build up your #s for applications or you can do one that will let you take grad/med classes to prove yourself. It has been done by others and can be done by you. It's all a matter of how dedicated and determined you are. You also have the option of DO or going to the caribbean. Your plan of action should depend more on your individual circumstances and how soon you want to get in. If you're willing to wait 2-4 years then focus on bringing up your GPA. If you want to be admitted within 2yrs then you need to kick ass in a postbac (ie MEDPREP at SIU) or go to a DO or caribbean school (ROSS, SGU). BE ENCOURAGED NOT DISCOURAGED!!!!!
  6. relentless11

    relentless11 Going broke and loving it Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Mar 30, 2001
    The GPA issue is the real killer here, therefore graduate school is out of the question. Not to mention most graduate programs require a 3.0 GPA too. A second bachelors may give you enough time to boost your undergrad GPA. Individual courses work too, but may be more expensive. As someone above stated, do the math, see how many classes it will take to get up to a 3.0 GPA.

    A 3.0 isn't a magic number per se, but its a good place to start. Pre-med requirements take about 2 years of full-time coursework to complete (mainly due to the GChem and OChem reqs). Its not impossible to get in with your situation but its going to take a lot of work. You'll probably need no less then a 3.5 GPA in post-bacc work. The higher the GPA and the longer you maintain that high GPA in post-bacc the better. Adcoms will see that your post-bacc (e.g., recent work) is FAR higher than your undergrad stuff, therefore would favor your recent scores as an indicator of academic success. BUT, this can't be A's in easy lower division classes. They should be pre-med requirements AND other upper division courses. This will (a) help you boost your GPA faster, and (b) show you can do well in challenging science courses.

    Beyond what you should do to take classes and boost GPA, you may want to consider:

    (1) Why you had a 2.5 GPA after 4 years of undergrad? The classes and challenge that you will face as a pre-med is just as if not more challenging than what you majored in. If you do not address why you did poorly as an undergrad, you may be doomed to repeat your mistakes.

    (2) Are you ready to go back to school? Sounds easy to just jump back in, but as most of us know, spending a summer away from school can blunt your academic abilities. I cannot imagine what it would be like to take a year or two off and then go back to school. Its certainly possible to do, may be challenging.

    So yea, I'd go with more undergrad classes from preferably a 4-year university. It sorta looks back that you went from a university to a community college. So good luck to you!
  7. CATallergy

    CATallergy 2+ Year Member

    Jan 23, 2007
    I dont know if this is a solution - just for the sake of brainstorming:

    How about studying for and doing well on a test like GRE Biochemistry - maybe this could be used to get you into a grad program?

    does anyone think this would help, or just a waste of time?
  8. relentless11

    relentless11 Going broke and loving it Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Mar 30, 2001
    Not all grad programs require the subject test, and the GRE subject tests are probably a lot harder than the MCAT in their own right. Very least the bio subject test. This would also require the OP to have a prior foundation in biochemistry (or whatever subject he/she chooses).

    Undergrad GPA is ultimately the biggest player, and as stated on many other threads, med schools place more weight on undergrad GPA. Hence getting into a graduate program will not help the OP's situation, given a 2.5 UG GPA.
    Of course, schools also have that REQUIREMENT, that you have X.X GPA to get into a grad program--in addition to a good GRE score. University of California, requires a 3.0 UG GPA. Most schools have a similar criteria given that a B- average in grad school may be sufficient for dismissal.
  9. Megalofyia

    Megalofyia 425 lbs and growing 10+ Year Member

    Oct 13, 2001
    Some states, eg Texas, offer grade forgiveness. This means that if you took a class more than ten years ago you can essentially say you never took it and drop that grade from your transcript. You might consider looking into something like that so that your previous grades are not calculated in with current pre-med courses.

    Another thing I'd HIGHLY advise is to talk to a couple (definetely more than one) dean of admissions for medical schools you are interested in. Ask them for their advice on how you can remedy your grades and make your application competative.

    Applying to a DO school just because of a low GPA will be painful for you in the long run if you have no desire to be a DO.
  10. Nasrudin

    Nasrudin Apropos of Nothing 10+ Year Member

    Jun 8, 2006
    Brilliant suggestion. Never thought of this before. Op, if you think about what Megalofyia is saying. You could relocate to Texas go to a cheaper state school and apply in 3-4 years with a 4.0 gpa. Something to ponder anyway.

    I was kind of in the same boat as you a couple of years ago--although its unclear if I'm going to make it to shore. I chose the more affordable route of going to community college to take some classes before going for a full degree in biology at a state school close to home. After massive gpa reconstruction I'm still at a 3.3 and it took me 4 or more years of 12 units a semester or so. I'm thinking of continuing on with post bac work until I can get past a 3.4 before applying.

    The reason I relate to you my situation is that gpa damage control is a long process that requires patience. And the kicker is that even at that point we will still be throwing hailmary's for allopathic admission. There are some other things you could try like some of the other posters said about trying a combination move of some post bac work ala carte followed by a formal postbac or special masters program which get you looked at more seriously by some admissions committees in particular.

    Good luck.

    P.S. Getting an MCAT in th 99.99 percentile like Pemberley wouldn't hurt either.

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