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Post-Bac vs SMP

wingedhelmet

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 21, 2012
18
0
101
  1. Pre-Medical
Looking for some advice. I applied this cycle, but unfortunately it's looking bleak at the present moment. Therefore, I am trying to decide how best to improve my application for the next time I apply. My stats are thus:

cGPA: 2.82
sGPA: 3.7
MCAT: 31
EC's: lots of clinical (worked for 3+ years in operating rooms and ICU), some volunteering, but no research.

My question is, would it be more beneficial for me to go back as just a post-baccalaureate undergrad and raise my cGPA or should I do a SMP program as it emphasizes advanced science classes, but it won't help my cGPA?
 

tpsreport

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 14, 2011
172
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236
NYC
  1. Fellow [Any Field]
How is it that your science GPA is so much higher than your cGPA? Did you only take a few science classes?
Also as I understand it, a post-bacc is generally meant for people who are not strong in the sciences and need to fulfill their pre-reqs. These people are likely career changers after graduation, or decided late in college that they wanted to go into medicine.

Have you all your pre-reqs out of the way? If so I wouldn't suggest going post-bacc, and do the SMP instead.

But if you've only taken a few into classes, post-bacc may be the way to go.
With a cGPA as low as that you'll also need to do very very well on your MCAT (35+) to get your foot in the door to interviews.

Give us a bit more info about your coursework and we'll be better able to answer your questions.

Looking for some advice. I applied this cycle, but unfortunately it's looking bleak at the present moment. Therefore, I am trying to decide how best to improve my application for the next time I apply. My stats are thus:

cGPA: 2.82
sGPA: 3.7
MCAT: 31
EC's: lots of clinical (worked for 3+ years in operating rooms and ICU), some volunteering, but no research.

My question is, would it be more beneficial for me to go back as just a post-baccalaureate undergrad and raise my cGPA or should I do a SMP program as it emphasizes advanced science classes, but it won't help my cGPA?
 

aspiring20

Full Member
Apr 17, 2011
2,056
84
61
  1. Pre-Medical
How is it that your science GPA is so much higher than your cGPA? Did you only take a few science classes?
Also as I understand it, a post-bacc is generally meant for people who are not strong in the sciences and need to fulfill their pre-reqs. These people are likely career changers after graduation, or decided late in college that they wanted to go into medicine.

Have you all your pre-reqs out of the way? If so I wouldn't suggest going post-bacc, and do the SMP instead.

But if you've only taken a few into classes, post-bacc may be the way to go.
With a cGPA as low as that you'll also need to do very very well on your MCAT (35+) to get your foot in the door to interviews.

Give us a bit more info about your coursework and we'll be better able to answer your questions.

or they could be individuals who have completed most/all the prereqs (but didn't do well) and who have decided all along that medicine is the way to go.
 
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wingedhelmet

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 21, 2012
18
0
101
  1. Pre-Medical
How is it that your science GPA is so much higher than your cGPA? Did you only take a few science classes?
Also as I understand it, a post-bacc is generally meant for people who are not strong in the sciences and need to fulfill their pre-reqs. These people are likely career changers after graduation, or decided late in college that they wanted to go into medicine.

Have you all your pre-reqs out of the way? If so I wouldn't suggest going post-bacc, and do the SMP instead.

But if you've only taken a few into classes, post-bacc may be the way to go.
With a cGPA as low as that you'll also need to do very very well on your MCAT (35+) to get your foot in the door to interviews.

Give us a bit more info about your coursework and we'll be better able to answer your questions.

I am exactly one of those people you described. I graduated with a major in political science and a 2.52 GPA, and only took 2 science courses. It wasn't until midway through my senior year that I realized I wanted to become a physician. After graduating, I did a post-bacc year to complete the pre-requisite science courses and earned a 3.78 GPA doing so, hence the vast GPA difference.

I think that the SMP would better prepare me for medical school, but I'm concerned that it may not be the right decision since it won't help my cGPA, which is obviously a huge red flag for schools. Plus, I've done the math and if I do another year of post-bacc, I could theoretically raise my cGPA to 3.08, and have approximately 3.85 my last 70 credit hours.

My question is would a good SMP gpa (3.6 +) trump my 2.8 cGPA, or would I be better served to get my cGPA >3.0
 

tpsreport

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 14, 2011
172
16
236
NYC
  1. Fellow [Any Field]
Great job on the post-bacc work. I think taking a year of courses was a great idea and an excellent way to show that you've matured past your earlier mistakes. Now that you've proven you can do well in intro classes, I think taking another year of post bacc won't do much to distance yourself from your undergrad performance. These are still undergrad classes.

The SMP will show that you've got what it takes to get through M1. If you want to do an SMP, understand that you must get a 3.7+, or else consider 50k + living costs gone. These things are no joke, and a sort of gamble in a way. If you do well, some schools will weigh your grad GPA higher than your undergrad. If you don't do well, they won't consider you at all.

An idea of your MCAT score would be a good estimate of how well you'll do. Besides, you'll need an MCAT or GRE to get into most of these programs anyway. I've a friend who got under a 30 on her first take, and just got accepted into BU with a 38 retake after her time at the BU program, so nothing's for certain. I've quite a few friends who have taken this program and are now in the class of 2017, but I also know many who will likely never have a white coat ceremony.

It all depends on how badly you want to go into medicine, how determined you are, and how willing you are to sacrifice some parts of your life for your goals.

My advice:
1. Finish studying for the MCAT and take it before May. If you haven't started studying, you need to find a way to do that and get over a 30 to have a shot at these SMPs.
2. Get over a 35? Apply to both medical schools and SMPs and see whether you get MD interviews. Get your MD app done literally on June 5th, or whatever the deadline is.
3. Get a 33 or under? App to SMPs.
4. Get under a 30? Retake MCAT, but also do other things and improve your ECs.

Take your exam and let us know how you did. We'll be of more help with more info


I am exactly one of those people you described. I graduated with a major in political science and a 2.52 GPA, and only took 2 science courses. It wasn't until midway through my senior year that I realized I wanted to become a physician. After graduating, I did a post-bacc year to complete the pre-requisite science courses and earned a 3.78 GPA doing so, hence the vast GPA difference.

I think that the SMP would better prepare me for medical school, but I'm concerned that it may not be the right decision since it won't help my cGPA, which is obviously a huge red flag for schools. Plus, I've done the math and if I do another year of post-bacc, I could theoretically raise my cGPA to 3.08, and have approximately 3.85 my last 70 credit hours.

My question is would a good SMP gpa (3.6 +) trump my 2.8 cGPA, or would I be better served to get my cGPA >3.0
 

wingedhelmet

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 21, 2012
18
0
101
  1. Pre-Medical
Great job on the post-bacc work. I think taking a year of courses was a great idea and an excellent way to show that you've matured past your earlier mistakes. Now that you've proven you can do well in intro classes, I think taking another year of post bacc won't do much to distance yourself from your undergrad performance. These are still undergrad classes.

The SMP will show that you've got what it takes to get through M1. If you want to do an SMP, understand that you must get a 3.7+, or else consider 50k + living costs gone. These things are no joke, and a sort of gamble in a way. If you do well, some schools will weigh your grad GPA higher than your undergrad. If you don't do well, they won't consider you at all.

An idea of your MCAT score would be a good estimate of how well you'll do. Besides, you'll need an MCAT or GRE to get into most of these programs anyway. I've a friend who got under a 30 on her first take, and just got accepted into BU with a 38 retake after her time at the BU program, so nothing's for certain. I've quite a few friends who have taken this program and are now in the class of 2017, but I also know many who will likely never have a white coat ceremony.

It all depends on how badly you want to go into medicine, how determined you are, and how willing you are to sacrifice some parts of your life for your goals.

My advice:
1. Finish studying for the MCAT and take it before May. If you haven't started studying, you need to find a way to do that and get over a 30 to have a shot at these SMPs.
2. Get over a 35? Apply to both medical schools and SMPs and see whether you get MD interviews. Get your MD app done literally on June 5th, or whatever the deadline is.
3. Get a 33 or under? App to SMPs.
4. Get under a 30? Retake MCAT, but also do other things and improve your ECs.

Take your exam and let us know how you did. We'll be of more help with more info

I took the MCAT in late July and scored a 31Q (Breakdown was 10 PS/ 9 V/ 12 BS). Not exactly impressive but at least it meets the minimum requirements for most of the SMP programs.
 

tpsreport

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 14, 2011
172
16
236
NYC
  1. Fellow [Any Field]
I took the MCAT in late July and scored a 31Q (Breakdown was 10 PS/ 9 V/ 12 BS). Not exactly impressive but at least it meets the minimum requirements for most of the SMP programs.

Yea you are in good shape tp apply to those SMPs.
Highlight the EC work you've been doing and your most recent grades. Make sure you tell them that you're ready for some SRS BZNISSS

Two options for SMPs.

1. Programs like Georgetown are 1 year programs, and people usually apply the same year they're taking their SMPs. So that means you'll be applying to both MDs and doing your SMP the same cycle. This school is pretty selective and hedges their bets.

2. Programs like BU are 2 year programs. You take coursework during your first year, volunteer starting your spring term of year 1, and do research while applying to medical schools the second year.

Figure out which work for you and go here for more research:

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/forumdisplay.php?f=71

There's a sticky with a thread about SMPs, the most accredited ones, and student ratings of them.

Good luck
 
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