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Pretty solid science grades, pretty sub-par non science grades?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Lullapalooza, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. Lullapalooza

    2+ Year Member

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    Nobody has really been able to assess my situation for me...

    I started out as a business major. I was not motivated by my classes, I hated the subject, but it took me two years for me to come to my senses. So my grades for classes like Economics, Management, Computer Sciences etc. were mainly C's. I barely scraped by.

    After I realized that I wanted to pursue a degree in Neuroscience, things changed for me. I started to buckle down, and my science grades were actually quite solid. Most of my science grades range from B+, A-, A. One or two B's in there.

    Now, I know that medical schools will look both at my overall GPA and my science GPA. My question is:
    1. Will my poor GPA from non-science classes greatly hurt my chances of getting into a U.S. allopathic school?
    2. What can I do to improve my grades in those non-science classes?

    From what I've been reading, post-bac programs are mainly geared towards students who had poor science GPA's, not poor humanities GPA's. So, what are my options (if any) to improve those grades? Can I retake some of those Econ, philosophy, business classes at a community college? Is that a viable option?

    In my opinion, this is what is going to give an admissions office a hard time. Though I'm sure they will give me points for a stronger science GPA, and improving my overall GPA with time, I still fear that I will not make the initial cut because my overall GPA is not very competitive.

    Any advice at all would be very much appreciated.

    Happy holidays to you all!
     
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  3. TooMuchResearch

    TooMuchResearch i'm goin' to Kathmandu...
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    What are your BPCM, non-BPCM, and overall GPAs?
     
  4. fireflygirl

    fireflygirl The Ultimate Blindian
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    Yeah it would be nice to see some numbers so that people can give you a more accurate assessment. Also, don't forget that in all of this, your MCAT score is going to matter too. While you may not get as much of a penalty for your non-science, more and more medical schools are looking for more rounded and diverse individuals so while the science GPA is going to carry more weight, I wouldn't count on it pulling you through. But if you can post some numbers, it would be helpful to see if you really need some extra time or to see if there truly is a significant discrepency.
     
  5. Anatidae

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    If it's a huge discrepancy (like 3.8 BCPM and 3.0 non-BCPM), I'd say take some random electives to help balance it out before you graduate. Still, you could probably apply without a post-bac or SMP -- as long as the rest of your application was solid -- and get a few interviews. The only thing is that you'll probably have to explain why you switched from Business to Neuroscience and why your grades were so poor before the switch.
     
  6. Lullapalooza

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    My science GPA is at about a 3.5. Not spectacular, I know, but I still have a few physics classes and organic chemistry classes in which I hope to excel and raise my science GPA. I'm confident that I can have a science GPA of 3.7.

    To be honest, I'm not exactly sure regarding my overall GPA. Is my overall GPA include my science classes, or is it just non-science classes? If I had to estimate, I'd say WITH science classes, my GPA is 3.0. Without the science classes, its probably more like a 2.5 or a 2.6.

    Due to a formality at my university, I am not going to be allowed to take any more electives due to a maximum restriction on the number of units I can earn. I've gotten approval from the university to take only classes required for me to graduate from here on out. Therefore, I was wondering if after I graduate, it would be worthwhile to retake classes at a community college, or as an extension student in the courses where I did not perform well.
     
  7. gopher22

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    I don't think you should retake classes in subjects you do not enjoy. You can use the time to take advanced or grad-level courses in neuroscience and other subjects you do enjoy. That will set you apart from other applicants.
     
  8. Lullapalooza

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    Man, I've been on the forums for the past several hours, and searching through a lot of these threads, the general consensus has been that I probably won't be considered anywhere unless I have an overall GPA of 3.0.

    I don't know what to do. I feel like I have been trying so hard, and I have been dedicated, yet somehow I fear that all my hard work would have been for nothing. I've made some bad decisions for myself, but I've tried to remedy the situation to the best of my ability. Some people have told me: "No damage has been done! Keep your science grades up and someone will consider accepting you!" I've kind of used this as a spark, and I've used it to convince myself that there is still hope. But now, with the more and more research I do, the more I feel like These C-'s and C's in Finance and Accounting classes are going to make me an incredibly weak applicant.

    I'm going to keep plugging away, because I've made a lot of sacrifices and I've come this far. But somehow I feel like this goal I've been working towards is not all that reasonable.

    I know the importance of MCAT's and EC's can greatly impact your application, but somehow I feel like this dismal overall GPA of mine is just going to stand out, even if my BCPM GPA is solid.

    Sorry for the negativity in this rant. I know its the holidays and I should find something to be cheerful about. But nothing at this point concerns me other than making my dreams come true.
     
  9. Lullapalooza

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  10. scott8013

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    I wouldn't lose heart. I was in a similar predicament where I had poor grades prior to premed decision -- my overall GPA is 3.2 and BCPM 3.8. I have an MD acceptance - it is an uphill battle, but it can be done.
     
  11. scott8013

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    there is a lot of talk about upward trends, and that combined with PS that address the poor overall GPA can easily be explained away. If you have good BCPM grades, adcoms will see that you can handle the science workload.
     
  12. scott8013

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    overall includes the science classes.
     
  13. Lullapalooza

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    scott8013, thank you very much for your encouraging words :)

    My attitude about this is very simple: I'm going to do whatever it takes and all I can possibly do to get into a U.S. MD school. I feel that there is still a lot in my hands, for instance, improving my overall GPA and my BCPM, EC's and MCAT's. But I just tend to fear the impact of my poor academic performance in the past. I feel fixing those bad grades are out of my reach.

    I'm willing to do a post-bac to get some of my B's in science classes and make them A's. Accounting, on the other hand... I'm not sure how much "fixing" I can do. Going into the future, I feel very hopeful and optimistic. But looking at the past, I feel nothing but regret and disappointment.
     
  14. fish89

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    just a guess - do you go to UCLA? lol... the business major and neuroscience major sound a lot like UCLA, plus the socal residence...

    do more things to show you're interested in medicine. maybe you could spin your weaknesses to your advantage - "i was bored and found that nothing but neuroscience and clinical medicine excited me, thus i volunteered for X number of hours at hospital and contributed to YZABC extracurriculars - i have found my life purpose and passion" - i think that would help you. build a case that makes you a better applicant in spite of your numbers. research, ec's, get involved.
     
  15. fireflygirl

    fireflygirl The Ultimate Blindian
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    I'd keep your chin up. There is a lot you can still do. The first thing I would consider after graduation is either working and taking a break, thereby creating some distance, from your UG record. In the meantime you could take a class here and there to help increase your overall GPA. I wouldn't repeat classes - it's not worth your time and it doesn't really help your application much (this advice coming from two directors of admissions at MD schools). Instead, either enroll yourself in a post bac program or take night classes that will help boost your overall GPA. In the meantime, find something to do that your passionate about. And it doesn't have to be in the sciences. In fact, I would personally say if you can do even some volunteer work that isn't science or medically related, it would be good for you. The last thing admissions directors want to see is someone that can only seem to excel in the sciences. I'm not saying that this is you, but judging from the discrepency in your two GPAs, they could get this idea. They want to see well rounded candidates that have a passion outside the sciences too. So find a way to build that into your application either by pursuing interests outside medicine or actually working in a different industry.
     
  16. Lullapalooza

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    I go to UCR.
    Yes, I absolutely, positively need to beef up my EC's. I feel that the biggest hurdle for me is actually making the initial cut. If granted an interview, I am somewhat confident in my public speaking, and speaking in what could be considered a stressful environment. I think my passion and personality will really interest a lot of medical schools. But unfortunately, I cannot show "the real me" through exclusively my GPA.
     
  17. efitzpat

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    I think that a well written PS explaining the switch in majors (and the bad grades preceding the switch) will be very helpful. A year off would also really help. You definitely want to show that you can do something other than excel in science classes.

    Fear not, though! If you want it bad enough, it'll happen. I never thought my GPA would get me interviews, but so far so good!
     
  18. Lullapalooza

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    This is a great idea. I definitely will take a look at some non-science opportunities. Not only do I think it will make a more well rounded applicant, it will probably be some fun if I can find an opportunity that I really enjoy!
     

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