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Sep 17, 2016
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Hello, everyone!

I have a question that may apply to a lot of applicants who are planning to apply next cycle or who may have not quite made the cut this cycle: What schools out there accept grade replacements for science pre-requisites?

I know that a lot of PT programs only accept 1-3 retakes, then average the rest of the grades, and I also know that PTCAS averages all of the grades and accepts no grade replacements. I have heard that the University of St. Augustine takes the highest grade of all attempts for each pre-req, but I've got to believe that there are more out there. I see this question tossed around a lot on SDN, but no one has really been able to compile a real list of these schools, and a lot of this information is often not available on the program's website or PTCAS.
So, here's my situation:

Long story short: I didn't get into any PT schools in my home state of TN because of my science GPA. Like most people, I had to work my way through undergrad to make sure I got out without any student loan debt. But, it cost me GPA-wise. I ended up with C's in Physiology, Physics I, and Chem I and II. I got my crap together by the end of undergrad to do really well in all of my upper-level classes and get into a good Master's program at a prestigious medical school in FL, though.

Anyway, this year will be my 1st time taking Anatomy, 2nd time re-taking Chem I and II, and 3rd time re-taking Physiology and Physics I (I know, but you can't say I'm not determined! ;) ) All of my other pre-reqs are mostly A's and some B's.

So, with all of my re-takes, I'm concerned that I may need to re-take too many to even be a competitive applicant anymore. I'm getting a 4.0 cumulative in my rigorous Master's program, and I have years of experience in PT, but I'm afraid that the fact it is taking me so many second chances to get a good science GPA that I'm screwed no matter what.

My goal schools are UTC, Belmont, ETSU, and TSU, in that order. I want to apply early decision to UTC because all of these schools fill their cohorts with ED applicants. I also went there for undergrad, so I know the program really well. But, they require a 3.4 minimum to apply ED, and they only take 3 re-takes into consideration. The rest are averaged. Their last cohort had a 3.86 science GPA average and a 3.9 cumulative GPA average. With all of my re-takes, I'm barely meeting the 3.4 minimum. Any advice? And, does anyone know anything about the other schools regarding their policies on grade replacements for re-takes? I can't find that info anywhere.

As always, thanks so much for your input, guys!

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Honestly, there are schools out there who are sticklers about how many classes you re-take and then there are others who really don't care. Many schools will average your grades together from the classes retaken, while others replace it. It's all about reaching out and researching which schools do that. It seems as if you really want to stay in Tenn. I'm from GA and wanted to stay in GA, but it seemed as if everywhere I applied, it wasn't happening. I branched out and got into a school in NC, which I'm starting in January. I didn't want to move far away, but if it meant going out of state to get my education after trying to get into school for 7 years, then so be it. It's only temporary.

I would say look at yourself as a whole and determine where you want to spend your efforts applying. If you know you're competitive enough, have a stellar essay, excellent references and great GRE scores, along with GPA, then focus your efforts on where you believe you'll be able to get in. Reach out to the admissions coordinators of the programs you want to apply to and see where you stand before you send in anything to see if you need to do more or whether they think you'd be a competitive candidate for their program. I figure I'd mention in my essay to GA State that my parents were alumni and I wanted to continue that tradition, but they looked at me as another number and not an individual. I applied ED to GA State myself, got denied and sent to the general applicant pool, then 1 WEEK LATER got offered an interview in their general applicant pool.....they had no limitations on GPA for ED, but their only stipulation was that you HAD to go there if accepted and I was willing to do so. My GPA was around the same as yours, with a post bac GPA of 3.85. Needless to say, the other university I applied to in NC offered me an interview 2 weeks after my application was submitted, they put me on a waitlist and I kept in contact with the admissions coordinator over the next few months to determine what was needed to make my application stand out. I did exactly those things and I received my acceptance letter around August.

Branch out and research, research, research! Good luck!
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