FLGatorMed

2+ Year Member
May 3, 2015
16
0
Status
Pre-Medical
If I have a 2.7 GPA, would it be better to do an MPH coupled with post-bacc classes, or do a pure SMP, where I wouldn't have time to take post-bacc classes due to the intensity of the curriculum? If I do post-bacc courses over a year, I can get my GPA to around a 3.0. I have a 510 on my MCAT, and would be doing an MPH program. My alternative would be keeping the 2.7 and 510 and doing the SMP. I am applying MD, and know my chances aren't great in either of these scenarios, but what would be my best option at this point? I appreciate any advice.
 

EEtoPre-Med

2+ Year Member
Jun 30, 2015
266
248
Status
Medical Student
From my understanding, a 510 is unlikely to make up for a 3.0 GPA. It's not impossible. But I think that MD is quite the long shot. I am just an applicant myself so take my advice with a grain of salt.
 

AnatomyGrey12

2+ Year Member
Sep 8, 2015
9,291
18,794
Midwest
Status
Medical Student
If you are boning for the MD then you need the SMP. With a GPA that low I would seriously consider grade retakes for DO.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Weirdy

Pagan FutureDoc

2+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2015
1,016
1,392
Status
MD/PhD Student
your best bet would be to do a post bacc, retake all C,D,Fs and apply DO.
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,719
79,102
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
Pure SMP. But I think you'll need some post-bac work to even get near an SMP.

MPH's don't have the rigor to impress Adcoms.


If I have a 2.7 GPA, would it be better to do an MPH coupled with post-bacc classes, or do a pure SMP, where I wouldn't have time to take post-bacc classes due to the intensity of the curriculum? If I do post-bacc courses over a year, I can get my GPA to around a 3.0. I have a 510 on my MCAT, and would be doing an MPH program. My alternative would be keeping the 2.7 and 510 and doing the SMP. I am applying MD, and know my chances aren't great in either of these scenarios, but what would be my best option at this point? I appreciate any advice.
 

FutureOncologist

I support cancer... research
5+ Year Member
Jun 25, 2014
652
721
Status
Resident [Any Field]
A 510 is a pretty good score (average MCAT for accepted MD students.) If you make a 3.5+ GPA in an SMP, you'd be very competitive for MD (depending on your list and all other variables that comes with applying.) Likewise, if you kill it at an SMP, you're a shoe-in for DO schools.
 

gonnif

Only 389 Days Until Next Presidential Election
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
20,510
31,279
The Big Bad Apple
Status
Non-Student
your best bet would be to do a post bacc, retake all C,D,Fs and apply DO.
Pure SMP. But I think you'll need some post-bac work to even get near an SMP.

MPH's don't have the rigor to impress Adcoms.
As they say above. You need some postbacc prior to even getting into an SMP and may in fact want to focus on DO. However, you could work towards SMP and MD.

MPH will not make up for academic deficiencies and is really only worth much to an applicant with a demonstrated interest in public health, global health and epidemiology. For the vast majority of applicants, it is a waste of money. Indeed, for a weak applicant, it will just be seen as a desperate attempt to cover up other weakness and could be considered a negative
 
OP
F

FLGatorMed

2+ Year Member
May 3, 2015
16
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I have actually already been accepted to an SMP. I just wasn't sure if going in with a 2.7, finishing then applying to medical school gave me a higher chance of getting an acceptance than bringing my GPA up to a 3.0, doing MPH, and then applying. Any more thoughts? Thanks!
 

Pagan FutureDoc

2+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2015
1,016
1,392
Status
MD/PhD Student
I have actually already been accepted to an SMP. I just wasn't sure if going in with a 2.7, finishing then applying to medical school gave me a higher chance of getting an acceptance than bringing my GPA up to a 3.0, doing MPH, and then applying. Any more thoughts? Thanks!
A MPH won't help you, it's not going to give you the academic boost you need. As gonnif said it really only is a factor for students public health, global health, and epidemiology . Even if you are interested in those, you have a lot more to fix for your application.

Also MPH programs are usually professional masters programs (much like an MBA is) and is usually much more suited for someone with professional health related experience.
 
OP
F

FLGatorMed

2+ Year Member
May 3, 2015
16
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Thank you for your advice. So is an MPH useless to me then? Truthfully, coming into college, I had wanted to pursue an MD with an MPH because my dream is to work as a physician in the community and global health sphere. So I had applied to an MPH program and was accepted, but was hesitant to enroll because I was not sure if a 3.7+, 510 MCAT, and ~3.0 GPA would be enough to make me competitive for MD programs. So I applied to a few SMP's as well and was accepted to one. I appreciate the advice of all of you. From what I gather, the SMP would be substantially better for me to get into an MD program. However, with a current 2.7 uGrad GPA, and a fairly mediocre EC background, I am worried I would be abandoning a chance to boost my uGrad GPA, pursue a PH program I am interested in, and add more to my EC resume. Maybe I'm trying to rationalize the MPH, but I would love to hear more thoughts! :)
 

Pagan FutureDoc

2+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2015
1,016
1,392
Status
MD/PhD Student
In your case hold off on the MPH and work on the rest.
When you are ready I would research schools that let you get into their md/Mph programs after ms-1 (I don't know if their are do/mph programs...I'm just not that familiar with do schools)

Another option would be to wait till residency to do an MPH, it seems that many residencies will pay for your MPH if you do it during residency.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Espressso

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
23,195
32,935
Status
Academic Administration
In the event that you are not admitted to any medical school, the SMP does not make you marketable whereas the MPH does. That would be the only argument for doing the MPH.
 
OP
F

FLGatorMed

2+ Year Member
May 3, 2015
16
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks for all the responses.

After doing some calculation of my GPA, after a year, while coupling 9 credits of masters courses/semester with post-bacc classes, I could bring my uGrad GPA up to a 3.0, and sGPA to 3.0, while still being enrolled in the MPH program. Would keeping my 2.7 (2.5 sGPA), and getting a 3.5+ on an SMP outweigh a year of good grades in science courses bringing me up from 2.7--->3.0 on my uGrad GPA + keeping a high GPA in the MPH? I am trying to justify sticking with an MPH and bringing my undergraduate GPA up concurrently, but if my chances are really that slim, I will do whatever it takes to get to an MD, if it means the SMP. Please tell me what you think!

My MCAT is a 510, and I would continue to volunteer, shadow, and do research over the coming year.
 

gonnif

Only 389 Days Until Next Presidential Election
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
20,510
31,279
The Big Bad Apple
Status
Non-Student
MPH will not help you in getting into medical school and therefore will be a burden by preventing what you need to do. If you are already accepted into an SMP, its the direction you should go
 

Ehwic

5+ Year Member
Jan 21, 2012
404
164
Status
I hope I'm not derailing the thread, but for those who do have an interest in public health, what do adcoms look for in that MPH degree? Is it any different from those who are applying straight out of college?
 

AnatomyGrey12

2+ Year Member
Sep 8, 2015
9,291
18,794
Midwest
Status
Medical Student
I hope I'm not derailing the thread, but for those who do have an interest in public health, what do adcoms look for in that MPH degree? Is it any different from those who are applying straight out of college?
They don't really care. An MPH doesn't help you or hurt you in admissions.
 

gonnif

Only 389 Days Until Next Presidential Election
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
20,510
31,279
The Big Bad Apple
Status
Non-Student
They don't really care. An MPH doesn't help you or hurt you in admissions.
That's a little too absolute.

The issue with MPH is the way many weak applicants in the past, before postbaccs and SMPs were so common, tried to use them as a stepping stone to medical school. In that regard they did little for the applicant's GPA and made all applications with MPH as bit suspect. As with anything in a medical school application, if show a pattern of motivation, commitment and achievement in specific areas, such as public health, and have something to add to that pattern, such as MPH, it will help as gaining a masters degree is an accomplishment. However, if you have not previous experience (actual or academic) in public health then getting an MPH is of little value. As a practical matter if you are qualified for medical school, then getting an MPH first isnt what I would advise. Many MD programs have dual degree with MPH and that would be the way to go.

BTW, a large portion of my successful advisees who did earn MPH prior to medical school were in the social or community service field first and earned that for their career then on to medical school as a nontrad
 
  • Like
Reactions: AnatomyGrey12

candbgirl

Junior Member
Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2005
4,001
2,860
Status
OP what SMP were you accepted to with a 2.7/2.5 GPA record? That would be good information to share.
You seem to really want to get a MPH. If that is the case then go and do it. Just know it won't do one thing to boost your MD chances. If you want to be Doctor research DO schools and the lovely grade replacement options or if you just have to have that MD go to the SMP and do exceptionally well. If you don't do exceptionally well(and that is a big possibility based on your uGPAs) you will have blown your chances for med school. You have an okay MCAT but what do you mean by a"fairly mediocre EC background"? That sounds like it might be a problem too.


Sent from my iPad using SDN mobile app
 

Weirdy

2+ Year Member
Mar 2, 2016
2,077
2,502
Status
Podiatry Student
Thanks for all the responses.

After doing some calculation of my GPA, after a year, while coupling 9 credits of masters courses/semester with post-bacc classes, I could bring my uGrad GPA up to a 3.0, and sGPA to 3.0, while still being enrolled in the MPH program. Would keeping my 2.7 (2.5 sGPA), and getting a 3.5+ on an SMP outweigh a year of good grades in science courses bringing me up from 2.7--->3.0 on my uGrad GPA + keeping a high GPA in the MPH? I am trying to justify sticking with an MPH and bringing my undergraduate GPA up concurrently, but if my chances are really that slim, I will do whatever it takes to get to an MD, if it means the SMP. Please tell me what you think!

My MCAT is a 510, and I would continue to volunteer, shadow, and do research over the coming year.
Stick with SMP.

Both will cost money and time.

But you need the SMP before you need the MPH.

The MPH can always wait. The SMP, if you're gunning for MD/DO, cannot.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
23,195
32,935
Status
Academic Administration
I hope I'm not derailing the thread, but for those who do have an interest in public health, what do adcoms look for in that MPH degree? Is it any different from those who are applying straight out of college?
Most adcoms wouldn't know what to look for. Make it obvious that this was part of your deliberate path to medicine or that after trying public health you had a change of heart and are now changing careers (whichever is true). Don't look like someone who wants to collect degrees or who made a poorly researched choice of public health and now has regrets.

Those adcoms that do know what to look for may be interested in the experiences you garnered as part of your MPH. There is usually a field work component and tons of group projects with agencies or local health departments, etc.
 
OP
F

FLGatorMed

2+ Year Member
May 3, 2015
16
0
Status
Pre-Medical
For anonymity purposes, I was accepted to a "brand name" SMP, i.e., similar to Georgetown's, one of the common ones discussed on these forums. There isn't a direct linkage to their medical school, but it is purely designed to get students into medical school period. From what I understand on here, even with a 2.7 GPA, I can still be accepted to medical school if I do well in this program? Whereas, an MPH would do absolutely nothing? I do have a vested interest in public health, including projects abroad involving public health systems, and my ultimate goal would be to have the MD/MPH and work in the public health sphere. Because of that, I applied MPH and signed up for post-bacc courses concurrently to take with my masters to boost my uGrad GPA. Will the strength of schedule of 3 hard sciences uGrad courses coupled with 3 masters courses and good grades mean anything to adcoms? Is there a way to spin my interest in an MPH as a precursor to medical school, or is it an automatic red flag for me with a GPA under 3.0 to be doing an MPH? I can use any help I can get.

Thank you.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
23,195
32,935
Status
Academic Administration
Good luck doing both the SMP and the MPH and doing both well. MPH can include field work that is a time sink and a SMP might include lab work which is another time sink (the time required is out of proportion to the credit hours). Do poorly in either or both and you've dug yourself into a terrible hole. Anything less than a 4.0 and the question will be "why did this applicant bite off more than could be chewed?"
 
OP
F

FLGatorMed

2+ Year Member
May 3, 2015
16
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Would re-taking the MCAT help any more if I have a 3.0 undergraduate GPA and good grades in an MPH, and were to boost that 510 to a ~514 next summer. I took the MCAT with minimal studying, and would devote a few months solely to the MCAT if it could put me over the edge in the eyes of adcoms.
 

gonnif

Only 389 Days Until Next Presidential Election
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
20,510
31,279
The Big Bad Apple
Status
Non-Student
Would re-taking the MCAT help any more if I have a 3.0 in an MPH, and were to boost that 510 to a ~514 next summer. I took the MCAT with minimal studying, and would devote a few months solely to the MCAT if it could put me over the edge in the eyes of adcoms.
It is expected in an MPH or regular Masters to have close to 4.0. Less than that already has you down,

Pick a Path and try to stop thinking about doing everything at once. If you are already in an SMP and you want to go to medical school, they do it.
Doing an MPH, even with a 520 on the MCAT will not get you in.
 

Lawper

cat in a box
Gold Donor
5+ Year Member
SDN Ambassador
Jun 17, 2014
36,859
108,594
space chat
Pure SMP. But I think you'll need some post-bac work to even get near an SMP.

MPH's don't have the rigor to impress Adcoms.
Good luck doing both the SMP and the MPH and doing both well. MPH can include field work that is a time sink and a SMP might include lab work which is another time sink (the time required is out of proportion to the credit hours). Do poorly in either or both and you've dug yourself into a terrible hole. Anything less than a 4.0 and the question will be "why did this applicant bite off more than could be chewed?"
It is expected in an MPH or regular Masters to have close to 4.0. Less than that already has you down,

Pick a Path and try to stop thinking about doing everything at once. If you are already in an SMP and you want to go to medical school, they do it.
Doing an MPH, even with a 520 on the MCAT will not get you in.
Can an SMP remedy a sub-3.0 GPA for US MD? I thought SMPs were helpful for a 3.3 GPA and a 514+ MCAT.
 

gonnif

Only 389 Days Until Next Presidential Election
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
20,510
31,279
The Big Bad Apple
Status
Non-Student
Can an SMP remedy a sub-3.0 GPA for US MD? I thought SMPs were helpful for a 3.3 GPA and a 514+ MCAT.
Your criteria is far too absolute. It depends on the applicant. If someone can do solid work at a well respected SMP, perhaps one with linkages, and does solid on MCAT, they have a shot
 

Ehwic

5+ Year Member
Jan 21, 2012
404
164
Status
That's a little too absolute.

The issue with MPH is the way many weak applicants in the past, before postbaccs and SMPs were so common, tried to use them as a stepping stone to medical school. In that regard they did little for the applicant's GPA and made all applications with MPH as bit suspect. As with anything in a medical school application, if show a pattern of motivation, commitment and achievement in specific areas, such as public health, and have something to add to that pattern, such as MPH, it will help as gaining a masters degree is an accomplishment. However, if you have not previous experience (actual or academic) in public health then getting an MPH is of little value. As a practical matter if you are qualified for medical school, then getting an MPH first isnt what I would advise. Many MD programs have dual degree with MPH and that would be the way to go.

BTW, a large portion of my successful advisees who did earn MPH prior to medical school were in the social or community service field first and earned that for their career then on to medical school as a nontrad
Most adcoms wouldn't know what to look for. Make it obvious that this was part of your deliberate path to medicine or that after trying public health you had a change of heart and are now changing careers (whichever is true). Don't look like someone who wants to collect degrees or who made a poorly researched choice of public health and now has regrets.

Those adcoms that do know what to look for may be interested in the experiences you garnered as part of your MPH. There is usually a field work component and tons of group projects with agencies or local health departments, etc.
OK thanks! The MPH wasnt for a grade booster as my uGPA was within range of MD stats. That's an issue I was tripped up on as I dont want adcoms to think that I took this degree to further increase my GPA. Hopefully, my message was clear and concise :D
 

AnatomyGrey12

2+ Year Member
Sep 8, 2015
9,291
18,794
Midwest
Status
Medical Student
Would re-taking the MCAT help any more if I have a 3.0 undergraduate GPA and good grades in an MPH, and were to boost that 510 to a ~514 next summer. I took the MCAT with minimal studying, and would devote a few months solely to the MCAT if it could put me over the edge in the eyes of adcoms.
No, your deficit is your GPA. Retaking the MCAT is just needlessly fixing something that doesn't need to be fixed. If you want to do an MPH so bad then do the SMP, get a 4.0, get accepted to a normal MD or DO program and then do the MPH. Most schools will let their regular MD students do the MD/MPH path, it's not like you have to apply to that program specifically. If you want then only apply to DO schools that have the DO/MPH option. Honestly the quickest path would be to do grade replacement and get that GPA up to 3.5+ and then just apply to the DO programs that give the MPH option. With your 510 you would be competative at all those schools.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Weirdy

candbgirl

Junior Member
Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2005
4,001
2,860
Status
Would re-taking the MCAT help any more if I have a 3.0 undergraduate GPA and good grades in an MPH, and were to boost that 510 to a ~514 next summer. I took the MCAT with minimal studying, and would devote a few months solely to the MCAT if it could put me over the edge in the eyes of adcoms.
A 3.0 undergrad GPA most likely won't get you into any MD or DO school at all. And you have been told repeatedly in this thread that a MPH also will not help you . Your MCAT is okay. What don't you understand about this information? I suppose if you keep asking someone will come along and tell you to follow your dreams and they knew a person etc. etc. etc.... But on the other hand a couple of ADCOMS have given advice in this thread. And they tend to know what they are talking about. Listen to them and try to understand what they are saying.


Sent from my iPad using SDN mobile app
 
  • Like
Reactions: AnatomyGrey12

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,719
79,102
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
Yes. I've seen it happen for SDNers.


Can an SMP remedy a sub-3.0 GPA for US MD? I thought SMPs were helpful for a 3.3 GPA and a 514+ MCAT.
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,719
79,102
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,719
79,102
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
If you can only manage a 3.0 in an MPH, then medical school will absolutely destroy you.


Would re-taking the MCAT help any more if I have a 3.0 undergraduate GPA and good grades in an MPH, and were to boost that 510 to a ~514 next summer. I took the MCAT with minimal studying, and would devote a few months solely to the MCAT if it could put me over the edge in the eyes of adcoms.