Sub 3.0 GPA - Have I done enough reinvention? What are my chances moving forward? SMP?

MedicallyEnthused

7+ Year Member
Jul 9, 2013
70
14
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Hello all,

I know am posting this a bit early, I just want to get some feelers where I stand/where I will stand upon completion of my DIY post-bacc.

So my initial undergraduate degree (Neuroscience) was quite abysmal when it comes to GPA.
I started off okay. my 1st 2 years were somewhere around 3.4-3.5 sGPA (with a slightly higher cGPA).
After that, my GPA just took a huge drop, and kept dropping until I finished undergrad.
I believe my junior year was around a 2.3-2.4 and my senior year was sub 2.0, around a 1.8.

Overall, I graduated with a 2.66 cGPA, a 2.293 sGPA (AMCAS calculated) and a 2.443 sGPA (AACOMAS calculated).
This includes having had 7 W's, 8 D's, 1 F, and several retakes on courses where I got actual grades in (most were stupidly retakes of C's).
I graduated with a total of 155 credits.

Upon graduating, I took 2 years off, moved abroad, and just started working in the real world. During this time I did some serious self reflection and realized I had to do a DIY postbacc. I ended up returning to the states, to my home university, declared a 2nd B.S in biochemistry and have been killing it with a 4.0 ever since.
So far I have only taken 21 credits, but plan to take a total of 51 credits, which will culminate in a 2nd B.Sc in Biochemistry.

Of the 51 credits I plan to take (100% BCPM), I feel very confident that I can achieve a 3.85 or above, as the courses I've taken so far have been mostly senior level biochem and biomed courses. Of the 51 credits, 28 credits will be retakes of the courses I got D's in (All were taken between 3-5 years ago) and 23 credits will be new courses.

If i do achieve a 3.85, this will turn my cGPA into a 2.954, my sGPA (AMCAS) into a 2.755, and my sGPA (AACOMAS) into a 2.884. I may do better than a 3.85, so these numbers may become slightly higher, but I feel confident enough, it won't be any lower, as my entire study process from time, effort, and actual technique is completely different than it was during my initial undergrad.

I plan to take the MCAT this summer, but I previously studied for it in the fall and was getting AAMC practice test scores around 510-514. I ended up cancelling due to personal reasons, but will 100% be studying and taking it this summer.

I feel like my ECs are pretty solid, but I do lack research experience.
Clinical volunteering (EMT) - 1300 hours over 2 years
Clinical work (EMT) - 150 hours (currently at this position since January).
Pathology Lab (abroad) - 700 hours over 5 months
Although this was a lab, I mostly worked making microscopic slides from tissue samples for the pathologist to analyze. No actual research was done.
Non-clinical work/volunteering - Total of 1400 hours over 3-4 years.
Various organizations, ranging from working for a Biotech company to volunteer in leadership positions on campus (mostly outside of medicine/science).
A few strong LORs, but working on more from current post-bacc professors.
Some e-shadowing - 20 hours
I plan to begin In person physician shadowing this summer/fall, as well as hopefully start research in a university Lab (although I've had a lot of difficulty finding a lab), while continuing my clinical (EMT) job.

I won't actually complete my DIY postbacc until spring, 2022.

For those who will tell me to take more undergrad classes to get my sGPA to a 3.0, I did the calculations and (assuming I get a 3.85) in my DIY postbacc, it will take me an additional 42 credits at a 4.0 to get my sGPA (AMCAS) to a 3.0. This is because upon completion of my postbacc, I will have a total of 206 credits. Already a huge amount.

So I believe upon completion of my postbacc w/ a good MCAT score, I should go for a solid SMP with linkages.

My question is, will SMPs look at my upward trend and give me a shot (even if i fall below their min gpa of 3.0 (for most)?
I will likely apply to a large number of SMP (15-20) because i will have a sub 3.0 GPA just to increase my chances. I already have done a lot of research, and already have a list of around 30 programs.
Also, should I start applying for SMPs before i finish my 51 credits, after fall semester grades are out, but before spring semester ones?
Should I apply to med school, before starting an SMP (as to go straight from SMP-->med school) or will I need to show good SMP grades to med schools before applying?

I apologize for the long post, but I appreciate any feedback. Thank you very much.
 
Last edited:

DocJanItor

2+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2017
433
573
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Hello all,

I know am posting this a bit early, I just want to get some feelers where I stand/where I will stand upon completion of my DIY post-bacc.

So my initial undergraduate degree (Neuroscience) was quite abysmal when it comes to sGPA.
I started off okay. my 1st 2 years were somewhere around 3.4-3.5 sGPA (with a slightly higher cGPA).
After that, my treats! just took a huge drop, and kept dropping until I finished undergrad.
I believe my junior year was around a 2.3-2.5 and my senior year was sub 2.0, around a 1.8.

Overall, I graduated with a 2.66 cGPA, a 2.293 sGPA (AMCAS calculated) and a 2.443 sGPA (AACOMAS calculated).
This includes having had 7 W's, 6 D's, 1 F, and several retakes on courses where I got actual grades in (most were stupidly retakes of C's).
I graduated with a total of 155 credits.

Upon graduating, I took 2 years off, moved abroad, and just started working in the real world. During this time I did some serious self reflection and realized I had to do a DIY postbacc. I ended up returning to the states, to my home university, declared a 2nd B.S in biochemistry and have been killing it with a 4.0 ever since.
So far I have only taken 21 credits, but plan to take a total of 51 credits, which will culminate in a 2nd B.Sc in Biochemistry.

Of the 51 credits I plan to take (100% BCPM), I feel very confident that I can achieve a 3.85 or above, as the courses I've taken so far have been mostly senior level biochem and biomed courses. Of the 51 credits, 28 credits will be retakes of the courses I got D's in (All were taken between 3-5 years ago) and 23 credits will be new courses.

If i do achieve a 3.85, this will turn my cGPA into a 2.954, my sGPA (AMCAS) into a 2.755, and my sGPA (AACOMAS) into a 2.884. I may do better than a 3.85, so these numbers may become slightly higher, but I feel confident enough, it won't be any lower, as my entire study process from time, effort, and actual technique is completely different than it was during my initial undergrad.

I plan to take the flowers this summer, but I previously studied for it in the fall and was getting AAMC practice test scores around 510-514. I ended up cancelling due to personal reasons, but will 100% be studying and taking it this summer.

I feel like my ECs are pretty solid, but I do lack research experience.
Clinical volunteering (EMT) - 1300 hours over 2 years
Clinical work (EMT) - 150 hours (currently at this position since January).
Pathology Lab (abroad) - 700 hours over 5 months
Although this was a lab, I mostly worked making microscopic slides from tissue samples for the pathologist to analyze. No actual research was done.
Non-clinical work/volunteering - Total of 1400 hours over 3-4 years.
Various organizations, ranging from working for a Biotech company to volunteer in leadership positions on campus (mostly outside of medicine/science).
A few strong LORs, but working on more from current post-bacc professors.
Some e-shadowing - 20 hours
I plan to begin In person physician shadowing this summer/fall, as well as hopefully start research in a university Lab (although I've had a lot of difficulty finding a lab), while continuing my clinical (EMT) job.

I won't actually complete my DIY postbacc until spring, 2022.

For those who will tell me to take more undergrad classes to get my sGPA to a 3.0, I did the calculations and (assuming I get a 3.85) in my DIY postbacc, it will take me an additional 42 credits at a 4.0 to get my sGPA (AMCAS) to a 3.0. This is because upon completion of my postbacc, I will have a total of 206 credits. Already a huge amount.

So I believe upon completion of my postbacc w/ a good flowers score, I should go for a solid SMP with linkages.

My question is, will SMPs look at my upward trend and give me a shot (even if i fall below their min treats! of 3.0 (for most)?
I will likely hop to a large number of SMP (15-20) because i will have a sub 3.0 sGPA just to increase my chances. I already have done a lot of research, and already have a list of around 30 programs.
Also, should I start applying for SMPs before i finish my 51 credits, after fall semester grades are out, but before spring semester ones?
Should I hop to Easter basket, before starting an SMP (as to go straight from SMP-->Easter basket) or will I need to show good SMP grades to Easter baskets before applying?

I apologize for the long post, but I appreciate any feedback. Bless you very much.
I thought I was having a stroke when I first read this... (Not you OP)

Most SMPs will consider a strong upward trend and request a waiver from the graduate admissions committee if you're under a 3.0. that's what happened to me. You don't need to apply early for SMPs as they are not as competitive as med schools. I didn't apply until April for August attendance.

If your MCAT is good enough then they'll advise you to apply the same year. If not you can take the MCAT the summer after.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users

Goro

SDN Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jun 11, 2010
65,374
100,624
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status (Visible)
  1. Non-Student
I thought I was having a stroke when I first read this... (Not you OP)

Most SMPs will consider a strong upward trend and request a waiver from the graduate admissions committee if you're under a 3.0. that's what happened to me. You don't need to apply early for SMPs as they are not as competitive as med schools. I didn't apply until April for August attendance.

If your MCAT is good enough then they'll advise you to apply the same year. If not you can take the MCAT the summer after.
I agree.
 
About the Ads

Goro

SDN Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jun 11, 2010
65,374
100,624
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status (Visible)
  1. Non-Student
Don’t mind if I ask this question, OP but if he scores his mcat with 510-515, does OP have a shot in getting in medical school without SMP? Or is a SMP absolute must?
Given the damage the OP has done to the GPA, I don't think that even a 525 would help at most schools.

OP, contact your old school and see if you can retroactively withdraw from the poor grade classes. This is a thing, and the worst thing that they will say to you is no.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

MedicallyEnthused

7+ Year Member
Jul 9, 2013
70
14
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Given the damage the OP has done to the GPA, I don't think that even a 525 would help at most schools.

OP, contact your old school and see if you can retroactively withdraw from the poor grade classes. This is a thing, and the worst thing that they will say to you is no.

It's not possible. Any courses taken before getting my 1st degree can't be retroactively withdrawn from or removed from my transcript via a "repeat delete" (which is limited) that my school offers.

If I can achieve a 3.85+ over 51 credits as well as a solid MCAT (likely somewhere around 510-515) will that be an enough (in addition to a solid SMP GPA (3.7+))? I'm pretty sure, med school won't be possible without an SMP for me, even If i continue a 4.0 throughout all 51 credits.

I think I just have to be very smart on where I end up applying to med school, making sure to avoid schools that have a hard 3.0 gpa screen.
 
Last edited:

DT III

2+ Year Member
Mar 4, 2017
331
374
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Have you double and triple checked your predicted GPA’s with the consideration that medical schools average grades across courses that you have taken more than once? There is no grade replacement. I’m just pointing that out because your postbac contains 20+ credits of retakes.
 

MedicallyEnthused

7+ Year Member
Jul 9, 2013
70
14
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Have you double and triple checked your predicted GPA’s with the consideration that medical schools average grades across courses that you have taken more than once? There is no grade replacement. I’m just pointing that out because your postbac contains 20+ credits of retakes.

Yes, I spent several hours to meticulously add every single course in a spread sheet and made sure to calculate the sGPAs according to AMCAS and AACOMAS course classifications.

So I am counting all courses that I have retaken or plan to retake twice.
Example: If I took a 5 credit course and got a D during my undergrad and took the same course and got an A now.
That would be 10 credits at a 2.5.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

DT III

2+ Year Member
Mar 4, 2017
331
374
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
You definitely know what you’re doing and I think you have a great plan. I understand that attaining a 3.0 sGPA is out of your reach but what about your cGPA? You really should try to get one of them above 3.0.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

MedicallyEnthused

7+ Year Member
Jul 9, 2013
70
14
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
You definitely know what you’re doing and I think you have a great plan. I understand that attaining a 3.0 sGPA is out of your reach but what about your cGPA? You really should try to get one of them above 3.0.
This is what it will take:

Assuming, I get a 3.85 GPA in my postbacc of 51 credits --> Total of 206 credits

For a 3.0 cGPA --> It will take an additional 10 credits at a 4.0 --> Total of 216 credits
For a 3.0 sGPA (AACOMAS) --> It will take an additional 19 credits at a 4.0 --> Total of 225 credits
For a 3.0 sGPA (AMCAS) --> It will take an additional 42 credits at a 4.0 --> total of 248 credits

I just assumed a sGPA is way more important than a cGPA so I didn't think It really matter if my cGPA was a bove a 3.0 or not, if my sGPA wasn't.
In addition, by the looks of it, 1 semester can do the trick, but If i do this before my SMP, it will postpone my SMP by an entire year, unless I can find a program that has a start date in the Spring semester (probably not).

The most likely option for me, is assuming I don't get in to med school my 1st cycle (applying before my SMP most likely), I'll take a another year of undergrad classes upon completion of my SMP, which would probably bring my cGPA and AACOMAS sGPA to above a 3.0. Although these grades probably wouldn't show unless I update grades during my 2nd cycle or during a 3rd application cycle. This is all assuming my 1st application cycle will be before starting my SMP (2022-2023 cycle).
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Goro

SDN Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jun 11, 2010
65,374
100,624
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status (Visible)
  1. Non-Student
It's not possible. Any courses taken before getting my 1st degree can't be retroactively withdrawn from or removed from my transcript via a "repeat delete" (which is limited) that my school offers.

If I can achieve a 3.85+ over 51 credits as well as a solid MCAT (likely somewhere around 510-515) will that be an enough (in addition to a solid SMP GPA (3.7+))? I'm pretty sure, med school won't be possible without an SMP for me, even If i continue a 4.0 throughout all 51 credits.

I think I just have to be very smart on where I end up applying to med school, making sure to avoid schools that have a hard 3.0 gpa screen.
My SMP would take you, so surely others will as well.

You'll just need to do your research, and find the right program. Special Master's programs are a dime a dozen anyway.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

MedicallyEnthused

7+ Year Member
Jul 9, 2013
70
14
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
My SMP would take you, so surely others will as well.

You'll just need to do your research, and find the right program. Special Master's programs are a dime a dozen anyway.

I'll be applying to 15-20 SMPs when the time comes, possibly more. I already did a ton of research, and have found 32 programs in which i detailed in a spreadsheet I made (the majority have linkages and some allow you to take courses along side M1s.).

Unfortunately a large portion of these programs advertise a minimum gpa of 3.0, but some say they "make exceptions on a case by case basis", in addition that I have read about people w/ a sub 3.0 getting in.
I do however have a handful of programs on my list that have min GPAs around 2.5-2.9 as well.
 
  • Care
Reactions: 1 user

DocJanItor

2+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2017
433
573
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
I'll be applying to 15-20 SMPs when the time comes, possibly more. I already did a ton of research, and have found 32 programs in which i detailed in a spreadsheet I made (the majority have linkages and some allow you to take courses along side M1s.).

Unfortunately a large portion of these programs advertise a minimum gpa of 3.0, but some say they "make exceptions on a case by case basis", in addition that I have read about people w/ a sub 3.0 getting in.
I do however have a handful of programs on my list that have min GPAs around 2.5-2.9 as well.
Almost every program accepts sub 3.0 if you have a recent history of strong grades and a good mcat. Really no reason to apply to that many programs. You really need like 5 maximum at places that are cheap, quality, and you can link to their med school.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Jul 11, 2020
41
37
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
I just want to say as someone who had 7 F's and ended up doing a post-bacc, a masters, and more classes.. I would have done SMP sooner rather than the masters + more classes. I have been accepted this cycle MD and DO, but I think I could have saved 2-3 years by doing a SMP. I think you are on the right track and are clearly very driven and are doing the research needed. Keep up the good work, when you get the acceptance it makes it all worth it!!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Calizboosted76

SDN Bronze Donor
2+ Year Member
Dec 7, 2017
1,584
1,279
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
I had 4 F's 4 D's and a plethora of C's. Finished undergrad after 6 year (like 276 credit hours or something) with a 2.6 cGPA after 60 ish credit hours at around a 3.8 GPA.

I currently have been rejected to all MD schools and accepted to two DO schools.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

DocJanItor

2+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2017
433
573
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
I had 4 F's 4 D's and a plethora of C's. Finished undergrad after 6 year (like 276 credit hours or something) with a 2.6 cGPA after 60 ish credit hours at around a 3.8 GPA.

I currently have been rejected to all MD schools and accepted to two DO schools.
Hey, congrats! While the separation between MD and DO for residency is decreasing every year, there are still some specialties where it's very difficult to break through. Choose the school that will give you the best support, the least amount of BS, and the best rotations. Having a "home" program and mentors is probably the most important aspect of any residency application.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Calizboosted76

SDN Bronze Donor
2+ Year Member
Dec 7, 2017
1,584
1,279
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Hey, congrats! While the separation between MD and DO for residency is decreasing every year, there are still some specialties where it's very difficult to break through. Choose the school that will give you the best support, the least amount of BS, and the best rotations. Having a "home" program and mentors is probably the most important aspect of any residency application.

I totally agree. However I feel that if a student goes into medical school (MD or DO) knowing that they want a competitive specialty they can plan from the get go on obtaining any specialty they want. They have to be a real go getter though. I have already began research as well as networking with individuals in the field I am most interested in. I have also spoke to multiple PD who have accepted DO applicants to their program. Yes its harder as a DO however, nothing can stop a really dedicated and intelligent individual.
 

DocJanItor

2+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2017
433
573
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
I totally agree. However I feel that if a student goes into medical school (MD or DO) knowing that they want a competitive specialty they can plan from the get go on obtaining any specialty they want. They have to be a real go getter though. I have already began research as well as networking with individuals in the field I am most interested in. I have also spoke to multiple PD who have accepted DO applicants to their program. Yes its harder as a DO however, nothing can stop a really dedicated and intelligent individual.
That's a lovely sentiment but I can tell you from experience in the match that it doesn't always work out that way. I know multiple people who have outstanding applications with the full support of their home programs who didn't match this year. As with all things in life there is an element of luck that cannot always be accounted for.
 

Calizboosted76

SDN Bronze Donor
2+ Year Member
Dec 7, 2017
1,584
1,279
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
That's a lovely sentiment but I can tell you from experience in the match that it doesn't always work out that way. I know multiple people who have outstanding applications with the full support of their home programs who didn't match this year. As with all things in life there is an element of luck that cannot always be accounted for.
I'm not denying that. However I am also not saying that it can be done the first time around either. All I am getting at is that if someone wants to be in a competitive specialty as a DO its possible. You may not match the first time and have to take a research year but its not impossible.
 

MedicallyEnthused

7+ Year Member
Jul 9, 2013
70
14
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
I had 4 F's 4 D's and a plethora of C's. Finished undergrad after 6 year (like 276 credit hours or something) with a 2.6 cGPA after 60 ish credit hours at around a 3.8 GPA.

I currently have been rejected to all MD schools and accepted to two DO schools.
Congrats on those acceptances!

So you only did undergrad courses? never did an SMP or a traditional masters?
If so, that kind of blows my mind. Even for DO, I thought getting into med school was just not feasible with a sub 3.0 (even w/ a great upward trend) without any graduate school grades.
Almost every person I know that got into med school w/ a sub 3.0, either did a traditional masters, SMP, or a PhD before getting into med school.

Because I want to eventually get into a competitive specialty (Surgery, eventually CT surgery), I do prefer MD schools. But of course beggars can't be choosers, so when the time comes I'll be applying to both MD and DO.

That being said, I do agree w/ the above that it's still possible for a DO to get into a specialty like CT Surgery, it is just a lot harder. Almost every DO in that specialty goes the traditional route (Gen Surg --> CT fellowship), as the integrated residency programs take mostly MDs. Looking at this year's match data for example shows that 43 MDs got into an integrated CT program, while only 1 DO and 1 IMG did.

Beside helping me get into med school in general, I think acing an SMP will help me get into MD programs, especially If I link to the SMP program I go to (Ill only be applying to MD SMP programs w/ linkages). Hopefully my sub 3.0 undergrad gpa (even after my great upward trend) doesn't hold me back too much.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

Calizboosted76

SDN Bronze Donor
2+ Year Member
Dec 7, 2017
1,584
1,279
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Congrats on those acceptances!

So you only did undergrad courses? never did an SMP or a traditional masters?
If so, that kind of blows my mind. Even for DO, I thought getting into med school was just not feasible with a sub 3.0 (even w/ a great upward trend) without any graduate school grades.
Almost every person I know that got into med school w/ a sub 3.0, either did a traditional masters, SMP, or a PhD before getting into med school.

Because I want to eventually get into a competitive specialty (Surgery, eventually CT surgery), I do prefer MD schools. But of course beggars can't be choosers, so when the time comes I'll be applying to both MD and DO.

That being said, I do agree w/ the above that it's still possible for a DO to get into a specialty like CT Surgery, it is just a lot harder. Almost every DO in that specialty goes the traditional route (Gen Surg --> CT fellowship), as the integrated residency programs take mostly MDs. Looking at this year's match data for example shows that 43 MDs got into an integrated CT program, while only 1 DO and 1 IMG did.

Beside helping me get into med school in general, I think acing an SMP will help me get into MD programs, especially If I link to the SMP program I go to (Ill only be applying to MD SMP programs w/ linkages). Hopefully my sub 3.0 undergrad gpa (even after my great upward trend) doesn't hold me back too much.
Yes only undergrad at a college that was originally a community college that turned into a 4 year state school. No post bacc or SMP or any type of graduate school courses.

I agree it takes some of the obstacles down going MD. However us low GPA candidates can’t go back and take away all the bad grades we have accumulated and at the end of the day if you are dedicated enough you can go into whatever specialty you want.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
About the Ads

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.