Jul 12, 2009
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Hey everyone,

I'm trying to fine tune my application and stats as well as figure out what schools I have a solid chance at getting in to. I'll be applying next year - the end of my senior year and would really appreciate any advice and/or criticism. If my application needs some work, I have the option to graduate in five years with a scholarship because I redshirted a season.

I'm attending a UC, California Resident, URM
Here are my stats:
cGPA: 3.63, BCPM: 3.55
MCAT: 35 (12PS, 10V, 13BS)




Extra-curriculars:
  • NCAA Division I Athlete - scholarship
  • Clinical Care Extender Program - 240 hours total; four months each in Oncology, Orthopedics, and Sub-ICU
  • EMT - Basic and Intermediate Certified (worked as an EMT and phlebotomist in the off-season for some cash); clinical hours totaling around 500+
  • Phlebotomist California State Certified - clinical hours totaling around 300+
  • Undergraduate Research - two years; a few posters and waiting on a publication
  • 3 club/organization memberships on campus - been involved with for a couple years
  • Shadowing - last summer I shadowed my lifelong pediatrician for 10 hours a week (around 80 hours total); my orthopedic surgeon for a couple weeks (around 30 hours); an infectious disease and hematologist that worked within the same office for three weeks (around 35 hours)
  • Tutoring - I have been tutoring for students at both my university and a local community college in classes such as Anatomy, Genetics and Microbiology (year and half)
  • I also occasionally write for my university's newspaper
I have been on the Dean's Honors List for a few quarters as well as received two Scholar Athlete Awards.

I know that my GPA would be one of the things that I need to address first, but I have taken all my pre-reqs. I think that if I take upper division courses, I may not get the "A" and in return hurt my GPA. Would retaking a freshman chem class that I got a C- in really help my BCPM?? Also, are there any extra-curriculars that med schools specifically look for? What schools should I look into with the stats I have now- any shot at CA schools? And finally, should I sharpen my foreign language skills for med school or is being bilingual/trilingual not that important to admissions?

Thanks for the help!
 
Last edited:

redlight

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you are fine.
matriculant avg gpa, above average ECs and mcat.
retake chem because a C- is often not counted as a passing grade for pre-reqs.

i think you have a great shot at staying in cali if you apply to all of the state schools and apply early.
 

Stratego

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It looks to me like you'll have a very solid application and I think your stats are fine as they are, though if you can get the cGPA higher that is all to the good. The C- in Chem might be an issue at some schools, but if it was Chem I and you did well in Chem II, you'll be fine at many schools. Others will consider the grade a moot point since you did so well on the MCAT. You might want to check with the schools you most want to get into by calling the admissions office, or checking their website. CA schools have higher expectations than most schools elsewhere. If you retake the class the new grade would be averaged in just as if it were another new class.

Overall, your extracurriculars are above average. You have a lot of variety in your clinical experience. The research is above average in duration. A potential publication is very good. Your shadowing is perfect. You have teaching experience. You've been involved in sports and kept your cGPA high. Do you have anything you'd consider leadership?

While fluency in a second language is nice, I wouldn't wait to acquire this before applying.

You have an excellent chance at a lot of schools. Look at the School Selection spreadsheet stickied to the top of this forum, plug in your numbers, and pick schools based on your geographic, weather, cost of living, and selectivity preferences. Once you have a list together, we'd be happy to poke holes in it. Include Rosalind Franklin, UIllinois, Northwestern, and UChicago, if midwest is an area you could live.
 

camaras2480

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It looks to me like you'll have a very solid application and I think your stats are fine as they are, though if you can get the cGPA higher that is all to the good.

CA schools have higher expectations than most schools elsewhere.
Cali schools are, simply put, a b1tch, relative to other state schools. However, I think you are an excellent candidate at Davis, Irvine, Keck, and Loma Linda (note the strong religious affiliation).

As you know, the top schools in Cali are generally considered to be UCLA, UCSD, UCSF, and Stanford. Although their average GPAs are like 3.8, your MCAT is right on par. With you varied extracurricular background, I think you should apply to all of them. I would not be surprised if you get in to at least 1 of these four, in addition to Davis, Irvine, Keck, and LL. You just need strong interviews, and a compelling personal statement.

So basically, IMO, if you apply to all the schools in Cali, I fully expect you to gain acceptance within the state. However, apply to some other schools as well. Surely consider the midwest schools suggested by Stratego. Also consider NY, PA, and DC.
 
OP
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Jul 12, 2009
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Thanks for your responses everyone. I was wondering how much my chances of getting excepted would increase to schools such as UCLA, UCSD, Stanford and UCSF if I raised my GPA to a minimum of 3.7. I think I can pull off another 4.0 year - the reason my GPA is "low" is because of a rough freshman year that left me with a 2.7. Also, would being a captain on a collegiate sports team count as a leadership?
 

Stratego

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Thanks for your responses everyone. I was wondering how much my chances would increase of getting accepted to UCLA, UCSD, Standford and UCSF if I raised my GPA to a minimum of 3.7. I think I can pull off another 4.0 year - the reason my GPA is "low" is because of a rough freshman year that left me with a 2.7.

Also, would being a captain on a collegiate sports team count as a leadership?
A GPA of 3.7 would look good, and would mildly increase your chances.

Captain of a team generally constitutes leadership, but be sure your description includes the ways in which you were a leader for it to be considered as such.
 

camaras2480

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Thanks for your responses everyone. I was wondering how much my chances of getting excepted would increase to schools such as UCLA, UCSD, Stanford and UCSF if I raised my GPA to a minimum of 3.7. I think I can pull off another 4.0 year - the reason my GPA is "low" is because of a rough freshman year that left me with a 2.7. Also, would being a captain on a collegiate sports team count as a leadership?
3.63 to 3.70 is not a huge jump. But obviously, any increase is always helpful. But don't gamble too much and end up at 3.5. lol :)