Medical When should you apply to med school when doing a post-bacc/SMP

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Admissions advisor
Lifetime Donor
7+ Year Member
Oct 13, 2011
Academic Administration
I currently have a cumulative 3.3 GPA with an upward trend. I haven't taken the MCAT because it was delayed due to covid-19 (taking it in July now), but I'm planning on enrolling in either a post-bacc or SMP in the fall of this year.

My question is, when should I apply to medical school? I think there's two options: apply now or apply when I finish the post-bacc/SMP. Is there an option on medical school applications (DO/MD) to submit grades from my post-bacc/SMP to show an improvement in my academic record? Do students usually do this? If I apply after I finish the post-bacc then I'd be applying the next cycle and I'd have another gap year. Ideally, I'd like to start a medical program the summer/fall right after I finish my post-bacc/SMP. With my GPA, is it even worth applying right now even though I haven't officially started a post-bacc/SMP?
I prefer after you have a year's worth of grades in hand. It does mean you have to push off to entering medical school at least 2 years away, but applying while you are starting a postbac or master's will usually result in being placed on hold until those grades get posted, and by that time, you might be pretty late for MD (not for DO).


Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
Somewhere west of St. Louis
You apply when you finish aceing the post-bac AND have your MCAT scor ein hand. Do NOT take the MCAT during post-bac.

No med school is going to say "wow, Alice is taking a post-bac now...let's interview her!" because they can't afford to waste an interview slot on someone who is an unknown during her reinvention process.

You're in a marathon now, not a sprint. Med schools aren't going anywhere.


7+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2013
Resident [Any Field]
You are in NO place to be thinking about applying to medical school right now. 100% of your efforts need to be on taking your MCAT (you said in July) and getting enrolled for your post-bac courses. If you don't ace your post-bac, your chances of getting accepted are going to decrease drastically. One step at a time.

Step 1: Ace MCAT
Step 2: Ace post-bac
Step 3: Apply to medical school
Step 4: Get accepted

Long process but doable if you take the correct steps and don't try and rush or put too many things on your plate. This is your chance so don't blow it.
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