Which schools are in reach after postbac

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Sep 24, 2014
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Hi, I am an URM planning on attending med school
My GPA in uGrad was only around a 3.3 for reasons that don't need to be hashed out but are along the lines of depression, finding myself, etc.
I majored in Engineering (Applied Physics/Math) at Columbia
Currently, I attend UCSD's Jacob's School of Engineering
and will get my MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering with emphasis on bioelectronics/radiology
I have a lot of relevant research experience and UCSD is a great school in the field of biology so I am using my resources

I have planned to finish by next December.

Assuming I maintain a 4.0 in my grad courses
and apply to a reputable postbac program and maintain the 3.8-4.0
I have taken many practice MCATs and I perform well; my physics background helps and I have always found biology relatively easy

Is it even possible to get into a med school like UPenn, UW etc.?

I was planning on applying to UPenn's program since one can start spring semester.
I know this seems outrageous, but I averaged 21 credits a quarter/semester in uGrad of engineering courses-- so I know the time and dedication this will take.


has an opinion
15+ Year Member
Oct 31, 2006
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Just in case there's any confusion, URM means you represent a demographic underrepresented in medicine, so that's African American/Hispanic/Native American/etc or first college graduate in your family or possibly you're from a rural area. Asians, for example, by contrast, are ~5% of the US population (minority in that sense) but are ~20% of the under-40 physician population (overrepresented in medicine compared to the US thus not URM). Rough numbers, look it up as you like. I'm not asking "what" you are, OP, I'm just making sure you're not yet another aggrieved ORM from Orange County.

To get to your question, sure, you can go after schools like UPenn and similar with a 3.3 as an URM. Is there a nice tidy formula/recipe to follow and will all this be predictable and inexpensive? No. You have a ton of work to do to figure out how to apply to med school, and all that info is on SDN, free, offered by those who have gone before. Take advantage, and be the grownup in charge of understanding your own strategy.

Your grad GPA doesn't get averaged into your undergrad GPA - these are separate. Your 3.3 will be modified by additional undergrad you take.

You should be looking at programs like Gtown GEMS and similar, just so you know these programs are out there, maybe you want to consider them. You should also be looking at the UCSD postbac. You can do whatever you like to get the prereqs done, just don't go to a CC. You should know what an SMP is.

Meanwhile, usually it's a huge mistake to target public med schools in states other than your own. (This is the kind of info you come to understand when you read a lot about how to apply to med school, either in books or on SDN or whatever. I learned all this stuff from scratch; you can too.)

Time to do lots of reading. Best of luck to you.
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