What to do when your over all GPA is lower then 3.0

For applicants who have been out of school for a few years, or are planning to have a family in medical school, or have other non-traditional qualities.

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What to do when your over all GPA is lower then 3.0

Postby CaribMD » Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:36 pm

This was suggested as a help sticky so I will start off with my 1.5 cents ( the current economy in the US)

Those with over all GPA's that are below 3.0 are not in a good place for admission to medical school. Despite meetings with advisers and Medical school deans, you do not have a good chance for admission to a US medical if any at all.

WHY?

I have read MD Applicants ( the wikipedia of medical school admissions) posts with people saying that 5 people with a 2.7 did get accepted. Well I question this a lot, maybe some did maybe some are underserved minorities with extraordinary circumstances, maybe some had fathers giving to some political campaign or millions to a school or is related in some way to the Dean? I do not know and neither do you.

"I know a person right now with X.X and MCAT of XX that is attending dddddd." again do you really know the circumstances? Maybe but will you really be able to get this lucky? odds are no.

100% that apply to medical schools in the USA 60% are rejected with 40% that get accepted ( this usually includes wait listed, wait listed are accepted just not enough seats for them).

you have to be in the 40% that would be accepted

average stats are around MD 3.5 to 3.6 GPA and 32 MCAT
DO 3.4 GPA and 29 MCAT

this is the middle so there is people with much higher but few below 3.2 and 3.1 range. Most schools require a 3.0 to even apply.

MCAT does not overshadow a poor GPA it is seen as equal weight with GPA

All grades ever earned in all colleges forever are calculated into a GPA

SO if you went to XYZ College and have a 1.8 and went to XXZ college and "Started all over and kicking butt with a 3.5, then the GPA is what the new college says right? NO this is the most confusing part for a lot of people.
That 1.8 with be averaged with the 3.5, so the 3.5 is not a 3.5 to the US medical schools, yes you did good but unless you can get above the 3.2 mark in average you may never get a chance to interview. ( you can pay application fees though! :wink:

But I can kick butt on the MCAT and wow them! Yes you could do that but honestly it will not help that much its two different criteria weighted the same. ( repeated I know )


So am I done?


NO you have otpions here

If you can get the GPA up enough, like 2.9 or over the 3.0 Post Bac programs designed to get you admitted to medical school but you have to be accepted into them.
Some Have been successful with Undergrad 2.8 or 2.9 and Grad school in the 3.5 range and get accepted because they have proven themselves.

Work on the rest of the application as well

Good Patient COntact
Good Shadowing
Good Volunteering
Good LOR's

Do as much as you can to make the application stand out.


What is your goal for medicine? Is it primary care? Then you could go to the Caribbean and attend too, 1.5 to 2 years ( with breaks) studying there and the last 2 years in the USA.


In the end ask your self do I have to do this? DO I "Burn" to be a Doc?
If the answer is YES then you need to decide the plan and know it will not be an easy path since you have an all uphill fight to get to Medical school now but others have done it.

Recap:
Look at
US MD and DO
then Caribbean

GPA and MCAT are equals

if low GPA look into a Post Bac if you still desire US schools

Volunteer
Patient experience
Shadow a physician
Research

all help an app, the first 3 are a must.




:wink:

Edited 07/16/10 for current content
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Postby CaribMD » Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:27 pm

AMCAS GPA 2009

GPA Calculations
After your application is verified, your AMCAS GPA is calculated. The
GPA calculations are presented by BCPM codes, by AO codes, and by
Academic Status. You will also be able to view your Cumulative
Undergraduate GPA and your Graduate GPA when AMCAS processing is
complete.
• AMCAS GPAs are almost always different from those calculated
by the schools you have attended. Therefore, AMCAS does not in
any way attempt to compare our calculations with those
appearing on your official transcripts.
• AMCAS reports to the medical schools a GPA for each Academic
Status (HS, FR, SO, JR., SR, PB, GR) subdivided into courses
listed as "BCPM" or "All Other" in the BCPM/AO Column.
• Any course with Semester Hours and an AMCAS Letter Grade is
calculated into the AMCAS GPA, regardless of whether the credit
counts toward a degree or has been counted toward a school’s
GPA.
• AMCAS counts grades and hours assigned by the school where
the courses were originally taken, not by any school that might
have granted transfer credit. The only exceptions to this rule are
foreign coursework transferred to a U.S. or Canadian institution
and coursework taken through an official study abroad program.
• Courses with the AMCAS grades listed below are not included in
the GPA calculations. Instead, the total hours for each of these
categories are reported to the schools under the heading
"Supplementary Hours."
• Pass/Fail - Pass
• Pass/Fail - Fail
• AP Credit
• CLEP Credit

• AMCAS counts all "+" or "-" grades, even if your school does
not. At some schools, a "+" or a "-" counts as n.3 or n.7, at
others they count as n.5.
• AMCAS counts all attempts of a repeated course, even if your
school does not.
• Grades of "IF" or unauthorized/unofficial/administrative
withdrawal may be treated as "F" in the GPA depending on how
they are considered by your school.
• Postbaccalaureate Coursework is included in the "Undergraduate
Total" GPA as well as in a separate "Postbaccalaureate" GPA.•
• Grades and credit hours for all failed courses will be included in
the AMCAS GPA, even if they are not included in the GPA
calculations of the transcript-issuing institution.
AMCAS Grades that Do Not Affect the
GPA
The following AMCAS grades do not have a weight or value in
computing the AMCAS GPA:
G Used to indicate AP credit not assigned a letter grade
L Used for CLEP or USAFI/DANTES credit not assigned a letter
grade
P Used for courses taken in a Pass/Fail system, which are Passed
N Used for courses taken in a Pass/Fail system, which are Failed
For the following types, no entry should be made in the AMCAS Grade
Column. These courses have no value or weight in the AMCAS GPA.
AU Audited courses
CC Courses which are currently being taken or which you expect
to take
DG Multi-term courses
EX Exempt courses
NR Courses for which there is no recorded grade because of
school error
W Courses from which the applicant has withdrawn or "dropped"
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Postby illegallysmooth » Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:19 pm

Isn't it true, however, that graduate work (and post-bacc work) is not calculated in with undergrad GPA?

This is coming right off the application...

And this is where I disagree with many posts around here claiming that a 2.5 undergrad can never be compensated for. Medical admission is extremely competitive, but at the same time the adcoms ARE intelligent people who can see that someone who was struggling in undergrad (for one reason or another) and but overcame that with a graduate degree and a 3.8 grad GPA (in a science field) has clearly shown the academic aptitude to succeed in med school. Paired with a great MCAT, a think someone like this still has a good shot at US med schools, even MDs.
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Postby CaribMD » Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:02 pm

illegallysmooth wrote:Isn't it true, however, that graduate work (and post-bacc work) is not calculated in with undergrad GPA?

This is coming right off the application...

And this is where I disagree with many posts around here claiming that a 2.5 undergrad can never be compensated for. Medical admission is extremely competitive, but at the same time the adcoms ARE intelligent people who can see that someone who was struggling in undergrad (for one reason or another) and but overcame that with a graduate degree and a 3.8 grad GPA (in a science field) has clearly shown the academic aptitude to succeed in med school. Paired with a great MCAT, a think someone like this still has a good shot at US med schools, even MDs.
Yes I understand and think that there may be some ADCOM's who will see the upward trend to the better work and they may accept the student as a "Changed" student, But and this is the thing...... Some ADCOM's will see the 2.5 and the 3.8 and then look at other candidates and the person may be rejected or waitlisted and thats what have happened to some of my friends in the past, some took 3 times to get accepted and others went to the Caribbean after the first time.

I think to tell some one with a 2.5 who may not be able to get into a post bac and has to do a masters (If accepted some Colleges only admit 3.0 and above) that it will work, it does not always and this is an additional 2 years plus the application year for Medical school, you are now looking at an additional 3 years and they may still get rejected.

3 years, 4 years, 5 years........... do you see why I say look at the Caribbean? Its an Option
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Postby sowelu » Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:30 am

Also yes getting a masters and holding say a 3.8+ can help you but its a huge risk and getting that masters for the sole reason of medical school is a bad option. Now if you realize that the masters may still get you rejected and you have a good chance of rejection but you still after the masters can use that degree or want to go the phd route then by all means masters is a viable option and could be done. But telling someone to do it for the sole purpose of medical school admission is a huge mistake.

Committes are human like you said of course they will see an upward trend but there are many people they reject that didnt have to go the masters route and took classes that are more applicable to success in med school and did very well. Getting an MPH or something like a lot of students think will help does not show much of anything, you failed science in undergrad and now you are taking something 100% different and doing well, still not a huge indicator of success. The fact there are soo many great applications getting rejected is why this happens i think thats what a lot of people fail to realize. If you have your pick of the litter you take the best of the best, not the average or below average who are showing an upward trend for 2 years. The person who has done exactly whats expected of them for 4 years shows much more dedication, commitment, and intelligence then the person who has turned it on for 1-2 and failed the rest.

Now the disclaimer im not saying you cant or wont get in and other applicants do with masters and such im just saying its not a large percentage nor is a good masters GPA and a horrid undergrad some ticket into med school like many think. The under GPA if poor will almost always haunt you in some way.
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