A student gets 2 Cs

Hello everyone.

I am considered a non-traditional student, even though I am not too old (I am 25). I graduated with a Bachelor in Fine Arts, having taken Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Anatomy & Physiology, because I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to be a doctor yet. After graduating, I traveled for a while, volunteered and worked for while, then went back to school as a post-bac (but not in a post-bac program)to complete my pre-reqs. I was getting all A’s, bringing my 3.5 undergrad GPA to a 3.7-- and then last semester I got 2 C’s. I was crushed. It was a combination of poor planning, of not thinking I needed to withdraw, and some unpredictable teachers. I was spread too thin, as a volleyball coach and working as well, but I’m not making any excuses. Anyway, it brought my GPA down terribly. I am wondering how to think about this-- I know that I can retake those classes, or slam-dunk the MCAT. But in anyone’s experience, are those two C’s in a long record of A’s very bad? My pre-med advisor cannot give me a definitive answer, and I am ready to apply this cycle. I do feel that I have all of my shadowing/volunteering/re search/clinical experiences all set, it’s just those two C’s that are a thorn in my side right now.

Any kind of insight would be appreciated.


I don’t think two C’s are the end of the world but it depends what you got those C’s in. For instance, if you got a C in Gen Chem but followed that up with A’s in Organic Chemistry, I think some schools will notice the C’s but also look very favorably on those two A’s you received in an advanced level course within the same subject. Second, how badly did it affect your overall GPA and your B(Biology)C(Chemistry)P(P hysics)M(Mathematics) GPA? You said you had a 3.7. I can’t imagine it dropping it to below a 3.4 which is still a pretty decent GPA. I don’t know what schools you want to apply to but many schools would not find much problems with a 3.4 GPA.

Also, instead of retaking courses you just completed, why not take upper level courses and do well in those? Medical School Admission committees are impressed by progress. They understand not every student starts out with straight A’s. Coupled with your performance prior to last semester and good grades in upper level biocourses (like Genetics and BioChem) you plan on taking, I think some schools will start to look at those C’s as just hiccups. Follow it with a good MCAT score, and you should be golden.

I wish you luck!


Thank you for your feedback. I am relatively calmer now, since I have taken two advanced level courses this semester.

I’ll be posting again soon!