Extra classes to raise GPA to 3.0 or study for MCAT?


I am a non-traditional student with a bachelors and a cumulative GPA of 2.7. I started to do a DIY post-bacc and I have completed all the Med School pre-reqs, including Biochem, but not the recommended extras like Genetics and Microbiology. For the post-bacc I have completed 32 credits hours with a 3.9 GPA, that brings my cumulative GPA to 2.90. To bring that up to 3.0 for the 2021 application cycle I would need to take 14 credit during the fall and 14 credits during the spring. I do have a full time job that I cannot quit until I get accepted into Medical school, that means if I take 14 credits per semester that would leave very little time to study for the MCAT.

My question: what would be a better use of my limited free time, take fewer credits per semester and study for the MCAT, potentially getting a higher score and apply to medical school with a 2.9ish GPA or aim for the 3.0 GPA and a potentially lower MCAT score?



I am in the same boat as you (especially GPA) so these are things I also question myself on. I am currently taking introductory classes for Bio and Chem as well as pre-calculus at a CC since it has been over 10 years since taking those classes in high school so I gotta make sure my brain is ready for the pre-med reqs lol. Do you mind sharing how you did a DIY post bacc? I am not sure which I should do (formal/DIY) and money is always a huge concern. I wanted to take the pre-reqs at a university, is that what you did?

When I looked at the curriculum for formal post-baccs I calculated my GPA to be 3.5 at most if I were to get a 4.0 on post bacc classes so that isn’t that great of a GPA either. To answer your question (in my opinion as someone in the same boat as you), I think you should aim for the higher GPA. More so because 3.0 is typically the cut off to so many graduate programs these days.


So there are no formal post-bacc programs near my area so my only choice was DIY. I did look into SMPs but decided I will reserve that if I don’t get into medical school next cycle, SMPs are very expensive! Most formal post-bacc looked to be more expensive while having the same curriculum as a DIY. I have both University and a Community College near my place, both costing the same for in-state students. I decided to take all my classes at University since the consensus is that it looks “better”. Since both the CC and Uni are within 5 minutes of my house I think I would have had a hard time explaining to admission committees why I went to CC instead of Uni.

To your next point.
I took these classes as my DIY:
I did not take inorganic chem because I already took those for my B.S 10 years ago.
Physics 1 + Lab
Physics 2 + Lab
Organic Chem 1 + Lab
Organic Chem 2 + Lab
Biology 1 + Lab
Biology 2 + Lab
Biochemistry + Lab

Instead of retaking intro to bio, chem and physics I just bought a few books and used youtube and khan academy to relearn the material. But just because it worked for me doesn’t mean it will work for you, I did struggle a lot with Orgo 1 but Orgo 2 was easier. The math in physics did take some getting used to as well.

In your case if your GPA is already over 3.0 before the post-bacc. I think you should concentrate on acing your pre-req classes and taking the MCAT. Then just take it from there.

Finally, I think I will take Dr. Gray advice and follow Dr. Wright 45 credit rule and make the MCAT my top priority. I am taking 8 credit this semester, Genetics and Microbiology, that puts me at 40 credits. I would need to take 2 more classes between spring and summer 1, that would put me at around 46 credits.


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