Future Non-Trad w/ 3.45 Grad GPA. ADVICE NEEDED!!!

Hi All,

I am a recent Grad student that graduated with a 3.45 gpa (2010). My undergrad gpa was a 2.89 (2005). I have 'A’s in Organic and General Chem (community college), B in Physics I, C in Physics II (both community college), a B in Biology I and a C in Biology II (commubity college), an B in English and a C in English II, I have a C in stats ( both grad and undergrad), and grad Anantomy a B. Both human Anatomy (C lec, B lab- undergrad) and Human Physiology (D lec, B lab- undergrad). Since I have proven myself in graduate school, MS in Kinesiology & Double Major undergrad Kinesiology/ Nutriton), will I have to take all if the basic sciences over? Also, if I do take them over at a community college how will these grades be looked upon compared to a univeristy? Do, I even have a chance at being accepted? Also, I am a single mother of one that could really use some input on parents who are in medical school. I just want to know am I wasting my time?

It is my opinion that in order to be competitive for medical school you will need to either re-take basic sciences or take additional upper level. If you are considering the DO route, re-takes in the basic science would be best due to grade replacement.

Generally speaking med school don’t care a whole lot about grad GPAs.

The CC vs. 4 yr. university debate is ongoing. I tend to land on the side of 4-yr but others don’t.

I believe realistically you are looking at a 2 year plan to raise you undergrad cGPA/sGPA a fair amount above the 3.0 mark. Below 3.0 is a hard sell to adcoms.

Other may feel free to chime in but those are my thoughts.

Thanks for the advice. As far as not grad school gpa into account, why not? Would this not show the maturity growth from undergrad?

A good grad school GPA is still a good thing and would positively affect your application.

However, your uGPA largely still has a greater impact on your application’s success.

I should say that this is not true for ALL medical school and is more a rough generalization. I believe there are some medical schools that weigh gGPA into their overall calculations or that view recent graduate degrees more positively.

As for “why” that the majority don’t…I’d say there are a variety of reasons ranging from graduate school grad inflation to some degrees not being viewing as “hard” science enough.

If you want to get some more info, I’d throw out a rough google search and see what comes back.

So what are your views on cc vs univ as far as retaking pre-reqs? Meaning how med schools will view them grade wise.

  • future_non_trad_md Said:
So what are your views on cc vs univ as far as retaking pre-reqs? Meaning how med schools will view them grade wise.

You will be compared to younger applicants who all graduated from a university. You do not want an adcom seeing "community college" and choosing someone else. You have to be as competitive as possible - unless you are hundreds of miles from a university you want to attend one, not a community college.

But, as Rich says, it's a marathon - not a race. You've already done a lot of school, and may be able to show you're ready by taking several upper-division courses (biochemistry, genetics, anatomy, physiology, and immunology are often recommended) and then scoring well on the MCAT. Take one of those to start and see for yourself if your capable of the work, or need to re-take your pre-reqs.

I honestly can’t say for certain how they view cc classes. My gut says they would be viewed neutral to very very slight negative.

I think it would come down to cost and convenience for you.

I would say that it is advantageous to do all your pre-reqs at one location.

Some adcoms have problems with them, some don’t. At one school’s presentation, they specifically said that if the CC is accredited by the board of regents for the state, that it is just as good as any full university in the state.

If you are retaking courses, I would recommend that you go to a 4 year. If that is not possible, then you need to take at least a few new upper level courses at a 4 year university. Why?

  1. In general, CC’s are not regarded as being as rigorous as 4 year institutions by adcoms. Not saying it’s fair, or true, but that is the perception held by many adcoms.

  2. Retakes are given less weight in proving your academic ability. A retake of a 4 year course at a CC is given even less weight. If you are retaking a course, you need to get an A. Anything less than that, especially at a CC, will be view negatively.

  3. Doing well in upper level courses will show adcoms that you have the ability to succeed in new coursework. Doing well in retakes only shows that you can do better the second time around.

  4. As mentioned above, most of the people you are competing against have obtained their degrees at 4 year institutions. Think about this - if there are two candidates for a medical school seat, all things are equal other than WHERE they took their courses (GPA, volunteering, MCAT, interview, references, etc), and one candidate took most of their pre-reqs at a CC and the other took them at a well-regarded 4 year institution, which one has the advantage?

    You might also look into courses offered at branch campuses. Ohio State, for example, offers most of the pre-reqs at it’s branch campuses. They are cheaper, course size is significantly smaller (the profs actually supervised lab sessions!), and it showed up on your transcript as being exactly the same as if you had taken it at the main campus.

I agree with Emergency’s post. If you take classes at CC’s, you must get A’s only and supplement that with upper level courses at a 4-yr.

Some schools are ok with CC work, while some say “it is not recommended” (basically, a euphemism for “NO”). It really depends on the school. I’ve seen many address it in the FAQ section on their website.

The safest route is do all courses at a 4-yr. If that’s not possible then you’ll have to jump through some extra hoops and face some possible application limitations. I’m speaking from the MD side of things, don’t know about the DO schools.

agree with Emergency’s.

But keep in ind that some CCs are better than their peers. That may make a difference also.

Everyone has a different experience and opinion regarding community college for pre-reqs (spend any time on this board, and you’ll see the many posts that attest to that!) That’s largely because things can be so different from state to state and program to program. So while hearing everyone’s opinion is great food for thought, I found that it’s really important to just ask the med schools you are interested in what they think of your pre-req plan.

Because of my work schedule, the CC route was the only way I could go (for the 1st half of pre-reqs). I’ve since switched to a state 4-year college to finish Physics and Orgo, but it was rare to find them at night.

I called the schools I want to apply to, and even the top 15 med school I’m interested in was perfectly fine with my plan. The adcom person I talked to there basically said that because all my grades were good (all As at the CC and a 3.9 cumulative GPA from my original bachelors degree), as long as I had a strong MCAT score, it all equalizes out.

Having said that–your schools may feel differently. My plan may be completely ineffective in your area, or some of my variables may just be different from yours. So I’d really encourage you to just make a few phone calls. Also, spend some time digging into the websites of your med schools–as others have mentioned, many programs directly address this issue on their site. That way, you can feel confident about your plan (whatever you decide) before you start.

The pre-req phase is a huge commitment, and many of us aren’t able to give up our current jobs while completing them. So as we juggle all the different variables, it’s important that each step taken will be one of forward motion. Given all the time constraints we face, it’s devastating to find that you’ve worked for a few months on something only to find out later that it didn’t move you forward! (I hope that makes sense…)

Best of luck!!!

I have done many of my undergrad pre-reqs at out CC and have now transferred to our local University for my upper-level pre-reqs. That said, I agree with most of what has been said.

You will need upper level courses, ones that are not offered by a 2 year CC. Genetics, Pathophysiology, Immunology, Virology, and Histology are the specific classes my advisor laid out for me here at the University.

I would think anything with a C or worse would need to be redone, and since you will also be needing the upper level classes, why not just do them all at your local University? It’s less messy on your transcript.

BUT you will need to speak with the Transcript Analyst at your University. They are the person who can look at the courses you took, the CC you took it at, and determine whether the grade can be replaced at your University. Often, people assume a class can simply be retaken and their first attempt will be changed to an “R” on their transcript, no matter where they took it. That is not always true. My mother is a registrar at a University in NC, and they have seen lots of variation in this. Especially if the University does not accept the value of the credit from the CC.

Our local CC and our University have a very good relationship, and it is well known in our area that our CC is harder for many of the lower-level undergrad work.

(As an example, when I took A&P II we had five young ladies transfer in from the University who had struggled in A&P I. They assumed part II would be easier at the CC. They were in for a nasty surprise. They found themselves significantly behind, not only in topics covered but in the depth required by the instructor. But our instructor was very kind and generous and she arranged 3-4 catch-up sessions with them to help them get up to speed. Also, our CC Nursing program has a higher Board pass rate than the University nursing program, which is why the State awarded the CC with a human simulator and denied the University’s request for one. That is also well known around here.)

That said, only your University’s Transcript Analyst will be able to determine the value of your CC classes for replacement work.

Also, although it is not a science class, I would look at that C in English II. Doctors are expected to read and write well, and that grade would make me nervous. But ask at your University for a pre-med advisor who has been doing this for several years. They will have experience with what has helped their former students, and they should be knowledgable about what you will need.

  • dnelsen Said:
I honestly can't say for certain how they view cc classes. My gut says they would be viewed neutral to very very slight negative.

I think it would come down to cost and convenience for you.

I would say that it is advantageous to do all your pre-reqs at one location.

It is generally perceived that candidates with CC classes are less competitive when compared to similar students who have prereqs from 4 year school. While a few schools specifically list prereqs from CC do not fulfill the requirements, the issue is really one during the decision making process of the admissions committee.

For nontrads the issue may be better viewed as what fits your background, logistics, cost, etc.

My gut feeling is that since you have some courses from a 4-year school and have a grad degree, redoing prereqs at a CC will not show you as competitive as you could be