grad vs post-bacc

Hi!! I already have a bachelors degree but did not gain admission my first try into medical school. If “grades” were given as the reason (Cs in OChem, Physics II, and Biochem) is there any advantage to retaking these classes as a post-bacc vs applying to grad school? I’m not really looking to relocate. Thanks!

I just wanted to add that my overall GPA is 2.9

Yikes, that is a tough one to work with. Since you already have your undergrad degree, there is nothing you can do with the undergrad GPA, however you can do a lot with your post-grad GPA.
If you sign up for a formal post-grad program you will have to finish it before entering med school. I have known a number of people who started their master’s program and hated and applied to med school, only to be told by the med school they had to finish the masters before they could start med school.
If you just sign up to take poast-bac classes you are in obligation to finish anything. You can take the classes you want to take. You could retake those classes you did poorly in, kick butt and get a better grade than a C.
However if you don’t get into med school (not going to happen, though, right?) than the masters could help you gain employment verses the post-grad classes that won’t give you a formal degree, certificate, etc. So it is a toss up as to what to do.
If it was me, I would sign up to take classes as a non-degree seeking student, and retake the classes I did poorly in. How was your MCAT, LORs, personal essay, etc?
If it is only those classes keeping you out, redo them and apply again.
Good luck.
P.S. Are you sure it is those grades that kept you out? Did you take to the schools after they rejected you and ask them the reason? Schools are totally willing to do this with an applicant so they can improve their application for the next time.

Oh and welcome to OPM!!!

Many schools feel that you should not repeat courses at the C level or better, especially if they were recently taken. But you may want to do them anyway and then explain in your personal statement and in any secondaries you receive why you repeated these courses. Besides, repeating the basic sciences will improve your chances of doing better on the MCAT.
As far as taking graduate school is concerned, consider this: If you start a grad program you will have to finish it before you can start medical school. Also, because graduate schools have a minimum GPA for their students, many AdComms weight graduate GPAs on a different scale than undergraduate GPAs.
But most applicants to med school have only undergrad GPAs. If I were you, I would consider improving your lower division undergrad courses, take more lower division science coursework, and take upper division science classes rather than taking a grad program, unless the grad program is for premeds. Then one could go with either route.

Did you call the school(s) who rejected you, make an appointment to talk to someone in admissions and ask their advice?


Also, because graduate schools have a minimum GPA for their students, many AdComms weight graduate GPAs on a different scale than undergraduate GPAs.

I’m sure this varies with schools, but any thoughts on the methodology med schools use to weigh grad GPA versus undergrad GPA? Do they consider the grad GPA to be a better indicator of the applicant’s ability to succeed in med school? I have a masters in public health and my grad school GPA is way, way better than what I received as an undergrad. I get the feeling that all they really care about is the undergraduate coursework and GPA.


AdComs, in my observation, do put more weight on the “core science” courses at the undergrad level. An MPH isn’t likely to add to your portfolio of science grades, even though it will certainly give you a leg up on (for example) biostatistics and such like. I don’t know if a “core science” master’s program would help. I get the sense that, true or not, grading is thought to be more generous at the master’s level than the undergrad level.
Of course it is never this “simple.” There are so many other factors that come into play. For example, if you did some really cool research during your MPH that involved some basic science stuff, the LOR you’d get from that would make a good impression. And of course don’t forget that a strong MCAT performance can help people look past a C in o-chem, for example.
It’s all a package - if one part of the package isn’t as strong, you’ve got a chance to bolster other parts of the package to achieve an overall good result.

Thank you for the reply (and for reminding me that it’s all a package).