How will academic probation affect my app?

So this question is more directed at those who are med students or beyond who maybe know the mindset of adcoms but anyway here’s the situation. At UC Davis you are required to pass everything with at least a 2.0 GPA and you need to average 13 units per quarter so after 3 quarters you must complete a minimum of 39 units…pretty standard I would imagine for any school.

Basically in a nutshell, I did 12 units last fall because I actually fell for the advisor’s advice that I should only take 12 units my first quarter (in retrospect it might have been a good thing since I changed majors and that 4th class probably wouldn’t have counted) and then in my second quarter I took only 13 units because I was doing paramedic school at the same time and all 13 units were upper division and notoriously brutal classes. So after 2 quarters that puts me at 25 units.

I was putting so much hours into medic school that I decided ifI could withdraw from Davis for the spring quarter and not be placed on academic probation then I would do so since it did marginally affect my grades in the winter quarter and to meet satisfactory academic progress I would have had to do like 16 units and it would not have been worth it. I spoke both to the registrar and the college of letters and science that my econ degree is through and specifically clarified with them that I would not be placed on academic probation if I withdrew as I did not complete a full year at Davis so it would not be an issue since they calculate the minimum progress at the end of the spring quarter.

Well, I got an E-mail from the bastards yesterday saying that they’re placing me on academic probation so apparently I was either lied to or both people I talked to happened to be incompetent. Obviously, I’m going to fight this, but what kind of fall out am I going to have from this in the future as far as med school apps go? I made Dean’s list my first quarter, and I have an overall GPA of 3.8, so it’s not like it’s an indicator that I’m doing poorly scholastically but rather just an indicator that the school potentially screwed me over if they won’t reverse it or take it off my record. I understand that even if it doesn’t show up on my transcript, I’ll have to report it on AMCAS, so even if it dissapears off my record once I complete 14 or more units next quarter (I have 16 units scheduled) then I have to report it anyway so I’m wondering how bad it’ll hurt me.

Oh yeah, take home lesson from this: don’t do paramedic school and university at the same time.

Tim, I would triple check on whether you have to report your academic probation, particularly if it’s an internal designation.

During my freshman year 12 yrs ago I ended up on ac-prob for a GPA <2.0, and although my college pre-med adviser said it shouldn’t be listed since it was an internal designation (and wouldn’t appear on a transcript), my current grad adviser told me to include it as an “institutional action.” I did so, and now many schools are requiring a written explanation from my college. Understandable, but… the current Dean of Studies has no record of this probation, and seems seriously baffled at why I listed it and how to explain it in a letter (I told her to just put it in the best light possible ;)).

Bottom line: list it on your AMCAS for full disclosure, but make sure your college will be able to explain the situation for the letters of inquiry that will follow.

My thought is, as respectfully as you can force yourself to be, meet with the powers that be and explain the situation to them. Also emphasize the importance to you that you continue to do well as you’ve already demonstrated you are capable, and emphasize that you made your decision to not take courses based on your understanding of what two different people told you. I think the big thing is to be humble.

With respect to the med school app, there’s not much that you can change about the situation so, in my opinion, try not to let it concern you too much. I know, easier said than done. Your GPA is excellent right now–continue to do great work. I think the med school would be a little perplexed as to why someone with such a great GPA would be on academic probation–they will likely just ask you and give you the opportunity to explain. When you do so, again be humble.

Congrats on your successes! And good luck with your meeting.

Jlr, I did find out from my meeting today that the academic probation is indeed an internal designation. The advisor was actually pretty irritated the registrar gave me any advice whatsoever on what would or wouldn’t put me on academic probation since they don’t regulate that and therefore have no clue about it. So much for getting it taken off the record since I didn’t ask the right person in the first place…apparently the registrar should have referred me to whichever college I was in.

Anyway, like I said, it’s an internal designation and the advisor said that after the fall quarter it’s going to dissapear on its own but it will remain on the internal transcript that the advisors at UCD have. She couldn’t say for sure whether I’d be required to report that on graduate or professional schools, but as far as I can tell, it sounds like it’ll be the same issue as with you where I list it and they’ll have no record of it.