I need major help here

Yesterday my uni transcripts came to me in the mail and I found out just how destructive I was in my undergrad career.

According to the paper I have an embarrassing 2.187 GPA.

At this point I have no degree and I’m six years removed from my last matriculated semester. Would it make a difference if I started a whole new degree or simply picked up where I left off and added more ugrad coursework to raise my GPA before finally applying for a diploma?

I have little reason to be positive about this path.

I am no expert in transcripts stuff and I don’t know how retaking would impact the transcripts. But in any way, it seems that you’d need a substantial number of credits to raise that GPA. I would probably go ahead and retake what you can.

The opinions of others will probably be more helpful.

It all depends on how many units you already have and if they are in math and science or other sections. You would need to meet with an adviser or just sit down and do the math to figure out how many units of which grades will pull you up to where you need to be (I would say minimum 3.3 but better to be over 3.5). When you apply you will give an overall GPA and math and science GPA, which should both be above the minimums. For MD schools all undergrad courses, whether they were retaken or not, contribute toward these GPAs.


you seem to be an expert about this. How about graduate courses? I have an MBA as well, but I was working full time and going to school full time. I think my GPA for the MBA is about 3.4 or 3.5, do you know if that counts in the GPA med schools ask?

Thanks (and sorry for the off topic question).

Graduate GPAs are not calculated in with undergrad GPAs. AMCAS calculates a BCPM GPA (biology/chemistry/physic s/mathematics), all other GPA and cum GPA for each year of undergrad, as well as the same for post-bacc classes. They will total the original and post-bacc for a cumulative undergrad in those two categories, but they do not combine them with graduate hours.

It is not impossible to get into medical school with your original GPA, just more difficult. OldManDave (whose story you can find on this site) was asked to leave with a <1.00 GPA. He is now an attending anesthesiologist/critical care doctor. There are a few of us floating around on here who had < 3.0 GPAs in our original undergrad who are now attending some very good medical schools.

Yes, even with a second degree it will be difficult to bring up your cumulative undergrad GPA to what is considered “competitive” for medical school, but you can’t change that now. Most (but not all) med schools will consider a strong upward trend and recent coursework, especially with a good MCAT score to back it up. As previously mentioned, osteopathic schools replace grades if you retake, allowing for a higher GPA on their application.

If you had a lot of math/science in your original undergrad, you need 2-3 years (and possibly a new degree) of great grades in order to show your potential. You should retake any pre-med coursework you previously received a C or lower in as well as a substantial amount of upper level science coursework. If you don’t have a lot of math and science in your original undergrad, you can still manage a great BCPM GPA even though your cumulative will be mediocre. You should still take at least a few upper-level science courses beyond the pre-reqs, though.

I greatly appreciate the replies.

If I’m reading this document correctly, I’ve earned 116 fairly science-heavy credits (I was a biochem major). It appears I’ve really set myself up for success here.

At any rate, the notion of the impossibility of this situation doesn’t enter my mind, but I do understand this will likely be the most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my life. The best thing I can do, academically, is as you say, Emergency!, and that’s to bang out solid scholarship for the next two to three years.

The worst part of this is that while I intend to apply as a URM, I also don’t want my poor academic past to reflect on my heritage as if others of my background are not capable of excellence, nor do I want my status to reflect on me in that I used it as a tool to erase being a bonehead in my 20s.

Thanks again for the words. I hope to take my first steps this summer or fall.