Intro and a question

06-04-08 04:22 PM - Post#53109

Hello everyone,

I found this site yesterday and the search button has been a great feature. I’ve learned so much already and this site seems to have a great atmosphere and i am already feeling better that many people are/were in the same boat.

Well, i guess i am younger than many posters here at 24. I just graduated from Michigan State with a B.A. in Economics and a seriously bad GPA of 2.65. Reason for the poor GPA is a few years of immaturity coupled with hating my major. I realized to late that i wanted to pursue medical school so i just finished up my degree.

I have not taken any science prerequisites besides a semester of BIO which i got a 3.0 in so my science GPA is not tainted. My question is should i go back and pursue a second bachelors degree in biology to make up for the bad GPA or should i just take the prerequisites?

See if you can get into a Post Bac or maybe a Masters. These help redeem the GPA

At this point I would aim towards this and work on other things such as volunteering, I tell a lot of people not to worry on the MCAT, till the GPA is looking better, I think you should tackle what will keep you out the most and something thats not easy to change, the GPA. You can do it your undergrad is certainly not the worst, but you have some work to do.

This is a marathon and takes patients.

Good Luck

Thanks for the quick response.

After doing more research on the site i see that the best course of action is to take my core prerequisites and ace them and keep taking courses until my cumulative GPA is above a 3.0.

BCPM GPA of 3.6-4.0

Cumulative GPA of 3.0

I have to get my plan together soon, i start school again in the fall for the prerequisites so any comments are much appreciated.


The other thing to remember is that if you are going to apply to osteopathic schools is that you can raise your gpa by repeating courses where you did poorly. The AACOMAS program only calculates your last grade received in a course. What I mean is, if you took algebra and got a ‘C’ the first time around and took it again and got an ‘A’, only the ‘A’ would be used in calculating your gpa. Both grades will still show on the application, but the ‘A’ is used for the actual calculation. That can help to raise your gpa; while taking your prereqs and acing them as well can help to show an upward trend in academic performance skills.

Thank you for the responses so far they have all been very helpful. I am currently waiting to see how much federal financial aid i’m going to get before i know if i can enroll full time because i’m almost tapped on my unsubsidized aid but i believe i still have full subsidized available so we’ll see what package the university gives me.

Did most of you go back and take the pre-med basics (BCPM) or did you take the BCPM plus courses like genetics, anatomy, and physiology?

I only ask since i can’t afford to take classes i really don’t need.

Thanks again

I took a couple of extra courses . . . microbiology, biochemistry, and for some stupid reason, calculus. Not everyone does though.

Hello Jnaz

Like you I have a low GPA, but in Computer Science. My approach to this issue however is to get a Bio degree (BS). This will take about 3 years, while I work on the other items, mcat, volunteering, etc. I feel that for me Post Bacc work simply won’t cut it. You may also want to see just how many classes it will take to raise your GPA. It could potentially require many semesters of credit hours. Also the Bio degree is related to what you are going to do, so it’s a good primer. The trick is going to be getting A’s

Just my two cents.


With a bad UG GPA (2.5) I went back and took BCPM plus a fair bit of other interesting stuff. There were a few tangentially related classes (e.g. Sociology) and things like Genetics, Biochem, Molec Neuro, etc. I enjoyed it, and it worked out well.

I am applying to Oakland University in Michigan as a second degree seeking student (new MD program starting in 2010 there) and they don’t require that you take general education courses so with the BCPM + genetics and A&P + labs I could be very near a second degree in bio which I may do. However calculating my overall GPA with 120 credits from first undergrad and 64 4.0 credits from a biology degree my GPA would only be a 3.12! Still not competitive at all but like I’ve read many times on this site is that if I do get a 3.6+ GPA in my BCPM + a few high level science courses they may see that as great dedication and accept me.

If not, then I go to a Caribbean school because all I want to do is become a doctor.

Your overall GPA will be low but your BCPM GPA will be excellent and hopefully your MCAT and the rest of the application “package” will also make you a standout applicant.

Don’t be thinking Caribbean at this point. When you get to the point where you’re applying, cast your net wide and make sure to “do the application right” - apply early, make sure to do all the little arcane things about the application right (LORs, transcripts, etc.), and think positive.


Thank you Mary!

I know i’m going to have to work very very hard to get high grades in the BCPM and do very very well on the MCAT to get into a program.

So far this is my Fall 08’ schedule

Chem 1 Physics 1 Biology I

+Lab +Lab Lab

Finish the counterparts of these classes in the spring.

Summer 09’

Organic chem 1 & 2

So my question is when should i start my AAMC and take the MCAT if i finish Organic chem in late August?

Go Big Brown

So here’s a couple of things to consider:

Doing the entire year of organic in a summer session is brutal. I did it and it sucked. You will have very little time to do anything EXCEPT organic and precious little time to study for the MCAT and work on your AMCAS. You will have a late MCAT and your application will be late. One plus for MCAT study is that everything will be relatively fresh and your entire year is kind of one giant MCAT prep course.

Option 2: Take organic over the next academic year, take a couple of other upper level classes such as biochemistry, micro, A&P, etc, take the MCAT in march/aprilish (I’m not sure when all they offer it now), and get your AMCAS done and submitted early.

The first plan worked out okay for me, but that doesn’t mean that I would recommend it. I’m very glad I had a decent MCAT score and didn’t need to retake because I remember practically NOTHING from organic chemistry. The pace was just way too fast to absorb the material. I also feel very fortunate to have done so well acceptance-wise with a pretty late application.

OTOH - the second plan means another year.

You’ll have to weigh the pros and cons and make the decision is best for you, but I wanted to give you a little more food for thought. Good luck!

Yeah, I agree with Emergency! that summer school o-chem is an appalling prospect. You’ll see it preached on here a lot: this is a marathon, not a sprint. Now that you have realized what you want to do, you want to get going on DOing it as soon as possible. But it is really, really, really hard to do all the prereqs, plus a few other classes, in less than two full academic years. If you plan out a two-year course of studies, you’ll be able to take a few extra classes and also take the time to make your application really good.

Yes, I know that doing two years of coursework means that it is three years before you start med school. Believe me, when I first went down this path I tried to re-work my schedule every which way to try and shave a year off that timeline, but there just wasn’t any way to do it. Consider this: if you are able to take classes and also work some, you can try and minimize your debt going into med school, where you are going to pile up a whole lot more.

Plus, so far we’re just talking about the coursework. I don’t know where you stand on volunteer work, shadowing etc. – all the stuff that shows that you know what you are getting into. Be sure to leave time for that as well.

From where you are standing, I know it looks like eons to the other side. It goes really fast, though, so enjoy the trip!