Looking at the next 3 years as a nontrad (military)

Hello everyone. I’m a recent graduate with a degree in biology from a well-known public school. I commissioned into the US military and am looking to apply to DO school in three years. Long story short, my GPA was only 3.1 and my science GPA is 2.81 (I’m assuming that no differentiation is made between A/A+ grades, but my sGPA is higher if these are taken into account). I was in an abusive relationship while in school, which led to many of the struggles and an overall inconsistency in my GPA (my last three semesters were 3.3, 3.34 and 3.02 respectively).

I realize that this is quite low and I am trying to raise my GPA prior to applying but am struggling about deciding between getting a second bachelors degree and my MS online. In person classes will not be possible, as I am stationed in a non-English speaking country and likely will not have access to English secondary education.

If I get my MS, I will likely pursue forensic science due to personal interest. If I look at a second bachelors, I would try to do either interdisciplinary studies or my BSN. All of these would be from an accredited state school. Does anyone have a similar experience and any advice for my situation?

Hey Sydney,

First off, Thank you for your service.

As far as GPA, check out mappd.com. It’s a website started by Dr. Gray and several others (including Dr. James Wright, a former Admissions Dean and Director of TMDSAS) and has some really good resources to help assess where you currently stand. Specifically, they have a good GPA calculation tool that will help give you a good approximation of how your GPA would be calculated on the application. The best part, they have a 2-week free trial, so it doesn’t cost you anything. Not saying you did anything wrong, just don’t want you to have to retake courses if you don’t actually have to.

Concerning GPA enhancement, you’ll want an SMP or a post-bacc (formal or DIY). Personally, I’d be worried that med schools wouldn’t consider a forensic science or interdisciplinary studies degree as “hard science.” As far as a BSN, my opinion is if you want to be a physician, pursue being a physician not diverting into nursing. Having said that, this is all just my 2 cents.

I’d be really interested to hear what @Dr_Gray has to say about your post on Old Premeds Podcast. He definitely understands the med school application process better than me, and as a former Air Force Flight Surgeon, may be able to provide some insights for options during your deployment.

Thanks you for the insight! As for the BSN, I was mainly looking at what was available from accredited universities that would boost my sGPA. My understanding is that DO schools include nursing classes in that calculation, is that correct? Is there something else that they take into account?

Hi SydneyL,

Nursing classes are considered non-science classes and included in both the MD/DO for non-science gpa calculations. As far as a SMP goes, they are very expensive and if you don’t do well in the program you will be in a worse position trying to uplift your gpa. In the end its your choice of how you wish to proceed. Best of luck!