Looking for advise as non-traditional student


I am new to this forum and am looking for some honest and brutal advise. AS you can see from below my undergrad effort was a joke.

Biology 1 - C

Biology 2 - F; retake C

Inorganic Chemistry 1 - D+; retake B-

Inorganic Chemistry 2 - F; retake A-

Inorganic Chemistry 3 - D

Organic Chemistry 1 - D

Organic Chemistry 2 - B

Organic Chemistry 3 - WF, retake F, retake F, retake F

Physics 1 - D+

Physics 2 - D

Physics 3 - D+

Calculus 1 - B-

Calculus 2 - B

Calculus 3 - F, retake C+

I also took 5 additional Chemistry courses with failing grades.

If my calculations are correct my science GPA was 1.68 ( overall was 2.70)

It has been 6 years (now 27) and I am ready to be serious and get back into school. I have two questions:

Can I recover from these grades by retaking them all?

CC is my best option as i need to work. Will a good GPA from CC and high test score on MCAT overcome my stupidity or am I done before I start?

Any advise is greatly appreciated.

OK… it will be honest, and brutal, and probably incomplete…

There were people who recovered from GPA below 2.0 and are now successful physician. But to do this you have to:

  • go to the most rigorous 4 year university (NO! CC WON’T WORK!!!) and get a degree! Merely retaking these courses + taking few more won’t help here! You’ll need to take many, many classes to overcome your poor GPA. Most schools have 3.0 cut-off below which they won’t even look at your application.

  • You need to get all As in order to bring your GPA up to 3.0 or so.

    If you cannot quit your job, it might take you longer, b/c I know many 4 year universities don’t have very flexible schedules and you might be able to take only 1 or 2 classes each semester. Ideally however, you should go to school full time; at this point the admission people want to see not only improved grades, but ability to handle a rigorous schedule of medical school!


You are NOT done before you start. Do a search about Dave Kelley and you will see that you are certainly not new. However…you do have a hole to dig yourself out of.

What you need to do is to make a plan. Decide what you are going to do and how you are going to tackle it. What you should NOT do is set a time frame. You are about to start a marathon and not a sprint. It took me 6 years from the time I decided to apply to medical school to actually get into medical school.

Regarding the question about CC, this has been beaten to death and I would suggest that you do a search of the forums and see what the consensus is. I do not suggest you contact any medical schools at this time. It is way to early. Simply start off with your basic classes.

Any D’s that you have received will simply not fly. Those need to be taken over. Find out if there is a post-bacc program near your house and maybe do that. There are plenty of options. Do your best to come to the Conference in June.

Welcome to Old Pre Meds. You are amongst kindred spirits. If you have a question, I can almost guarantee that someone else already asked it and it was answered. Simply search the forums. Good luck.

Osteopathic schools do grade replacement; if you re-take organic chemistry, for example, and score A on all units, it will completely replace those C’s, D’s, and F’s. You just need to make sure that the newer course has at least as many credits as the old course. It’s a bit silly but that’s the rules.

Thus, if you were to retake your four science courses plus calc, and make A’s and B’s, you would dramatically raise the overall GPA and the science GPA that is reported to medical school admissions committees.

So, you have a chance to redeem yourself. The hard part is going to be figuring out what went wrong before and how you can fix your study skills not just for these prerequisites but for the much more difficult course load you will encounter in medical school. Then, obviously, you need to work extremely hard to show an upward trend and renewed determination to succeed. It ain’t easy but the rewards are rich!

Best of luck,

I am in a similar situation, but my GPA is a little higher. I was sick for a year and failed all of my classes. I even took one math class that I didn’t need to retake and failed the retake. I had been on meds that were interacting with each other and almost killed me. I am now back in school full time and my GPA is slowly coming up. I have a 2.64 now and I am hoping to bring it up to over a 3.0 before next year. I just hope we both can do it.