med school viability?

Hey everyone,

I would be a non-traditional med school applicant and was just wondering if you think I have a decent shot at medical school or if I’m wasting my time. Here is my background:

I am 30 years old now.

I am graduating Spring 2013 with a History degree from a pretty good school. My GPA from this school alone is a 3.3

I went to college at the usual age of 18 but did terrible. 3 semesters, GPA was a 2.0 with a few withdrawals as well. I dropped out and enlisted in the military (this was about 9 years ago), spent 5 years in the Marines, did 3 tours to Iraq. When I got out I worked at a major consulting company for 3 years before going back to college and finishing my degree.

I am doing a postbac pre-med program starting this summer to take the required science courses.

My question is…do I have a shot? I know my GPA is going to be below-par either way because of my mistakes when I was younger. If I do well on the postbac program (basically, all the required science courses) and on the MCAT do I have a chance?

Any input is appreciated. Thanks!

Drob -

Possibly you do have a chance, maybe even a good chance, with some caveats.

I think the military service in your background is wonderful (by the way, thank you!). Your initial poor GPA can be largely overcome by an excellent post-bacc record, with this caveat. If your total GPA remains below 3.0, many if not most med schools may NOT review your application because of automatic grade cutoffs. If your courses now and in the post-bacc combine to create a total GPA above 3.0 and a better science gpa, then your application should get a look at which point you can tell your story (a strong point for non-trads). Have a great (32 or higher) MCAT, or even decent (27-30), and you’ve got a real shot. Judging from the experience of others on this website, pretty darn good.

Your age at 30 is NOT a big detractor at all (I should know )



I agree with what I said. You definitely have a chance. Just get the overall GPA as high as you can, and maintain an excellent GPA in your postbac. Assuming a good MCAT, I am almost sure you will get in (if you apply broadly and realistically enough).

Good luck. Keep us posted.

Thanks kate and redo! Med school is a pretty recent decision and it’s reinvigorating my studies to have a tangible goal. I appreciate your insights and will definitely work to raise my GPA to give myself the best chance.

Your question immediately reminded me of this thread:… It echoes what Kate and redo have already recommended, and it backs up their advice with a concrete success story. If you missed it a few months ago, it’s worth checking out.

Best of luck!