MPH or more upper level classes

Hi Everyone,

Im new to this forum and I have been browsing the forum for some time and I finally decided to ask for some advice.

Im 36 yrs old. I have over 14 years experience in the anti violence sector( domestic violence, sexual violence etc…)I Did most of my prereqs 10 yrs ago. I was told by most schools they would need a current indicator so I took both gen chem’s, and physiology, microbiology and parasitology. My post bac GPA is 3.75.

My question is, I graduated with a very very low gpa. 2.4 science GPA. In the past year and a half I brought it up to a 2.7. It is almost impossible to get ones GPA up after such a big crash as mine. I basically did not drop my classes one whole semester.

So, most schools I talked to said, I should stop taking classes and study my ass off for the MCATs.

However, I have also been accepted to an MPH program.

So, Should I still take another year of science classes and still not get a 3.0 but 2.9 max if I get straight A’s or should I do the MPH and start a whole new GPA then apply to medical schools. In addition to study my butt off for the MCAT?


I think you should listen to what the schools have told you. Doing the MPH is probably not going to help you that much in getting into medical school. The classes are a lot of statistics, epidemiology, that kind of thing, not hard science. So, it won’t give the medical schools any indicator of your ability to succeed in medical schools. Med schools also don’t seem to put as much weight on graduate GPAs as undergrad science GPAs.Plus, many schools offer combined MD/MPH programs (you often apply to them after being accepted into medical school). If you are really interested in the MPH, that may be the better way to do it.

With strong recent grades, a good MCAT, and an otherwise strong application (LORs, volunteering, shadowing, that type of thing), you stand a reasonable shot. You may initially get rejected at schools that have automated minimum GPA cutoffs. For those schools, calling them and requesting that they review your file may get you a secondary application and/or an interview invite.

Study hard for the MCAT, take more classes during the year that you are applying so that you can update med schools with those good grades as well.

Good luck.

Is it officially known which schools have automated GPA cutoffs, or is that something that’s at least semi “hush-hush?”

I don’t know that its “official”, but often times if you call schools and ask they will tell you. For example, at my school, they rarely interview anyone with an MCAT less than a 30. However, I don’t believe they automatically filter people out when they get applications from AMCAS based on that.

Often times, though, even if your application gets automatically filtered out due to GPA or MCAT, if you call and ask it to be reviewed you might get a secondary or an interview.

Thanx Emergency.

I actually wanted to do the MPH before med school because I am putting together some programming for an organization and I could use the skills.

I also feel sooo tired. I would have to take at least 9 more classes to get my GPA to a 3.0.

I do think one thing is for sure I need to buckle down for the MCAT this August. I already have started studying for it.

Its weird , because I know a ton of people who did the MPH and it helped them get in. As long as their MCAT was solid.

I might do the MPH classes part time and also take a couple of upper level grad science courses.

I have great credentials otherwise, publication, research, tons of volunteer work and also 14 yrs of community work. Its this stupid GPA of mine that is in my way…

The MPH certainly wouldn’t hurt you. The MPH will do nothing for your science GPA, though, and from that standpoint, I don’t know that it will help you that much. I tend to think that in your situation, excellent grades in recent science coursework, especially upper level will help you far more (along with a good MCAT). I’m just looking it from the perspective of med schools wanting to see that you have the capability of doing well in the basic sciences and the main things they use to judge that are science GPA and MCAT.

The MPH part time along with a couple of upper level classes might be a decent plan. Maybe someone else will chime in with their opinion. Study hard for the MCAT. If you can do exceptionally well on that, it will help considerably.

I would focus less on the # of science grades required to get your GPA to a particular level and more on the goal of showing that you have the current academic skills to do well in science courses. The MCAT shows that you can study and test well. It doesn’t necessarily show how you perform in the real world. My own take is that you MUST have some good, recent science grades. Not necessarily 9 courses worth, because even then your GPA is only up to a 3.0 – but enough recent work that you can prove that you can perform well in class.

The MPH does not demonstrate academic science skills. I’ve sat on an AdCom where this sort of situation was being considered and the MPH grades did not make up for weak science performance, sorry.


Thanx Mary,

Well I have a years worth of upper level science since 10 years ago. Are you all saying I should do one more semester?

This is what I have taken in the past year.

Gen chem 1 A

Gen chem 2 A

Physics Lab A

Organic Lab B+

Physiology A

Physiology Lab A

Parasitology B ( I know…my teacher was mean 87% was a B)

Microbiology I think an A( dont know yet)

Human Sexuality Bio A