Necessary to complete SMP after DIY postbacc?

I graduated several years ago with a degree in Environmental Sciences with a 2.39 GPA - the cumulative and science GPA were very similar as I had taken mostly science classes. After graduating, I looked into SMPs but most of them seemed to either require the MCAT which I wasn’t prepared for or require a minimum 3.0GPA which I was nowhere near achieving. I instead began a DIY postbacc and have completed 50 credits with a significant upward trend - my postbacc GPA is 3.70. (my overall cumulative and science are now 2.83.) I’d have to take an additional 30 credits getting all As in order to achieve a 3.0 cumulative/science. I recently became degree seeking in my postbacc as a Biology major and actually only need 6 more credits to earn a second degree.

I was recently told by an advisor that I’m likely beating a dead horse and don’t need to continue my undergraduate studies until I get the 3.0 and that I should get a graduate degree/SMP under my belt instead. I was shocked because I had previously heard that I needed to at minimum meet that 3.0 mark with my cumulative undergraduate degree, so I began cold calling many many medical schools and found only a handful admitted to automatically screening out students with a GPA lower than 3.0. I’m not sure, however, if there still might be an unspoken rule where sub 3.0 isn’t really considered.

Assuming that I don’t need to reach a 3.0, my next question is do I really need to after these 50 hours, then go on to complete an SMP in order to show that I can handle graduate level coursework? Not only will an SMP be doubly expensive, it’s stopping me from ameliorating my application in other ways. In order to support myself financially and be able to attend school simultaneously, I’m not able to look for research experience since that’s typically during the same time as classes are held. I’m also very strapped for time working 50+ hours a week, taking full time classes, and am not really able to volunteer, shadow during this time period. Additionally I’m not really sure how I would fund an SMP since they’re typically grueling like the first year of med school and I likely would have to quit working or cut down significantly. Any advice is appreciated, thank you.

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I am literally on the same boat as you.

I did a formal post bacc program after graduating with a 2.66 GPA but in order to achieve a cumulative 3.0 I also need to do about 30 more credits.

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The post-bacc is the better option. MD programs disregard or devalue most master’s GPAs because of rampant grade inflation in many grad programs. Graduate coursework will not be included in final GPA calculations for cGPA and sGPA so grad classes won’t improve your GPA for application screening purposes.

Osteopathic med school will include some grad classes in GPA calculations and a grad degree may help there. Not all degrees but certain classes from a graduate science degree may be included in final GPA computations. Please check specific university rules on what graduate classes are acceptable.

For your do-it-yourself post bacc, do not retake pre-reqs unless you earned a C- or lower. Instead take higher level elective science classes - like biochem 2, genetics, A&P, immunology, advanced neuroscience, embryology, etc.

Universities want to see that you are able to perform at a high academic level in challenging science classes similar to those required by med school.

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