Old vs. New GPA

I’ve read through this forum and I am not clear on this.

I graduated with an engineering degree about 8 years ago. Common story - goofed off, got a 3 GPA. I am starting premed classes now - I’m taking bio, chem, phys, biochem stuff, basically what the univ. recommends.

By the time I’m done with those it will have been 10 years since I graduated with my first degree.

When I say what my GPA is, what will I use, a combination of everything - even classes that aren’t related, or just the stuff I’ve taken in the past couple of years.


For AMCAS (the application service for MD medical schools in the U.S.), everything counts. You have an overall GPA - everything you’ve ever taken all figured out together. You have an “AO” GPA, which stands for All Other, meaning any class that isn’t Bio, Chem, Physics or Math. And finally there’s the BCPM GPA which is the most important. The classes you’re taking now will be the main determinants of that GPA, most likely.

Engineering classes, as much as they could be considered encompassing math and physics, are NOT going to be counted into the BCPM unless they were in the B, C, P or M departments. A course numbered ENGR 326 (just to make something up) will be part of your “AO” GPA.

All my nursing courses which were a lot of human biology were part of my “AO” GPA. It’s just the way AMCAS does it.

every class must be reported and a transcript sent, for the AMCAS application.


Also, AMCAS will calculate a separate GPA for your current “post-bacc” classes, as well as an overall. This is nice as it helps demonstrate that you have matured and gotten your act together when they look at that nice, shiny post-bacc GPA vs. your original ugrad GPA.

I’m glad to hear this, otherwise I would have to reconsider even trying. If I got a 4.0 on all my premed classes I don’t think it’d move my old stuff too much. It’s a matter of the more credits you get the harder it is to move your GPA.

In a similar vein, I know that AMCAS says they’ll accept any accredited college or university, but do they weigh classes at a CC vs a 4-year differently?

I already took all the pre-reqs at a 4-year a number of years ago, but understand that I’ll have to (and want to) take them again. I’d rather take them at a CC because of the cost difference, but I also want to have the best chance possible at getting in to medical school. Any ideas?

Welcome, Scott .

AMCAS doesn’t really “consider” anything - they just validate and report.

For good or for ill, many med schools do have some bias against CCs; they’re generally considered less rigorous than universities. That doesn’t mean that taking a few classes at CCs is terrible, or even that taking all of them at CCs would be the kiss of death. If possible, though, you may want to attend a university rather than a CC - especially for your core sciences.

If possible, you want to take as many of your courses at a 4 year institution as you can. In your case, having already taken the pre-reqs at a four year institution, retaking them at a CC may hurt you. If you had mediocre or poor grades the first time around, getting good grades at a CC may not compensate for that as much as if you retook them at a CC. If you did very well in them the first time around, you may be okay taking them at a CC to refresh provided you do as well as or better than you did in them the first time around. If you want the best possible chance at getting into medical school more than you want to save money, I would recommend the 4 year university route.

Also - do some searches through the forums. There have been many (and some quite lengthy) discussions on the CC vs 4 year issue.