Poor Grades at First Undergrad Before Transfer

I’m seriously considering going to med school and I was wondering if anyone could offer me any advice. I graduated from undergrad two years ago. It took me about 5 years to graduate b/c for the first 3 1/2 years, I basically didn’t go to class. I ended up having a 1.13 GPA at my first undergrad. After that, I got my act together and transferred to another school, where I graduated summa cum laude with a 3.93 GPA. I haven’t taken any science classes, and I would go back to take the preqrequisites. I think the cum from these two schools is a 2.84 (or something atrocious like that). Is there any way for me to erase semesters of F’s when I didn’t even take the finals??

Anyway, before I invest years in attempting to go to med school, I’d like to know if anyone can give me advice on whether I even have a shot of getting into a reputable med school (assuming that I get a decent score on the MCAT’s 30+).

Also, I am currently in my second year of law school, and I intend to complete my legal studies before pursuing a medical degree. Does that help my case in any way in terms of putting distance between myself and my poor grades? What if I do well in law school?

Thanks in advance!

Number of people on this forum got into the med school with their original GPA being lower than 3.0. For the GPA calculation purposes all your undergrad grades are going to be ‘lumped’ together so what the schools will see is 2.84 (adjusted by whatever grades you’ll get in your prerequisites). The upward trend matters so assuming you’ll do very well in your science classes you have a shot. Your law school grades will be considered separately. While they don’t necessary predict your ability to do well in science/ medical courses directly, they definitely reflect your commitment to studying and hard working and will definitely work in your favor if you do well.

Just look around the forum and you’ll find some lots of inspiration and other stories of people who ‘climbed up’ as deep GPA hole are yours or even deeper :).

Good luck and… welcome to the OPM.


Welcome, sweetlotus. I like your user name

Kasia answered your question well. I think it shows good follow-through to want to finish your JD before attempting your MD. In addition to questions of “Why did you fail before?” you should expect to answer the big question of “Why medicine?” Be sure you can answer these - concretely and critically - to yourself before you embark on this journey.

I’m one of those that Kasia mentioned. When I got my BS, I had a 2.5 cumulative GPA. Several years later, I did a post-bacc. I did all of my sciences at the second school, and I did well there; I also did well on the MCAT. You can never erase those old grades, with the exception of retakes when applying to DO schools (which given the number of courses you did badly in, may not be worth your time). But it is possible to overcome them. If I and others can do it, you can too.

To add to this topic, since I am new to this forum. Does the committee look at the 1st undergraduate school and major? I went to the US Naval Academy and was a mechanical engineering major and had a poor GPA. Now, in my pre-req courses I have a 3.5 GPA. I am applying to DO schools but I am not sure if that matters.

Basically, yes, admission committees will see your whole post-secondary record, but I’m pretty confident in saying that admission committees do realize that those who have attended service academies faced a unique set of challenges than what their civilian counterparts faced. I know several service academy graduates with mediocre GPAs going onto medical school after their initial service obligations. While I don’t know how her grades were like, tec is a poster on this board who graduated from West Point and is now a neurology resident.

The following thread may be useful:


The following is an excerpt from another post that should be helpful:

“Now, if you’re retaking classes to up your GPA that can be done by retaking classes: Osteopathic medical schools will replace your older grade in a class with the most recent grade, but allopathic medical schools will only average the recent grade in a class with your previous grade. Obviously, though, both types of medical schools will see you have retaken classes to up your GPA, so you will need supplement your retakes with some advanced-level premedical coursework to show your current academic prowess in handling new, biomedical courses. Your course selections to prove this might be limited because you might have already taken many of the potential advanced-level premedical courses as a chemistry major or in graduate school. But depending on how you did in your upper-division chemistry courses and how you did in your graduate work, you might be able to take some medical school courses at a nearby medical school as non-degree seeking student (really ideal to prove your medical school ability) or your might want to consider enrolling in an advanced-level, premedical post-baccalaureate program that is designed to rehabilitate premedical GPAs through taking unique, but advanced-level premedical courses like neuroanatomy, gross anatomy, second semester biochemistry, etc.”