Post bacc/options for those with science background

Hi everyone!

For those who graduated with a science degree (biology etc.) and are pursuing a DIY post-bacc or formal post-bacc program, I have some questions/seeking advice : )

I graduated with a science degree with a 2.6 GPA and perhaps an even lower science GPA due to several personal circumstances. I kept digging myself into a hole and graduated with approx. 200 credits.

More specifically, I took all of the pre-med pre-reqs and retook some of them for better grades when in undergrad. However, I do still have some C’s and 1 or 2 C- grades in the physics series. However, I switched to psych and completed mostly neuro/psych upper division classes, graduating with almost no upper division bio/science classes.

I have watched/read a lot of the podcasts/posts and I am curious about what direction you took when you graduated with a bio degree in this similar situation with a very low GPA.

I have decided to take DIY post-bacc upper division biology courses like cell biology, medical microbiology, anatomy, biochemistry etc. - for which I have so far received A’s in the completed courses.

My concern with my undergrad coursework, is that my GPA will not move much, and so is it advisable to continue to take on more upper division biology classes and prove myself in those, or would I need to go back and consider retaking those classes with a C- ?
Also, would you recommend considering a formal post-bacc or master’s after completing these courses, or would continuing a DIY post-bacc be considered similar or equivalent to what a formal post-bacc would teach?

Thank you all so much and I look forward to learning your perspectives on this : )

GPA is important, however, there are other ways to compensate it in the admissions process such as a high MCAT score and well-written essays. It also depends on the college you went to and the ranking of it. In your essays, you can focus on your drive for continuous self-improvement which you demonstrated in taking multiple DIY upper division biology courses. Other than that, you’re quite well initially positioned to get accepted. It also sounds like you’re genuinely interested in science and that will shine through. First, you can take an MCAT on the AAMC website. The masters programs (like at Brown) for pre medical school folks are on the table if you don’t think you can get a 505-510. If you get a 505 and you think you can study it up to a 510 then just start prepping for MCAT and apply early to get a better gauge of your real chances. If you would like to chat with our admissions expert or check out our MCAT Prep, feel free to contact us at Manhattan Elite Prep.


Firstly congrats on persevering through! You will become that physician! I was in a similar situation and what I did is take some (one or two) upper-level science courses at my local college to get my science GPA above the 3.0 threshold. I then did a formal SMP and during my interview cycle my uGPA never came up.

It would take multiple semesters of As to move your GPA substantially so this is when you would consider if having an entirely different GPA (say from a Masters) would be more ideal for admissions committees to see your improvement. I’ve gotten advice from admissions committees that formal post-bacc and SMP are preferable because it not only shows you can handle the content itself but the rigor and pace as most formal programs require students to be full-time/take more than 1 or 2 classes at a time. SMP are also graduate-level courses and some can even be on par with M1 courses.

I would only consider retaking courses if the grade you received would NOT be counted as credit for Medical schools prerequisite requirements *(for most schools a C- is not considered a passing grade, while a C is). After that, I would continue challenging myself with upper-level science courses.

1 Like

Thank you both so much for your feedback, I really appreciate it!