I'm sick of thinking about this…so I'm going to post it and see what everyone has to say. I've been reading some of the posts on GPA calculation and I found out that AACOMAS calculates your GPA with the grade from the latest retake. Do all the DO schools use that GPA or do they re-calculate it themselves and include every grade? Does that also mean that if you got a second BS they would base their admissions decision on the most recent GPA? This new bit of knowledge has really confused the issue of whether I should take more undergrad courses or take grad courses. I've been told by a former member of an admissions committee that I would have to beg for an interview (at an MD school) even with straight A's in the pre-req retakes and a 34ish MCAT. So he said that I should do an MS program. But, even if I got straight A's in one of the one year pre-med MS programs my cum GPA would still only be a 3.25. Of course, I realize that they're supposed to emphasize the grad work more than the undergrad at that point. I also realize that it depends on what schools you're looking at. But, it seems like the MD schools always look at the undergrad gpa no matter what. So, if I decided to apply to DO schools only, could I get a second BS with a 4.0 gpa and not have to beg my way into an interview? I do believe in the DO philosophy and I think that I would rather attend a DO school than MD anyhow. I haven't taken the MCAT yet, but I do believe I can get low 30's. Does anyone have any advice?
I can’t address the DO application but I can address the MD application.
When your fill out the AMCAS application, all undergraduate level course work is calculated post-graduate studies if you have previously completed a bachelor’s degree. Your first GPA will stand as your undergraduate GPA. Your post-bacc work can raise your overall science GPA or non-science GPA but does not wipe out a poor performace in your first degree.
Classes taken at the graduate level will count as graduate-level coursework and will contribute only to your graduate GPA not your cumulative undergraduate GPA. Graduate classes are not counted as heavily as your first round of undergraduate courses because you have to maintain a B or 3.0 average in order to remain in a graduate program. Graduate grades are A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C- or Fail. Most people have graduate GPAs that are well above 3.5 which will not wipe out a poor undergraduate GPA.
The above having been said, most medical school admissions committees will look at your performance in both post graduate study and graduate study favorably if you have done well especially after a previous poor performance in undergraduate work. There are folks who for a multitude of reasons, immaturity or poor secondary school preparation, did not do well in their undergraduate studies but go on to do well in graduate school and will be admitted to medical school.
You also have to realize that there are many undergraduate applicants who have done very well in undergraduate work and will be your main competition for a seat in a medical school. They will be selected (for the most part) above an applicant who has used graduate school as a means of damage control.
Do not underestimate the value of doing well on the MCAT either. In past years, a good performance on the MCAT could wipe out a poor performance in undergraduate studies but in today’s climate of increased applicants to medical school, you still have to have both the GPA and the good MCAT performance. With many of today’s applicants spending the money for the MCAT prep courses, the number of folks with very good MCAT scores is increasing so ace this one. It’s a no brainer.
My advice is to choose your allopathic medical schools very carefully. Some schools will weed you out based on your GPA from your first experience with undergraduate work.(Usually schools where you will be considered an out of state student or the Ivies) Don’t waste your money applying to these schools. Other schools will look at your total performance and take your graduate work into consideration. These are the schools that you want to apply to. There is no significant advantage of having a second bachelor’s degree unless you are interested in the subject matter and have an unlimited budget for paying tuition.
Someone who is familier with the DO route will have to address their application process.
Don't know how well this will answer your question or not but here goes.
I don't think it's really possible to get an undergrad GPA much lower than mine. I was told by an MD school to get a masters… as it turns out getting my masters hasn't really helped me with this particular school (I have a 3.9 GPA for my masters). However, this year I applied to alot more out of state schools than I did last year and I have now recieved 3 MD interviews and 3 DO interviews. I do think that the DO schools look alot more at recent grades than MD schools weather you have a masters or a second undergrad degree. In my experience they are alot more forgiving of older grades.
Thanks for the replies guys. About tuition: if DO schools would only look at the second GPA it would seem like money better spent to me. I have 124 transfer credits right now, so I wouldn't have to do much more classwork. Also, most of the pre-med MS programs are non-thesis programs for which you can't get a graduate stipend, and graduate tuition is a lot more than undergrad. I'm also not sure how easy it is to get federal loans for graduate work (might not be a problem, but I don't know). These are all reasons why I can't stop thinking about it. The biggest reason though is what you both alluded to…that you can get a 3.9 in a masters program and the MD schools will still focus on the undergrad. Which MD schools are less likely to weed me out based on my undergrad? Are they GWU, Albany Med, and Case Western? What others would be good to look into?
|QUOTE (niko @ Oct 5 2003, 09:51 AM)|
|Thanks for the replies guys. About tuition: if DO schools would only look at the second GPA it would seem like money better spent to me. I have 124 transfer credits right now, so I wouldn't have to do much more classwork. Also, most of the pre-med MS programs are non-thesis programs for which you can't get a graduate stipend, and graduate tuition is a lot more than undergrad. I'm also not sure how easy it is to get federal loans for graduate work (might not be a problem, but I don't know). These are all reasons why I can't stop thinking about it. The biggest reason though is what you both alluded to...that you can get a 3.9 in a masters program and the MD schools will still focus on the undergrad. Which MD schools are less likely to weed me out based on my undergrad? Are they GWU, Albany Med, and Case Western? What others would be good to look into?|
You can get federal loans for Graduate School. You have to do the FAFSA thing in the same manner as you would for applying for federal loans for medical school. I do not know Albany Med but GWU and Case Western are pretty good about looking at the entire student academic history. I do have a friend who was able to get into GWU after ten years of trying and doing some graduate level work. He worked in one of the labs there. I also know that Howard(the school that I have the most experience with) takes graduate work into consideration and loves folks who have MPH degrees.
I know that UVA is very unforgiving of past transgressions especially in out of state students. Applications to UVA med have gone throught the roof because the economy is bad and loads of folks are attempting to re-tool or go after what they think is a "sure" thing.
You have to do some internet work to find others.
Thanks a lot Natalie.
|QUOTE (niko @ Oct 5 2003, 08:51 AM)|
|Also, most of the pre-med MS programs are non-thesis programs for which you can't get a graduate stipend, and graduate tuition is a lot more than undergrad.|
I completed a non-thesis MS in Chemistry at UNC-Chapel Hill and recieved a full tuition stipend and a minority fellowship. While it is true that most schools don't have "free money" for Master's degree's, I overcame this by identiying PI's that doing work I was interested and "interviewing" with them for a funded spot in their lab. Bottom line here is that if you have previous lab expereince and you "sell" yourself, you can get funding. You may also want to look at resources at NIH for master's students should you choose this option.
As for schools that will look more at your graduate work, my expereince in speaking with schools such as Howard, GWU, UPenn and Harvard was that they would look more closely at graduate work. However, schools like UNC-Chapel and Hopkins don't appear as willing. The caveat is that both Carolina and Hopkins indicated that a solid performance on the MCAT ie 35 or higher, may get their attention enough to grant an interview.
Bottom line is that the MCAT is a HUGE factor in admissions for a lot of us <!--emo&<_
Thanks for information. Can some points be clarified? There seems to be
some conflict in advice:
* Undergrad GPA is often weighted more than graduate GPA, but the weighting varies among schools.
* One should not retake undergrad science classes; instead one should
take more science coursework.
* One should have recent undergrad science coursework.
How do these two factor into retakes of premed courses? If one takes premed courses 2 decades ago (as I have), should I retake them?
I did ok on my pre-reqs, not stellar, and I did have problems with Organic and some upper division math and stat classes (I was a prospective engineering major at the time). My study habits were not very good at the time, I was going to a very competitive school (the average GPA for entering freshman was 4.0), and I was working 30 hours per week. But the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that it is best to know what you want early on and do well in school. Unfortunately, I’m learning this when I’m in my 40s.
>> Should I retake all my lower division courses? or just the ones in which I did poorly?
Does NOT retaking all my classes conflict with the advice to have recent premed coursework? I was told that I should retake my pre-reqs to make
My undergraduate science GPA is not very good. My overal undergrad GPA is 3.35.