Where to start to not feel like I am dragging my feet

I am a nontraditional pre-health student that is looking to apply to a post-bacc program to boost my gpa. I graduated with a 2.98 GPA and am currently taking a gap year working in biotech and tutoring full time as well as looking for post-bacc programs to help increase my GPA. I feel that I need to take a post-bacc program as I am incredibly close to clearing a 3.00 GPA and the gap year would definitely help me prepare for the MCAT. However, not realizing it at the time - and being on autopilot - I noticed that the post-bacc programs have application periods similar to both college and medical school. A question for that is how long to too long to enter into a post-bacc program. I am 22 years old and really want to pursue a career in medicine but do not want to rush an application for it to be denied.

What is the best route of action that will get the ball rolling because I feel a tad overwhelmed because there are too many ways that I can go about applying to medical school and different routes I can take to get there? Is my GPA - being where it is - not as important to increase as it is to prepare for the MCAT. Finally, should I apply for post-bacc programs that require at least a 3.0 GPA, or is that a waste of an application?

Thank you

This is going to take a bit of research on your part. If a post-bacc has a hard cutoff of 3.0 then tough luck, but perhaps they make exceptions. Email people and ask.

Trends in GPA matter and if you commit to a post bacc, which you def should with your GPA, then a rigorous post-bacc with a high GPA will show that you are committed and able to handle the rigors of education even though your GPA may only rise to a 3.2 or so. I would tackle the post-bacc first before going for the MCAT and use studying for your classes as a way to study for the MCAT. You’ll be more prepared to take the MCAT after your post-bacc. A high MCAT score is going to be a bit more pertinent in your situation with a lower GPA. A high MCAT score can offset the low GPA and show medical school that you are a strong student. The MCAT levels the playing field between everybody. So get into a post-bacc, crush it, and then crush the MCAT. Good luck to you!


Improving your GPA with a science-based master’s program could be an option. This is another preferred route for would-be re-applicants because it provides opportunities for more independent, self-directed research and demonstrates scientific acumen. It can be especially useful if you don’t have a research background already.

Keep in mind though that you need to excel in your coursework and that you will have to finish the entire program; making below-average grades or dropping out before the program ends will do more harm than good when you reapply to med school.

Master’s programs aren’t right for everybody – you might not want to commit to a multi-year program, or you might not be confident about your academic performance. Or you might not have the minimum GPA required for admittance in the first place.

In that case: Prove your potential in a post-bac or special master’s program (SMP) These programs, usually a year long, are often associated with a medical school. Students are immersed in a rigorous science-based curriculum similar to what they will face in medical school; often, they are even taking classes or being graded alongside first-year med students. Success in these courses can show the admissions committee that you’re ready for medical training, which means that once you’re accepted into a SMP, the odds are very good you’ll eventually get into medical school. Several programs cater to the lower end of the GPA/MCAT spectrum.

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