Tips for Addressing a Low GPA (Less Than 3.0) When Trying to Go to Medical School

There is a lot of demand for medical school. A sub-3.0 GPA is almost certain to result in a denial from nearly all schools. Those who have less than a 3.0 need to spend some time to make their applications better. Here are some tips that can help address a low GPA.

  • GPARetake any science and math courses with a C or lower grade. You can take them at a local community college or at a 4-year school. Most adcom are not going to care where you retake the science courses. There will be a few that care, but hopefully you will apply at enough schools so that you don’t run into this often.
  • Start slow when you retake science courses. Make 100% sure you are going to get an A. This will help you develop good study habits and time management skills.
  • Eventually, you’ll need to take a full course load of science classes to really prove you can do it.
  • Strategically take extra science courses to bump up the BCPM GPA.
  • Apply to some DO schools. It will be much faster to get a DO GPA of 3.3 since grade replacement is possible. With MD schools, there is no grade replacement. It will take a lot of brute force and courses just to reach 3.3 paired with an outstanding MCAT. Even then, you will need to apply at a lot of MD schools just to get one that will offer you a seat.
  • Attend a multi-year postbac premed program. Keep in mind that your fellow students are gunners trying for As. This may turn out bad for you when grades are curved.
  • Study very hard for the MCAT. You are going to need a great score to offset the 3.3 GPA.
  • You may want to consider going to physician assistant school to get a PA.
  • It will probably take you two years of prereqs and science courses to successfully rehabilitate a sub 3.0 GPA.
  • In the meantime, work on the other parts of the application as well such as volunteering, getting more clinical experience, and building leadership skills.
  • An SMP might work too, but it may take time away from fixing the other parts of the application that need to be fixed. In other words, it’s not always a good idea.

If you have more tips, please share them below. However, the above is going to be plenty for those who have a low GPA and dream of becoming an MD or DO.




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