Do you want to get into med school but your GPA is currently discouraging? If yes, a bad GPA shouldn’t make you rule out going to med school. Just keep reading this article to find out how to get into med school with a low GPA.
No doubt, trying to get into med school with a GPA as low as 2.0 or even 2.7 looks impossible.
But, the truth is not everybody who is currently excelling in medical school got in with a high GPA.
What that means is that medical schools accept students with low GPA.
So, if you are also wondering if medical schools accept students with a low GPA, I guess that answers your question.
Although it is not impossible to get into med school with a low GPA, it requires more work from you.
Yes, you will have to apply strategically in order to make up for your low GPA.
You may be thinking of how to go about this strategic application. Not to worry, that’s what this article is about.
So, just keep reading, let’s walk you through how to get into med school with a low GPA.
What Is Considered A Low GPA?
Before we go into what characterizes a poor GPA, let’s define GPA in the first place. This phrase refers to your total academic accomplishment and stands for Grade Point Average.
GPA measures your achievement throughout your degree program in the same way that your teachers grade you for specific topics. It might be anything from 1.00 and 4.00.
What connotes a poor GPA varies per university. Some colleges may admit students with averages as low as 2.00, while others accept students with averages as low as 3.00.
However, if you want to get into top-performing colleges, you need to study hard because they only consider students with a GPA ranging from 3.50 (A-) to a strong 4.00 (A+).
The lowest, but still a passing grade you can get is between 1.00 to 1.9 or a D. Anything lower than that is a failing grade.
How much does my GPA matter when applying for med school?
Your GPA matters a lot when applying for med school.
Most med schools prefer taking students with an above-average GPA, because they believe your GPA goes a long way to telling how good you are academically.
Aside from your GPA, another factor that matters when applying for med school is your MCAT scores.
But, as important as your MCAT score is, your GPA is more important.
Your GPA gives the school a glimpse into what your academic life as an undergraduate was like.
Your grade point average helps the admission panel determine whether or not you will do well in medical school.
The good news is, the admission panel takes note of every detail, from your final commutative result to your yearly average.
They take into consideration your entire undergraduate grades and just your GPA.
So, even with a low GPA, you could still stand a chance of getting accepted, although, getting into med school with a low GPA is a bit more difficult.
What is considered a low GPA for med school?
The acceptable average grade point may vary from college to college.
Different medical schools have different acceptable grade points. What may be low for one school may be average for another.
Therefore, if you want to become a doctor with a low GPA, you may want to know the acceptable average for your preferred school.
And if your preferred college has a high GPA like 3.5 or 3.7 as their average, then you may want to check out for other schools with lower averages, especially if your GPA is as low as 2.0 or even 2.7.
For some top colleges like Stanford, if you have a GPA of 3.7, it may also be considered low, but for a school like Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine, a GPA of 3.7 is above average.
To cut the long story short, most med schools consider any GPA below 3.5 low.
And the lower your GPA, the more strategic your application has to be.
Like I already said, you can still get into med school with a low GPA, don’t ask me how, just keep reading.
How do I get into med school with a low GPA?
I promised to walk you through how to get into med school with a low GPA, only if you kept reading.
And, you have done just that, in order to keep my promise, below are tested and proven quality steps to take if you have a low GPA and still want to go to a med school.
Carefully read them, have a keen understanding of each of these steps and apply them in the course of your application whenever you need to.
1. Figure out the reason why you have a low GPA
The first step to take when trying to make up for a low GPA is trying to figure out why it is low.
You will have to look back at your undergraduate days, and try to remember the courses you found difficult and why you found them difficult.
During your undergraduate days, did you have personal issues that weighed you down? Or, was your family facing any kind of challenge?
Do you think you were studying a course you didn’t really like, maybe you just wanted to become a doctor without having to study anatomy or physiology first?
Or, maybe the problem was not you, maybe you were making just the right efforts.
The problem could have been the school management and your lecturers.
There are so many reasons why you are having a bad grade now, you just have to figure all of them out.
You may be wondering why you have to figure out why you have a low GPA.
Well, that’s because knowing why you have a low GPA will help you understand how to go about your application.
The reason for this is not for you to play the blame game, but rather, it’s to help you take responsibility.
2. Try to make up for the low GPA
I want to believe that the reason why you have decided to go on with your dream of going to med school even with a low GPA is that you feel your GPA doesn’t define who you are.
Here are some of the things you may want to do to show that you have risen above your challenges and that even with a low GPA, you can still excel in medical school.
- Retake some of the courses you did poorly in: retake some of the courses you did poorly in. If you score an A or B on your second trial, it shows that you have understood the course better. Even if your school doesn’t include your result in the second trial, the medical school admission panel will still know you retook the course and this proves to them that you have overcome your challenge.
- Have a high MCAT score: You already know that another important factor med schools take into consideration before accepting any student is your MCAT. Having a high MCAT score shows that you are ready for med school.
3. Have a good explanation for your low GPA during your admission interview
Even after retaking some courses and having a high MCAT score, get ready because your low GPA will still be questioned during your interview.
The admission panel will need you to convince them that even with a low GPA, you can still do well in med school.
They will want to be sure that in cases where you face challenges while in med school your academics will not be affected.
While responding to questions regarding why you have a low GPA, try not to play the blame game.
Rather, take responsibility for your actions, and give them a proof that you have overcome your challenges.
4. Take DO schools into consideration
Never let a low GPA stop you from becoming a physician, at least not until you have given it your best.
Even if a low GPA is stopping you from getting accepted into your preferred med school, there are still some options you can try out.
One such option is applying for a DO school.
After attending a DO school, you become a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, which is obviously worth considering instead of struggling to get into a med school.
So, now you know that it is possible to get into med school with a low GPA and how to go about it, another thing you need to know is some of the schools that accept students with a low GPA.
Some medical school accepts students with a low GPA
Here is a short list of med schools that accept low GPAs.
- MEDICAL COLLEGE OF GEORGIA AT AUGUSTA UNIVERSITY, GA: requires a 3.84 GPA
- UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, MS: requires a 3.77 GPA
- MERCER UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, GA: requires an average GPA of 3.68
- AMERICAN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, ARUBA: requires an average GPA of 3.0
Conclusion of how to get into med school with a low GPA
By reading this article to this point, I believe your question on how to get into med school with a low GPA has been answered.
Just try to make up for your GPA by implementing what you read above and when applying and attending interviews, be very strategic.
Put what you have read into action, I sincerely hope that having a low GPA won’t stop you from attending med school.
Frequently Asked Questions about Low GPA
Given that we’re discussing GPA, it’s logical that you’d want to compute your own. However, GPA computations differ per school, so it is preferable to address this with your institution’s administration for a more exact answer.
GPA computations were fairly straightforward back then. It is so simple that anyone with an average IQ can figure it out.
Those days, however, are long gone since GPA has become more difficult to calculate. If you want to calculate your GPA for a single semester, just sum your grade points for each course and divide them by the number of credit hours.
Calculate your GPA every term, then divide the total number of grade points by the sum of your GPAs.
There are strategies to raise your GPA if you believe you need to. The first and most obvious is to try not to miss any lessons or events.
Simply by attending all of your classes, you will most likely remember your professor’s lessons and teachings. It will assist you in acing your exams and achieving higher ratings.
You should also avoid procrastination to the greatest extent feasible. Making a customized timetable can help you keep track of all you need to do.
This technique will help you get everything done.
Lastly, remember that while you’re working your way to increasing your GPA, it’s also essential to get as much rest as you can. Doing this will give your brain a chance to recover so you’ll have enough energy to take on the next day.
Unlike what other people think, there are still medical schools that don’t require a high GPA. As long as you meet the requirements and aced the interviews, you’ll be a medical student in no time.
The first school on our list is the American University School of Medicine in Aruba (AUSOMA). They accept prospective medical students with a GPA of 3.00 and higher.
They also offer a flexible admission policy for students from all over the world. Did I also mention that they are one of the top-performing medical schools in the Caribbean?
Another school you should consider is Meharry Medical College, located in Tennessee. Historically, it was a black university, but nowadays, they accept individuals regardless of their ethnicity or race.
They accept students with a cumulative GPA of 3.42. That may be a big stretch compared to AUSOMA, but the more options, the better.
Lastly, Howard University College of Medicine in Columbia offers opportunities for students with as low as 3.47 GPA. They aim to provide education for underserved minorities.
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