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Just how important is your GPA when applying for medical school?

Updated: Mar 6, 2019

Submission by: Cristian Medina, South Texas Medical Society Student Member



Your performance in your undergraduate courses is very important when your

application is being reviewed for admission into medical school. An increasing number of

applicants have led the most competitive medical schools to adopt national GPA’s as cut-off

points for applications being reviewed. This meaning that a set GPA minimum is required in

order to be considered for acceptance. That being said, it is clear that the higher you GPA is the better your chances are at getting that acceptance letter from your dream school.


You may now be thinking that a GPA nearing 4.0 is required in order to possess a

competitive application into any medical school, and that you will not stand a chance if you

deviate from it at all. Although it will give you a better shot, there are still many successful

applicants that score lower than the national average when it comes to their GPA, as long as

other components that are taken into consideration are in better shape. Medical schools will

often take into consideration subjective aspects of the students’ academic record, such as the level of difficulty of these courses, trend lines present in their academic record (trending

upwards is preferred), reputation of the college or pre-med major.


Medical schools will separate your courses and average your GPA into Science courses,

Non-science courses, and Cumulative GPA. Your science courses consisting of pre-requisites for medical school such as biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Non-science courses

consisting of the remaining courses, and your cumulative GPA taking all your courses into

consideration.


 


 

Now that the numbers are on the table you have an idea of where you stand, but do not

panic if you are on the southern end of the numbers displayed above. It is agreed that grades

are important, but they are not always the determining factor when it comes to acceptance. If your GPA is not as high as you would like, it is crucial that your MCAT score is. This will help

counter the lower GPA and will give you a more competitive application.


Medical schools will also look at:

- Any experience gained in a clinical environment, whether it is volunteering, working,

shadowing.

- An understanding of what it is to be a physician, as well as the reason why you have

chosen to pursue this profession.

-Academic research experience.

Leadership roles, and community involvement.


 

Sources:

How Important is GPA When Applying to Med School? (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://www.princetonreview.com/med-schooladvice/gpa-for-medical-school


Cmalvikce. (2017, November 20). Medical School GPA: Why Good Grades Are Only Part of the Equation. Retrieved from: https://www.sgu.edu/blog/medical/medical-school-gpa/

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Submission by: Cristian Medina, South Texas Medical Society Student Member I believe the question should be “what is the best pre-med major to increase my chances of getting accepted into medical scho