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How Does a Post-Bacc GPA Impact My Medical School Application?


Your GPA is just one part of what medical school admissions committees consider when they review your application. But it is a major part of what they consider. A post-bacc program can help boost your GPA.

If your cumulative undergraduate or science GPA is under 3.0, you may be considering a post-baccalaureate program to help save your dreams of becoming a doctor. If your GPA is just over 3.0, you may be considering a post-bacc to help you become more competitive before you start applying to medical schools.

However, it’s important to realize that not all post-baccs impact your GPA—or your medical school application—in the same way.

Record-Enhancer Programs

Record-enhancer programs are post-bacc programs in which you re-take upper-level undergraduate courses to raise your GPA. They can also include other benefits, such as advising and MCAT prep. The GPA you earn in these programs is added into your main undergraduate GPA.

However, since you’re only taking a few classes, the boost to your overall GPA will probably be modest even if you ace the classes—usually just a few tenths of a point. Still, improvement is improvement, and the difference between a 2.9 and a 3.2 can be significant, especially if your MCAT is strong.

If your overall GPA isn’t bad, but your science GPA (also referred to as your “BCPM” GPA, for “biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics”) is weak, a record-enhancer program can be a big help for you.

In either case, you may also be able to use your boosted GPA to get into a special master’s program, further strengthening both your qualifications and your “story” as an applicant. Anyone who tackles THREE extra years of school before applying to medical programs is very committed to becoming a doctor.

Regardless of whether you want to boost your overall GPA or “just” your science GPA, you should absolutely aim to get an A in any course you retake in a record-enhancer program. Medical school admissions committees will want to see that you improved significantly. Fortunately, the laser-like focus of a pre-med post-bacc environment should set you up for success.

Career-Changer Programs

Post-bacc programs for working people who want to make the switch to a career in medicine impact GPA in a way similar to record-enhancer programs. The GPA you earn in the post-bacc is considered alongside your undergrad GPA. If your undergrad GPA was good and you excel in the post-bacc, you should emerge with a strong GPA to enhance your application.

Special Master’s Programs

Special master’s degree programs are one- or two-year programs in which you take graduate-level science and medical courses. These are a great option for students who graduated from their bachelor’s program with a GPA around 3.0-3.3, but who have their eye on specific medical programs with very high standards.

Doing well in a special master’s program can showing medical school committees that you’re committed to improving and that you have what it takes to tackle advanced material that’s sometimes on a par with first-year medical school content. These programs can also offer structured research experience, advising, and (again) MCAT prep.

When it comes to your GPA, the special master’s will obviously not have an impact on your undergraduate GPA, because it’s a separate, graduate-level program. However, if you had a 3.25 GPA as an undergrad and get a 3.90 GPA in your special master’s program, that is a clear signal to medical school committees that your progress is all in the right direction—up.

Find Your Post-Bacc Program

Whether you’re looking for a certificate or a special master’s, you can find one in our pre-med post-bacc program database. Check it out today!

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