Weekend Inquiry: 3.5 GPA Good Enough for Medical School?

Here is a question I received from a student a while ago. I’m sure it will also help others with similar questions.

Weekend Inquiry GPA

Well I guess what I am wondering is just about your experience in applying. I think I read that you applied to 15 schools? Where did you end up deciding to go? Also, have you discussed undergraduate GPA’s and test scores with your fellow classmates? I have received reassurance from my pre-med committee that I will be a competitive applicant, however I still feel that my GPA ( 3.57) may hold me back. From your experience does this seem like a very low number or somewhat average?

I have worked extremely hard in undergrad and have taken on a lot of responsibility in many more aspects that simply academics but I am still worried about my odds of getting into my number 1 choice (UCONN med). I am in my last semester as an undergrad and am also taking an Examkrackers course for the MCAT.
Once again I think the blog is a great resource for someone like myself and people who are just starting to think about medical school. Thanks a lot for taking time out of your busy schedule to help others, this is a quality that I think will help you become an incredible physician.

Hey Fred,
Pre-med committees are sometimes completely out of touch with reality. However, with a 3.57 you are definitely in the potential pile of competitive applicants. About UCONN, you might get in, but make sure you apply to many schools. At least 10-15. I know it’s expensive but if you are at the cut-off, which you aren’t necessarily, make sure your MCAT score is good (30+) and apply as early as possible. Make sure your resume is decked out and give your essays (primary/secondary) to 2-3 very competent peers or professors that have experience and can help you to create the best literary piece possible.

If your MCAT score ends up being bad, take it again before applying to medical school. It gets harder every time you apply because their scrutiny increases. With a 3.57 you can certainly get into a DO school even with a mediocre MCAT score (26-29).

EK is great; I would also use TBR. I don’t have a high opinion of courses, because the learning will depend on you. Make sure you focus on both knowledge and thinking. What I am reading and the impression I am getting makes me certain that you will get in somewhere good but keep on working hard. Otherwise a DO school is a great option as well.

To reiterate, as long as you get a decent MCAT score (30+), have research/volunteering/medical experience and good LORs, you should be fine with a 3.57 GPA. Do apply early and retake the MCAT if your first try isn’t good enough.