GPA for Medical School

“What GPA do I need to get into medical school?” This is another very popular question, yet again, the answer to this question isn’t completely straight-forward. Generally speaking, you need at least a 3.4 cumulative GPA in order to be sorted into the potential interview pile at allopathic schools. That isn’t always the case, but if your GPA is just past a 3.0, then you will seriously need to beef up the rest of your application. That includes scoring well on the MCAT, being involved in extracurricular and volunteer activities, holding a good job, and doing research. Unfortunately, if you have below a 2.8 GPA, you are usually prohibited from applying to medical school altogether.

Average GPAs for matriculated medical students at most allopathic schools was a 3.67 cumulative GPA and 3.61 science GPA in 2010. Click here for more comprehensive data on medical school applicants, matriculation, and average GPA and MCAT scores. For osteopathic students, the average cumulative GPA for matriculating students is about 3.5 and the average science GPA is about a 3.4, but it varies some from school to school. While you can get into medical school with a 3.3 GPA, it can be very difficult. Feel free to refer to the College tab to see how else you can better your chances of getting into medical school, and keep in mind the trusty golden formula for getting into medical school:

Medical School Admission Equation

Experience = volunteer, extracurricular, occupational, research

10 thoughts on “GPA for Medical School

  1. Michael

    Whats your opinion on taking prereqs at a community college vs. a 4-year university? Do you think medical school admissions committees look at that?

    Personally, I feel that a university chemistry class will prepare you more for the MCAT vs. a community college class…

    1. Naomi Post author

      I think that if you can’t afford going to a university, which many people can’t, then community college is okay, especially if you’ve already received your degree in a different field. Admissions committees look at everything, and the school you come from does matter, so pick a well-ranked community college if feasible. You will need more than 2 years of college, though. You will need more than just prereqs to get into medical school; always mind the “Medical School Admissions Equation!” Make sure you know all the prereqs from the community college will transfer, too.

      If you take your prereqs at a community college, be extra studious and get the best grades you can. Of course, that applies to whatever school you come from… Some community colleges have really great basic science classes (Gen. Chem, Bio 1-3), because they have high enrollment numbers since all sorts of majors require those classes. Thus they can be quite good. In the end, it is experience, networking, GPA, and studying well for the MCAT will be what gets you into medical school anyway.

      1. Michael

        Gotcha. My undergrad is from a university and I have 60 graduate level credits. Just retaking some science classes that I have already taken but was over 10 years ago. My work pays for tuition so I have opted to take those courses at a university as well.

        And I can’t agree more with your last sentence…


  2. tamar

    Hi Naomi,

    I was just wondering what your opinion on retaking courses that one did not do so well in? Do med schools look at the better grade?

    1. Naomi Post author

      Hi Tamar,
      Although your grade will likely be changed in your college records, you will have to enter both grades into the application for medical school. AMCAS will calculate your GPA using every course you’ve taken.
      If you know you can get a much better grade, it is probably still worth retaking the course. You may be asked at interviews why you did poorly the first time – just be honest; humility is an important part of professionalism in the medical field. Physicians make mistakes all the time. In order to grow and become even better at what we do, we need to acknowledge and learn from our mistakes :).
      Also, keep in mind that most medical schools actually require you to have received a B or higher in your core prereqs, so you might actually need to retake a course.

  3. brittney

    What does “LOR’s” mean? In the ‘admission equation’ thing up there? How can I get occupational experience? Where can I get into doing some research that will look good on medical school applications?

    1. Naomi Post author

      LOR stands for Letters of Recommendation. Occupational experience means jobs that you have held that, in some way, contributed to you being a great student or person. You need to network with your professors for research or apply for local researching jobs/internships. Cheers!

  4. sr41489

    What if you have a low GPA (3.0) but decent MCAT scores (31R), great LORs, publications from a research position, and an extensive amount of volunteer experience (clinical)?? I’m definitely leaning towards a post-bacc program or SMP but I just want to see if it’s worth applying to med school at all at this point?

    1. Naomi Post author

      31R is a good MCAT score, you should be able to get into a DO school with this score and a 3.0 GPA. It also depends what college you went to. I do think it’s definitely worth for you to apply! Good luck!

  5. Dilan

    Hi I am a high school senior this year and I got admitted to UC Davis and UCLA. At this point, I want to go to medical school afterwards and I need some opinions. Would it be to my advantage to go to davis because it is less competitive and would most likely be more feasible for me to get a high GPA?or go to UCLA and compete against all the brainiacks? Do medical schools look at the prestige of the college anyway?Thanks

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