How to get into med school despite a low GPA

When senior year comes around, and the imminent decisions of college are starting to become more and more stressful, one thing that can make all of this stress even worse is when you don’t get into the college or course that you wanted.

Failure to get into med school is one issue that thousands of students come across each year, and the primary reason for this is a low GPA.

However, for all of you sad faces out there… we’re here to tell you that there’s still a chance. Here’s some ways in which you might still be able to get into med school after all.

How to get into med school despite a low GPA


Perhaps the most obvious route to go down is enrolling onto a post-baccalaureate program (AKA post-bacs). These can be studied at a range of different colleges and institutions across the country, and although they’re not considered a traditional method into med school, they can certainly work. They’re usually separated into two distinct programs…

1. Career-changers

Career-change courses are made for individuals who have already graduated from college, but are yet to complete the prerequisite qualifications that they need. These individuals are usually students who have a non-medical background, but want to change career to medical science instead.

2. Academic record-enhancers

If you have a low GPA, then Academic Record Enhancers (ARA) will be your best shot of being accepted into med school. These programs are designed for students who have completed core science qualifications, but still need to improve and strengthen the records of their academic results. ARAs are considered a second-chance option for students who were expected to perform well but didn’t, and are still wanting to pursue their chosen career.

3. Special Masters Programs

Another potential option for you could be a Special Masters Program (SMP). These courses are remarkably similar to ARAs, but they also include graduate-level work that ultimately leads to a master’s degree. Instead of theory-based research work, SMPs tend to consist of mostly practical coursework that aims to guide students looking to enter directly into the health profession.

In some SMPs, students have been known to take classes right alongside medical students at med school. It usually takes one or two years.

How to get into med school despite a low GPA

Other options?

If you are reluctant to enroll onto a new structured course, then maybe consider strengthening your academic records as a whole, especially on the courses and grades considered science-based. Resits or extension courses are offered at most colleges.

The last option we are going to propose to you is enrolling onto a Masters of Public Health course (MPH). An MPH is a multidisciplinary course that provides students of a non-medical background with advanced science courses required for top-roles in public health. Although MPHs are great for students wanting to build on experience, they aren’t necessarily the best option for those with a weak academic background needing to be improved to gain admission.

If you’re fretting about your low GPA, and are desperate to get into med school, then remember that there are thousands of other students in the same boat as you. Although final exams of senior year may seem like Armageddon, believe us when we say that they’re important, but they’re not the end of the word.

There’s plenty of different options for you. Do your research, stay open-minded, and make the smartest choice for you as an individual.