Medical School Admissions, Explained


Welcome to the How To Be Pre-Med™ Academics Bucket.

As you well know, academics are a huge part of the medical school admissions process. This Academics Bucket is filled with items weighed by the medical school admissions committees when assessing your readiness to excel academically in medical school:

  • GPA
  • MCAT
  • Undergraduate/graduate school strength
  • Course strength
  • Major

I am often asked, “What GPA and MCAT do I need to get into Harvard Medical School.” I always answer, “It depends.” Many pre-meds think it takes a 4.0 GPA and 45 MCAT score to get into medical school. They are wrong. Pre-meds with 4.0 GPAs and 45 MCAT scores used my consulting services after they were NOT accepted to medical school. Sure, you generally need good grades and a decent MCAT score to get into medical school, but there is no exact GPA or MCAT score that guarantees admission. Medical school admissions committees look at a pre-med’s “whole package” when deciding who gets into medical school. Great grades and MCAT scores, a top-20 school pedigree, upper level classes, and a challenging or unique major are not enough to get into medical school. You need to be well-rounded and stand out among the other 40,000 applicants. Think of the Academics Bucket as being filled with hurdles. You pass over the hurdles and move on to more exciting items that fill the other How To Be Pre-Med Buckets.

One of the toughest issues to deal with in medical school admissions is a low GPA. Here are some of the mostly commonly asked pre-med questions:

“Can I get into medical school with a low GPA?”

“What is considered a low GPA in medical school admissions?”

“How can I address a low GPA in medical school admissions?”

So common are these questions that I have created an eBook to address just this topic: How To Get Into Medical School With A Low GPA will provide you with strategies of how to deal with a low GPA in the medical school admissions process. I start by taking you into the mind of the admissions committee to reveal how undergraduate academic performance is viewed in the admissions decision process. With this foundation established, I then present a framework for charting a course of action for how applicants should approach their particular situation. The book concludes with specific mitigation strategies within the context of stories drawn from true-to-life experiences of my past clients. By the end of this guide, you will be able to thoughtfully and confidently devise a plan to mitigate the effect of a low GPA in medical school admissions.