If your undergraduate GPA is less than 3.5, you might think that your chances of attending medical school are slim. A low GPA does not, however, completely destroy your chances; it just makes the application process more difficult. According to a 2012 article in "U.S. News & World Reports," pre-med students at Johns Hopkins University are advised that a GPA lower than 3.3 considerably reduces the likelihood of getting into a top school, but other factors may mitigate the GPA.
Work hard to improve your GPA. If you're still in college, you have the chance to drastically raise your GPA by the time you graduate. Most medical schools want to see an upward trend in a student's GPA, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Focus particularly on the science courses you are taking to demonstrate you can handle rigorous subjects and have an aptitude for medicine.
Enroll in a post-baccalaureate program or take graduate-level courses in the sciences. A post-baccalaureate program for aspiring medical students will allow you to take more advanced science courses, which can improve your overall GPA if you perform well, giving you an edge over other students. "U.S. News & World Reports" also suggests enrolling in a master's program that focuses on science if a post-baccalaureate program is not available.
Use the personal statement on the application to highlight your strengths and impress admissions officers. An engaging statement that paints a picture of who you are and who you could become as a doctor might mean admissions officers overlook a less competitive GPA. You can also explain the reason behind a low GPA in the statement, which might be worthwhile if you have a good reason for the dip in grades, such as an illness that affected your attendance.
Based in Pennsylvania, Emily Weller has been writing professionally since 2007, when she began writing theater reviews Off-Off Broadway productions. Since then, she has written for TheNest, ModernMom and Rhode Island Home and Design magazine, among others. Weller attended CUNY/Brooklyn college and Temple University.