Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi,

 

College junior here looking for advice on recovering from low science/pre-req grades. Does anyone on this forum have advice for recovering from low chemistry grades? Since they're a part of many program prerequisites, I want to know if admissions will look at advanced courses etc. Since they are "passing" I don't know whether to spend the money retaking these courses, or if doing better (A) in Orgo II and Orgo lab would suffice to show that I am competent in chemistry. My stats in general bio aren't as great either - no C grades, but Bs. Will improving my oversall sGPA make any impact on programs that see poor prereq grades? As a note I am a science major, so I still have more advanced science classes to take.

 

Gen Chem I (5): C

 

Gen Chem II (5): C

 

Orgo I (4): C

 

Orgo lab (1):TBD

 

Orgo II (4): not taken, not sure if I should or will have to in the future

 

Biochem (3): C

 

Personal sidenote: I really, really regret doing so badly in gen chem. I took it my freshman year and I beat myself up over it b/c then even if I did better in later sciences I would at least have some sort of prereq cushion. Oh well, moving forward.

 

[Edit]: I'm not sure why "college junior" is highlighted or why it links to some random webpage. Please ignore.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Administrator

Realistically, you need a 3.2 cGPA and a HIGHER sGPA to even be competitive. You've got a LONG row to hoe ahead of you.  The answer to your question is pretty much "You're going to need to do everything you possibly can to raise your sGPA if you want to go to PA school".

Link to post
Share on other sites

It surprises me that some programs still only require a C or higher for pre-reqs. All the schools I applied to required a B or higher. I had a C in gen bio I, gen bio II, and gen chem I originally during my 1st & 2nd year as a college student. I went back and retook them a few years later and got As in them. I am a PA-S now. I would retake the gen chems at least. Retaking them will show admins you're serious about your future now and willing to take the sacrifice to make it into school.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Getting A's in Ochem 2/lab and some other advanced science courses will not make up for the fact that you got Bs and mostly Cs in the required pre-reqs.  Your GPA probably still won't be competitive and it just plain won't look good to schools.  I also caution on counting on getting higher grades in advanced courses.  Everyone learns and grows and can become better, but you have a LOT of Cs in your history which doesn't indicate As in upper courses are a guarantee.  

 

Retake the Cs for sure, maybe the Bs, to show that you actually have learned and understand that material.  Also take upper level courses to show that you can handle more difficult classes and material.  You'll realistically need to do both, and get A's on pretty much all of them, to be competitive.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Can someone explain to me why it is better to retake prereq courses instead of improving overall sGPA? I still have 30-40ish hours before I finish my program and the majority of those are science courses. Granted, not much more chemistry but still upper level science coursework.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Realistically, you need a 3.2 cGPA and a HIGHER sGPA to even be competitive. You've got a LONG row to hoe ahead of you.  The answer to your question is pretty much "You're going to need to do everything you possibly can to raise your sGPA if you want to go to PA school".

 

I'm not under any impression that that it's going to be easy by any means. However, this was not conductive at all to my question of whether improving pre-req GPA matters as much as overall sGPA. THAT is my question - whether pre-req coursework matters more than overall science coursework in upper level classes to admissions as well as why.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Can someone explain to me why it is better to retake prereq courses instead of improving overall sGPA? I still have 30-40ish hours before I finish my program and the majority of those are science courses. Granted, not much more chemistry but still upper level science coursework.

Retaking pre-reqs will help improve the sGPA (your grades for those courses will average).  It will also show that you actually know that material.  Pre-reqs are essential to the core science you will learn in PA school.  A lot of upper level courses are nice to have, great supplementally to being a PA, but they don't replace knowing basic science concepts.

 

If you don't retake the pre-req courses, sure, you'll still improve your sGPA with upper level courses assuming you get As in them.  But compared to other applicants who got As in their pre-reqs PLUS have a better sGPA and overall GPA, you'll be at a disadvantage.  Retaking the pre-reqs is showing commitment to personal improvement, commitment to understanding the material, and commitment to the process.  

 

In reference to the other post about a specific GPA - most schools have minimums and CAPSA is very particular about how they calculate the sGPA.  With that many Cs simply taking upper level courses probably won't get your sGPA to the level it needs to be competitive with other applicants.  Basically BOTH pre-req course work AND sGPA matter - equally.  There are some applicants that did NOT have science majors and ONLY take the pre-reqs required and that basically constitutes their sGPA - so they have As in their pre-reqs and that means they also have a stellar sGPA.  Consider that if you are being compared to these applicants you will want stellar pre-req grades as well.  On the other hand, some schools may use the sGPA as a filter to whittle down their applicant pool - so you'll need a good sGPA to make it through the filter.  

 

If you have Cs in your pre-reqs but a great sGPA, you will be at a disadvantage.  If you have As in the pre-reqs but a poor sGPA, you're also doomed.  One isn't more important than the other.  In the realm of grades, both matter in getting into PA school.  If you decide you only have time to fix one or the other, you will be up against thousands of other applicants who found a way to make both aspects great.  You listed about 18ish credits at a C grade (2.0 GPA) and if you have 40 credits left - even if you get As (4.0) - that's a 3.3ish - but that's not taking into consideration your other science courses (B in bio?) and it's assuming you get straight As in your upper courses.  A 3.3 won't be impressive enough to make up for the Cs in the pre-reqs.  Adcoms would rather see a 3.3 with As in pre-reqs knowing that you at least have an understanding of the basic material.  Retaking courses won't count towards your degree credits so you could take 40 credits and get As, retake the pre-reqs and get As (to average those Cs out to Bs) and then you'd have an even better sGPA PLUS good pre-reqs grades.  THAT'S how you'll be competitive with other applicants.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Retaking pre-reqs will help improve the sGPA (your grades for those courses will average).  It will also show that you actually know that material.  Pre-reqs are essential to the core science you will learn in PA school.  A lot of upper level courses are nice to have, great supplementally to being a PA, but they don't replace knowing basic science concepts.

 

If you don't retake the pre-req courses, sure, you'll still improve your sGPA with upper level courses assuming you get As in them.  But compared to other applicants who got As in their pre-reqs PLUS have a better sGPA and overall GPA, you'll be at a disadvantage.  Retaking the pre-reqs is showing commitment to personal improvement, commitment to understanding the material, and commitment to the process.  

 

In reference to the other post about a specific GPA - most schools have minimums and CAPSA is very particular about how they calculate the sGPA.  With that many Cs simply taking upper level courses probably won't get your sGPA to the level it needs to be competitive with other applicants.  Basically BOTH pre-req course work AND sGPA matter - equally.  There are some applicants that did NOT have science majors and ONLY take the pre-reqs required and that basically constitutes their sGPA - so they have As in their pre-reqs and that means they also have a stellar sGPA.  Consider that if you are being compared to these applicants you will want stellar pre-req grades as well.  On the other hand, some schools may use the sGPA as a filter to whittle down their applicant pool - so you'll need a good sGPA to make it through the filter.  PA school is competitive - you need to do everything you can to make sure your app stands out positively instead of negatively.

 

Thank you for your thoughtful answer. This was extremely helpful. Your point about applicants that have a different concentration where pre-req GPA may be their only source of science coursework really hits home. It makes me regret not choosing a major I was actually interested and would do well in rather than default Pre-med bio or chem. Still, all I want to do now is finish undergraduate strong (no point in switching majors now) and then re-evaluate what I need to do to get into grad school.

 

*I don't know why "hits home" is highlited or why it links to some random webpage. Please ignore...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Similar Content

    • By toyosizai
      Hi, 
       
      Just signed up for this forum. 
       
      I am currently a senior in my undergrad, I finish in the Summer 2021. My current cumulative gpa is 3.09 which is very low and for my science courses these are the grades I have made: 
      General Chem 1 & 2: B
      Biology 1 : B
      Biology 2: C 
      Orgo 1: C 
      Orgo 2: F(first time), C (2nd time)  
      Physics 1 & 2: A
      Genetics: B-
      Microbiology: D, I am going to retake. 
       
      I am taking Biochemistry 1 this spring 2021 and other upper-division biology courses where I hope to make As in. 
       
      I would like advice on what I should do to increase my gpa.  Should I enroll in a post-bacc program while getting PCE (through volunteering/shadowing or getting a job at an urgent care or hospital) or should retake the classes I received a C or below in, then start prepping to take the GRE and going through the application process. Any advice would be helpful. Thank you. 
       
    • By kprepag
      Hello!
      I am a Pre-PA applying for the second time this cycle. 
      I took 3 science classes this spring to boost my gpa, which is what held me back last year. I'm worried it won't be enough, so I'm considering taking an online pathology course. I found that the University of Minnesota offers it. Has anyone taken this course from this institution? Did you take it else where? Is there another science online course you took in the summer?
       
      Thank you in advance,
      Karina
    • By Naonu1
      Hello everyone,
      I am new to this site and I would really appreciate if I can receive advice. I have an undergraduate GPA of 3.045 right now this is prior to my spring semester grades being placed in and I project my GPA to raise but I guess not much since I will mostly have A's and B's. I am also graduating in December so I have one more semester. What makes me nervous is that Yale requires prereq's that I don't have yet (Micro, A&P I AND II, and Biochem) but I have the statistics portion. Luckily, Yale doesn't require any labs for the prereq's. Yale's minimum GPA req is a 2.8 however, CASPA hasn't calculated my GPA yet and based on what I've heard a CASPA gpa is way lower than your transcript gpa and I want to be competitive. 
      Not to mention that I am a psychology major which is already not the usual biology/chem. My major (science undergraduate) is a 3.5. 
      My plans were this summer to take these classes at a community college while completing classes towards finishing my degree at my usual university. The reason for this is due to COVID-19 and my school deciding to continue remote learning via ZOOM. My university doesn't have the best science professors from what I heard and what I seen (taking chem which I got an A in). I figured community college whose curriculum is already set up as online would be much easier for me to pick u in and CHEAPER of course. I say all of this to ask if it makes since to put myself through all of this in the summer if I may not get an interview based on the fact that my regular GPA is 3.0 and even if I take all of these classes and receieve a 4.0 I doubt my CASPA gpa will be raised by that much.
      My PCE (Paid) is 2000. 
    • By mly3025
      Was just accepted off the waitlist from one of my top choice programs and boy does it feel good!! I'm not sure how much ranking plays but this was certainly a reach school for me. 
      Stats for this cycle: 
      27 y/o M 
      cGPA: 3.11
      sGPA: 3.22
      GRE: 309. 4.5 writing. 
      PCE: 4010 hours as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist 
      Shadowing: 18 hours with an OBGYN PA // 30 hours with a senior cardiology PA // 75 hours with a GI PA
      Volunteer: 100 hours at a senior center // 50 hours as an Anatomy & Physiology tutor. Thousands of hours in extracurriculars as a choreographer and public relations officer 
      LOR: MD director of our Nuclear stress lab, Senior Cardiology PA, Anatomy and Physiology professor 
      Degree: BS in Nuclear Medicine Technology 
      Interviews: 2 (still waiting to hear back from other programs) 
      Waitlisted: 1 
      Acceptances: 1
      Graduated undergrad in 2015 with a 2.9 cGPA and a 3.0 sGPA. 
      Retook \~55 credits and recieved a 3.8 post-bac sGPA with classes in biochemistry, microbiology, A/P, organic chemistry, gen bio, gen chem, psychology, genetics, and calculus to name a few
      It IS possible to get into PA school with a low gpa! I had zero interviews on my first cycle. I Improved my second-time application by making my PS a KILLER, improving PCE hours, and making myself look like a well-rounded applicant to make up for my low GPA. I was asked about my GPA right off the bat during both my interviews and how I planned on succeeding in a rigorous didactic program so be prepared to answer these types of questions! I also felt that what gave me an advantage over others was the fact that I am in a niche field and that as someone whos trained in nuclear medicine I am able to provide insight on these types of studies and help my peers understand/read nuclear studies! Don't be afraid to flex on certain characteristics on your profile that makes you unique! 
      Good luck everyone!
    • By Bananataters
      Hey Everyone,
      I'm sure this topic has been beaten to death, but I'm looking for some advice.  My current stats are:
      cGPA - 2.96
      sGPA - 3.16 
      Last 50 Credits - 3.84 
      PCE - 4000+ Hrs 
      My AnP 1 and 2 grades are both B- from undergrad, when I didn't know what I was doing with my life. I'm wondering if I should point my energy towards retaking these two courses for A's or should I pursue a Master's program? 
       
      Thanks for all your help, really appreciate it. 
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to the Physician Assistant Forum! This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn More