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I am currently about to finish my undergraduate degree (B.S. General Biology). I have 16 more units left and then Im done. 

 

I have a 2.969 cGPA and 3.02 sGPA. I recently decided that I want to become a PA and I am realizing that I will need to retake courses to increase my GPA sadly my 0.03 points if I am lucky. 

 

I have a lot of research experience, 1 publication pending (second author) and 1 I am currently in the process of writing (1st author). I am 23 years old and have over 5,000 hours of research experience (medical chemistry and regenerative medicine). Sadly, I know that this probably does not account for much when applying to PA school.

 

I still need to work on my healthcare experience and in the mean time I know that I should probably work on the grades 1st.

 

So normally when you retake courses in your undergrad, the letter grade is replaced therefore helping your GPA. However I have been told that once you graduate and decide to retake courses, the letter grade is not replaced and instead added onto your GPA. Is this true?

 

Please help, I really want to get into a PA program and I want to know the truth about my situation. 

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CASPA is what will calculate your gpa regardless of what your university does when it comes to retakes.

 

They will average all retakes. So if you get a D in a 3 credit course and then a B after the retake, they will both show up on CASPA and it will be equivalent to 6 credits of a 2.0 (C average).

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... And for that reason, it is not particularly better to re-take NON-prerequisite science classes, rather than taking more, upper-division life science classes that build on what you've already done.

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Thank you both for your insight! Definitely helpful!

 

With that being said, does this mean that my prerequisite grades will be averaged too?

 

Example:

Organic chemistry: D

Retook organic chemistry: B

Therefore my average prerequisite grade for organic chemistry is: C

 

Thank you again for all your help!

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Thank you both for your insight! Definitely helpful!

 

With that being said, does this mean that my prerequisite grades will be averaged too?

 

Example:

Organic chemistry: D

Retook organic chemistry: B

Therefore my average prerequisite grade for organic chemistry is: C

 

Thank you again for all your help!

 

CASPA replaces nothing and calculates your GPAs based on every course you've ever taken (as has already been stated).  Courses taken before you graduate will be incorporated in your 'total' undergraduate GPA, while the courses you take after graduating will go into the post-bacc GPA (unless they are graduate level).  Be sure and read through the CASPA FAQ - all this is clearly explained, with examples; don't rely on 'what you've heard or been told' ... not even here.  Things change every year, some years more than others.  

 

Most programs look at your most recent performance in a particular pre-req, not an average.  In your example, they would look at the grade for your retake of the course, the B.  Many schools ask you to specify what particular course / grade you consider to meet their pre-req (not really applicable for O.Chem, but for a more generic pre-req such as "any upper level biology course".  

 

That being said, if you are selected to interview, you may well be asked about any sub-par grades and why and/or what you did differently that helped you do better when you retook it.  Unsolicited advice:  you're looking at minimums to apply at most schools.  Be sure you look at the ranges of recent cohorts for a particular school.  Very few successful applicants only meet the minimum.  If they do, and there are some (I am one, you can find others' stories here on the forum), they have other attributes that stand out.  Admission is not all about GPA.  However, PA education is rigorous and fast-paced, and programs want to take on students they are confident can be successful PA students and practicing PAs.  As Rev has already mentioned, taking more challenging coursework, in the sciences, and excelling at them, says a lot more about your academic abilities than your GPA numbers standing alone.  

 

Good luck!

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Hello,

 

What is you have retaken a class more than twice. I took chemistry four times. The first 3 times D's the fourth time I got an A. How do these types of grades get averaged?

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Hello,

 

What is you have retaken a class more than twice. I took chemistry four times. The first 3 times D's the fourth time I got an A. How do these types of grades get averaged?

 

All four courses are factored in - if it's a 4 hour chemistry course and a D is worth 1 pt and an A worth 4, then ([(4 hrs * 1 pt * 3 Ds) + (4 hrs * 4 pts * 1 A)]/(16 hrs attempted)) = 1.75, still a D (D+) average for that course ... and all attempts will factor into your science GPA as well.  That being said, I don't know of any programs that look at your average for a course when evaluating it as a pre-req.  Again, they are going to look at your most recent grade earned, though you may be asked to explain why you struggled in your 1st 3 attempts.  

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