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A few questions

  1. Dec 31, 2005 #1
    not sure this is the right forum, but here it is:

    ok, just to start out, i am a sophomore Chemical Engineering student at The University of Pittsburgh (Main Campus). I currently hold a 3.2 cumulative GPA (or do they go with QPA? i never can remember) and i plan to go onto medical school once i graduate. (Preferably Pitt's Med school)

    But here is where i need some advice/ questions.

    As part of Pitt's engineering program, i can pick up a minor in any other of the engineering departments just by taking a certain amount of credits from that department as my electives. If i where to pick up a minor in bio engineering, would this help me get into medical school?

    I am also taking part in the Co-op program, and will be alternating between school and working in industty every other semester (ie summer: work fall:school spring:work, etc). will having experience in industry help me in getting into medical school?

    How well will a degree in chemical engineering prepare me for the MCAT.

    Is my GPA too low to be thinking of med school?

    thanks in advance
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 31, 2005 #2
    Never feel you're too low for anything (as long as you're not too rubbish) and just go for it. You either get in, or you don't. Taking a bio-engineering minor could be useful, depending on which area of medicine you plan to focus on. Bio engineering and chemical engineering could put you into a good pharmacological career.
  4. Jan 1, 2006 #3
    thanks for your thoughts. I don't think im too low for anything, and i am more than confident in my ability to get into medical school.
  5. Jan 1, 2006 #4


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    you're gpa is considerably below average and it's most often the case that you're first two undergraduate years are the best years that you'll have in terms of grades, since further up the schedule are more advanced courses.


    you can find valuable statistical information regarding the average g.p.a, mcat, as well as other statistical analysis relating to race and other factors.

    Your major will have little to do with getting into medical school, whether it's psychology, exercise science, chemistry, biology etc....but it will have a major influence on your g.p.a. due to the different competition levels. The simple fact is that you need to be consistent and adequate in the field in which you intend to study, for the purpose of gaining skills in the field of interest, thus you'll need to have at least some liking to what you're studying rather than consider your major soley with respect to getting to medical school.
    the mcat tests your analytical ability for the most part. If you're quick and can absorb information and analyze simultaneously you don't even need to be very familiar with the physical science, chemistry, and biological concepts to obtain a sufficient grade (average mcat score overall is ~32), since all of the information required for analysis is given right there on the test; although there are sections that test your pure knowledge in biology, chemistry, and physics. This is because, as a doctor, you'll be expected to keep up with the current information, if you're have a good verbal iq and good analytical ability, that's all you'll need. Although people with more genuine interests in the sciences, along with these skills, will perform better of course.

    All in all, if you don't have what it takes to get into the medical field, consider pharmacy, or dentistry. Pharmacy especially is a lot more lenient in matters related to one's abilities and places more emphasis on your diligence. Average g.p.a. for pharmacy I think is around ~3.4, but they are less strict on such matters and the PCAT is much easier.
  6. Jan 8, 2006 #5
    Thanks for the reply GCT. i meant to reply earlier, but with school starting up, its been a little hectic!

    You say my GPA is considered low, but i have read on several webpages that a 3.5 is considered to be a reasonable GPA to get into Med school. Am i reading bad info? if i am, what GPA should i be shooting for?

    I do agree with you that my first year is my best shot to get better grades. I did not take college seriously my first two semesters, but now i realize what i need to do and am prepared to do whatever it takes to raise my GPA. I know im a much better student than my GPA indicates.

    one final question, i was planning on attending graduate school for chemical engineering, and if i were to do well in grad school, would that improve my chances of admission?

    BTW, thanks for that link, that was a great read and answered many of my questions. i did not see where it had GPA info but again, it proved (and i think it will prove again) to be a vaulable insight.
  7. Jan 8, 2006 #6


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    In the original post you indicated a cumulative g.p.a. of 3.2. A 3.5 isn't too bad at all, but I think the average is a little higher for med school. I'll redirect you to the relevant webpages which display the average g.p.a., MCAT, and other important statistics later, right now I've got to get to bed.

    If you were to apply to grad school for chemical engineering and get in, you would need to be most concerned with your career as a chemical engineer; that is you'll be pressured and complicated with research and graduate work for this specific field. You'll forget about medicine entirely. I suppose that by "doing well in graduate...." that you mean holding up an assistantship and doing some research. I'm not too certain whether med schools will be impressed by this, although they might consider the experience a small plus, but unless you publish some outstanding research, the fact that you went to graduate school and sustained yourself will probably be irrelevant. And why go onto years and years of further training when you could be earning more than enough in chemical engineering? And btw, it's not so easy to get into graduate school for chemical engineering, chemical engineers set the highest standards in the GRE for their respective field (average math is +700).

    People who apply to med school later, do have a higher chance of getting in, especially if you've matured significantly by then and have adequate job experiences. So you can always consider med school, if you're up for it. Trust me, getting in is not easy, even more the med school experience itself. I have a couple of friends in med school at the moment and most of them are not having so much fun. Again you should consider other medical fields, it'll be wise to do so (for anyone).
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2006
  8. Jan 8, 2006 #7
    Yes, i agree with your thoughts on Grad school and my future in chemical engineering. At this point, im goin back and forth between a future in medicine or chemical engineering. i truly do enjoy engineering and i can definately see myself doing engineering for a long time, but i also find the medical field to be very exciting and interesting. The reason i asked if grad school would help is just out of pure curiosity. i am very serious about engineering and i was curious as to how grad school could help me if i did indeed choose to go onto medical school.

    What specifically do you mean by adequate job experiences? do you mean working for a number of years in industry?

    finally, you mentioned that i could consider other medical fields. you mentioned Pharmacy, which is definately an option, but are there any others fields that you would recomend?

    again, I thank you for all of your insight. i hate to continually bother you with questions, but i'd like to get my facts straight before its too late to really make a decision on my future. I very much enjoy engineering, but i also have had a fascination with medicine, and i would like to explore my options.
  9. Jan 8, 2006 #8


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    Yeah, it's important that you consider these points now, I've seen too many students (including friends) who have strived for med school and had no strategy as far as side options....in they weren't prepared for the rejection of their application.

    By adequate job experiences I meant jobs experiences which would impress upon the med school the degree of your character, traits which med schools often seek. I'm sure that a job in chemical engineering would suffice, or perhaps a job which would involve engaging in more interpersonal interactions; developing communication, organizational skills that's why they want you to volunteer. Some people have a particular career for a period of time, and then in their 30-40 desire to pursue a field in medicine, what I'm saying is that med schools will understand such aspirations, but it's not often that someone considers such an intense experience at such a time in their lives.

    Yeah, pharmacy is certainly an option but if you enjoy the science aspect of things, you may not get such an in depth experience. The training is rather superficial, and pharmacists don't know a lot as far as pure science, then again it's a lot of money (average is around 70,000 annual). Also take a peek at Dentistry, and Physician Assistants.

    Here's the data that I suggested you take a look at, it seems that the average g.p.a. for matriculants was 3.63 with a standard deviation of .28 for 2005.

    http://www.aamc.org/data/facts/2005/2005mcatgpa.htm [Broken]

    here some more pertinent data

    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  10. Jan 8, 2006 #9
    thank you very much for your insight. i appreciate it greatly.
  11. Jan 8, 2006 #10


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    sure, glad I could be of help.
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