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What qualities and grades do medical schools look for in a student?

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Sheila’s Answer

Hello Ashlyn: Its great to see that you are exploring the qualities and grades needed for medical school early. Good job on doing your research and homework on this because medical school is quite expensive. Here is a link that I found to the (AAMC) Association of American Medical Colleges website.


As for the grades and GPA, medical schools are actually given three GPAs when they look at your application. Your science and math courses are considered according to what is called the BPCM (Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Math) GPA, and your non-science courses (humanities, social sciences, language, etc.) are considered as a separate GPA. The third GPA that schools see is the overall aggregate.

While each medical school has its own average GPA for the incoming class (information for MD programs can be easily found in the Medical School Admission Requirements guidebook), the national averages for 2015–2016 were as follows:

*BPCM GPA: applicants 3.45, matriculants 3.64

*Non-science GPA: applicants 3.68, matriculants 3.77

*Overall GPA: applicants 3.55, matriculants 3.70

Check out the Kaplan link below regarding grades:


Good Luck to You!

Sheila recommends the following next steps:

Research AAMC site regarding applying to medical school
Research Kaplan site to understand grades and GPA needed for medical school

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Richard’s Answer

At the medical school I attended, the average GPA is reported to be 3.85, so even one or two B's can hurt your chances of acceptance.
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