The MCAT Podcast and More on GPAs and Masters Degrees

Session 178

Session 178

In today's episode, Ryan reflects on last week's episode in Session 177 where Ashley was talking about her Science GPA and her Master's GPA and what she should do to move forward in the medical school application cycle.

Now, a lot of people were thrown off by Ryan's answer of taking some time off to go back to take more classes to improve the GPA instead of taking a graduate or Master's degree.

So Ryan decides to play Session 12 of the OldPreMeds podcast which answers the question about how medical school admissions committees are going to view a graduate school degree and the GPA that comes with it to help you understand the reasoning behind Ryan's take as well as help you decide if you have a similar question about your graduate school GPA and wondering if it's going to help you for the application cycle.

Before moving on, Ryan is launching a new podcast primarily on helping you how to crush your MCAT. Go to and sign up to be notified once we launch the newest addition to MedEdMedia here at Medical School Headquarters.

Here are the highlights of Session 12 of the OldPreMeds podcast:

The question taken directly from the forum about the grad school impact on application, thinking about the following options:

  • Leaving a semester transcript blank to save money and increase tutoring hours for other things to make money
  • Finish the semester and withdraw later if they're doing terrible (But W's on the transcript will denote quitting and confusion)
  • Finish the semester and have full grades on the transcript

Here's our take:

  • Medical schools look at your undergrad GPA for admissions
  • The grad school grades do not have a major impact upon acceptance
  • Having bad grades or withdrawals bring up negative impact to your application
  • Med schools look for motivation, commitment, and achievement
  • Generally, graduate programs do not enhance your application, with these exceptions:
  • Special Master's programs
  • Few traditional hardcore science Master's usually marketed and listed as Special Master's which are a form of postbac that are different than just taking the required classes (loosely designed to be an addition year into a medical school semester)

Benefits of the Special Master's/postbac:

  • Associated directly to medical school or have linkages to med schools
  • Acts as a stepping stone for direct acceptance into medical school
  • Different types for GPA enhancers, career changers, etc.

Things to consider:

  • No standards across Special Master's programs
  • Investigate what the program can do for you
  • Investigate the cost
  • Investigate the program's success

Some pieces of advice for premed students:

Look at the entire picture of what your application is going to look like. Don't assume that just one part of your application is going to make your entire application.

Links and Other Resources:

Session 177

Session 12 OldPreMeds podcast

Go to and sign up to be notified once we launch the newest addition to MedEdMedia here at Medical School Headquarters.

If you need any help with the medical school interview, go to Sign up and you will receive parts of the book so you can help shape the future of the book. This book will include over 500 questions that may be asked during interview day as well as real-life questions, answers, and feedback from all of the mock interviews Ryan has been doing with students.

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For more great content, check out for more of the shows produced by the Medical School Headquarters including the OldPremeds Podcast and watch out for more shows in the future!

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