GPA and MCAT FAQs

​​​​​​The table below illustrates the combination of overall undergraduate AMCAS GPA and MCAT scores of UW Medical School applicants (from the WWAMI states, including MSTP WWAMI) that were accepted (green) and not accepted (red) in the last academic year. Most applicants who were accepted with lower than average college GPAs had taken additional post graduate course work and performed well.

Academic standards grid showing a matrix of GPA and MCAT scores and the number of students accepted from each combination
acc = all those accepted.  tot = total applied.

Academic standards grid showing a matrix of GPA and MCAT score and the number of students accepted from each combination. 

If WWAMI students are automatically granted secondary application, will MCAT re-take scores be waited for?

Applicants are asked on the AMCAS application to include the MCAT exams that they have taken and/or are scheduled to take. If they report that they will have newer MCAT scores, our UWSOM admissions system will automatically hold the application until we get the new scores. If applicants do not report that they are retaking the MCAT, our UWSOM admissions system will proceed as if we have all the pieces in the application. Withholding a future MCAT date will impact their application with us and their applications with other medical schools as well.

If I take the MCAT more than once which score will be used in the admissions committee process?

All previous scores can be seen on your application. AAMC data show that averaging all scores is the best predictor of future exam scores.

If you have graduated with an average GPA, is it beneficial to take additional science courses? If so, does it matter what sciences you take?

Any additional courses you take will not affect your GPA, since the GPA is calculated from your Freshman, Sophomore and Junior years of college. Having said this, please keep in mind the committee will be able to see all the courses you have taken and the grades that you have received. These additional courses and grades will be taken into consideration by the committee. Showing that you can do well in upper-level science courses is helpful.

How does the GPA work for post-bac?

The GPA only includes the first 3 years of college and is most useful as an initial automated screening tool. Subsequent grades are taken into consideration when manual screening is done. If you are screened out immediately and have a low initial GPA, but subsequent better grades, please let our office know.

Should strong upward trends in the GPA be explained in the personal statement?

No. The upward trend is positive and doesn't need explanation.

Is the GPA measured differently for students who spent their first two years at a community college?

No.

If multiple MCAT scores, which do you take? Average? Highest? Last?

The most recent MCAT is used in the initial screening process. All scores are incorporated in the discussion by the admission committee.

How does a post-bac program fit into the admission process? When would you recommend the applicant complete either a post-bac program or classes to enhance academic credentials?

A post-bac program is useful for applicants who had GPA below 3.5 as undergrads and/or <27 MCAT, or non-traditional students with minimal science exposure and low MCAT. Please see the AAMC tables and decide for yourself what percentage acceptance rate you are comfortable with. If you have tried to improve your MCAT and haven’t been successful, showing that you can do well in medical school-level courses will be helpful.

I can't complete the last Org Chem lab or any Bio Chem courses until my senior year which is next year. Is it worth applying this application cycle or should I wait until the next one?

Better to have the biochem, especially, under your belt before taking the MCAT and probably also advantageous before applying, especially if you are not a science major and there are not many science courses for us to look at.

Does UWSOM give significant weight to upward trends with respect to academic records?

Yes

MCAT Exam Information and Prep Course list >>>

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