Medical schools will examine your overall cumulative GPA and your science GPA (all biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics courses). Nationally, over the past few years, the average overall and science GPA for accepted candidates has been approximately 3.6. Our statistics for Boston College seniors who were accepted to medical school have been similar. The average overall GPA and science GPA for students who were not accepted (both nationally and here at BC) have been in the 3.2 range.
Unfortunately, given the competition, an individual with an overall and science GPA in the 3.1-to-3.3 range is a relatively weak candidate in today's "marketplace" of medical-school admissions. If your grades are in this range, you may want to seriously consider delaying your application to give yourself time to raise your averages. Nevertheless, extremely strong MCAT scores (your performance on the SATs is a good indicator) as well as outstanding personal factors, residency, and strength of science coursework may significantly strengthen one's candidacy.
Not all medical schools play the numbers game but many do. Such schools simply look at GPAs and MCAT scores and, on the basis of those two factors, decide which applicants to eliminate first. You can get a sense of how competitive you are by checking the web sites of individual schools (visit the Association of American Medical Colleges or American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine) and comparing your overall GPA and especially your science GPA.
If you are considering dentistry as a possible option, you should consult the Admissions Requirements of U.S. and Canadian Dental Schools, which is on Reserve in O'Neill Library. Nationally, students beginning dental school in the last few years had mean overall and science GPAs around 3.4. For more information, visit the American Dental Education Association.
The Preveterinary Planning Guide and Veterinary Medical School Admissions Requirements have excellent information concerning veterinary medicine. Recently, the national average for accepted students has been approximately 3.5. For more information, visit the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges.