If you are applying to medical school, you’ll need to submit your undergraduate transcripts as part of your application. These transcripts will include your GPA, which can be used to filter out your application before the evaluation process ever begins. 

To ensure your application doesn’t end up in the “do not review” pile, you should compare your GPA to the average med school GPA at your target schools. This can give you a solid indicator of which schools would view you as a competitive candidate. Understanding how schools evaluate GPAs can also give you a helpful leg up on your competition.

How Important is GPA for Medical School?

For most medical schools, GPA and MCAT scores are the top two considerations when evaluating applicants. For the 2021 application cycle, many schools have announced MCAT scores as an optional part of the application package, making GPA an even larger factor in admissions decisions.

Admissions officers view your GPA as an indicator of how seriously you take your studies. Since medical school is even more rigorous than undergraduate programs, low undergrad GPAs on a student’s transcript can raise red flags during the applicant evaluation process. While a low GPA won’t necessarily eliminate you from consideration, it’s important to understand how you rank compared to other applicants and how admissions teams will view your undergraduate work.

Which GPAs are Med Schools Given?

When you apply for medical school, admissions officers are actually given multiple versions of your GPA. When viewing your application, they will see:

  • Your overall GPA – This is typically the GPA listed on your undergraduate transcripts; it is an aggregate of all classes you took during undergrad without any additional weighting.
  • Your non-science GPA – This is the GPA for all non-science courses you took during your undergrad program, such as humanities and social science classes.
  • Your science GPA – Also referred to as your BPCM GPA, this calculation accounts for all your science and math classes. BPCM stands for Biology, Physics, Chemistry, and Math, and most admissions counselors view it as a good representation of how you would perform in similar classes in medical school.

So which GPA calculation is most important? The answer is “it depends”. Each medical school has its own algorithm for evaluating med school applications, and schools assign different weights to the different GPAs. Which GPA is most important for you will depend on which schools you’re applying to and what other assets you have to include in the rest of your application package.

However, there’s a strong argument for assigning the most importance to your overall GPA. In many cases, schools will use this as a filtering mechanism before the first human admissions officer ever looks at your application. If your overall GPA doesn’t make the cutoff, chances are your application will never be reviewed. For that reason, a high overall GPA is important when you’re applying to medical school.

what is a good medical school gpa?

What is a Good GPA for Medical School?

GPAs can vary significantly across different medical schools, so it pays to do your research before applying. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) reported an average GPA for medical school of 3.60 across all applicants for the 2020-2021 application cycle. For the same year, applicants had an average science GPA of 3.49 and an average non-science GPA of 3.74.

Applying to schools where your GPA or MCAT scores are well below the median can put you at a significant disadvantage compared to other applicants. Likewise, applying to schools where your GPA is above the median is a solid indicator that you would make a competitive candidate for the program.

What Should I Do If My GPA is Low?

If your GPA is lower than your target school’s median, that doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t apply. You can take the following steps to position yourself as a more competitive candidate, even with a lower GPA:

  • Retake classes to improve your grades. If you have one or two courses that are weighing down your GPA, consider retaking them. The higher grade will replace the lower one in your GPA, giving you healthy boost to your application.
  • Add an addendum to your med school application package. If your GPA is lower due to an isolated semester, share your story as an addendum to your AMCAS application. Your addendum shouldn’t come across as making excuses; instead it’s your opportunity to explain a personal struggle that you were dealing with for a limited time and demonstrate what you learned from it and how you’ve improved as a result.
  • Focus on your MCAT score. While you may not be able to significantly improve your GPA in just a few months, you can improve your MCAT score with a few months of focused preparation.
  • Shift your target schools. While many medical schools place the largest weight on GPA, not all of them do. Your determination in finding the right fit will be noticed and appreciated by some med school admissions teams. At AUA, for example, we believe in a holistic approach to candidate evaluation that sees you as more than just your GPA or MCAT score.

Comprehensive List of Median GPA and MCAT Scores for Medical Schools

SchoolStateMedian MCAT ScoresMedian GPA
University of Alabama School of MedicineAlabama5103.86
University of South AlabamaAlabama5113.91
Mayo Clinic Alix School of MedicineArizona5203.94
University of Arizona College of Medicine – TusconArizona5103.79
The University of Arizona College of Medicine PhoenixArizona5153.84
University of Arkansas for Medical SciencesArkansas5083.85
California Northstate University College of MedicineCalifornia5133.72
California University of Science and MedicineCalifornia5123.68
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and ScienceCaliforniaN/AN/A
Kaiser Permanente School of MedicineCalifornia5163.87
Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern CaliforniaCalifornia5173.76
Loma Linda University School of MedicineCalifornia5103.86
Stanford University School of MedicineCalifornia5193.89
University of California – Davis School of MedicineCalifornia5123.69
University of California – Irvine School of MedicineCalifornia5163.85
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLACalifornia5163.84
University of California – Riverside School of MedicineCalifornia5083.59
University of California – San Diego School of MedicineCalifornia5173.83
UCSF School of MedicineCalifornia5183.86
University of Colorado School of MedicineColorado5143.83
Frank H. Netter M.D. School of Medicine at Quinnipiac UniversityConnecticut5143.71
University of Connecticut School of MedicineConnecticut5133.82
Yale School of MedicineConnecticut5213.93
George Washington University Medical SchoolDistrict of Columbia5133.78
Georgetown University School of MedicineDistrict of Columbia5133.79
Howard University College of MedicineDistrict of Columbia5053.53
Florida Atlantic University Charles E. Schmidt College of MedicineFlorida5133.8
Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of MedicineFlorida5113.79
Florida State University College of MedicineFlorida5083.76
Nova Southeastern University Dr Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic MedicineFlorida5123.72
University of Central Florida College of MedicineFlorida5143.88
University of Florida College of MedicineFlorida5153.9
University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of MedicineFlorida5143.78
University of South Florida College of MedicineFlorida5173.83
Emory University School of MedicineGeorgia5173.8
Medical College of Georgia at Augusta UniversityGeorgia5133.82
Mercer University School of MedicineGeorgia5043.73
Morehouse School of MedicineGeorgia5043.63
University of Hawaii at Manoa John A. Burns School of MedicineHawaii5133.84
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Carle Illinois College of MedicineIllinois5133.76
Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of MedicineIllinois5123.76
Northwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineIllinois5203.91
Chicago Medical School of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and ScienceIllinois5133.74
Rush Medical CollegeIllinois5113.67
Southern Illinois University School of MedicineIllinois5063.81
University of Chicago Pritzker School of MedicineIllinois5213.93
University of Illinois College of MedicineIllinois5133.76
Indiana University School of MedicineIndiana5123.84
University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of MedicineIowa5153.86
University of Kansas School of MedicineKansas5123.88
University of Kentucky College of MedicineKentucky5083.81
University of Louisville School of MedicineKentucky5093.77
Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New OrleansLouisiana5093.82
Louisiana State University School of Medicine in ShreveportLouisiana5063.77
Tulane University School of MedicineLouisiana5113.63
Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineMaryland5213.95
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences F. Edward Hebert School of MedicineMaryland5103.76
University of Maryland School of MedicineMaryland5143.83
Boston University School of MedicineMassachusetts5183.86
Harvard Medical SchoolMassachusetts5203.94
Tufts University School of MedicineMassachusetts5153.78
University of Massachusetts Medical SchoolMassachusetts5163.82
Central Michigan University College of MedicineMichigan5083.69
Michigan State University College of Human MedicineMichigan5093.76
University of Michigan Medical SchoolMichigan5183.87
Oakland University William Beaumont School of MedicineMichigan5103.85
Wayne State University School of MedicineMichigan5133.86
Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of MedicineMichigan5163.79
Mayo Clinic College of MedicineMinnesota5203.94
University of Minnesota Medical SchoolMinnesota5133.81
University of Mississippi School of MedicineMississippi5053.86
Saint Louis University School of MedicineMissouri5143.91
University of Missouri-Columbia School of MedicineMissouri5093.86
University of Missouri–Kansas City School of MedicineMissouri5093.89
Washington University School of MedicineMissouri5213.94
Creighton University School of MedicineNebraska5133.84
University of Nebraska College of MedicineNebraska5133.9
University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of MedicineNevada5123.76
University of Nevada, Reno School of MedicineNevada5093.82
Dartmouth College Geisel School of MedicineNew Hampshire5163.77
Cooper Medical School of Rowan UniversityNew Jersey5123.79
Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall UniversityNew Jersey5133.71
Rutgers New Jersey Medical SchoolNew Jersey5153.82
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical SchoolNew Jersey5143.75
University of New Mexico School of MedicineNew Mexico5053.8
Albany Medical CollegeNew York5113.74
Albert Einstein College of MedicineNew York5153.81
Columbia University Roy and Diana Vagelos College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew York5223.92
CUNY School of MedicineNew YorkN/AN/A
Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/NorthwellNew York5183.84
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew York5193.87
New York Medical CollegeNew York5133.72
New York University Grossman School of MedicineNew York5223.95
New York University Long Island School of MedicineNew York5153.81
Stony Brook University School of MedicineNew York5163.86
State University of New York Upstate Medical UniversityNew York5133.77
State University of New York Downstate Medical Center College of MedicineNew York5143.74
Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at BuffaloNew York5123.75
University of Rochester School of Medicine and DentistryNew York5183.84
Weill Cornell Medical CollegeNew York5193.91
The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina UniversityNorth Carolina5093.71
Duke University School of MedicineNorth Carolina5193.89
University of North Carolina School of MedicineNorth Carolina5153.78
Wake Forest School of MedicineNorth Carolina5133.76
University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health SciencesNorth Dakota5073.8
Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State UniversityOhio5083.73
Case Western Reserve University School of MedicineOhio5193.86
Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of MedicineOhioN/AN/A
Northeast Ohio Medical University College of MedicineOhio5073.76
The Ohio State University College of MedicineOhio5173.92
University of Cincinnati College of MedicineOhio5173.84
University of Toledo College of MedicineOhio5103.76
University of Oklahoma College of MedicineOklahoma5113.85
Oregon Health & Science University School of MedicineOregon5123.77
Geisinger Commonwealth School of MedicinePennsylvania5123.76
Drexel University College of MedicinePennsylvania5123.75
Pennsylvania State University College of MedicinePennsylvania5123.81
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of PennsylvaniaPennsylvania5223.94
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson UniversityPennsylvania5143.8
Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Temple UniversityPennsylvania5133.77
University of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePennsylvania5183.86
Universidad Central del Caribe School of MedicinePuerto Rico4993.73
Ponce School of MedicinePuerto Rico4993.64
San Juan Bautista School of MedicinePuerto Rico4983.71
University of Puerto Rico School of MedicinePuerto Rico5053.82
Alpert Medical School at Brown UniversityRhode Island5173.83
Medical University of South Carolina College of MedicineSouth Carolina5103.83
University of South Carolina School of MedicineSouth Carolina5083.79
University of South Carolina School of Medicine GreenvilleSouth Carolina5093.81
Sanford School of Medicine of the University of South DakotaSouth Dakota5083.87
East Tennessee State University James H. Quillen College of MedicineTennessee5083.81
Meharry Medical College School of MedicineTennessee5033.52
University of Tennessee College of MedicineTennessee5133.82
Vanderbilt University School of MedicineTennessee5213.94
Baylor College of MedicineTexas5183.93
Texas A&M Health Science Center College of MedicineTexas5133.84
TCU and UNTHSC School of MedicineTexas5103.71
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Paul L. Foster School of MedicineTexas5123.89
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of MedicineTexas5103.87
University of HoustonTexas5053.66
University of Texas Medical Branch School of MedicineTexas5113.88
UTHealth John P. and Katherine G. McGovern Medical SchoolTexas5133.88
UT Health San Antonio Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of MedicineTexas5173.88
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of MedicineTexas5103.72
University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at DallasTexas5183.9
Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at AustinTexas5153.92
University of Utah School of MedicineUtah5133.82
University of Vermont College of MedicineVermont5123.7
Eastern Virginia Medical SchoolVirginia5133.71
University of Virginia School of MedicineVirginia5203.93
VCU School of Medicine, Medical College of Virginia Health Sciences DivisionVirginia5133.82
Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research InstituteVirginia5123.57
University of Washington School of MedicineWashington5123.74
Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of MedicineWashington5103.67
Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall UniversityWest Virginia5023.7
West Virginia University School of MedicineWest Virginia5093.88
Medical College of WisconsinWisconsin5113.73
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public HealthWisconsin5133.8