Chances for Johns Hopkins/Harvard/Duke/UPenn/Yale/Colombia/Stanford Grad School

Hi guys, I am currently an undegrad senior at UVA, soon to get my BSN. I transfered from a community college, because my grades in high school were not great. (Dont worry if yours aren’t good either, community college was an eye opening experience that I am so thankful for) I am curious what my chances for getting my MSN (or possibly enter Medical school? I have all required classes) at these schools are. Thanks for any info.

My GPA is a 3.79. I am currently taking many rigorous courses, and many of my B’s are in classes such as spanish lit, statistics, and organic chemistry. I’ve gotten consistent A’s in most sciences, lab classes, and math oriented class.

I am part of many clubs, some for my own personal enjoyment (basketball league, pokemon club) but I am also a certified EMT, have observed multiple surgeries, and I have published a semi-succesful research paper where I recieved national recognition

I got a 520 on my MCAT!!! (so shocked about this, I did not think this would happen). I did not plan to become a doctor, but now that it is a posibility i am considering it. I also got a 318 GRE score.

I am a lab assistant for a proffessor at Johns Hopkins. He definetely wrote a great a recomendation, and he graduated from stanford.

I’d say the only weakness on my applications is my GPA? I’d definetly consider UVA to be a tough school to get almost a 3.8, but im not really sure how I fair among my peers

I am also a male. I don’t want to make any assumptions that it helps with nursing admissions, but from what I have heard it does help my chances. (Again, not saying that it is 100% true)

My family does not have much so paying will be a struggle. I want a balance of prestige and financial aid, just because both could save me a lot of money in the long run.

Thank you, I greatly thank you for any response.

No idea about nursing MSN programs. You might want to repost your question in the Nursing forum:
https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/nursing-major/

For med school, do you have the necessary pre-med ECs?

Shadowing, especially in primary care specialties. Hands on clinical experience, Long term community service with the less fortunate. Leadership positions in your activities. You have research experience covered, but what about the rest?

You have an EMT, but have you actually worked using that certification? Merely having a EMT is meaningless.

Med schools do not adjust GPAs for “difficult” undergrads or “difficult” majors. They just don’t.

And for medical school admission, your nursing degree may be held against you. (Med school adcomms are often reluctant to poach students from other healthcare professions. You’ll also need to have a strong & convincing explanation for “why medicine and not nursing?” since that is what you’ve trained for.)

That said you seem to have a great MCAT score and perfectly fine, in-range GPA for med school. The only way to find out is to apply and see what happens. Go talk with the health professional advisor at UVA and see what the school requires to write you a committee LOR. (No committee letter is a red flag.)


There is little merit based FA for med school. Need based FA is loans, loans and more loans. Expect to graduate from medical school in substantial debt. For public med school grads, the median is $190K; for private med school grads it’s $235K. (BTW, those numbers are skewed low because a full 15-18% of ALL med school grads have zero debt thanks to the Bank of Mom & Dad. ) During residency, you’ll be working 80+ hours/week for peon’s wages. (National average salary for residents is $51K/year) Most residents are not able to pay down their loans during residency or even cover their interest payments.

I’m a little familiar with nursing. If you will have a BSN, and finances are a consideration…have you considered getting a job as a nurse after you get your bachelors degree? Then you could work towards APRN, and maybe your employer would help pay the costs.

APRN (nurse practitioner) are becoming more and more common in PCP offices as a second or third or whatever medical provider.

Why do you want a MSN?

3.79 GPA with 520 MCAT are great stats for med school. Don’t waste 520 score, it only has 3 years of shelf life. Do all your ECs before you apply in 2019 cycle. Biggest issue is how to answer med school AdCom - why med school, not nursing?

@WayOutWestMom I have shadowed many times before, there is actually an elective (that i had to apply for) that goes and shadows 2 times a week for a semester. I am also treasurer of the FDOA (Future Doctors of America), and am part of a couple of other clubs. I am an active EMT, I am on call every single weekend, and some weekdays if I need some extra money.

I have recently had an interview with a stanford alum. I think it went really well, and he actually said he thinks that a backround in nursing would actually help me (Im just as suprised as you are). I don’t really expect to get into stanford, although I hope the other schools will have the same mindset.

@Andorvw I’ve talked to a couple people from a couple different schools (profs., alum, students). In schools like Harvard and Yale, nursing is a turnoff most of the time. Though, people from Stanford, UChicago, Baylor, Pitt, and UCSF, a lot of people told me the opposite. On all my interviews ive made sure to state the reason of the change, hopefully it helps a decent amount.

@thumper1 If anything, I’d really like to try and get my CRNA. Someone from the AdCom at Duke (my mentor’s friend) said that I will 100% have a guarenteed spot if I apply to their program after 1 year working at the med center, so I was really considering that.

And honestly, the debt that I amount would be crazy, not to mention that I’m really not that much of a competitor. Med school is crazy and I don’t know how I can fare. I gave UVA everything I got just to get a 3.8 (which is not bad AT ALL, but I feel as if I studied for that 4.0)

All signs are pointing to that but there are so many other factors

The very generous salary, the extra money I spent for classes to get prereqs, the uncessary studying I have done to get that MCAT score, and the overall dream I’ve always had of becoming a doctor, I can’t really deicde between the two.

Given your interests, I’d go CRNA instead of med school. Especially with a guaranteed spot at a top program. Shorter training, less debt, quicker to start earning a very comfortable income, less legal liability.

Only go MD if you are the kind of person who absolutely, positively has be in charge at all times.