What to do during my gap year?

<p>I've been considering applying to medical schools after my senior year to improve my chances. I screwed up my freshman year so my GPA is only at a 3.15 right now, which is what my application would show if I applied this cycle. However if I waited till the next application cycle my senior year grades would also be factored in and I could potentially have a 3.4 (my sGPA would still only be about a 3.2).</p>

<p>I was wondering what things I should do during the year off (when I'd be waiting for decisions and interviewing) to become a more competitive applicant? I want med schools to see that I'm still serious. </p>

<p>I was thinking I could apply for year-long research internships, or find a job and work full time. </p>

<p>Alternatively, I don't know if I'll be competitive enough after coming out of my senior year. I've had an upwards trend in my grades and GPA since freshman year but it'll still be pretty low. I could apply for year-long master's programs and finish those before going to med school. I go to the University of Michigan and they have a 1-year master's program in physiology, part of its appeal is that it puts you under rigorous coursework that shows graduate schools that you can handle it. Do I need to do something like this in order to have a chance of being accepted?</p>

<p>I appreciate any advice you can give, thanks!</p>

<p>What state are you a resident of?</p>

<p>Unless you have a killer MCAT score (34+) and live in a state that has relatively low admission stats for residents (like NM or ND), I don't think your 3.4 cum GPA and 3.2 sGPA will be competitive for allopathic admissions. Have you considered DO programs?</p>

<p>And I think your idea of master's degree is a good one. While great grad coursework won't make admissions overlook you undergrad grades, it might help demonstrate that you are capable of high quality work provided you get close to 4.0 in grad school. (BTW, often grad school grades are inflated/generous so the bar is raised w/r/t expectation for your grad GPA. It's needs to be high. Very high.) </p>

<p>Depending on what your MCAT score looks like, you may want to look at some SMPs. </p>

<p>I don't think it matters if you do a lab internship or find a job during your glide year--neither are going to make much of a difference for your application.</p>

<p>I'm a resident of Pennsylvania. Last summer I got a 31 on my MCAT but I'm retaking it this summer hoping for a 33 or 34.</p>

<p>I've been looking more into applying to SMP's my senior year. Would I need to take the GRE in order to apply or do enough programs take MCAT scores? </p>

<p>Also, are there any schools that offer admission into their med school upon completion of a master's program? I don't know too much about this, but when talking to a few Michigan State recruiters for their master's program at a college fair a few months ago, they were telling me how often admittants into their master's program roll into their MD program. I need to get more information about this though.</p>

<p>31 is an OK MCAT, but it's not high enough to compensate for your low GPA. (Neither is a 33, unless you want to go DO.) I've heard that med schools really, really, really dislike re-takes. I'm not so sure it's good idea to retake it this summer. You may want to wait 2 more years until the old score expires and then try the MCAT again so you don't have two MCAT scores on record.</p>

<p>Most SMPs will accept a MCAT score in lieu of a GRE. </p>

<p>I don't know of any SMPs that will guarantee admission upon completion. You still have to apply and go thru the application/interview process.</p>