What Stats Do I Need to get into AUC?

Here’s the short answer:

2012-2013 Matriculant Stats:
Average MCAT: 25
Average Cumulative GPA: 3.24
Average Pre-requisite GPA: 3.06

Here’s the long answer:

There’s always a mystery as to what goes on behind the closed-doors of the admissions office. Here at AUC, after the applications are received by AUC’s very own Medical Education Administrative Services (MEAS) in Coral Gables, Florida, they are sent off to the island of St. Maarten where a group of administrators and faculty make up the admissions committee. They are the ones reading your essays and looking at your scores, and they will be the ones teaching you and saying hi to you in the hallways.

Because each application is different, there is no one set algorithm in which they determine who can get into the school or who cannot, or who deserves the Merit Scholarship. Each applicant is accepted on an individual basis.

Because of this, I have heard people getting into AUC with MCAT scores as high as 40 and scores as low as 21. It all depends on the overall strength of the applicant. The person I met with a 21 MCAT had a really high GPA during his undergrad years. He has published numerous papers, led teams on research (even as an undergrad), and has received numerous national awards on research. He’s even presented at the capitol and met politicians like Hillary Clinton. Having such prestigious experiences is more than enough to bring him into the school, overriding his anomalously low MCAT score. The average MCAT score for the September 2010 class was 26.

For many students, it was easy to start off on a bad foot freshmen year of college. I understand, because I did too, and this is something AUC emphasized to us during orientation. One semester in undergrad can kill you for many med school admissions but schools like AUC look past that to see that one bad semester is just an “exception” rather than the “rule.” There’s something in each and every one of our applications, they say, that demonstrated to them that we have the potential to be great doctors.

As an undergrad, I went to a fairly prestigious school in the Midwest and majored in architecture, a program with grading standards much different than biology or engineering. In architecture school, a 3.35 average was actually considered high, good enough for me to graduate cum laude (with honors).  But in premed, with a much different grading system and standard, this would be considered on the low end. Despite doing very well in my pre-med classes as a post-baccalaureate student at UGA, factoring in my previous “cum laude” GPA of 3.35, I could only pull up my accumulative GPA to a 3.5, which is considered only on the low end of “average” for med school application standards.

So while applying for medical schools, I had a 3.5 GPA and 28 MCAT to work with. I also strived to accumulate lots of patient-contact experiences and research hours, as well as unique extracurricular activities like performing music for community theaters. AUC saw that I had the drive to reach for my goals of becoming a doctor, despite humble beginnings, and was pleased to give me this opportunity to learn to become a doctor, even giving me a Merit Scholarship.  AUC understood my story, and I am very grateful to be here.

So in conclusion, what stats do you need to get into AUC?

If your score is closer to the 21 end, be among the top of your class in terms of GPA and have something really extraordinary (preferably on the national level ;) ) to back you up.

If your score is closer to the 40 end, you have nothing to worry about. Period.

Like the most of us, if your score is somewhere in between, around 26 or so, KNOW why you want to be a doctor and really show it on the rest of your application!

42 comments to What Stats Do I Need to get into AUC?

  • Rene

    What do you think my chances are of getting in? 3.77 gpa and 23 mcat, 8,6,9

  • Brian

    Hi Benji. Thank you for writing this blog, it has provided me with a great perspective on AUC. I have a few questions:
    If you were applying to Medical School today in 2014, knowing about the residency shortage that’s looming, would you apply to AUC with your GPA and MCAT? or would you retake the MCAT and try again for a US MD school? My stats are similar to yours 3.7 GPA, 27 MCAT. I am seriously considering applying to AUC for the September class because I cannot take the new MCAT in 2015. My pre-med adviser highly recommends retaking the MCAT and attending a US school because there will be no residency placements for international medical graduates in 2020. Sorry for the long comment, I hope you can give me your opinion.

    • Benji

      Hi Brian,
      I think it depends on your situation. Some people can afford to wait another year to retake the MCAT and reapply, and some people cannot, due to family, lack of a job, etc. Even if one waits another year, there is no guarantee that one will do better on the MCAT or even get into medical school. When I was at AUC, I had plenty of classmates who had stats that you would think were good enough to get them into a US med school, scoring in 30s on MCAT and graduating college with honors, who somehow could not get into US med schools. While coming to the Caribbean is a risk, waiting another year is also a risk, which you should weigh depending on your personal circumstances. I don’t think there will be no more residency placements for IMGs by 2020. The match process doesn’t work that way. Everyone, whether IMG or not, will still be competing for spots. There will just be more competition (for both IMGs and USMGs), as both international and domestic schools continue to increase enrollment with no equal increase in residency spots. While it is true some residency programs automatically shut their doors to IMGs who try to apply, there are plenty who review all candidates and choose applicants based on their accomplishments rather than where the applicant went to school. Plenty of programs would still choose an IMG with better scores and application over a US grad who has lower scores, as I have seen from my program. I think going to AUC, while it certainly is a risk, is still a viable choice, especially if you can’t afford to risk waiting another year of the med school application process, don’t plan on going into highly competitive specialties or residency programs, and have an adventurous spirit and adaptable personality who can survive living in the Caribbean and move around the US for clinicals. Best of luck on your endeavors.
      Benji

  • David

    Hi Benji, What do you think about my chances? I scored a 19 on the MCAT, PS:7 V:4 BS:8. My main problem was the verbal section and that’s because I’m a refugee to the US and English is my second language. I have 2 years of bench experience and 2 years of emergency room volunteering. cGPA: 3.1 sGPA: 2.8

    Thanks

    • Benji

      Hi David,
      I think you have a lot to work on. 19 is a very low score, and while your verbal is indeed your weakest part, your biological science and physical science are not good either. While it is not easy being an immigrant and take an exam in a second language, you cannot rationalize having a low score with your situation. There are tons of immigrants and ESL speakers who score higher who you will be competing with for medical school and residency. Also in medical school, you will eventually have to pass a 7 hour USMLE Step 1 exam, and then two 8 hour USMLE Step 2 exams, and then a 2-day-long Step 3 exam in residency as well as board exams for your specialty, all of which are way more difficult than the MCAT. Unfortunately, you will have to be good at the language, as well as the scientific knowledge and medical judgement in order to pass these exams. You will not be scored differently just because you are an immigrant or an ESL speaker. Your cGPA and sGPA are also very low. Volunteering and research experiences are great, but they cannot make up for low grades and exam scores. Anyone can volunteer, but not everyone can score well. I would highly suggest you work hard on bringing your grades up, study hard, do lots of practice questions, and take the MCAT again. I don’t think you have high chances, but if you do get into medical school with your current problems, you will only have a harder time in medical school, and even harder time getting out of it.
      Best of luck,
      Benji

  • Chinedu

    Hello Benji, do you know if a student can receive multiple scholarships if they meet the criteria or do you get awarded just one?

    • Benji

      Hi Chinedu, I would not assume that meeting the criteria would guarantee you a scholarship. The criteria is only the minimum requirement needed to be considered for the scholarship. You would have to be awarded it. I would ask the school for more info on scholarships.
      Benji

  • Peter

    Hello Benji,

    My current stats are cGPA: 2.75 and MCAT:21. My freshman year was disastrous and this has affected me in this way. However, I really need to get into med school, and I was wondering what you think my chances are with these stats? I am already in my final year, so Im not sure how I can make this GPA better. However I am currently preparing to retake the MCAT, and hopefully get a better score. Do you think a much higher score on the MCAT will compensate for a low GPA such as mine? I also have lots of volunteers experience, leadership positions and experience in a medical setting. What do you think my chances are. Please let me know what you think.

    Thank you.

    • Benji

      Hi Peter,

      It’s unfortunate that one disastrous year can ruin your GPA for the rest of college. If your most recent grades are top-notch, perhaps schools would consider this. However, 2.75 is really low, and I think this makes your chances for med school difficult. Many schools you apply to may have a filter that filters out low GPAs, regardless of how you do more recently on your grades. You may have to make some phone calls to have med schools at least look into your application if your more recent grades are top-notch.

      I would definitely study hard and retake the MCAT. You will have to make an extra high score (not just an average 30) to try to make up for your GPA. If you are still not able to get into med school in Canada or the US, then try the Caribbean.

      Med school classes are hard, even in the Caribbean, and doing well on your Step 1, Step 2CS, Step 2CK, Step 3 (all of these exams are longer and harder than the MCAT) and matching into residency is even harder. If you are not doing well on undergrad classes or on your MCAT, I would highly recommend you think about the risks of going to med school and spending a lot of money and time for it. You will need to be much more disciplined and motivated to be successful in this next step in your training and career. If you feel you can do it, then go for it, then don’t let me or anyone else discourage you. But remember to be realistic as well, and know what you really want.

      Benji

  • Matthew

    Hey Benji!
    Just all the other posts let me first off say thank you so much for doing this blog! It has opened my eyes to applying to schools in the Caribbean. But I am curious when you were applying to schools, not just AUC, did you take more than Calc 1? And also what Physics did you take? I am registered for Calc based physics but my advisor said he didn’t know what Medical schools would prefer, Calc based or Alegbra based. Thank you for any help you can give me!

    Matthew

    • Benji

      Hi Matthew,
      I took Calc 1, 2, and 3 in college, but not because it was a pre-med requirement. I took it mostly out of interest. I took algebra-based physics, which is what you need for the pre-med requirements for most med schools. Best of luck.
      Benji

  • josh

    benji,
    thanks alot for the blog this is the best quality info I can find online.
    my situation is little complicated.
    i’m at nycpodiatry school but i am realizing this is not what i want to do for the rest of my life.
    my gpa at the pod school is not great 2.5ish. i do have decent mcat 27.(3years old)
    what do you think my chances are? I failed the gross anatomy, but I retook it and got a B. I mostly Got Bs in my medical courses. (patho, pharm, biochem) C in some other (physio, histo).

    my question is, how do they look at a student like myself?
    I’m shooting for sep 2015 class, but if not I think I will re take the MCAT and apply for Jan class?

    thanks alot for your help I appreciate it.

    • Benji

      Hi Josh,
      The best is to apply and see as no one, not me, can tell you whether or not you will be accepted except for the med school themselves. However, in my opinion, your GPA is very low and your MCAT is not exactly stellar either. 27 may be ok for a Caribbean school, but definitely not competitive for a US school, and it surely does not make up for the low GPA. You will need to really consider whether or not you think you can do much better in med school. The education you get in the Caribbean will not be any easier than the education you get in the US. Med school is tough and lots of people do fall out. Given your history of falling, will you be able to not just prevent yourself from failing in med school, but actually do well? Best of luck.
      Benji

  • Deddy Septian

    Hi benji, wow your website is really helping. Currently I’m on clinical rotation to finish my DMD degree in Indonesia. Im planning to take med school, unfortunately I dont do prerequisite programe because I took 7 years track here. Do you have any friends from southeast asia or some international friends there that I can contact to know more ??

  • Jae Hee

    Hello Benji,
    I habe a cGPA of 3.02 and a sGPA of 2.77. My MCAT score is 25 (9P,7V, 9B), and I have shadowed a variety of general surgeons in US. What chances do you think I have of getting into AUC/Saba/Ross/St. Georges? I had a few deaths and illnesses in the family during undergrad ut I do not want to bring them up in the interviews because that might sound like excuses. Moreover, I have already graduated so I cannot bring my grades up further.
    Thanks,
    J.H.

    • Dan

      Hello! Yes your gpa is a little low but definitely apply. I got into fall semester with a 25 but really they are looking for an MCAT that has an 8 or higher in the BS category (c3.3 s3.02). You also have some experience in a hospital.

      APPLY and convince them why you need to become a part of the field of medicine.

      GOOD LUCK

  • JH

    Hello Benji,

    Jay Hee here. I got accepted to AUC! I think it may have been my interview, shadowing experience and interview that helped me ecause my GPA and MCAT certainely weren’t going for me.

    Thanks again for your blog :)

  • Ewe

    Hi Benji,
    I read many posts on your blog and they are very helpful, thank you! However, please do not take this the wrong way, but would you say that going to AUC right now as oppose to med school in USA is a good choice? What I mean exactly are the residency prospects; in 4 years I am not sure how They will look. What do you think? Right now I am waitlisted at US med school and if I do not get in should I go to AUC this Sep? Or it is better to reapply? Because if if were to reapply it would be my 3 time. Since you been there, done that, can I please ask you for an advice on what to do?

    • Benji

      Hi Ewe,
      Going to a US med school will always give you a better chance at matching compared with going to the top Caribbean schools. The match rate at AUC as of this year is still good and we have graduates who go into all specialties and I don’t imagine this changing anytime soon. If this is your third time applying, I think it may be time to consider the Caribbean. There comes a point when it’s better not take the risk wasting another year reapplying.
      Benji

  • Samuel

    Hi Benji, I got accepted into Aureus University School of Medicine and caribbean medical university

    I would like to know your thoughts o these universities in terms of reliability and accreditation.

    That would be quite helpful. Thanks

    • Benji

      Hi Samuel,
      Aureus University is “not subject to accreditation” according to the WHO/Avicenna, which basically means it is not accredited by a recognized accreditation body. I would be very cautious about going to a school that has not evaluated by a third party to ensure that the school is up to standards with its education, administration, and resources. While Aureus can get you an MD, it may not necessarily get you a residency, or the ability to practice in a state you may want to practice in. I would be very very cautious.
      Benji

  • Pollie

    I got into AUC with a 3.05 cumulative, 2.6 science, and 491 (18 old scale) MCAT.
    These are embarrassingly low scores!
    I did get 2200 on the SAT though, weirdly.
    However, I did so many extracurriculars which I explained to my interviewer was the reason for my lack of focus on studying.
    I played on UCSD’s tennis team, was the first chair viola player in the orchestra, interned at the hospital for over 3 years, worked as a barista and hotel receptionist and tutor, and I think I have good social skills.
    Somehow, Jamie saw past my lousy scores and gave me a chance to attend.
    I know that if I could get in with these stats, others also have a chance to explain all their shortcomings, too.

    Happy doctoring!

  • Caroline

    Hi Benji
    I graduated high school in 2014 in Brazil and managed to calculate my GPA scores as if I had studied in the US. However, despite my grades being considered good here in Brazil, my ”US” GPA turned out very low: 3.2. I have applied to Avalon med school in Curacao using only that score and my personal experiences. Do you think I have a chance there?
    I applied to Avalon because considering my circumstances I thought it was one of the easiest to get into. But I would much rather go to AUC. So my next question is: do you think I could get in AUC if I do well on the MCAT? If so, what score would I need?

    Thank you so much for posting this :)
    Caroline

    • Benji Ho

      Hi Caroline,
      Do you mean you graduated college? or high school? You would need to have a bachelor’s degree to apply to any medical school in the Caribbean, unless the school has a bachelor’s/pre-med program that leads into a med school. AUC does not offer this.
      Benji

  • Caroline

    Hi Benji
    Thank you for your reply!
    Sorry, I didn’t know AUC didn’t have a pre med program. I have now applied to St George’s pre med. If I finish pre med at SGU is it possible to start MD at AUC? Do they accept transfers?
    Caroline

    • Benji Ho

      Hi Caroline,

      My recommendation would be to apply to schools in the United States to study premed. You will get a better chance to get into a medical school in the US, and therefore a better chance to match into a residency program in the US, and better chance to practice medicine in the US. You are putting yourself at risk going straight into a premed program in the Caribbean. If cost is an issue, going to St. George’s or AUC will not be any cheaper, and the risk of being in debt and not having a doctor job is higher.

      But to answer your question, people who go to St George’s premed program usually stay at St George’s for med school. People don’t usually transfer to another Caribbean school.

      Benji

  • Rose

    Hey Benji, I’m a transfer student from a community college. I’m currently attending a college from which I can obtain a BA from. My grades from the community college were stellar..nothing but A’s and B’s. Transferring to a different school completely ruined my GPA and I’m now a low 2 in GPA ratings. It took me a while to become accustomed to the different teaching style. If I were to obtain a decent MCAT, what would be my chances of entering medical school? AUC is already one of my options. Ive also worked while attending school. What do you think my options are?

    • Benji Ho

      Hi Rose, with a GPA of 2, I would say you will have a hard time getting into medical school, since many medical schools may have cut-offs for GPA or MCAT scores. However, you never know until you try. If you really want to go to medical school, you have to take the MCAT. Take it, apply to medical school, and see.
      Benji

  • dina

    Hello, I really would love to attend AUC ! But my cumulative gpa is a 2.8, and my science is a 2.1. Does auc recalculate gpa if you have repeated a class ? I also haven’t taken the mcat yet. I’m still studying for it. I plan on taking it next August in 2017. I also plan on applying for spring 2018. Do you think I will have a chance at AUC. I have a lot of clinical experience, shadowing physicians at hospitals, in Tanzania, Africa, and in Bangkok, Thailand. Almost 200 hours. But i had to work two jobs while in undergrad, and this is why my gpa is so low.

  • Tori

    Hey Benji! I’m a 3rd year public health student at UGA, I kinda goofed around freshman and sophomore year when I didn’t know what I wanted to be, I now know I want to go to Med school, and I’m really considering AUC, I have a 3.4 GPA, with about a 3.0 science GPA, I haven’t taken the MCAT yet, but I’m concerned my GPA is too low regardless. I also have many volunteer experience through local hospitals, hospice, I do tutoring, have a job, and play IM sports, and are involved in several clubs and organizations. So I have extracurricular activities, but I’m still concerned about my AUC chances. Also, do you know if you can apply to AUC while in the middle of taking one of the pre req classes? Or does it have to be completely finished before I even apply.

    • Benji Ho

      I would recommend you having those pre-req courses completed ASAP. Med schools prefer to see a completed application. They way to see how you did on the pre-reqs before considering you.

  • Chelsey

    I applied to AUC for this September with a 510 (aka 31) MCAT, 3.04 cGPA, and 3.28 sGPA. I got an email that said I would have an answer back by this Wednesday, just 5 days after completing my application file. That is SO FAST! But of course I’m still dying of anticipation . My in-laws are visiting this week and it would be dank to have good news to share with them .

  • denny sanders

    I had a 3.3 overall undergrad gpa and 3.0 science gpa and got a 515 on the mcat. I also took medical school courses with an SMP and got a 3.2 graduate gpa and am currently doing a research project to finish up the masters. Not sure if this is okay to apply with.

  • Navid

    Hi Benji, Does AUC average out repeated classes or do a grade replacement?

    Navidq

  • Jennifer

    Hi Benji,

    Thanks for the post/Blog, it’s really helpful. I’m in between deciding AUA or AUC??? I’m from NY region the residency placement for AUA seems pretty impressive for a somewhat new school and their hospital affiliation too. Have you come across any stories or coworkers from AUA to enlighten more on which school might be a better choice in terms of preparing me for the steps.
    Thanks

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