Here are some BCPM GPA facts…
Essential BCPM GPA facts: BCPM is the term for the science GPA, and includes grades in all Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Math classes taken during your undergrad years. However, because of the classification of certain classes by individual universities, some classes outside these distinct disciplines can be calculated into the BCPM.
Basic list of BCPM classes
Here are the typical Bio, Chem, Physics and Math courses that are included under the BCPM category (check out the AMCAS Course Classification Guide here).
Biology—Anatomy, Biology, Biophysics, Botany, Cell Biology, Genetics, Physiology, Neurscience, Microbiology, Immunology, Entomology, Histology, Ecology, Biotechnology, Molecular Biology and Zoology.
Chemistry—Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Thermodynamics
Math—Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Biostatistics, Statistics
Which other classes may qualify as BCPM?
In addition to this list of classes, there are other courses, often in non-life science disciplines, that could qualify for BCPM status and be averaged in to your BCPM.
A general rule is that if the overall content of a course is 60% or more of the four science classifications above, it can be classified as BCPM. How do you determine if a course qualifies? Examine the syllabus closely. Talk with your professor and consult with your pre-med advisor. It’s likely that this question has been asked and answered before.
How can I include other classes in the BCPM GPA?
When you are completing the AMCAS application, you’ll have the opportunity to choose which classes are included in the BCPM GPA. If you think you can make the case regarding one or more of your courses, go ahead and include them. In many cases, they’ll be accepted by AAMC. If there is a question, you may be required to provide supportive documentation and make your case.
What other courses are sometimes included?
Some of this falls under the category of urban legend, since each and every case must be made per student, per university. If you have Psych courses that include a lot of neuroscience content, you may want to at least give it a try. If you take a Psych Stats course, it could possibly qualify under Math. You may be able to get certain Engineering courses and certain Statistics courses to count (if they’re geared more towards Life Sciences or Case Studies). You may get an occasional Computer Science course included in the math category. I know an applicant that took a Computer Sciences course called Discrete Math and it passed through. A Chemistry course that shows up in the College of Engineering may also be included. Just know that you’ll have to make the case for some of these…
Which classes are not included in the BCPM?
Psychology courses would seem to be scientific in nature, but they fall under “social sciences” so won’t count towards your BCPM GPA. Same with Sociology. Nutrition classes for the most part aren’t included. But you may be able to get some through, if you can make the case.
Keep in mind that AAMC, AADSAS and AACOMAS may treat science courses differently, so one organization may include a course in your BCPM while another may exclude it.
Why or why not include a course in your BCPM?
If you got poor grades in any of the questionable courses, don’t include them in your BCPM GPA, duh! However, if you have some courses you did well in, and they’re question marks, go ahead and submit them as part of your BCPM with your application. The worst that could happen is they won’t be accepted. On the other hand, they may and it could make a difference of a point or two in your BCPM.
Final BCPM GPA facts:
(1) Your BCPM or science GPA should be within .2 of your cumulative GPA.
(2) If there is a dramatic difference between the two, it won’t reflect well on you because it shows either you didn’t pay attention in your science classes, or you let your other coursework slide.
Check out our other posts here about GPA: