So what BCPM GPA is best for medical school admissions?
Here are some essential BCPM GPA facts: BCPM is the term for your science GPA, and includes grades in all Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Math classes taken during your undergrad years. However, depending on the classification of certain classes by individual universities, some classes outside these distinct disciplines can also be calculated into the BCPM. The best BCPM for medical school depends on where you plan to apply.
Basic list of BCPM GPA courses
Here are the typical Bio, Chem, Physics and Math courses that are included under the BCPM GPA classes 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 can be included in BCPM GPA statistics?
In addition to this list of BCPM science classes, there are other courses, often in non-life science disciplines, that could qualify for BCPM status and be averaged in to your BCPM GPA.
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. BCPM meaning and classification changes from school to school.
Can I include other classes in the AMCAS BCPM GPA?
When you are completing the AMCAS application, you’ll declare your overall and BCPM GPA. When you apply, you can choose which classes to include in the BCPM GPA. If you think you can make the case regarding one or more of your courses, go ahead and add them to your BCPM classes. In many cases, they’ll be accepted by AAMC. If there is a question, you may be required to provide supportive documentation and convince the school(s) of a course’s scientific relevance.
What other courses might be included in the science GPA for medical school?
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 for BCPM GPA status. 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 to be considered if they’re not on the AMCAS BCPM list…
Which classes are not included in the BCPM GPA?
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 the AMCAS BCPM process, 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 GPA 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 coursework 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 GPA. To find out your specific BCPM GPA, or the average BCPM by school, check out one of several BCPM GPA calculators online. Many are offered by the medical schools where you’ll be applying. You’ll want to know the science GPA for specific med schools you’re targeting.
Overall and science GPA need “balance”
Here are a few final BCPM GPA facts:
(1) For most medical schools a cumulative GPA (cGPA) of 3.75 is competitive.
(1) Your BCPM or science GPA (sGPA) 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: