Medical School Applications are not easy to get into. Even with a unique resume filled with relevant extracurricular activities, satisfactory GPA, and MCAT scores some of you may find yourself lacking in your ability to impress the admissions committee. In that case, a graduate degree might be your best bet.

Following a graduate degree to boost up your resume for medical school applications is feasible, but it isn’t an option for everyone. For medical school applications, a graduate degree is not mandatory, and some schools never factor in graduate school GPA, so it depends on your situation and preferences.

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That said, following a graduate degree does earn you some benefits. For instance, it helps you network with professors and colleagues who can bolster your medical school applications (via letters of recommendation) and your skillset. Apart from that, you can engage in more extracurriculars, develop your research skills, and (depending on the medical school) accumulate more ranking points. You can always gain something by following a graduate degree before medical school applications.

On the flip side, graduate degrees can be expensive and time-consuming. They can delay your professional career, and based on the degree, it might not have that much of an impact on your medical school application. On top of that, they might distract you from gaining valuable clinical experience, engaging in volunteer work, or other activities you are more passionate about.

A medical school application doesn’t require a graduate degree, but if you are adamant about following a graduate degree because you are interested in a particular subject or honing essential skills, by all means, go for it, but don’t forget the drawbacks.

A post-bacc and MD-PhD are good programs to get into, especially if you have a passion for them. However, we highly recommend sticking to a Special Master’s Program (SMP) affiliated with medical schools. These programs help you stay in touch with the staff and peers of a medical school and gain more relevant GPA scores that will influence your medical school application for the better. Unfortunately, SMPs are extremely competitive and expensive, so make sure you’re up to the challenge.

The chances that your medical school application will follow through, thanks to a boost from a graduate degree are slim, but depending on the circumstances it’s possible. So make sure to consider your weak points and address them before hopping on to a graduate program.

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