I'm a medicine undergraduate where my institute gives a undergraduate medicine degree after a 6 year course (non-US region, 2 pre-med, 4 med, it's MD equivalent). While I came directly from high school, students who have a BS can also apply to my institution directly to a 4 year med course through a similar process like in the US. Students like me from 2 year premed and students with BS who came through the latter process all study together during the 4 year med course.

I'm interested in quantitative genetics, therefore planning to apply to a PhD. One of my concern is that I double majored mathematics in my premed years (It took an additional year, also took graduate level analysis (Rudin RCA) and related stuffs and ended up with an A) and achieved a somewhat descent GPA (somewhere around 3.9/4.0).

However, at the med school, there is a really intense competition regarding grades and the school has a very strict grading policy (median GPA of 3.1x). It's very difficult for me to achieve a GPA of 3.4/4 or higher which doesn't seem to be competitive applying to a grad school. I'm not that talented in memorizing all those stuffs I learn in med school.

Does an uneven GPA between math and med likely to affect admission? Considering that this 4 year med course is equivalent to a graduate level study, it seems unlikely that the GPAs are assessed in a same manner with other majors (for example, my math GPA) but to what extent?

It's really hard to find any information about this problem since there are very few people in my institution who pursue more basic science research rather than clinical ones.

2 Answers 2


I think your best bet is to reach out to genetics graduate programs that you are considering and have discussions with their admissions directors. You don't need to apply to do this.

To be honest, what's usually much more important than GPA to research genetics PhD programs is your experience in conducting research.


If you want to do research then you will almost certainly want to do a PhD or equivalent. The MD-PhD combo is pretty common among researchers. But it is the PhD that is most important since it is focused on research rather than clinical and other aspects of medicine.

But how your record will be interpreted is up to the institution doing the interpretation. There is a lot more to be considered than just GPA, so don't overly obsess over that. The field will be considered, as will the institution, but your own general record of preparation is more important. People will be looking for evidence that you will be a success in a new degree program, so be sure to demonstrate that in your admissions materials.

But the way to learn about your chances is to actually apply. And taking a rigorous program is more likely to your advantage than disadvantage.

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