Academic Performance and Grades

Health profession schools will expect at least a high B grade point average (3.4 to 3.5) in the sciences to meet general admission requirements. The mean GPA (both science GPA and total GPA) of Duke students accepted to medical schools has been between 3.4 and 3.5 for many years. If your first year is challenging, re-evaluate your study skills and interests. Schools will notice an upswing in your grades as well as the rigor of your courses and other factors that may play a role in your success. Be sure to talk with your prehealth advisor, work with the Academic Resource Center, and evaluate your time management, and commitments outside of class if your grades are not where they should be. 

Low Grades

Medical schools will generally not accept grades of C- or less for required courses. If you have a C- in a required Chemistry, Biology, Math or Physics course, you will need to take the course again at another school in the summer. You may only repeat courses at Duke if you received a D or F; C- grades cannot be repeated at Duke.  

Science Courses

Health professions schools also expect applicants to have taken science courses that are designed for science majors. They (and we) recommend that you do not take science courses that are intended for non-science majors as a way of raising your GPA. Instead, take your time and work on raising your academic abilities. You should also not audit or take a prehealth course on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

Your Curriculum

Students seeking admission to what are considered by some to be the most highly selective health professions schools should plan to pursue a demanding curriculum. Advanced coursework, including graduate-level courses (at Duke these are courses numbered 500 and above), semester overloads, and scholarship in the form of independent research is expected of successful applicants to these schools.