Monday, March 21, 2011

Inside the Yellow File: Last 45 GPA

Here at Pacific, all applications get put into a yellow file folder.  It is one of the ways we identify that the application we are working with is, in fact, for the College of Optometry (and not, for example, the School of Pharmacy or Physical Therapy, who have different colored folders).  So with the series of posts called "Inside the Yellow File", we will be explaining some common areas of confusion caused by the application.

One of the most important things we consider when we review GPA's is something that we here at Pacific call your "Last 45 GPA".  This is your GPA for your most recent 45 semester credits (or 68 quarter credits).  Why is it so important to us?  Mainly because it allows us to see trends... to see your academic performance over time... to evaluate your academic profile without that pesky freshmen GPA, when you realized that Gen Chem, Gen Bio, Calculus and Statistics all in one term was a little too much for your first semester... and it helps us see how you perform in upper division classes.

So as you take classes your Junior and Senior year, keep in mind that doing well provides an opportunity to showcase your academic abilities in a very positive way, even if your cumulative GPA is not as competitive as you'd like.  The Admissions Committee loves to see improvement over time, so if your Last 45 GPA is high, that is a great sign to us that you have adapted, developed good study habits, and are ready for the rigors of optometry school.

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