Q&A: Non-Traditional Student with an MBA but a LOW GPA from Years Back – Am I On The Right Track?

I have been following your blog since January of this year, shortly after I made the decision to become a Veterinarian. Needless to say, I quit corporate America after 5 years in and dove head first into the  pre-vet curriculum. My undergraduate degree is in photography and like you I photograph any opportunity that comes my way. Here is the short of why I am writing you. 

The last 10 months have been intense as I am taking 2.5 years of classes in 3 semesters. I have been a volunteer/intern for our local Emergency Animal Hospital for over 6 months and have worked  as a tech assistant at a  busy spay and neuter clinic. I am involved in a slew of rescue groups, going to embark on undergraduate research and will intern for a day with a classroom of Veterinarians who will be trained and certified for Animal acupuncture.

I am 30 years old, creeping on 31 and I hope to apply to school in February. 

My earlier life as an undergraduate student ended with a low GPA, this was 10 years ago. While in corporate full time, I sought an opportunity for higher education. After careful consideration I decided on the University of Phoenix as it was not only an accredited school but one my place of employment would help finance.

I obtained an M.B.A in December of 2009. I have since spoken with the 4 schools I see to apply to, including Saint George University, Ross University, University of Florida and Virginia-Maryland (UF is my in-state school).

I reached out to each individual University asking if they would accept my coursework from UOP and they agreed they would, as UOP is an accredited institution. In addition, I had a phenomenal experience at UOP and have since made long-lasting friendships with several Vice Presidents and corporate leaders who were my Professors.

My current school load includes the following.
1. Chemistry 1-B-done USF
2. Lab Done- USF C
3. Biology 1-C- USF
4. Biology Lab A USF

1. Organic Chem/Lab
2. Physics Class/Lab
3. Biology/Lab 

UOP Science Courses:
1. Genetics: A
2. Zoology: A
3. Micro (No-Lab): A
4. Statistics: B
5. Biology 1 (Course Only) Re-Take: A 

I find as time goes on I am improving in the science courses, they were harder than expected as I am not used to obtaining a grade lower than an A. Again, I am doing much better in my current semester.

I was hoping for advice as you have been through the process.

Thank You for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.




Hi BF –

It sounds like you are doing great already! Having an extra degree under your belt (plus the added connections and experiences) will make you a more interesting candidate when you apply to vet school! Don’t be so caught up on getting straight A’s that you stress yourself out too much – just focus on doing the best you can, given the circumstances as you’ve definitely got a lot on your plate.

I really think you are headed in the right direction and have things planned out well! Don’t worry about your GPA from your schooling many years ago (you can always explain what you think was the issue – even if it was just maturity, finding a direction, etc) or your age as you are definitely not the oldest person to leave a career for vet school!

Good luck with everything and let me know if you have any other questions!

Life In Vet School & Tips On Getting In