Your BCPM GPA (sometimes called a science GPA) includes all Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Math courses taken as an undergraduate. On the AMCAS application, you will be asked to classify your courses in one of 20 categories. These include:
- Biology (including courses in Cell Biology, Neurobiology, Neuroscience, Immunology, Biophysics)
- Chemistry (including courses in Biochemistry)
- Mathematics (including courses in Statistics)
as well as
- Behavioral & Social Sciences
- Computer Science & Technology
- English Language & Literature
- Fine Arts
- Foreign Languages, Linguistics, & Literature
- Government, Political Science, & Law
- Health Sciences
- Natural & Physical Sciences
- Philosophy & Religion
- Special Studies
For example, all Biology courses that you've taken should be classified as "Biology." However, Duke courses can be interdisciplinary and may fall into two or more of the categories above. For instance, Biomedical Engineering courses (classified as "Engineering" on the AMCAS table), and Evolutionary Anthropology courses (Anthropology is classified as Behavioral and Social Sciences on the AMCAS table) can both have significant Biology content. The AMCAS guidance states that if 50% or more of the course content is Biology, then you should classify the course as "Biology." If AMCAS reclassifies a course for you, you can appeal and provide AMCAS with a syllabus, lecture topics and/or catalog description to document your decision. To see the AMCAS classification of courses, go to the current AMCAS Application Course Classification Guide. Please note that if AMCAS has to reclassify courses, this may delay the verification of your application.
How you classify courses on your AMCAS application is important. All courses that you classify as "Biology," "Chemistry," "Physics," and "Math" will count toward your BCPM GPA. AMCAS will provide your BCPM GPA (as well as your non-BCPM GPA, total undergraduate GPA, and graduate GPA if relevant) to medical schools.
Please keep in mind that all self-reporting and self-classifying should be in the spirit of the Duke Community Standard and is bound by the AMCAS Certification to be current, complete, and accurate to the best of your knowledge. Alumni who utilize Duke offices and services are still expected to adhere to these standards. Because BCPM is defined, the designation is based upon the course content, not the grade.
As a guide, we have a list of Duke courses that have been considered Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Math in the past. Remember that course content can change from year to year, and instructor to instructor. Evaluate your courses in terms of the course description, the content listed on the syllabus, discussion topics, reading materials, reports, papers and research and then determine how best to classify them.
You can calculate your BCPM (and even project anticipated grades) using this online GPA Calculator or the Duke BCPM Excel Calculator.