James Franco has been in the news quite a bit in the past few months, especially since The Interview showed up in theaters. He’s had a long career thus far, but as an added bonus, Franco also has an interest in education, which is why I am interested in seeing if he’s medical school student material. Let’s take a look.
James Franco’s Academic Background
Franco graduated Palo Alto High School in 1996 with good SAT scores and GPA — at least good enough to get him into UCLA the following year as an English major. However, he dropped out after a year to pursue acting.
After his acting career took off, he decided to re-enroll into UCLA because, at heart, he thought he was always an English major. He received permission to take as many as 62 credits per quarter (that’s 14 classes at once) and continued his studies while still acting. He graduated in 2008 and received his degree with a GPA of 3.5.
He then went on to attend graduate school at Columbia University, getting admitted into Columbia’s MFA program. At the same time, he also attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts for Filmmaking AND Brooklyn College for fiction writing. In 2010, he received his MFA from Columbia. That’s three simultaneous degree programs. Someone has a voracious appetite for learning / education!
Currently, he is a PhD student at Yale in the English department.
This is a long list of achievements, but let’s see how it stacks up on a medical school application.
Franco’s Application Strengths
Given his long academic history, Franco has plenty of strengths.
- High SAT scores, good high school GPA, English degree from UCLA, MFA from Columbia, and currently a PhD candidate at Yale University — and this is only a fraction of his academic achievements!
- Has some volunteering experience working at Art of Elysium, a charity that helps children with serious medical conditions.
- He is a prominent actor and has a long list of films he has starred in.
So far, James Franco has a lot going for him — he has a strong academic background, some experience in volunteering, and has had no hiccups that would hurt his application severely.
Franco’s Application Weaknesses
Despite his strengths, he has a few weaknesses that he’d need to work on:
- He has little to no experience in biology or practically any science which would make the pre-med program (and the MCAT) difficult. (Maybe he could get a little tutoring from Ashton Kutcher (link to article) on this? After all, Ashton has a degree in bio-engineering (?) )
- Needs more hands-on experience with medical training.
Not entirely hopeless — James Franco just needs to change gears from English and focus on pre-med if he wants to go to medical school.
So far, Franco has credibility, but he needs to use it correctly in order to get into medical school. He’s proven that he’s academically capable already. Here’s what he needs to do:
- Enroll in a pre-med program, take the MCAT, and do well.
- Volunteer in a speciality he is interested in.
- Apply to medical school.
His workload isn’t as intensive as other candidates I’ve reviewed because he already has so much academic clout.
I would say this is the best candidate I’ve seen thus far. Of course, not exactly medical school material just yet, but with these accomplishments, I don’t think Franco would have a hard time as a pre-med student — but then again, if things don’t work out, he always has his acting career to fall back on.