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Columbia Dental :)

Discussion in 'School Specific Discussions' started by CULionTeeth, 11.17.11.


  1. Thanks to Crack the DAT
  1. CULionTeeth

    CULionTeeth

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    Hello SDNers,

    Hope everyone's application process is going smoothly- I had been a long time SDN lurker back in the day haha and remember obsessing over the latest dental gossip here not too long ago. Since then I've been fortunate enough to gain acceptance into dental school, get pretty involved with and learn a lot about my school, and gain a pretty good insight on how admissions/acceptance works here. I currently attend Columbia, and have noticed that there really isn't too much info about us on SDN, and most info that IS available happens to be wrong or outdated. There have been a number of changes in recent years, and the faculty/students have been working diligently to be progressive now and into the future. Sooo..if you guys have any questions or comments about Columbia CDM I'd be happy to answer/address them :)

    PS the admissions process and deciding where to attend afterwards is super stressful but keep your heads up- there's light at the end of the tunnel and the experience will make you better off at the end of the day :thumbup:
  2. pmanning19

    pmanning19

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    We didn't get to see a sim lab on our tour, if there is one. Can you comment on that?
  3. CULionTeeth

    CULionTeeth

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    We do have a pre-clinic, learning dentistry would be kind of tough without one lol.. saw that you interviewed on Sep 16- the applicants come in and talk to the D1s during each Friday lab session, and that was a pretty normal day. So if you remember being brought in to spread out and mingle with them in that big room, that's our sim lab. Not the most state of the art lab in the country, but it definitely does the job. Hope this helps.
  4. soopershu

    soopershu

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    Most of what I've read online about Columbia suggests that it's a heavily research oriented school, is that still true? How do you feel about the clinical experience over there?

    I get the impression that things are really competitive over there and that the professor-student relationship may be a little stressful or something. Is that accurate?

    thanks!
  5. CULionTeeth

    CULionTeeth

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    Columbia itself is heavily involved in research, but it definitely isn't necessary or required to succeed here as a student. If research is something that appeals to you there are some AMAZING opportunities available, but if not there are plenty of other activities to get involved with. A lot of students here don't do research. I was never crazy about research in undergrad, but the caliber of projects and professors here really made me want to participate.

    Clinic and curriculum have both been modified pretty significantly in recent years. Reputation I'm the past has been that we're a specialty factory with a subpar clinic. I'm personally not in clinic yet, but from talking to upperclassmen the next year and beyond looks very promising. Unfortunately for them they've been the guinea pigs for the new system in an effort to improve clinical exposure, and aside from a few bumps its been going well for them. Paves the way for a better clinic for future classes and should be smooth by next year. If you want I'll try and get one of the upperclassmen on here to elaborate.

    Things are FAR from competitive here and we have great relationships with professors. It is a pretty transparent environment and when any issues arise we've been able to voice concerns to faculty and improve things. Everyone helps each other out, even us with the med students (we have an integrated biomedical curriculum with them). We have a class Dropbox to share notes, review guides, and old exams, and this year we've been on par with or outperformed the medical students on every exam so far this year (truth). The class environment and camaraderie here is one of the best things about our school. And courses are honors/pass/fail (fails are very rare) which is pretty sweet.

    Is there anything in particular you saw that made things seem stressful? Dental school is stressful and there are low points everywhere you go, but the vast majority of our students are very happy here regardless.
  6. YoonS

    YoonS Miniature Schnauzer

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    I heard Columbia is now international unfriendly school. Is that true?
  7. CULionTeeth

    CULionTeeth

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    Not that I know of- we pride ourselves on diversity in admissions here and have a handful of international students in each of our classes
  8. soopershu

    soopershu

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    Thanks for the response :)

    No I hadn't heard anything about it being competitive, I suppose it was just the name of an ivy league school that seemed intimidating. That's great to hear though. I know you probably don't have a frame of reference for how tough other dental schools are, but would you say that the level of academic rigor at Columbia is higher than at other schools?

    I was also wondering about student life and the neighborhood. I've read some posts that suggest that it's not in a great area. Thoughts?

    Thanks again!
  9. CULionTeeth

    CULionTeeth

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    Gotcha, yeah not competitive at all- a lot of times at schools it just varies from class to class but I think the fact that we have good mentorship here really helps emphasize a good working environment. And yeah I wouldn't have too much of a frame of reference individually as far as rigor goes. I have friends at other dental schools and it seems to be pretty hard everywhere, but the fact that we take all of the medical school classes on top of dental probably makes it tougher than it needs to be. I doubt it'll really affect how good of a dentist you'll be end up becoming, but you can never learn too much about health and your body I guess. And supposedly the extra knowledge ends up helping out a lot in clinic with patient histories. But like I mentioned earlier, our class outperformed the med school on many exams this year, so it goes back to my earlier point about a healthy noncompetitive atmosphere.

    Washington Heights used to be a "not great area" in the 90s with all the drug business from what I've heard, but a majority of us live up here and have explored and been around the area and we like it. So apparently the city has made a lot of efforts to make it a nice place to live. Plus it's right next to the A and 1 trains so it's easy to get around the city! Most of us try to go out at least once a week or so to ease the stress
  10. reztab

    reztab

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    Hello. I am very happy that you are here today. I have applied for Columbia and I have not heard any thing from them, yet. I will give you a summary about myself and I appreciate if you can give your idea about my chances of getting in.
    I am a Molecular Cell Biology major from UC Berkeley. science GPA 3.5/ Total GPA 3.64
    DAT:
    PAT 27
    OCHEM 29
    GCHEM 21
    Bio 22
    RC 17
    QR 16
    AA 21
    TS 23
    (I am really worried about the RC and QR. Do you know anyone with such low scores who got in)
    I also have more than 3000 hours of paid research experience and two second author papers, one of which is on development of the incisors in mice.
    Thanks for your help
  11. KillaGorilla

    KillaGorilla adept

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    loving the posts CULion
  12. DentalGunner

    DentalGunner

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    My Canadian friends with insane GPA/DAT/ECs (interviewing at a lot of competitive schools: Penn, Harvard, UoP, etc.) haven't received interviews from Columbia or Tufts. Maybe they're just being anti-Canadian?
  13. flapaTron

    flapaTron § herpen the derp §

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    there are plenty of canadians here at columbia.

    there are also plenty of other international/non-US citizens in all 4 classes.
  14. flapaTron

    flapaTron § herpen the derp §

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    likely the issue. RC is a critical score. Applied early or late?
  15. lululime

    lululime

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    Ahhh this is a great thread! I'm so glad the Columbia students are here. The school really appeals to me, but I don't think I appeal to them haha. Regardless, I'm still interested in learning more about the student life. Is there a squash court on campus? Can dental students get into rez? How much is off-campus housing?
  16. flapaTron

    flapaTron § herpen the derp §

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    1. yes there are 4 squash courts in the rec center

    2. not sure what you mean by rez....resident halls? yes. residency? yes very much so.

    3. off-campus housing varies depending on how far you live away from washington heights. compared to the rest of nyc, it's reasonable.
  17. lululime

    lululime

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    Thanks flapaTron! Yeah, I was asking about student residence---the reason why I ask is because I know some schools don't have enough for students and if this is the case they tend to give preference to first years. It's good to know I can keep playing squash there =)

    Also, do you think Columbia looks for completely serious students? How important is a good sense of humor? haha it seems like a dumb question, but I think I'm just fussing about how I should behave after everyone at my last interview was super serious....... =P
  18. CULionTeeth

    CULionTeeth

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    There will be completely serious students everywhere you go, including here- but we're not a gunner-crazy school and admissions definitely doesnt actively seek those types, if that was the underlying question ;) Be as relaxed and friendly as possible at all of your interviews! We have a great mix of students, serious and not, but as long as you're being professional during interview day, just be yourself (seriously, and I'm sure everyone already tells you this). Build rapport w applicants, faculty, students and get their contact info. It never hurts to be personable and a good sense of humor will always help you out throughout life, whether you're making friends, out on a date, talking to patients, and definitely while interviewing too (again as long as you're not being unprofessional). Adcoms can always look to just fill a class with the highest stats and scores possible if they wanted, but most if not all schools look for a "good fit". It's that same way at CU, and when you meet faculty and students you'll find that it's surprisingly laid back here. Hope this helps!
  19. soopershu

    soopershu

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    Okay, cool. Man, you're making the atmosphere sound amazing. What extra classes did you have to take that other dental students didn't? I actually am pretty excited about that aspect, if I get in. I'm applying next cycle. Are they healthcare oriented or just more intense science classes or something?

    this is a great help, thank you so much!
  20. flapaTron

    flapaTron § herpen the derp §

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    it's mostly the volume of classes. you will essentially be taking the medical school curriculum PLUS all of your concurrent dental classes (dental sciences + lab work + patient management).

    regarding the med school coursework, you will learn a tremendous amount of....let's call it 'peripheral' medical information....in that it's not essential or directly related to dentistry (for example, i remember having lectures on breast cancer resection...yeah). however, i feel that these classes have a value beyond their intrinsic worth. we see patients with these conditions all of the time. it's actually nice to understand all of the pathophysiology behind these diseases even if they have limited bearing on their treatment planning (which is not usually the case).
  21. nboogie

    nboogie

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    I have a mid January interview and I am interested in finding out how much of a chance I have, given that it is post-December.

    Thanks
  22. CULionTeeth

    CULionTeeth

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    Many of our current students interviewed post-December- like well into the spring too. 90 acceptances will be given Thursday and like most schools there's historically been about a 2:1 acceptance:enrollment ratio here. Dr. Zubiaurre and the admissions department have said that they don't want to miss out on great applicants later in the cycle, and so they prefer not to fill the class until the very end, but you never know- it always depends on how many early accepted applicants end up accepting their offers.

    I wouldn't worry about things like that which you can't control though- like I said many of our peers here interviewed late. And I really wouldn't even consider a Jan 1 interview late. You wouldn't be given an invite if you didn't have a fair chance of getting an acceptance. Just relax/enjoy your day here, learn as much as you can about our program, and rock your interview and you'll be fine :thumbup:
  23. yueru

    yueru

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    How is the chance to be accepted when I am in Waitlist? Thanks!
  24. imrealgerman

    imrealgerman

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    Hey. First off, thanks a lot for setting up this thread to answer questions! Now, I haven't gotten into Columbia and have only just today recieved the interview invite, but I have noticed that some schools require this Dean's Certification form for past academic and disciplinary action(s). Do you know if Columbia requires this form for accepted students? (It's a bit of a headache getting the form at my school, so I want to be fully prepared for the paperwork - if all goes well). Thanks!

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