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UMDNJ masters program...dental courses

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by dentisttobeDMD, Apr 27, 2010.

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  1. dentisttobeDMD

    dentisttobeDMD

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    For those who did or are doing a masters in biomedical science at umdnj in newark, did you take a dental school course? how was it? would you recommend others to take it or is it too risky? do most people do well in it? what would be the pros and cons of taking it? does it significantly increase your chances of being accepted into a dental school? I would truly appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks in advance.
  2. cmcner

    cmcner

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    I highly recommend Oral Microbiology. It's difficult, doable, and gives you the confidence that you belong in dental school if you do well. Intellectually it was the best class I have ever taken. It's a good way to dip your toe into dental classes and learn how to handle them where as Dental Physiology is diving straight in.

    Microbio is one of the dental courses that you can take without an invitation, Physio on the other hand requires an invitation.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  3. dentisttobeDMD

    dentisttobeDMD

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    i know they invite you to take a dental course based on your DAT score and GPA (i think). what minimum DAT score (and GPA) do you need to have in order to get an invitation?
  4. userah

    userah

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    you only need an invite to take Dental Physiology and Dental Biochem. For Oral Immuno and Oral Microbio, you don't need permission. You're free to tackle those courses on your own. Oh yea, there's also Dental Histology that's offered in the fall. Also believe you need permission for that course as well

    as for the stats to take either physio or biochem, that depends as there's no criteria that they specifically state. Worst case scenario, you don't get to take physio during your first fall semester. But if you do well with the rest of your courses during the semester, you can make a good argument to take Biochem in the Spring semester. It worked for me.
  5. dentisttobeDMD

    dentisttobeDMD

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    thanks for all your comments. does taking dental courses increase your chances of getting accepted into dental school? what if i choose not to take any dental courses, does that put me at a disadvantage?​
  6. userah

    userah

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    if you're pre-dental and you do masters at umdnj newark and you don't take any dental courses, if I was on the committee, I wouldn't look too favorably at your application. The whole point of doing a masters is to show them you belong in dental school. What's the point of doing the program if you can't fully show me that you are capable of excelling in D-school.

    it's a gamble either way. If you do well, it definitely helps. If you do bad...well haha.
  7. peanutb123

    peanutb123

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    sorry for the hijack i have q.

    Why do people do Masters in a field that barely or has NO JOBS. You will only have future MAYBE in that field only if you PHD. Then you are basically forcing/investing your money in something that you are solely doing it for d-school. how could that be favorable for admission committee. I am confused about this part. I always hear people say ohh dont dont do it just to get into d-school. But it does not make sense to just do these non valued/non future master programs. I believe people are solely doing it just to get into dental school they might or might bot be interested in it. can i safely say they are indirectly forced by d-schools to do these programs.
  8. Albuterol

    Albuterol

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    umm thats the point. I'm pretty sure people who are in this program are doing it ONLY for dental or medical school. Therefore, bust your @$$ so you don't have to be on the outside looking in.
  9. Alegna86

    Alegna86

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    Is there anyone else currently doing this program that can share their experience with it? What are the pros and cons? I am strongly considering doing this if I am not successful this year.
  10. molar3

    molar3

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    my friend just got accepted to NYU dental today and she just completed the 2 years masters program at umdnj this past spring of '10. It helped her alot i think, i mean she got in......soooo i dont know, she thinks its helpful. But also she brought her DAT up, ALOT by using destroyer as well as compared to the first time she applied.
    Its a 2 year program btw, just so you know
  11. Alegna86

    Alegna86

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    Thanks, yeah I am still strongly considering it. It looks very intense but it is worth it if I get to become a dentist someday.
  12. dentisttobeDMD

    dentisttobeDMD

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    If you took dental courses can you please share your experience? Also for those in the program or recently finished, would you recommend doing it in 1 year, 3 semester, or 2 years?
  13. userah

    userah

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    I have had the chance to take Dental Physio, Dental Biochem and Oral Immuno while finishing the masters program. Out of all 3, I'd say that dental physio is the hardest course but I hated Immuno the most. I'll give a breakdown of what to expect for each class and my thoughts on each one
    --------------------

    Dental Physio:
    I took this class by itself this fall to finish up my masters program. It is a 5 credit course. It meets 4 times a week from 1 to 3pm. There is a 55 minute exam with 30 questions every two weeks covering 6 topics. At the end you have a cumulative final covering all the material. It is a 60 question, 2 hour exam. Thankfully, the final counts the same as all the other exams so if you have a nice buffer going into the final, doing a little poorer on the final won't affect your outcome all that much. There is also an optional extra credit exam that can add a total of approximately 2 points to your final grade so that can definitely help you out if you're on the border.
    As for overall thoughts on the class, as I mentioned, it's definitely one of the toughest classes I've ever taken. I got my acceptance like a week before the final so I didn't study as much as I probably should have haha. Regardless, everyone will agree with me when I say it's a hard ass final. Mostly because it covers so much material and the questions are not general. They're very specific so you really need to know your **** cold to do well. Is it impossible to get an A? Not by any means. Each lecture material is taught by a different professor for the most part. There are some professors whose material is better taught than others and it is very possible to get a 100 on an exam. Other material (GI for instance) is really nitty gritty and it sucks and the exam questions are super specific and hard to figure out. For example, an example of a GI question you might be asked would be phrased in this manner:

    statement A: bla bla blaaa
    statement B: gobbledy gook
    A. A & B are true
    B. A is true but B is false
    C. B is true but A is false
    D. A & B are both false
    ... etc. you get the point

    GI exam is notoriously hard but it's still possible to do decent on it. The other exams though aren't nearly as bad. Because there is an exam every two weeks, you really need to stay on top of the material. Fall behind and you're screwed. I can't imagine how much it would suck to take physio along with the rest of the first semester dental curriculum. I'm glad I got it out of the way hahaha

    ----------------

    Dental Biochem:
    Dental Biochem is a 4 credit class. It is also taught by multiple professors. I kind of enjoy biochem so I didn't think this was a particularly difficult course. It's all just cycles and different cell processes. I would just go to the library, get a room with a dry erase board and just draw cycles over and over again til they were ingrained in my head. I believe there were 3 exams and a cumulative final. I took the course last year so I'm not 100% on the number of exams. The cumulative final for this course comparatively speaking is muuuch easier than the physio final. I walked out of the biochem final in like 45 minutes feeling very confident. The questions were very general and just tested you on whether or not you knew the basic material. Oh yea, your lowest grade gets dropped (not the final obviously haha) As for the professors , there were one or two I wasn't particularly fond of because I don't think they explained it in the easiest way possible but for the most part, they were all pretty decent.

    Oh one thing I wanted to mention if you guys are in the masters program and are interested in taking this course. The course director, Dr. Kumar, is on the admissions board. If you choose to take it, make sure you kick ass. I did really well on the first exam and went to his office hours to "go over the exam" (really it was just a way to get my foot in the door haha) After we finished reviewing, I asked him if he would consider writing me a letter. He told me that he'd wait to see how I fared with the rest of the course, and then pending me doing well, he'd call me in for an informal interview and then decide whether to write me a letter or not. I busted my ass to do well in the course and had him write me a letter. How much good it did in terms of helping me get in I will never know but I'm sure it definitely helped. So that's something for you to take into consideration

    One great thing about these two dental courses (or bad thing depending on how you look at it) the grades are posted up right after the exam is finished. So you can figure out as soon as you step out of the exam whether you need to step your game up or that you're doing something right. It's sort of like the DATs in that sense I guess...

    ----------------

    Oral Immunology
    This is a 3 credit course in the masters program. I was not a fan of this class. I don't think it is taught very well. It's taught by Dr. Tsiagbe. He started teaching the course 2 years ago (so this spring will be his 3rd time teaching the course) He's gotten a lot better from what I've heard but I was still not a fan of his teaching style. I found his accent very hard to understand even when I sat up in the front. His notes are okay, I went to the textbook most of the time to clarify things I didn't understand in the class. I forget how many exams were in the class but there's no cumulative final for the course. The course initially was 2 credits but people bitched that it was a lot of work for only 2 credits so he changed it to 3 credits and extended the course an extra 2 or 3 weeks. In those 2-3 weeks, you learn about research principles. You have a sort of group project and an exam on the research principles at the end of the course. Those last 2-3 weeks, you will only take the course with other masters students. The dental students will not be attending the lectures on research principles, etc. Dr. Tsiagbe teaches most of the class but there are 2 or 3 guest lecturers. As for the exams, I thought many of them were poorly phrased. During reviews, he never seemed to explain the answers thoroughly. He would just read the question, state the answer and move on like we were supposed to know it no problem. That kind of irked me as he provided no real explanation for the answer. All in all, this was my least liked course.

    On a side note, Oral Immuno is the only course you can sign up for on your own. Dental Physio and Dent Biochem are both courses that you need to place into. As for what qualifies you to take the course, it's mostly based on your performance in the program. My first semester in the program, I had decent DAT scores but my GPA was **** so I didn't place into Dent Physio. I considered taking Oral Micro (the other class offered that you don't need to place into) but the advisers at the masters program scared the hell out of me. They told me it was too difficult a course and that I should ease my way into the program and to not overload my schedule and diminish my chances even more of getting into dental school. I listened to their advice and dropped the course and took something else instead. Which actually worked out for the best, because I did really well my first semester and it gave me the confidence to finish off strong with the program.

    ----------------

    As for whether to complete the program in a year or 2 years, there are a couple routes you can take:

    Option 1: you can take 15 credits in the fall, and 15 in the spring (if you're doing the non-thesis route, 2 of those 30 credits should be 60 hours of research)
    I'm not a big fan of this option as it's jam packing too many courses into a semester. If you guys are/were in my boat, the masters program was my last ditch effort in helping me get into Dental school. I didn't wanna **** up my chances by taking more than I could handle.

    Option 2: You can take 12 credits in the fall and 13 credits in the spring. That leaves you with 5 credits left. 2 of those credits = research. The final 3 credits you can finish off in the summer. There is one course offered in the "summer" It's a virology course offered in June I believe and runs for 3 or 4 weeks. This option will allow you to complete the program in a year

    Option 3: Finish the program in a year and half. This is the option I went with. I initially considered going with Option 2 but umdnj was my #1 choice. The school however, refuses to consider someone's application with only a half a year of grades. They want to see a full year of grades before they look at your file. Taking that into consideration, there was no benefit to finishing in a year. Instead, I decided to just go the year and half route as that allowed me to take Dental Physio in the fall. I talked to admissions about my schedule and they asked me why I was taking dental physio if my grade for the course would probably not be considered. I told them that worst case scenario, it prepares me for what to expect in dental school and best case scenario, I do well and and I don't have to take it once I get in. I think that answer pleased them haha. So anyways, those are your three options

    I think I covered everything regarding the program. If you guys look at my predent profile, you can clearly see that my undergrad stats are well below average. I had to climb a hell of a mountain to get to where I am now. SDN is full of gunners whose stats are phenomenal and over the top. That's the main reason, why I put up my profile at predents; for those who are reading the threads thinking that dental school is not within their reach. I hope this gives you some hope and you fight for what you want. The masters program was definitely pivotal in helping me get into dental school and if you guys decide to join the program I wish you the best of luck. Just remember to make the most of the situation. It's a clean slate and you can write your future whichever way you want. Future's in your hands :) :thumbup:
  14. smithie11

    smithie11

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    How difficult is it to get into the masters program at UMDNJ? How competitive does an applicant have to be (considering that most are entering to boost GPA)?

    Interested in applying but also wondering about the GPA and GRE cutoffs.
  15. terry gordy

    terry gordy

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    Do you have a pulse? If yes, you're in.
  16. camshaft

    camshaft Loves mucosal tissue

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    It's pretty easy to get in, but still a very useful program, especially if you take a dental class or two. Some of the stats of people I've met here are really low, but apparently the acceptance rate is still under 50%.
  17. terry gordy

    terry gordy

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    Yes, if you have a pulse...apply and you're in.

    Other master's programs that accept anyone with a pulse.

    Wayne State

    Mississippi college

    All seem to be good programs that give you a good base in the biomedical sciences with opportunities to take medical/dental courses. The programs are NOT research oriented....~90% of the program focuses on didactic courses.

    I'd rate umdnj and the above mentioned over tulane cmb program.
  18. camshaft

    camshaft Loves mucosal tissue

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    UMDNJ does have a research/thesis oriented tract if you choose it, but since most people use the program to address their GPA they usually opt for the lecture intensive tract, which does still require a minor research rotation.
  19. terry gordy

    terry gordy

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    You mean under 50% admitted for the masters program or under 50% get admitted to medical/dental?
  20. camshaft

    camshaft Loves mucosal tissue

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    Under 50% admitted to the masters (from what they tell me). They can't really give definite answers on acceptances to medical/dental because people come into the program with different intents - medical, dental, research, industry, etc. They also complete the program in different lengths of time. I finished it in 11 months, but many people I started with are doing it in 3 semesters. Also, people apply at different times - i.e. right before starting the program (as I did), during the program, or after finishing. So basically there are too many variables for them to be able to put together a single post-acceptance rate. I've talked to the program director about it.
  21. terry gordy

    terry gordy

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    Well, that is based on the assumption that you are entering the programs for the purpose of disaster recovery (trying to show you can handle upper division science with an applicable load).

    At tulane you only take 18 semester hours of didactic courses with no option to taken medical or dental courses. In addition to the 18 semester hours of didactic courses, you take 12 credits of seminars and research which isn't really appealing if your in my case.
  22. HASassin

    HASassin

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    are we talking about this masters program?


    "University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, Graduate School of Biomedical
    Science at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (GSBS at RWJMS)" ?

    bc i got into this one, and emailed the people to see if i got into one of the dental school classes, and they dont even know what im talking about...

    so is this like another branch?

    and will it be helpful even?
  23. terry gordy

    terry gordy

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    Yeah, there are three branches. RWJMS, Stratford, Newark. Newark is the one with dental courses.
  24. terry gordy

    terry gordy

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    Honestly, it's not a big deal if you don't take dental courses. At rwjms, you'll get to take medical school courses so it's really the same thing. Most of us are doing this to show that we're capable of handling hard biomedical science courses (physio, anatomy, biochem, pharm, etc).
  25. HASassin

    HASassin

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    but will it still help give a special advantage to get into UMNDJ? or any other school?
  26. wired202808

    wired202808 Removed

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    x
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  27. xDreamDentalx

    xDreamDentalx

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    i really am interested in this program shed some light please????
  28. terry gordy

    terry gordy

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    Um, just shoot an application and you'll get in. Stratford is a bit more selective than Newark though because their class size is smaller. Also, at newark not everyone gets to take dental courses. At stratford everyone can take medical school courses if they want to (ie medical biochemistry, anatomy, and medical physio).

    On the flipside, newark has a greater course selection.

    Trust me, it's not the most competitive program to get into. I'd also look at mississippi college which is also a good program.
  29. sg89

    sg89

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    This partially true. There are two classes you need to place into with high DAT or grades (Dental Physiology and Dental Biochem). Oral Micro, Immuno, and Histology are dental courses that are open to all grad students.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  30. DentStudentc/o2017

    DentStudentc/o2017 Bronze Donor

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    hey guys, i'm in the masters program. PM me if you guys have any questions
  31. DentStudentc/o2017

    DentStudentc/o2017 Bronze Donor

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    if you go to stratford, you have the option of taking a variety of D.O. med courses. In fact, I may sign up for anatomy at stratford.. 7 credits=death. But there are certain courses that I wish newark offered, i.e. comprehensive anatomy (not regional)

    if you're pre-dental, there really is no reason why you wouldn't go to newark, or at least attempt to go to newark. You have the option of taking: dental physio (D1 course), dental histo (D1), oral microbio (D2), dental biochem (d1), and oral immunology (d1). Not to mention, you have the opportunity to interact with dental school faculty and perhaps even rotate in their labs for research (research is required for the degree btw).

    dental physio, dental histo, and dental biochem are by selection only (gpa and DAT), although..i'm more inclined to believe the DAT has more weight. they select around 10-15 students for these classes.

    however, oral immunology and oral microbio do not fill up so there's almost a 100% chance that you'll get into either one of these courses when you register.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  32. DentStudentc/o2017

    DentStudentc/o2017 Bronze Donor

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    i would have to agree with this. IF you don't want to even consider UMDNJ for grad school, then yeah dental school courses don't count, in my opinion.

    If I'm accepted here, it'll be nice to have some courses possibly exempt from my schedule. Oh yeah, forgot to mention...if you get a B or above, you can be exempt from the course if you go to UMDNJ for dental school. big plus.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  33. DentalHopes

    DentalHopes

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    I was just accepted into this program. Are you doing the one year trac? If so was this helpful to get accepted into dental school? and how can I find out if I can take dental physio and biochem?
  34. doglovernonesto

    doglovernonesto Pre-Dent Hopeful

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    I got accepted as well. Are you going for sure?

    For dental physio, the professor looks at the top 15-20 ppl in the program with the best DAT/GPA scores. Those people will automatically be enrolled in that class.
  35. noshameng

    noshameng

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    I'm currently in the program right now, coming up on my 3rd semester this fall. As for the 1st year dental classes in the fall, you need permission to take Histo and Immuno. They only allow about 10-15 grad students to take those two classes. Don't forget, there are also other students from previous semesters already in the program that may want to take those classes....like me ;] You will get an email informing you that you are eligible for those classes. They will give you a deadline to respond because there are other people on the waiting list. If you don't hear anything then that means you didn't make the cut.

    I took Microbio in the fall and it was definitely a very challenging class. There are no slides so you have to take your own notes, but the professors do write on the board. Keep in mind this is a second year dental school course and is all written. Format is one midterm, one final (not cumulative but may need knowledge of previous material) and two quizzes...all free response. Some questions from the midterm were really taken from left field, the second years complained and they made the final a lot more straightforward. Basically, this class asks you to apply what you learn in class to different scenarios. Class is graded on a curve. Mean is set to a B.

    Let me know if you have any other questions!
  36. noshameng

    noshameng

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    If you are applying this summer and doing the postbac this fall, then your chances of getting interviews will rely mainly on your work prior to the grad school. NJDS says if you are doing the postbac and have not completed at least 2 semesters, they won't even look at your application. Which makes sense because grades for the first semester don't come out until end of December, which is already past the application deadline.

    If your stats are on the borderline, you can update the schools with your first semester grades. This will help the schools decide whether or not to invite you for an interview.
  37. dent123456789

    dent123456789

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    i got admitted to MS oral biology program too... program strts july 1st...
    do i have to choose any courses before flying down to the university?? or is everything done there itself??
  38. iroteaser

    iroteaser

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    do you still have the notes and exams for this course?
    thank you

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