2 options to improve my app for next cycle, which is best?

Dec 9, 2013
5
1
Status
Pre-Dental
I have been waitlisted at the only school I interviewed at pre-december. Still hoping to get some interviews in the next couple of months however, I am gearing up to reapply next cycle and would love some advice.

I am a non-traditional (sorta) student, and my decision to pursue dentistry is a bit of a career change. During undergrad I considered dentistry, but then started doing research, loved it and decided to get a masters in molecular biology with plans to pursue a Ph.D. During grad school I started wishing I had gone the dental route, and so although I went ahead and completed my masters, I took the DAT this past spring, started shadowing, and applied to 5 dental schools. I was given one pre-december interview, and thought that I nailed it, however I was waitlisted. I understand that this cycle isn't over yet, but I want to start improving my app now in case I am forced to reapply. So here is my dilema, my GPA is low (3.2 sGPA), DAT is decent (21 AA, 22 TS, 19 PAT...16 QR :/). ECs are good, I have over 3000 research hours, 1000 hours of teaching biology at a university , and volunteer hours at a garden and at a non-profit bike shop. However, my dental experience, aside from 100 shadowing hours, is minimal. SO, I was just offered a full-time dental assistant job by the dentist who I shadowed (and he wrote a LOR). I am wondering if it would be better to take this position, work for 6 months and reapply, or to take 18+ credits this spring to raise my GPA. I am leaning towards the dental experience, but I don't want to be held back again because of my low GPA. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 
Oct 2, 2013
358
97
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Take the credits. GPA is what is holding you back.
 

tandem7

10+ Year Member
May 27, 2008
227
62
Status
Pre-Dental
I would recommend you call the admissions office for your top choice, and also see what they recommend. Also, many acceptances are given after December, to keep your spirits up.
 
OP
WallyJ3
Dec 9, 2013
5
1
Status
Pre-Dental
¿Porque no los dos?
Not enough time in a day, the job is 5 days a week from 8-5. I guess I should have mentioned my graduate GPA is 3.7. However, I did not approach my masters as a "I need to raise my GPA to get in to dental school" program, instead I was focused on my research and getting a publication so I could move on to a Ph.D program. Thus I only took about 30 credit hours during my masters program, and my undergraduate GPA of 3.1 was only rasied to 3.2 despite my good grades during grad school. What I am worried about is even if I take 18 credit hours this spring and get a 4.0, my GPA would only be raised to 3.3 at most. I have called all schools I applied at and I am waiting on responses.
 

gn4

5+ Year Member
Apr 1, 2013
1,134
244
Status
Dental Student
I'd ask the school. I don't think your GPA is that low. Your DAT scores aren't bad either. I'm leaning towards taking the position. Just ask the schools about their opinion first.
 

Gaucho4Life

It was all a dream
Jul 19, 2013
379
142
Santa Barbara
Status
Dental Student
Not enough time in a day, the job is 5 days a week from 8-5. I guess I should have mentioned my graduate GPA is 3.7. However, I did not approach my masters as a "I need to raise my GPA to get in to dental school" program, instead I was focused on my research and getting a publication so I could move on to a Ph.D program. Thus I only took about 30 credit hours during my masters program, and my undergraduate GPA of 3.1 was only rasied to 3.2 despite my good grades during grad school. What I am worried about is even if I take 18 credit hours this spring and get a 4.0, my GPA would only be raised to 3.3 at most. I have called all schools I applied at and I am waiting on responses.
.1 gpa rise is really good (if a 4.0 gpa is attainable with that 18+ courseload). And I was more or less joking with my comment, it'd be absurd to work full-time and be a more than overtime student. Call the schools, construct a viable list of schools to land pre-dec's, and apply early.
 

doc toothache

10+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2006
8,150
2,287
Status
Dentist
I have been waitlisted at the only school I interviewed at pre-december. Still hoping to get some interviews in the next couple of months however, I am gearing up to reapply next cycle and would love some advice.

I am a non-traditional (sorta) student, and my decision to pursue dentistry is a bit of a career change. During undergrad I considered dentistry, but then started doing research, loved it and decided to get a masters in molecular biology with plans to pursue a Ph.D. During grad school I started wishing I had gone the dental route, and so although I went ahead and completed my masters, I took the DAT this past spring, started shadowing, and applied to 5 dental schools. I was given one pre-december interview, and thought that I nailed it, however I was waitlisted. I understand that this cycle isn't over yet, but I want to start improving my app now in case I am forced to reapply. So here is my dilema, my GPA is low (3.2 sGPA), DAT is decent (21 AA, 22 TS, 19 PAT...16 QR :/). ECs are good, I have over 3000 research hours, 1000 hours of teaching biology at a university , and volunteer hours at a garden and at a non-profit bike shop. However, my dental experience, aside from 100 shadowing hours, is minimal. SO, I was just offered a full-time dental assistant job by the dentist who I shadowed (and he wrote a LOR). I am wondering if it would be better to take this position, work for 6 months and reapply, or to take 18+ credits this spring to raise my GPA. I am leaning towards the dental experience, but I don't want to be held back again because of my low GPA. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
You have an M.S. and the best you can do is to get a job that doesn't even require a H.S. diploma? You did not mention you grad gpa. Pending the results of the waitlist, the advice you can get from the school where you have been waitlisted, will be worth more than the advice you will get from all the pre dent SDN community combined.
 
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OP
WallyJ3
Dec 9, 2013
5
1
Status
Pre-Dental
You have an M.S. and the best you can do is to get a job that doesn't even require a H.S. diploma? You did not mention you grad gpa. Pending the results of the waitlist, the advice you can get from the school where you have been waitlisted, will be worth more than the advice you will get from all the pre dent SDN community combined.
Grad GPA = 3.7. Only 30 credit hours though because my program was very research focused and I taught at the school part-time as well.

And thank you for stating the obvious. I am quite aware that with a masters I am qualified for better jobs. That wasn't my question. I want to be a dentist, not a lab rat - and if that means working at a dental office for half as much money than I'm worth I am more than happy to gain the experience. Furthermore, with two degrees I have navigated through enough academia to know that the advice I receive from the schools in which I applied will be more valuable than the pre-dents (or cynacle Docs for that matter) on SDN. However, I thought I'd see if anyone else has been in a similar situation and had something useful to say. After all, is that not the point of this forum?
 

doc toothache

10+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2006
8,150
2,287
Status
Dentist
Grad GPA = 3.7. Only 30 credit hours though because my program was very research focused and I taught at the school part-time as well.

And thank you for stating the obvious. I am quite aware that with a masters I am qualified for better jobs. That wasn't my question. I want to be a dentist, not a lab rat - and if that means working at a dental office for half as much money than I'm worth I am more than happy to gain the experience. Furthermore, with two degrees I have navigated through enough academia to know that the advice I receive from the schools in which I applied will be more valuable than the pre-dents (or cynacle Docs for that matter) on SDN. However, I thought I'd see if anyone else has been in a similar situation and had something useful to say. After all, is that not the point of this forum?
The "obvious" part that you are missing is that would be more impressive if you presented you application with some experience as a "lab rat" that has made some influence on the body of knowledge rather than "experience" passing dental instruments. But, then you clearly you are better off getting advice on the pre dental forum.
 
OP
WallyJ3
Dec 9, 2013
5
1
Status
Pre-Dental
The "obvious" part that you are missing is that would be more impressive if you presented you application with some experience as a "lab rat" that has made some influence on the body of knowledge rather than "experience" passing dental instruments. But, then you clearly you are better off getting advice on the pre dental forum.
With a publication under my belt and over 3000 research hours banked on my application I would argue I have given my influence on the greater body of scientific knowledge. I understand what you are saying, and while some may see passing dental instruments as just that, I see it as a great way to had breadth to my application - and show ADCOMs that I am committed to dentistry. But if my low undergrad GPA is the sole reason I did not gain acceptance, than I will be happy to take more science classes to boost my chances.
 

shulk

7+ Year Member
Jun 17, 2012
198
137
Status
Resident [Any Field]
What do you mean by 'given my influence on the greater body of scientific knowledge'?
 
Oct 16, 2013
214
124
Status
Pre-Dental
will you just be taking extra grad-level classes that wont count towards another degree? seems somewhat useless seeing as your grad GPA is pretty darn good as is. you've proved yourself that you can handle grad-level courses... as you stated, your dental experience is minimal. i would lean towards working full-time as a dental assistant where you will gain an incredible amount of experience that ~90% of other applicants have no clue about upon entering dental school... i myself have a Masters in molecular/cellular biology (lower grad GPA than you), did dental research during that time, and then started working as a dental assistant. i was accepted this cycle.