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5 yr accelerated dental program..HELP!!

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by springserene, Mar 19, 2004.

  1. springserene

    springserene Junior Member
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  3. gryffindor

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    GO FOR IT!!!

    If you know for sure you want to be a dentist, it would be a waste of your time to attend Princeton for 4 years, and then go through the process of applying to dental school and trying to get in at that point.

    Going to Princeton would mean having to maintain a competitive GPA (3.3+) for at least 3 years - this is not easy to do there (according to people who went there). This would be followed by having to do well on the DAT (18+). Assuming you have those stats by the end of your junior year, you may have a chance at some dental schools - but not all b/c from reading this board, it looks like dental admissions is getting more competitive each year. Then during your senior year, you'd have to apply to several dental schools, interview, wait for their decisions, and then get an acceptance to be able to start after you graduate senior year. It's not the end of the world if you have to take a year off after senior year at Princeton to boost your application and apply, but by that time, 5 years will have passed since the end of high school - you could have been done at this point if you had taken the UOP plan.

    As long as this program is guaranteed if you get the 3.2 GPA and 17 DAT, then take it. You might want to ask if you could switch to one of their other combined programs too if you want - UOP also has a 6 year and a 7 year combined program. You might decide after 2 years of college that you want to do 1 more year so you can study abroad and then start dental school - will they let you switch to the 6 year program? Better to find out now.

    The UOP dental students on this board will tell you that UOP dental is unique since 4 years of dental school are done in 3. Dental school is a lot of work wherever you go. However, you said you're willing to work hard so if you are mentally prepared for the amount of work that will be thrown at you, then you should be ok.

    If you think it'll be the end of the world if you don't get the 4 year college experience, then go to Princeton b/c you will definitely get it there (eating clubs and all!). If your goal is to be a dentist and you work hard for it, you can do it regardless of whether you graduate from Princeton or UOP. But if you don't really care for the 4 year undergrad experience and just really want to be a dentist then take the UOP route.

    I am finishing a 7 year program myself and I am very happy that I did it. Although I'm sure I could have gotten into dental school through the traditional application way (4 years of college), my college years were less stressful b/c I didn't have to worry about dental admissions. I was able to just enjoy college and do my thing without once worrying about "Will this look good for dental school?"

    I think I know a UOP student who did the 5 year program; PM me and I can give you more info.
     
  4. gryffindor

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    About the getting a job part - you'll probably be 22 or 23 by the time you finish, but as long as you act mature and dress professionally, I don't think you'll have a problem getting a job. You don't have to put your age on a job resume so technically they won't know. You do have to list your age for post-grad applications (general dentistry residencies or specialties) but if you are completing the DDS program without any problems and are in good standing, I don't think they can hold your age against you. Being young gives you the advantage of taking your time after graduating dental school to decide what you want to do with your degree - you can go straight to work, do a general dentistry residency for 1 or 2 years, go on to specialize. Or you can do them all b/c you will have the time on your side to pursue all those options I listed.

    I don't think the 5 year program sounds fishy at all; there are combined programs (mostly 7 years) at schools all around the country.
     
  5. drPheta

    drPheta Some random guy
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    I totally agree. If you're definitely set on being a dentist (which by the way is the best career out there!) then you're wayyyyy ahead of the game.

    UOP is an EXCELLENT school to attend, and being able to do so with a 5 year accelerated program is a huge benefit. Just remember that during those two years, you need to mature into a professional, and remember what your goals are every time you're tempted to slack.

    I didn't even know a 5 year program existed. Congrats!
     
  6. aphistis

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    As long as you're confident this is what you want to do, by all means take the plunge. :D The extra three years you save will be immensely helpful. Good luck!
     
  7. busupshot83

    busupshot83 S.D.N. Vet
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    GO FOR IT!

    Congrats on your acceptance. I've been pushing my lil' bro to apply to those 5 year accelerated programs.
     
  8. ziptree

    ziptree DDS
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    I'll deviate from earlier posts and say that if I had the choice of doing it over again, I wouldn't have gone to UOP undergrad into the 2+3 accelerated program.

    If you really really want to become a dentist and want to sacrifice your undergraduate college years, then by all means, come to UOP! =)

    But since I felt that two years of undergraduate schooling was too rushed and that I wouldn't be able to enjoy it, I deferred my acceptance last year and re-applied again this year, after getting my two degrees and a minor my last year.

    If I had a choice to do it all over, I think I would've liked to attended a UC somewhere (since they cost 1/2 of what UOP does) and then still try to finish in three years and apply to dental school.

    Just my two cents because I've gone through the program at UOP myself, but do what you think is best for you!

    Good luck with your Princeton acceptance and the best of wishes in the future.
     
  9. springserene

    springserene Junior Member
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  10. gryffindor

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    You're welcome.

    UOP's dental school is beautiful IMO. I had the chance to see it last fall and I think the students there are really lucky to have such caring faculty. The area surrounding the school was really nice too; San Francisco seems like a fun place to be. I don't know anything about the undergrad campus though.

    I had also been accepted to the Penn 7 year program when I was in high school, but after visiting the dental school I was not impressed at all. I was comparing it to my current dental school's facility, Buffalo, and Penn paled in comparison. However, I've read on SDN that Penn has since opened some new facilities at the dental school so it's probably much better today. If you get in, go visit Penn dental as well so you can make the best decision.

    54K times 3 years - yeah, that's a chunk of change, plus whatever the 2 years at UOP undergrad cost. But it'll still be less than the 7 years at Penn. And if the money issue still bothers you, think of it this way. You will be able to start earning money as a DDS with the 2 years you'll save - which can be a lot of $$$. If those are your only two options, go with UOP.

    Good luck.
     
  11. osushi gurl

    osushi gurl Member
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    hey tinytwists,

    I am a current UOP undergrad student in the 4+3 (getting a BS in Bio.) program. There is nothing fishy about this program-you get placed in the 2,3, or 4 +3 prgm based on your SAT scores.

    But the bad part-unlike the Pharmacy prgm (where you are GUARANTEED a spot with a 2.7 GPA) the pre-dents are not guaranteed admission with a 3.2 GPA and 17 min DAT. UOP definitely emphasizes DAT scores-even if you have your 3.2 gpa, the admissions tells you that the current averages are 20/21 academic/PAT.

    UOP undergrad costs about $30,000 a year, but I got the president's scholarship so that knocked off $6,000 a year. If I were to do it all over again, I wouldn't. Stockton is in the middle of San Joaquin Central Valley which you should know is surrounded by farm lands. There are only 3,000 students on campus, majority are from the Bay area so they go home on the weekends, hence a dead campus life on the weekends.

    But it is a tradeoff; work hard for 2 years and you will be in a great, but expensive city of San Francisco for dental school.

    If location/school pride isn't an issue, come here.

    Hope that helps.
     
  12. springserene

    springserene Junior Member
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  13. osushi gurl

    osushi gurl Member
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    Tinytwist,

    yea, you're overthinking =) jk

    as an officer of the pre-dent club here, I have some stats.
    they save a certain amount of seats for UOP students in the dental class. on average about a total of 20 students from UOP are admitted every year (that includes applicants of 2,3, and 4+3)

    of course, like any other school, admission to dental school is very competitive, so it all depends on how much you put into your studying. study hard, keep all your courses on track, and you will be able to finish in 5. I had some friends that pushed back a year and finished in 6. if you end up deciding that you want a bachelor's degree, you can stay an extra year or 2. because you are a 2+3, you can't apply to any other dental school besides UOP. if you are set on UOP, this is the program for you. and if you wnat to apply to other dental schools, you will have to stay a year or 2 longer for the 90 unit requirement.

    UOP uses these pre pharm and pre dent programs to attract students here otherwise no one would come here. (you'll see why when you visit)

    hope that helps.
     
  14. osushi gurl

    osushi gurl Member
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    oh yea, one thing i forgot to mention-they give you a guaranteed interview with 17 min 3.2 gpa, whether you get accepted is up to them.

    good luck.
     
  15. ziptree

    ziptree DDS
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    First, a quick hello to Ms. osushi girl....Hey, its your fellow BBB and AXE member. ;)

    Second, like osushi girl pointed out, tuition here is $30,000. If you play your cards right, then you can go to a UC (or a cheaper school), take summer classes (since I assume it's too late for you to take any more APs) and still get a BS in 3 years. This fact, coupled with your hopefully outstanding GPA and awesome LORs should still get you into any dental school you want.

    I regret turning down a full-ride to UCD and instead, paying nearly $25,000 a year (for a shocking $75,000 total) from my own pockets for an education I could've had somewhere else for about half the price!

    But it does seem that my opinion greatly differs from everyone elses' on here, so it's up to you to think carefully and make that decision.
     
  16. osushi gurl

    osushi gurl Member
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    ziptree, who are you =)
     
  17. Yellowman

    Yellowman Member
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    I too would have to say that tiny should go to UOP's 5 yr program, if he is absolutely positive that he wants to be a dentist. The time saved will be a huge advantage. Now, as a junior at dental school, I would have loved to have an opportunity like this.

    And tiny....if you are smart enough to score 1410 on sat's and a driven student to apply and get accepted to a competitive program such as UOP's accelerated program, I would say with almost 100% certainty that you will not have any problems scoring 17's on DAT. DAT is not a hard test by any means.......I have numerous friends (10+) who studied less than a week and got over 20's. I myself studied 5 days and scored nothing lower than 19 on all sections.

    The only thing that MIGHT sway me from attending UOP will be the fact that you will miss out on the whole college experience.
     
  18. vishal_k32801

    vishal_k32801 Senior Member
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    UOP Dental school requirements for all are:

    Q: Are my Dental Admission Test (DAT) scores competitive?

    A: UOP incoming class averages are:

    Academic average 21
    Perceptual ability 19
    Reading comprehension 21
    Quantitative reasoning 19
    Biology 20
    General chemistry 21
    Organic chemistry 22
    Total science 21

    Although UOP minimum acceptable score is 16 on all scales, competitive scores this year were 20 and higher. If your scores are significantly lower than our class averages, you should retake the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) .

    Even if you are admitted after high school, u must get DAT scores as above besides GPA > 3.3, more like higher than 3.5

    Most who get admitted for 5 year program, take 6 years because
    after first year it is very unlikely that you will have all it needs to take DAT. I am not saying it is impossible but most students make it 3+3.

    All the best friend!
     
  19. ziptree

    ziptree DDS
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    If you really wanted to, a 5-year program wouldn't be impossible. Just take Org. Chem during the summer after your freshman year at SCU (Santa Clara University). Then you'd have most of the basics you'd need...but if you do that, I recommend a prep class like Kaplan to teach you all the little things (ie: some immunology, and some minor things you wouldn't have learned in your two freshman biology classes here).

    I did the 5-year program without a problem but deferred my admissions to UOP a year. Oh, and from personal experience among my friends, it seems that UOP is more lenient with respect to DAT scores for 5-year students.
     
  20. vishal_k32801

    vishal_k32801 Senior Member
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    I would also recommend some engineering drawing class to improve perceptual ability...just audit a class so that you get practice of drawing TOP, Bottom, Side and front views from a solid object. PAT is very importatnt!
     
  21. springserene

    springserene Junior Member
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  22. springserene

    springserene Junior Member
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  23. ziptree

    ziptree DDS
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    Well, I received the Regent's Scholarship too, but that still means you'll have to pay more than if you went to a UC.

    I did one year undergrad, took my DATs the summer after freshman year, applied to dental school, and got accepted during my sophomore year when I decided to defer. I then continued onto my junior year here when I decided to add on another major (which I belived would help me get in since I already applied the year before) and then applied to dental school again. This time, I got into UCLA dental school, and I'll be finishing up my majors this May.

    With just one year of undergrad + the Kaplan prep course and a whole lot of studying by myself, I felt I was quite prepared for the DATs. I averaged 27AA and a low 18 on the PATs, but I didn't retake the DAT despite the PAT score. I felt that the Gen. Chemistry courses here was sufficient for the DAT, but the Biology classes lacked a few essential details which were fortunately covered by Kaplan. Some people might think that the Kaplan course is a waste of money, but I think it covers little details that you might've forgotten or might not have learned in your General Chemistry/Biology courses.

    IMO, the pre-dental advising here at UOP is pretty much only geared towards the UOP School of Dentistry rather than at all the dental schools. I had to contact the dental schools myself (during my freshman year) to ask about their course requirements and to make sure that I fulfilled them on my own (ie: English, Psychology). * Note that the Mentor courses here at UOP may not satisfy English requirements for certain dental schools. The Mentor Seminar Series (3 total if you want to get your B.S.) is an ethics/critical thinking/writing course but due to its course title and/or course description, will be turned down by some dental schools as meeting their English requirements. *

    And to answer your last question...Yes, I'll be 19 when I head into dental school next year, which, if you backtrack, made me 16 when I entered college.

    If you have any more questions, feel free to PM me or just post another message and I'll be sure to get back to you. =)
     
  24. springserene

    springserene Junior Member
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  25. briansle

    briansle Cell A
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    For a highschool student you sound really focused and smart. If I were you I would just apply to the best undergrad college you can get into. I'm sure your smart enough that you will get into multiple dental schools even if you decide to go to a really competitive school like Princeton. I don't see why you want to rush things? I know that you looking for a guarantee to dental school and you feel that UOP offers one, but have confidence in yourself. Go to a really good undergrad, work hard, and then apply to dental school. In the end I think this is a much better decision, you'll have more fun too.
     
  26. ziptree

    ziptree DDS
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    I agree. Enroll somewhere that you'll enjoy. With a decent GPA and DAT scores, you should be able to get into any school you want to.

    College isn't about rushing things and getting into the workplace early, its about enjoying the last shreds of your child/teenage- hood before dental school hits.

    I did the whole "rush college thing" and double majored at UOP in 3 years. NOT WORTH IT. But hey, it's your life, and you do what makes you happy. =)

    Good luck with your college career and future dental career.
     
  27. gryffindor

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    I'll have to disagree with the previous two posters.

    I think I am pretty clear in my posts at the beginning of this thread that the accelerated dental program is a good idea for those who are confident dentistry is their chosen career and do not care about the "undergrad experience" so much.

    tinytwists, congrats on your decision. You sound focused, now you just need to stay focused. I have encountered my share of negativity in my 7 years of the combined program ranging from the "Why rush?" to "College is a time to find yourself." IMO, it's all BS. Everyone lives their life differently and for me, I didn't need to "find myself" in my three years of undergrad. And I really feel that any social experiences I may have missed out on in college, I more than made up for it in dental school, where I had closer friends and partied to my heart's content (and still did very well). So for you, if UOP after 2 years is your goal, just make sure you stay on track. I don't have advice about preparing for the DAT given your limited time, but there are plenty of DAT veterans with super-star scores on here than can help you. In your case, it might not be a bad idea to use all the resources of Kaplan b/c your time is so limited.

    The only thing I can offer is aim to do well on the DAT, so if you do change your mind about UOP dental, you will still have the option of applying out to other dental schools like what ziptree did. This is the only regret I have, not giving myself the option of attending my state's other dental school. But big deal, I'm sitting here typing with my DDS in hand, so it doesn't matter anymore.

    Now, looking back, I am very happy to be 24 and done. Totally done. I feel like I'm still young enough to enjoy life the way I want (with a dentist's salary, not as a poor student or with parental/college administration restrictions) and I still have time to specialize if I want, at my leisure (which is what I'm going to do).

    Good luck!
     

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