Add a minor or do more shadowing /how can I improve my chances

Dec 29, 2014
2
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hi everyone!
I'm a sophomore pre dent in college and have questions about majors/ minors.

Currently I'm majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in chinese and business administration.
I'm able to do this because I went to a dual credit high school program (TAMS) and got all intro bio, physics, Chem, and calc out of the way before college. In freshman year I took orgo and genetics. I am taking biochem right now. My overall GPA is 3.88.

However, I'm thinking of switching to a bio major because it would give me more time to shadow and volunteer (I only have about 15 hours of shadowing dentists so far). It would also take a world off my shoulders lol cause I don't have to take physical Chem and quant lab (5 hours twice a week for half the semester) next year . I'm also thinking that this will keep my GPA high.

If I switch to bio I'm thinking of also minoring in art. But that would give me 3 minors and that's a bit ridiculous to me. I'm far ahead in my Chinese minor because I'm Chinese and took intermediate my freshman year and there aren't a lot of req at my school for it. I really wanted to minor in chinese to get closer to my roots and be able to speak with with others in the future. So basically I'll be done with the minor this year and can have two more years for the art minor and I love art - forums have told me to do what you enjoy. But that might contradict my earlier wish to change to bio to get more volunteering time..

Also, I'm minoring in business because it's useful and my school has a great business school.

Other stats:
I'm in the Honors program at my school.
I'm an undergraduate research scholar at my school ($3000 scholarship per year).
Marketing chair of pre dental society
Project leader for reading partners (one on one tutoring for low income elementary students )
Vice President of an animal club
Member of our school's EMS club
Residential Housing Desk Assistant

I will be applying for a summer dental program next summer and asking my dentist for more shadowing opportunities. I hope to volunteer a lot with my dental club this year. I will probably take the DAT junior year.

Any advice at all would be appreciated. Thank you!
 
Dec 24, 2013
290
148
Status
Pre-Dental
Go for a minor in art. It'll be even better if you can balance that with some shadowing/volunteering, which you should do more of during your summer/winter breaks.

Art classes might help you with the PAT of the DAT and an Art minor looks unique to admissions officers. But shadowing/volunteering are equally, if not more, important than an Art minor.
 
Aug 3, 2015
110
69
Status
Pre-Dental
I would switch my major to bio personally, there really is no purpose in taking upper level division chemistry classes, when the DAT doesnt really care about those. Also bio is far more interesting than chemistry for me. But you should really just choose what interests you
 

PlasmaMembrane

10+ Year Member
Feb 11, 2009
317
331
Status
A minor is not going to significantly affect your chances of admission. Neither is a "non-standard" major, for that matter. People stand out via extracurriculars that are unique or demonstrate a passion, and exceptional achievements (academically or in other aspects of the application). The things you're focusing on are drops in the bucket.
 
OP
F
Dec 29, 2014
2
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I doubt your decision would have a huge bearing on your dental school application, but perhaps you could switch to the biology major and do a second major in Chinese, business, or art. The standards for minors at most colleges are so minimal (as you are discovering) that they are not likely to impress others or satisfy your own intellectual goals. Why not study something a little more in depth, even if it is just for personal development?

Or, since you have completed all of the dental prereqs, have you considered dropping the science major altogether and majoring in two other fields? Most of the top dental schools (particularly those in the northeast) are explicitly interested in creating intellectually diverse classes, and they brag about this by listing the undergraduate majors in the class profiles. They don't brag about their students' minors! Do this especially if (1) you would not have any trouble enrolling in upper-level sciences as a non-major at your school and (2) your school is considered prestigious.

Plus, if your dental school dreams tank (I'm sure you're qualified to get in, but sometimes **** happens), you would still have a very marketable degree in business as a back up. This is how you could pitch this to your parents if necessary (if you have the stereotypical STEM-obsessed Chinese parents...hehe ;) ).

And lastly, I know that many schools do not list more than three concentrations on the diploma...you should check to see whether your college would officially honor a 4th departmental award.

Just my two cents.
Great advice, thank you! I think doing the double major (bio + either chinese/business/art) is the best option for me. However, I feel that if I chose art instead of business, I wouldn't be as prepared as I would be for dentistry. Although my dream isn't to own my own practice (I want to work as a dentist in a hospital), I'm one of those people that always need a safety net haha. Do you think a business major/background is essential for dentistry?
 
Nov 22, 2014
1,574
805
Status
Non-Student
Great advice, thank you! I think doing the double major (bio + either chinese/business/art) is the best option for me. However, I feel that if I chose art instead of business, I wouldn't be as prepared as I would be for dentistry. Although my dream isn't to own my own practice (I want to work as a dentist in a hospital), I'm one of those people that always need a safety net haha. Do you think a business major/background is essential for dentistry?
I call this thinking "high school mode". In high school, everything was focused on getting into college so you took the hardest classes, did the most activities, etc., etc. Now your focus needs to be on getting a top GPA and getting leadership spots in a couple activities that you stick with through college. Fancy majors, double majors, 6 minors will have little to no impact on your actual application/acceptance. Honestly, an art major would be more compelling to dental school vs Chinese. A Spanish major would be more beneficial than a Chinese major. A business major would be nice, but honestly, by the time you finish dental school, you will have forgotten most of it. Major in a science so you can get the classes you need, concentrate on getting the best grades you can and pick 2 or 3 activities that you can put some time and effort into and get on the leadership board of one or two of those.