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Jul 28, 2015
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Hey everyone, I'm currently a senior in a relatively low-key high school in Arizona (It's really not all that great) Personally, even though the school isn't that great, I've struggled pretty hard to get the grades I have (3.95 UW 4.65 W) That being said, I'm really not sure what I should do in order to get to dental school-- I know there's been a plethora of threads regarding whether undergraduate schools really matter, but I've never actually seen a solid answer for pre-dental/dental school (only for med school). At the moment, I'm debating as to whether I should try to shoot far for ED/EA UPenn/other Ivies, or just stick with UA (University of Arizona) and spend the rest of my time studying for APs (to try and get credit for Calculus/Physics (Retaking Bio/Chem, I also heard that it's good to retake these), as I've heard that these are the hardest classes) Personally, I'm up to the challenge mentally for Ivies, but based on the fact that I'm currently struggling a lot in high school, I'm not too sure I'll be able to handle a decent GPA in UPenn or any other prestigious school for that matter. Anyone have any recommendations as to what I should do, like just canning the EA/ED application and spending my time doing research in a lab? Also, please feel free to be completely honest with me, I take criticism well-- If you feel that I'm just not made out for predental, feel free to say so! It's just that I've found predental more interesting than other fields. (Side-note: Cost for ivies isn't a problem-- parents should cover it, so I won't be in major student debt. Also, my apologizes if I have any inaccurate information, this is all information that I've gathered online)
 

hellofuturedentists

2+ Year Member
Jun 21, 2015
2,215
3,542
Status
Dental Student
Just a few thoughts:
Your GPA is pretty sweet. Go somewhere for undergrad that will give you a scholarship for some or all of tuition so you can save your money for dental school which will definitely be expensive.
Physics is also a requirement for dental school, so you might consider taking that during college as well instead of just taking the AP credit.
Also, many schools have pre-health committees and advising, so definitely look into that to make sure your school has it.
There's no reason that you aren't made out for dental. You seem determined enough. Good luck :)
 

Mushibachan

2+ Year Member
Jul 19, 2015
198
89
Status
Dental Student
Hey everyone, I'm currently a senior in a relatively low-key high school in Arizona (It's really not all that great) Personally, even though the school isn't that great, I've struggled pretty hard to get the grades I have (3.95 UW 4.65 W) That being said, I'm really not sure what I should do in order to get to dental school-- I know there's been a plethora of threads regarding whether undergraduate schools really matter, but I've never actually seen a solid answer for pre-dental/dental school (only for med school). At the moment, I'm debating as to whether I should try to shoot far for ED/EA UPenn/other Ivies, or just stick with UA (University of Arizona) and spend the rest of my time studying for APs (to try and get credit for Calculus/Physics (Retaking Bio/Chem, I also heard that it's good to retake these), as I've heard that these are the hardest classes) Personally, I'm up to the challenge mentally for Ivies, but based on the fact that I'm currently struggling a lot in high school, I'm not too sure I'll be able to handle a decent GPA in UPenn or any other prestigious school for that matter. Anyone have any recommendations as to what I should do, like just canning the EA/ED application and spending my time doing research in a lab? Also, please feel free to be completely honest with me, I take criticism well-- If you feel that I'm just not made out for predental, feel free to say so! It's just that I've found predental more interesting than other fields. (Side-note: Cost for ivies isn't a problem-- parents should cover it, so I won't be in major student debt. Also, my apologizes if I have any inaccurate information, this is all information that I've gathered online)
It's good to save money, but you also want to go to a decent undergrad and excel there. Going to Harvard, MIT, Berkeley, etc and excelling there will look a lot better than if you went to a "lower-tier" school. It's kind of mean but it's the truth. This doesn't just count for dental schools, it also counts for other professional schools too. Work on getting into a GREAT undergrad school first.
 
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Thanhn

7+ Year Member
Nov 17, 2012
127
85
Iowa
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Pre-Dental
It's good to save money, but you also want to go to a decent undergrad and excel there. Going to Harvard, MIT, Berkeley, etc and excelling there will look a lot better than if you went to a "lower-tier" school. It's kind of mean but it's the truth. This doesn't just count for dental schools, it also counts for other professional schools too. Work on getting into a GREAT undergrad school first.
I'm going to disagree. Go where it's cheapest. It's been stated many times before here on SDN, the name of your undergrad doesn't matter. 3.8 from No Name State University looks better than a 3.3 from Ivy League. Let the DAT be the equalizer. As Malcolm Gladwell found, be the big fish in a small pond.
 

Mushibachan

2+ Year Member
Jul 19, 2015
198
89
Status
Dental Student
I'm going to disagree. Go where it's cheapest. It's been stated many times before here on SDN, the name of your undergrad doesn't matter. 3.8 from No Name State University looks better than a 3.3 from Ivy League. Let the DAT be the equalizer. As Malcolm Gladwell found, be the big fish in a small pond.
Hmm but a 3.8 at a no name state school does not equate to a 3.8 at Ivy lol. I say go to the best school possible and let the skies be your limit. Do really well on the DAT and you should be set imo. in this way you're the biggest fish in a small pond :)
 

RuffDay

5+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2015
786
357
Status
Dental Student
It's your senior year, you should enjoy high school as much as possible.

Go to an undergraduate where you will get the most money and to the one where you won't have trouble getting a high GPA. I wouldn't go to the easiest university, but probably a middle tier one.

You are on the right track, and just take some basic courses before your freshmen year. AP chemistry and biology, because it will help you with the transition when you are taking them in college.
 

MolarBear11

5+ Year Member
Feb 21, 2014
161
126
Status
Dental Student
Go to your state school to save money for undergrad. Trust me, if you're serious about dental, an ivy isn't going to be important at all. Especially if you go to said ivy and end up bombing your classes. Although dental schools will factor in that a lower GPA from a great school is like a higher GPA from a "less great" school, it's not worth it just for the sake of prestige. And imagine the massive debt you'll be in if you go through all that and don't get into dental school (hopefully not).

Focus on your AP classes right now (you're right about retaking bio/chem) and get into your state school/wherever gives you a decent scholarship.
 

doc toothache

10+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2006
8,262
2,417
Status
Dentist
U of A might disagree in being considered a "lower tier" school.
 
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Mushibachan

2+ Year Member
Jul 19, 2015
198
89
Status
Dental Student
It ends up coming down to confidence. Some people will fall under the pressure of going to prestigious schools and some will rise. That's why they call it "weeding out." I suggest you focus on yourself and make this decision on your own. I know people who have gone to prestigious schools and succeeded and also those who have failed just like @MolarBear11 stated. In the end, this is your decision! Good luck @vespertilian
 
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Jul 28, 2015
9
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Thank you all for your responses so far! Does anyone have any commentary on preferable majors, and if dental schools want to see if you take calculus in undergraduate?

U of A might disagree in being considered a "lower tier" school.
I'm not sure if that message was directed to me, but if it was, my apologies if I gave off that vibe! It might have to be with the fact that I've kind of grown up in an environment were state schools are kind of "meh" in terms of education, but as I went through high school I've been trying to shake off that misconception. I'm not very versed in college rankings-- all I've heard is that it's definitely not a lower tier school. If I go there and receive a decent GPA (3.7~) it definitely wouldn't throw my application off right?
 

MolarBear11

5+ Year Member
Feb 21, 2014
161
126
Status
Dental Student
Thank you all for your responses so far! Does anyone have any commentary on preferable majors, and if dental schools want to see if you take calculus in undergraduate?


I'm not sure if that message was directed to me, but if it was, my apologies if I gave off that vibe! It might have to be with the fact that I've kind of grown up in an environment were state schools are kind of "meh" in terms of education, but as I went through high school I've been trying to shake off that misconception. I'm not very versed in college rankings-- all I've heard is that it's definitely not a lower tier school. If I go there and receive a decent GPA (3.7~) it definitely wouldn't throw my application off right?

If you think a 3.7 is "decent" then you should be fine..

You can major in anything you want, although I think it would be most helpful to major in anything in biological sciences (bio, chem, biochem, molec bio, etc)
 
Jul 28, 2015
9
0
If you think a 3.7 is "decent" then you should be fine..

You can major in anything you want, although I think it would be most helpful to major in anything in biological sciences (bio, chem, biochem, molec bio, etc)
Okay, I'll keep that in mind... If it's not too much trouble, what are your thoughts on using AP credit? Should I use it to deduct electives, or use it for prereqs aside from Bio/Chem (Language?). I know futuredentists did mention something about taking Physics in college as it's a prereq. If it's preferable to colleges, I'm willing to take it, but I'd definitely like to avoid it as it's not one of my strong subjects.
 

RuffDay

5+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2015
786
357
Status
Dental Student
Okay, I'll keep that in mind... If it's not too much trouble, what are your thoughts on using AP credit? Should I use it to deduct electives, or use it for prereqs aside from Bio/Chem (Language?). I know futuredentists did mention something about taking Physics in college as it's a prereq. If it's preferable to colleges, I'm willing to take it, but I'd definitely like to avoid it as it's not one of my strong subjects.
Some dental schools doesn't take AP credit for pre requisites.

If I could go back, I would probably major in computer science or business and take a lot of biology/chemistry courses.

There isn't anything wrong with majoring biology though. It is a great stepping stone to get into dental school as your first year dental school will be much easier than someone who majored in liberal arts or non-science.
 
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tooth knockn

Treat others how you want to be treated
7+ Year Member
Dec 2, 2012
2,359
1,022
NY
Status
Pre-Dental
Don't do drugs
Don't drink and drive

Work hard

Be nice

Be good

Be fair

And think ahead


And don't forget about your neighbors.
 
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Sep 13, 2012
103
88
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Pre-Dental
Okay, I'll keep that in mind... If it's not too much trouble, what are your thoughts on using AP credit? Should I use it to deduct electives, or use it for prereqs aside from Bio/Chem (Language?). I know futuredentists did mention something about taking Physics in college as it's a prereq. If it's preferable to colleges, I'm willing to take it, but I'd definitely like to avoid it as it's not one of my strong subjects.
If I were you, I wouldn't plan on using AP credit for dental school requirements. Else, you'll be limiting the pool of schools you can apply to. Only use the AP credit system to get out of taking distribution requirements.

If you're really weak at a subject, there is the option of taking it at as a summer course.
 

Dr Dimbsa

2+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2015
178
145
Status
Dental Student
Like it has been said above, go where you will excel in your classes at shoot for that high gpa d schools are looking for. The AP classes will better prepare you for your college classes which will give you the upper hand. Also, your gpa is fantastic! I'm sure you'll do great wherever you go.
 
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tooth knockn

Treat others how you want to be treated
7+ Year Member
Dec 2, 2012
2,359
1,022
NY
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Pre-Dental
You forgot "don't molest anyone".
My my

Hopefully that would be under the defined words of "being good and nice"

.....

Hard topic
Very edgy

May the filth of this world be gone....


Ugh
 
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MolarBear11

5+ Year Member
Feb 21, 2014
161
126
Status
Dental Student
Okay, I'll keep that in mind... If it's not too much trouble, what are your thoughts on using AP credit? Should I use it to deduct electives, or use it for prereqs aside from Bio/Chem (Language?). I know futuredentists did mention something about taking Physics in college as it's a prereq. If it's preferable to colleges, I'm willing to take it, but I'd definitely like to avoid it as it's not one of my strong subjects.
I used AP credits for english lang/lit, diff/integral calc, and stats. Some schools do have limits on AP credits or don't accept them at all but that's something you can think about later. Right now I think it would be safe to use AP credits for anything you want except bio and chem since you need a good foundation in those for upper level courses.
 
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Jul 28, 2015
9
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Once again, a big thank you to everyone who replied. I feel a bit more confident on the direction I want to go after I graduate, as well as what I should do in terms of classes. It looks like I'm going to be here for a while; see all of you around :)
 
Nov 22, 2014
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Go where ever you can get the best GPA, establish good relationships with your science profs and get out of there with the least amount of debt. The undergrad you choose, even for medical school, has VERY little bearing on your admissions (even less so for medical school since the interview selection process is computerized based on GPA and MCAT and no where is your undergrad considered in that process). You will need those relationships and committee letters to get into dental school. Harvard and such hand picks who they give those letters to and odds are not good. You will find higher acceptance rates from just about every other college because of that.

What is your ACT/SAT score? A high GPA is one thing but if you don't back that up with a good ACT/SAT it's meaningless, just like getting a high GPA in college with a low DAT means nothing. A 3.8 from Harvard with a 17 DAT isn't going to get you any interviews but a 3.5 with a 23 DAT from a "no-name" school will get you plenty of interviews.

I would also suggest that you look to go away for school, a couple hours from home at least. It's best to do your growing up and separation as a freshman in college vs your first year in dental school, but some of that depends on how well you get involved on campus too.
 
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Jul 28, 2015
9
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Go where ever you can get the best GPA, establish good relationships with your science profs and get out of there with the least amount of debt. The undergrad you choose, even for medical school, has VERY little bearing on your admissions (even less so for medical school since the interview selection process is computerized based on GPA and MCAT and no where is your undergrad considered in that process). You will need those relationships and committee letters to get into dental school. Harvard and such hand picks who they give those letters to and odds are not good. You will find higher acceptance rates from just about every other college because of that.

What is your ACT/SAT score? A high GPA is one thing but if you don't back that up with a good ACT/SAT it's meaningless, just like getting a high GPA in college with a low DAT means nothing. A 3.8 from Harvard with a 17 DAT isn't going to get you any interviews but a 3.5 with a 23 DAT from a "no-name" school will get you plenty of interviews.

I would also suggest that you look to go away for school, a couple hours from home at least. It's best to do your growing up and separation as a freshman in college vs your first year in dental school, but some of that depends on how well you get involved on campus too.
Thanks for your input! Um... my SAT score isn't all that great compared to ivy scores (2110 620/770/720), 2190 (680/770/740) superscored; CR was always my worst section). I'm taking the ACT in September, although I do find ACT to be a lot easier than the SAT (I've heard the reading on the DAT is a bit like ACT?). For the most part, CR was the only part I really struggled with-- and I do understand that's on the DAT so I was hoping I could find someone to help me with my reading skills later on...
 
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