Nov 30, 2010
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Pre-Dental
Hi, I'm currently part of the Running Start program in Washington state. It allows me to attend a local community college, Bellevue College in this case, and earn credits towards an associates degree while completing the last two years of my high school.

I want to transfer to the University of Washington as a junior after earning my associates and graduating high school; however, I do not know what to get my associates degree in.

The pre-dental site on the Bellevue CC website (here) recommends that I get an Associates in Sciences and take the classes outlined in the second page of that PDF. This would supposedly put me track for a Bachelors in Sciences at UW.

I was considering getting in Associates in Arts and Sciences until I saw this. I want some advice as to whether or not I should pursue in Associates in Sciences if I hope to get my BS at UW and then eventually get into the UW Dental School.

Is it a good idea to take that many sciences at a community college?
 

doc toothache

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yappy

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Here is my advice, as I'm familier with ths program that you're doing.

Get an AA degree in arts (aka general transfer degree). Do not take any of the science classes required by dental school untill you've earned your AA and graduated high school. This is because at best some dental schools would rather you take these science prereqs at a university, and at worst some dont accept them from community colleges. Therefore, take all science prereqs at UW.

By finsihing your "transfer" AA you should have all your general ed classes out of the way by the time you transfer to UW and therefore be junior standing and able to complete ANY degree in a shorter amount of time.

So... to sum this up I would:

1. set my goals on a transfer AA degree of arts
2. meet with a UW advisor and make sure this will complete their gen ed requirements (dont take CC word for it)
3. dont take any prereq science classes at the CC
4. MOST IMPORTANT: Keep GPA above 3.5!!!!

If at any point you cannot keep your gpa this high - running start isn't for you if dentistry is your goal. You will only hurt yourself in the future. The extra two year jump isn't worth the time saved if you get a bad GPA. Infact it will be a shame.

Yeah I guess that's what I would do if I was in your shoes... @ 16 lol. Why do you want to do this?

Best advice I can give you! GO TO UW DENTAL AND TALK TO AN ADVISOR!

EDIT: full disclosure: I've done some science at a CC... the main reason I think you should wait is because the science classes are not easy and you might not do as well as given your age/maturity (no offense). Honestly if I could do it all over again I would enroll in some really hard HS classes my junior/senior years, taking AP/honors gen chem, bio, physics, and o chem then graduated and go to a four year and rock my classes no problem.
 
Last edited:
OP
H
Nov 30, 2010
8
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Here is my advice, as I'm familier with ths program that you're doing.

Get an AA degree in arts (aka general transfer degree). Do not take any of the science classes required by dental school untill you've earned your AA and graduated high school. This is because at best some dental schools would rather you take these science prereqs at a university, and at worst some dont accept them from community colleges. Therefore, take all science prereqs at UW.

By finsihing your "transfer" AA you should have all your general ed classes out of the way by the time you transfer to UW and therefore be junior standing and able to complete ANY degree in a shorter amount of time.

So... to sum this up I would:

1. set my goals on a transfer AA degree of arts
2. meet with a UW advisor and make sure this will complete their gen ed requirements (dont take CC word for it)
3. dont take any prereq science classes at the CC
4. MOST IMPORTANT: Keep GPA above 3.5!!!!

If at any point you cannot keep your gpa this high - running start isn't for you if dentistry is your goal. You will only hurt yourself in the future. The extra two year jump isn't worth the time saved if you get a bad GPA. Infact it will be a shame.

Yeah I guess that's what I would do if I was in your shoes... @ 16 lol. Why do you want to do this?

Best advice I can give you! GO TO UW DENTAL AND TALK TO AN ADVISOR!

EDIT: full disclosure: I've done some science at a CC... the main reason I think you should wait is because the science classes are not easy and you might not do as well as given your age/maturity (no offense). Honestly if I could do it all over again I would enroll in some really hard HS classes my junior/senior years, taking AP/honors gen chem, bio, physics, and o chem then graduated and go to a four year and rock my classes no problem.
If I were to do that, I would have to take all four of my science sequences at UW in a two year time period. From what I've heard, that is insane.

I want to do this so that I can save two years in tuition as well as get the 2 year head start. I've got ambition and am not the kind of student that settles for a B or a C. I haven't taken any especially tough classes though, so we will have to see.

I'll get in contact with UW Dental. Thank you for the advice.

Regardless, I'm planning on taking at least one sequence of Biology and Chemistry.
 

slm266

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If I were to do that, I would have to take all four of my science sequences at UW in a two year time period. From what I've heard, that is insane.

I want to do this so that I can save two years in tuition as well as get the 2 year head start. I've got ambition and am not the kind of student that settles for a B or a C. I haven't taken any especially tough classes though, so we will have to see.

I'll get in contact with UW Dental. Thank you for the advice.

Regardless, I'm planning on taking at least one sequence of Biology and Chemistry.
Not to be a debbie downer, but I've never heard of this working out in anyone's favor. Most likely because you only hear about cases where it ends up screwing over the applicant, but here's my advice.

Like Doc said, an associates means nothing really. Taking college courses in highschool would be great for taking generals that you will never "need" again. Take your algebra/calc, psychology, sociology, history, english, etc... I would not recommend taking college credit science courses while in highschool. It rarely goes well.

Knock out those nonscience classes for free while in highschool, so when you hit college you just do 2 yrs of sciences and have enough credits to earn a BS in biology (or whichever major) .

Just my personal opinion.
 
Feb 17, 2010
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I did Running Start for two full years. I had two pre-Dec interviews and I have three post-Dec interviews so far. One acceptance to USC so far (one is all you need! :laugh:). No outright rejections (so far :scared:). I can't say for sure if my CC credits hurt me or if it's because I applied "late" (late July/mid Aug).

First of all, I agree with Doc. An AA is useless, especially if you're going to transfer and get your BS anyway. I got an AA but I don't know if you necessarily need one (or if you need an AS) to transfer all of your credits. Best advice would be to go talk to a UW pre-dental advisor.

It IS possible to take science classes at a CC while in high school and do well. I took college level chemistry, engineering physics, and calculus while in high school. I aced all of those classes, which were not easy for a high school student let alone a college student (well, the chemistry was easy because I had taken honors chem the previous year in high school). It all depends on what type of student you are.

I think in my case, it didn't hurt me (at least not too much) to take those classes at CC because I went on to UW and eventually majored in chemistry and engineering. So that kinda proved that, even though I took those classes at CC, I could still handle the higher level classes (and pull a 3.7 GPA). (Another disclaimer: Despite Running Start, I did not graduate with a BS two years after high school due to inability to decide on a major and later deciding to add an engineering major.)

So it is possible to do Running Start full time for two years and still get into dental school. BUT you have to be aware that there are some dental schools that frown upon CC credits. Again, it's going to be a little different for you since you actually know that you want to be a dentist from the start (makes it a lot easier, I think!). Just make sure you do your homework. And ask a UW pre-dental advisor!!!!

Oh, and in case you're wondering, I did not apply to UW for certain reasons, so I can't give you any advice on that area.
 

iDreamofDent

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Skipping ahead two years may not be all its cracked up to be. My advice is yes, take the CC credits while you are in high school, and it will look awesome for college applications!! then try to find a college that has a 3+1 program with a dental school, where you are guaranteed acceptance to dental school and receive your BA/BS after your first year in dental school. This will save you one year, and you will bypass all of the stress of not knowing what your future holds. Plus the college courses will appear much easier if you have been exposed to the CC courses. Many 3 + 1 programs are very selective however requiring 3.5 gpa and 1300 SAT (this is the old score format, dont know what it is now....damn im feeling old) but if you really are an A student, studying for the SAT, although requiring dedication, is feasible. The dental application process can be strenuous, get every advantage you can. If you do none of this, then DEFINATELY at least take AP CHEM in highschool and really learn the stuff. CHEM 101/102 are the courses that make or break many pre-dents.
 

doc toothache

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Doc where are you been all cycle? Have you simply been learking waiting too make your first remakes today? I always look forward to your wisdom and statistics... PLEASE Give us some re-assured #'s about the our perceived chances!
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=772329
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=773000


So you wouldn't recommended I transfer as a Junior?
Not if you want to spend 4 years at a CC.
 
OP
H
Nov 30, 2010
8
0
Status
Pre-Dental
I did Running Start for two full years. I had two pre-Dec interviews and I have three post-Dec interviews so far. One acceptance to USC so far (one is all you need! :laugh:). No outright rejections (so far :scared:). I can't say for sure if my CC credits hurt me or if it's because I applied "late" (late July/mid Aug).

First of all, I agree with Doc. An AA is useless, especially if you're going to transfer and get your BS anyway. I got an AA but I don't know if you necessarily need one (or if you need an AS) to transfer all of your credits. Best advice would be to go talk to a UW pre-dental advisor.

It IS possible to take science classes at a CC while in high school and do well. I took college level chemistry, engineering physics, and calculus while in high school. I aced all of those classes, which were not easy for a high school student let alone a college student (well, the chemistry was easy because I had taken honors chem the previous year in high school). It all depends on what type of student you are.

I think in my case, it didn't hurt me (at least not too much) to take those classes at CC because I went on to UW and eventually majored in chemistry and engineering. So that kinda proved that, even though I took those classes at CC, I could still handle the higher level classes (and pull a 3.7 GPA). (Another disclaimer: Despite Running Start, I did not graduate with a BS two years after high school due to inability to decide on a major and later deciding to add an engineering major.)

So it is possible to do Running Start full time for two years and still get into dental school. BUT you have to be aware that there are some dental schools that frown upon CC credits. Again, it's going to be a little different for you since you actually know that you want to be a dentist from the start (makes it a lot easier, I think!). Just make sure you do your homework. And ask a UW pre-dental advisor!!!!

Oh, and in case you're wondering, I did not apply to UW for certain reasons, so I can't give you any advice on that area.
Which science classes did you take at a CC? I've been in honors since 7th grade. I've got a 4.0 in my high school, and have As in the CC classes I've taken so far (but those have been easy). I've taken high school Bio and Chem but those were pretty easy.

I'm not worried about how well I will do in those classes, because I know that I am smart enough/have a good work ethic and would be able to get an A.

The question is whether or not I should take a few science classes at BC. I'm not talking about taking all of them, just a full bio and a full chemistry sequence. I'll leave microbiology, biochem, and physics to UW. Those are probably much harder than a CC bio or chem course. If I can get a good grade in those, which I will make sure I do, I think I should be fine.

I'll be speaking to a Pre-dental UW adviser. I'll tell you how it goes.
 
OP
H
Nov 30, 2010
8
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Skipping ahead two years may not be all its cracked up to be. My advice is yes, take the CC credits while you are in high school, and it will look awesome for college applications!! then try to find a college that has a 3+1 program with a dental school, where you are guaranteed acceptance to dental school and receive your BA/BS after your first year in dental school. This will save you one year, and you will bypass all of the stress of not knowing what your future holds. Plus the college courses will appear much easier if you have been exposed to the CC courses. Many 3 + 1 programs are very selective however requiring 3.5 gpa and 1300 SAT (this is the old score format, dont know what it is now....damn im feeling old) but if you really are an A student, studying for the SAT, although requiring dedication, is feasible. The dental application process can be strenuous, get every advantage you can. If you do none of this, then DEFINATELY at least take AP CHEM in highschool and really learn the stuff. CHEM 101/102 are the courses that make or break many pre-dents.
I cannot find anything online about the "3+1" program you are talking about.

Is there another name for it? Do you think UW Dental School has the program?
 
OP
H
Nov 30, 2010
8
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Not to be a debbie downer, but I've never heard of this working out in anyone's favor. Most likely because you only hear about cases where it ends up screwing over the applicant, but here's my advice.

Like Doc said, an associates means nothing really. Taking college courses in highschool would be great for taking generals that you will never "need" again. Take your algebra/calc, psychology, sociology, history, english, etc... I would not recommend taking college credit science courses while in highschool. It rarely goes well.

Knock out those nonscience classes for free while in highschool, so when you hit college you just do 2 yrs of sciences and have enough credits to earn a BS in biology (or whichever major) .

Just my personal opinion.
It is my understanding that UW Dental School requires the following:

General Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
General Biochemistry
General Physics
General Biology or Zoology
General Microbiology

If I were to do what you recommend, I would be taking 3 college-level science classes at a time, per year.

Wouldn't it be a better idea to spread that across my four years, including the 2 at a CC?
 

slm266

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It is my understanding that UW Dental School requires the following:

General Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
General Biochemistry
General Physics
General Biology or Zoology
General Microbiology

If I were to do what you recommend, I would be taking 3 college-level science classes at a time, per year.

Wouldn't it be a better idea to spread that across my four years, including the 2 at a CC?
When you say better, do you mean easier?

I dont know anything about your program, but those courses typically are broken down into 2 semesters (i.e Gen Chem 1, 2; Ochem 1, 2; Physics 1,2; Bio...)

Most of us take 3+ science classes per semester. In dental school you'll be taking much more than that per semester, so if you can handle it in undergrad, you will be more prepared for later on.
 

duycuonggg

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Jan 8, 2010
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I did running start for one year and spent my first two years of college at green river community college. I took all my bio, chem and ochem there. There are pros and cons that you should be aware of.

Pros
Small class size, approachable teachers and in my personal opinion, easier to learn the material because the teachers have less students they have to accommodate.

Cons
Some schools flat out don't take CC credits (tufts), UW requires half of the prereqs be taken at a University, slower paced than university.

I am a senior at the UW right now and a lot of my UW friends thought that I would die when I transferred here because I was from CC. I ended up 4.0 Biochem and have made dean's list every quarter. So don't think that just bc you came from CC that you are inferior. One thing that I wish I had at CC though was research but that is just personal taste.

My advice to you is to take Physics and General Bio at BC. Biology at UW is killer and is so subjective depending on your instructor. When you come up to UW take Gchem, Ochem and Biochem. This will keep you at UW for three years though. If you really want to spend only 2 years at UW then take Gchem at BC as well but I would spread it out and take Gchem at UW.

One thing you should take into account is that you will be very young and if you try to crunch everything in you won't have time to gain life experiences, maturity and lots of insight into dentistry via shadowing. I don't know what your plan is exactly but don't rush things too much, your application would be rushed as well.

BTW, I interviewed at Minnesota (accepted) and Oklahoma (waitlisted) and they didn't ask about my CC classes at all. This is not the same at all schools but what I'm trying to say is that its possible to do CC and get into dental school. Just prove yourself when you get to the University and they won't say anything.
 
OP
H
Nov 30, 2010
8
0
Status
Pre-Dental
I did running start for one year and spent my first two years of college at green river community college. I took all my bio, chem and ochem there. There are pros and cons that you should be aware of.

Pros
Small class size, approachable teachers and in my personal opinion, easier to learn the material because the teachers have less students they have to accommodate.

Cons
Some schools flat out don't take CC credits (tufts), UW requires half of the prereqs be taken at a University, slower paced than university.

I am a senior at the UW right now and a lot of my UW friends thought that I would die when I transferred here because I was from CC. I ended up 4.0 Biochem and have made dean's list every quarter. So don't think that just bc you came from CC that you are inferior. One thing that I wish I had at CC though was research but that is just personal taste.

My advice to you is to take Physics and General Bio at BC. Biology at UW is killer and is so subjective depending on your instructor. When you come up to UW take Gchem, Ochem and Biochem. This will keep you at UW for three years though. If you really want to spend only 2 years at UW then take Gchem at BC as well but I would spread it out and take Gchem at UW.

One thing you should take into account is that you will be very young and if you try to crunch everything in you won't have time to gain life experiences, maturity and lots of insight into dentistry via shadowing. I don't know what your plan is exactly but don't rush things too much, your application would be rushed as well.

BTW, I interviewed at Minnesota (accepted) and Oklahoma (waitlisted) and they didn't ask about my CC classes at all. This is not the same at all schools but what I'm trying to say is that its possible to do CC and get into dental school. Just prove yourself when you get to the University and they won't say anything.
What do you mean by research? Do you mean that the classes at BC didn't include a lot of hands-on research, etc.? I'm interested in hearing more about that.

What do you mean by "spreading" the Gchem between UW and BC? I assume you mean taking one or two Gchem classes at BC and then the leftover at UW. I do not think that is possible because it seems like UW does their bio classes in twos while BC splits up the bio sequence into three quarters. I'm considering taking general chemistry at BC anyway, then doing general bio and physics together next year. When I get to UW I'll do ochem, microbiology, and biochem. That should satisfy the UW dental requirements. UW Dental specifically wants 2 quarters of microbiology and biochemistry.

I plan to spend this summer beginning to job shadow my family dentist and maybe other dentists as well. I know that you are supposed to start early so I want to get it done before I even transfer. I am sure that I want to be a dentist. I'll do everything it takes - and more.
 

duycuonggg

5+ Year Member
Jan 8, 2010
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Good questions harmanm!

"One thing that I wish I had at CC though was research but that is just personal taste."

I don't know how BC is because you guys aren't really a CC anymore right? But at GRCC there was no research opportunities in the sciences. By research I mean conducting actual tests and gathering information outside of sciences classes/labs. This would involve hooking up with a science professor who is conducting his own research on whatever and you helping them out. At the UW there is plenty of opportunities to do this and it can show the dental adcomms that you are interested in the advancement of knowledge in the sciences.

"What do you mean by "spreading" the Gchem between UW and BC?"

I meant spreading the sciences out between BC and UW, not spreading out a particular sequence like gchem. For example taking Bio/phys at BC then GC/OC/Bioc at UW. It seems like you are on the right track. The only thing that you have to worry about is getting life experiences. The adcomms want to see maturity so do a lot of volunteering like helping out at homeless shelters, tutoring grade school kids and stuff like that. Mission trips are good as well.

"it seems like UW does their bio classes in twos while BC splits up the bio sequence into three quarters."

Unless they changed it in the last year, UW General Biology consists of Biol 180, 200 and 220.

All in all you just have to put yourself out there, ace all your courses, do a bunch of extracurricular stuff and you'll be alright. I personally wished that I took physics at GRCC, the time that goes into Lab and lecture is a lot compared to most other classes at UW IMO. PM me if you have any other questions. I hope this helps and sorry for not being clear the first time around!
 
OP
H
Nov 30, 2010
8
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Good questions harmanm!

I don't know how BC is because you guys aren't really a CC anymore right?


All in all you just have to put yourself out there, ace all your courses, do a bunch of extracurricular stuff and you'll be alright.
Bellevue College is still very much a community college. They may have a few Bachelor's degrees, but the only thing that has really changed is their name.

How many hours should I put into work experience/community service?
I want to spend the next two summers doing community service and shadowing dentists, but am not sure how many hours I should do to show some solid maturity and moral character as well as understanding of the dental profession.