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advice on volunteering or research?

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drpduck

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I'm going to be a sophmore in college this coming fall, my gpa is low, 3.0/3.0sci. I know I have to work harder to bring it up, but I'm seeking advice about volunteering and research, which might help take some of the weight off my gpa if it is still low when I apply. I currently volunteer at the UMaryland hospital in baltimore, and I will hopefully soon be moving to the dental clinic. Over winter break I plan on spending around 100 hrs or more hopefully with my dentist at home. I am wondering what else should I do? Research? I really love dentistry and I want to do everything I can to maximize my chances of gaining acceptance when I apply. Thanks for the advice :)
 

nycdoc

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I would suggest keeping the focus on raising your GPA. That is the most important part of your app. along with a stellar DAT score. Also I'd recommend getting to know science profs who will write you amazing recommendation letters.
I went to 5 interviews and not one person asked about my volunteer experience or research (I didn't apply to any research-oriented schools). An awesome DAT score and good grades are your best bet for admission.
 

DesiDentist

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nycdoc is definately right!! You should boost your GPA big time. Dentistry is getting more and more competitive each year. You want to bring up your GPA to at least a 3.3 by the time you apply. Pad that GPA and then focus on getting your experience. Experience is huge factor, especially for people with low gpas. But GPA and DAT scores will get you an interview. You could have the best personality out of all of us, and if you don't get an interview you don't get into dental school....'nuff said.

DesiDentist
 

UBTom

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to drpduck:

Concentrate on your GPA. That should be your primary concern. Having done dental research or volunteering is nice, but it will NOT make up for a poor GPA.

The dental school admissions committees look at GPA because it is an indicator whether or not you can hack the heavy courseloads they will be throwing at you. Here at my dental school, we are loaded down with more than 24 credit hours every semester. No joke.

Do well on your upcoming predental courses, keep your science GPA high (see if you can get it above 3.2). Do well on the DATs when you take it. And you should be good to go.

Good luck!
 
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