thetarster

2+ Year Member
Aug 24, 2016
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Pre-Dental
I'm currently looking into taking the DAT and applying to dental school. I got a BS in biology with an overall GPA of 3.274 and a science GPA of 3.032. I haven't taken the DAT yet and would like to go to dental school preferably in California (or the west coast) because then I could potentially live at home. Is USC a long shot or any dental school for that matter? What DAT score would I need?
 
Aug 9, 2016
192
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Pre-Dental
your stats are pretty close to the average at westernu. try to get a 20 or higher and i think you be competitive.
 

desperationtime7

2+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2016
11
2
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Pre-Dental
So here's my situation...My undergrad Science GPA is low (2.99) I struggled my first few years of undergrad getting B's in both bio I and II, B in ChemI C in ChemII, C in ochem and physics II. I retook Ochem I and Physics I and got A's the second time, but C-'s the first time. These classes were all in my freshman and sophomore year when I was stupid and didn't know what I wanted to do. My last 2 years were a lot better nearly all A's and couple B's and 1D :( in quantitative analysis class. My overall GPA for undergrad was 3.25 and I graduated with a degrees as Biology and Chemistry double major. My DAT scores were AA 18 TS 18 BIO 17 PA 17 GC 18 OC 19 RC 17 QR 15...So that obviously wouldn't get me into any schools or interviews for that matter. Since then I have enrolled in a Thesis based grad program in Biological Science. I have a paper that will be published and my G.P.A. for grad school is 3.75. I retook the DAT and my new scores were AA 19 TS 19 Bio 20 PA 19 GC 19 OC 18 RC 20 QR 19. I'm even TAing for an anat and phys course. I've definitely tried to show my dedication for self improvement. For this cycle I applied to UIC, SIUE, MOSDOH, UMKC, Creighton, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Oklahoma. I'm not sure how much letters of recommendation impact the application but I had my Ochem professor, the head of my undergrad Bio Dept Prof, My grad school mentor, and DMD valedictorian from SIUE. My applications are all complete and under review for about the last 3 weeks. I haven't heard anything or been offered an interview thus far. Obviously there is no "for sure" answer, but do I have a shot at an interview/acceptance with the improvements that I've shown? Or, is there something more I should do? I'm starting to get worried that I won't hear anything but rejections :/ Thanks for any reply!
 

DMDDDSHopeful

Achievement Unlocked: Dental School
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Mar 25, 2016
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Add UNE and LECOM.
So here's my situation...My undergrad Science GPA is low (2.99) I struggled my first few years of undergrad getting B's in both bio I and II, B in ChemI C in ChemII, C in ochem and physics II. I retook Ochem I and Physics I and got A's the second time, but C-'s the first time. These classes were all in my freshman and sophomore year when I was stupid and didn't know what I wanted to do. My last 2 years were a lot better nearly all A's and couple B's and 1D :( in quantitative analysis class. My overall GPA for undergrad was 3.25 and I graduated with a degrees as Biology and Chemistry double major. My DAT scores were AA 18 TS 18 BIO 17 PA 17 GC 18 OC 19 RC 17 QR 15...So that obviously wouldn't get me into any schools or interviews for that matter. Since then I have enrolled in a Thesis based grad program in Biological Science. I have a paper that will be published and my G.P.A. for grad school is 3.75. I retook the DAT and my new scores were AA 19 TS 19 Bio 20 PA 19 GC 19 OC 18 RC 20 QR 19. I'm even TAing for an anat and phys course. I've definitely tried to show my dedication for self improvement. For this cycle I applied to UIC, SIUE, MOSDOH, UMKC, Creighton, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Oklahoma. I'm not sure how much letters of recommendation impact the application but I had my Ochem professor, the head of my undergrad Bio Dept Prof, My grad school mentor, and DMD valedictorian from SIUE. My applications are all complete and under review for about the last 3 weeks. I haven't heard anything or been offered an interview thus far. Obviously there is no "for sure" answer, but do I have a shot at an interview/acceptance with the improvements that I've shown? Or, is there something more I should do? I'm starting to get worried that I won't hear anything but rejections :/ Thanks for any reply!
Add UNE and LECOM. It looks like you turned yourself around and your DAT is good for matriculation. Don't worry. You'll be fine.
 
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LuckBloodandSweat

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May 26, 2015
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Dental Student
Add UNE and LECOM.

Add UNE and LECOM. It looks like you turned yourself around and your DAT is good for matriculation. Don't worry. You'll be fine.
Desperationtime looks a little like you ;)
 
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DMDDDSHopeful

Achievement Unlocked: Dental School
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I'm in my 3rd semester. Just finished writing my thesis and I defend in a month...I sort of did things backwards and did all my research in my first year haha
Good. Most schools require at least two semesters for them to even consider your postgraduate efforts. Does this mean you will graduate with the degree in December?
 

desperationtime7

2+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2016
11
2
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Pre-Dental
Good. Most schools require at least two semesters for them to even consider your postgraduate efforts. Does this mean you will graduate with the degree in December?
I would have if I had the money to take the credits over summer. I'll be taking 1 class in the spring to finish up completely.
 

DMDDDSHopeful

Achievement Unlocked: Dental School
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I would have if I had the money to take the credits over summer. I'll be taking 1 class in the spring to finish up completely.
I think you will be fine and the fact that you will graduate before the start of the next class is on par with everything else. You have the minimum two semesters of postbacc/grad and all that EC and credentials should help. You seem to be a hard worker so as long as the admission committee can see that, I think you're good!
 

desperationtime7

2+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2016
11
2
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Pre-Dental
I think you will be fine and the fact that you will graduate before the start of the next class is on par with everything else. You have the minimum two semesters of postbacc/grad and all that EC and credentials should help. You seem to be a hard worker so as long as the admission committee can see that, I think you're good!
Yeah I'm really banking on them seeing the jumps I've been trying to make. Hopefully hear something within the next couple weeks...where all have you applied?
 
Aug 29, 2006
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Dental school is much harder than college. Students who cannot handle college level courses will undoubtedly struggle with the enormous amount of content in freshman and sophomore years of D school. No amount a hand skills and clinical acumen supplant didactic knowledge. Otherwise we would all be dental therapists.
 

DMDDDSHopeful

Achievement Unlocked: Dental School
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Dental school is much harder than college. Students who cannot handle college level courses will undoubtedly struggle with the enormous amount of content in freshman and sophomore years of D school. No amount a hand skills and clinical acumen supplant didactic knowledge. Otherwise we would all be dental therapists.
I like your vocabulary. I disagree with this though. College has different courses with different professors. In dental, you have a cohort and you all go through the same curricula. This isn't true for a cohort that goes to University of Make-believe. In my department, we had maybe 1 out of 5 students graduate with honors meanwhile the other majors in the cohort had 4 out of 5. So not exactly apples to apples. And if what you said held true, then those that major in easy majors and spread out their science courses for the prereqs over 4 years would never get in, right? But we all know how much of a greater chance you have when you have an overall GPA of 3.9 in History and a science GPA of 3.9 even if the only sciences you have is the prereqs. That is always better than someone who takes all these upper level science courses to prove themselves but end up with a 3.0--which let's be honest, isn't that bad because it's a B!

Ranting aside, I would always choose someone who can perform surgery better than they can do a written or computer exam. I could care less if they forgot some definition or formula or concept if their hands on work can speak for themselves. Plastic surgeons show you binders and pictures of their work. Dentists show you pictures and binders as well. I've never met one that showed me their freshman D1 exam in histology.
 
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ncide

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Mar 2, 2015
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Ranting aside, I would always choose someone who can perform surgery better than they can do a written or computer exam. I could care less if they forgot some definition or formula or concept if their hands on work can speak for themselves. Plastic surgeons show you binders and pictures of their work. Dentists show you pictures and binders as well. I've never met one that showed me their freshman D1 exam in histology.
I don't really follow what you're saying but dental school is indeed more difficult than undergrad. If a student is struggling in undergrad, then it is likely indicative that the student may not handle the academic rigors of a dental education. As a doctor, it is imperative to understand the workings of the body and that is where the didactics lead you. You may see the hand-skills of a surgeon through those photos and disregard everything else, but you have to appreciate the thought processes that go through their work. The process to the end result is just as important, and having a grounded knowledge of the biological and medical sciences leads you to that. What good would a surgeon be if s/he did not have a deep understanding of the osteology, myology, innervations, and vasculature of the surgical site? What doctor would s/he be if s/he would prescribe medications and didn't understand their function or the outcome on the patient?

Dental school is much the same. We do not learn to simply become tooth mechanics. We learn to become doctors. The didactics are very important.
 
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Apr 4, 2016
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Hey everyone, I was wondering if I could get some advice. I am currently in the cycle, and applied very early (around the first week of june). Should I be worried that friends of mine are getting interview while I am not getting contacted at all? My GPA overall is a 3.31 and my science is 3.28. DAT I got a 21AA 21TS 25PAT. Should I just wait patiently?

for my plan B, I was thinking about retaking my DAT and then applying again next june. While doing that I would sign up for a Post Bac for the september after that. What are everyone's thoughts of that? My concern is that my application next june would not have any changes to my GPA but hopefully it would have an improved DAT score.
 
Aug 9, 2016
192
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I shadow three dentists and they told me dental school is really not that hard compare to undergrad. There are a lots of materials and lots of studying but all you need is a C to pass. In undergrad a C is consider bad and will wreck your gpa, but a C in dental school is consider good enough. If you dont plan on specializing you can probably study just enough to pass and still have a social life.

From what im told it pretty hard to fail dental school. They will do everything in their power to help you pass because if you drop they lose out on tuition and their reputation will take a hit with too many dropout.
 
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ncide

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I shadow three dentists and they told me dental school is really not that hard compare to undergrad. There are a lots of materials and lots of studying but all you need is a C to pass. In undergrad a C is consider bad and will wreck your gpa, but a C in dental school is consider good enough. If you dont plan on specializing you can probably study just enough to pass and still have a social life.

From what im told it pretty hard to fail dental school. They will do everything in their power to help you pass because if you drop they lose out on tuition and their reputation will take a hit with too many dropout.
At my school we had a few students coast with Cs and then they failed one class and had to repeat the entire year since their overall GPA was so low. That's a $100k mistake so I wouldn't go to dental school with that attitude. Not saying don't socialize, that's important, but going in with the mindset that you should just aim for Cs may get you dropped or you may have to re-mediate the entire year. Someone from another school posted yesterday about getting dismissed from his school because of his academics, so don't think it doesn't happen.
 
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Aug 9, 2016
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At my school we had a few students coast with Cs and then they failed one class and had to repeat the entire year since their overall GPA was so low. That's a $100k mistake so I wouldn't go to dental school with that attitude. Not saying don't socialize, that's important, but going in with the mindset that you should just aim for Cs may get you dropped or you may have to re-mediate the entire year. Someone from another school posted yesterday about getting dismissed from his school because of his academics, so don't think it doesn't happen.
Obviously it has to happen before, but the same thing can happen in undergrad. You can get dismiss for bad grade in undergrad too. The point is you got to not try at all to fail dental school. It really not that hard to get a C average. That a 2.0. At my interview they told me they will give us every opportunities and all the help we need to pass, but it up to the individual to put in the effort.
 

desperationtime7

2+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2016
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At what point should I be discouraged that I haven't been contacted for an interview?:unsure::unsure: Here's what my school decisions are listed as

University of Missouri Kansas City School of Dentistry (UMKC) MO 07/13/2016 Received/Under Review
West Virginia University School of Dentistry (WVA) WV 08/09/2016 Received/Under Review
University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Dentistry (UTHSC) TN 07/14/2016 Received/Under Review
University of Kentucky College of Dentistry (UK) KY 07/20/2016 Received/Waiting Additional Information
University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry (ILL) IL 09/13/2016 Received/Application Complete
Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine (SIU) IL 08/16/2016 Received/Application Complete
Creighton University School of Dentistry (CRE) NE 08/01/2016 Received/Application Complete
University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry (OKL) OK 08/22/2016 Received/Application Complete
 
Aug 29, 2006
1,392
963
New York
Status
Dentist
Ranting aside, I would always choose someone who can perform surgery better than they can do a written or computer exam. I could care less if they forgot some definition or formula or concept if their hands on work can speak for themselves. Plastic surgeons show you binders and pictures of their work. Dentists show you pictures and binders as well. I've never met one that showed me their freshman D1 exam in histology.

I am not entirely sure you understand what it is to be a doctor. Shrugging off the two years of biomedical didactics in D school is naive. Good hand skills count, although it is more often the hand skills of the lab tech you are looking at in a portfolio.
 

Jbrowndds

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Oct 31, 2012
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I'm currently looking into taking the DAT and applying to dental school. I got a BS in biology with an overall GPA of 3.274 and a science GPA of 3.032. I haven't taken the DAT yet and would like to go to dental school preferably in California (or the west coast) because then I could potentially live at home. Is USC a long shot or any dental school for that matter? What DAT score would I need?
You have to pull your GPA up. Read my signature. Study hard and get to where you want to be. Dental schools aren't occupied by only perfect 4.0 students. Anyone who tells you that is lying. Bring up your GPA and try again.
 

rippedbx

2+ Year Member
Aug 11, 2014
33
35
36
Utah
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Dental Student
I'm currently looking into taking the DAT and applying to dental school. I got a BS in biology with an overall GPA of 3.274 and a science GPA of 3.032. I haven't taken the DAT yet and would like to go to dental school preferably in California (or the west coast) because then I could potentially live at home. Is USC a long shot or any dental school for that matter? What DAT score would I need?
Your grades are NOT that low. Probably lower than the average accepted applicant but there are students in almost every dental school with a lower GPA than you.
But you still need to give admissions a reason to overlook your GPA. A higher than average DAT is one of the most important things.

If your application doesn't show that you have any life experience, I would shoot for a 23. If your application shows that you are the most jaw-dropping go-getter in every part of life, you may be ok with an 18. And of course this depends on the particular school and if they care more about people or the school's numbers.

After spending hours on the phone with several deans of admissions that is what I've determined. But some schools are not forgiving of low GPAs so don't apply to them. Some schools can overlook a low GPA if you give them really good reasons to.
 

DMDDDSHopeful

Achievement Unlocked: Dental School
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Mar 25, 2016
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Your grades are NOT that low. Probably lower than the average accepted applicant but there are students in almost every dental school with a lower GPA than you.
But you still need to give admissions a reason to overlook your GPA. A higher than average DAT is one of the most important things.

If your application doesn't show that you have any life experience, I would shoot for a 23. If your application shows that you are the most jaw-dropping go-getter in every part of life, you may be ok with an 18. And of course this depends on the particular school and if they care more about people or the school's numbers.

After spending hours on the phone with several deans of admissions that is what I've determined. But some schools are not forgiving of low GPAs so don't apply to them. Some schools can overlook a low GPA if you give them really good reasons to.
Well said.
 
Aug 29, 2006
1,392
963
New York
Status
Dentist
I like your vocabulary. I disagree with this though. College has different courses with different professors. In dental, you have a cohort and you all go through the same curricula. This isn't true for a cohort that goes to University of Make-believe. In my department, we had maybe 1 out of 5 students graduate with honors meanwhile the other majors in the cohort had 4 out of 5. So not exactly apples to apples. And if what you said held true, then those that major in easy majors and spread out their science courses for the prereqs over 4 years would never get in, right? But we all know how much of a greater chance you have when you have an overall GPA of 3.9 in History and a science GPA of 3.9 even if the only sciences you have is the prereqs. That is always better than someone who takes all these upper level science courses to prove themselves but end up with a 3.0--which let's be honest, isn't that bad because it's a B!

Ranting aside, I would always choose someone who can perform surgery better than they can do a written or computer exam. I could care less if they forgot some definition or formula or concept if their hands on work can speak for themselves. Plastic surgeons show you binders and pictures of their work. Dentists show you pictures and binders as well. I've never met one that showed me their freshman D1 exam in histology.
While I will agree with you that the class travels together and takes the same course load, D students do not all have the exact same experience as demonstrated by the occasional complaint about a row instructor or clinic floor instructor. Even being a history major does not preclude the undergrad applicant from having to enroll in two sciences each semester in order to finish on time. Science classes, especially those with an associated lab are much tougher to keep up with, and are in fact training the undergrad for the rigorous schedule in D school. Let's face it, the Krebs cycle is not germane to most dental procedures, nor stereo isomers. But it is important when understanding pharmecokinetics, which is what separates us from therapists.
And while a high GPA is always advisable, being an art history major or classics major is not the only way to reach this. Plenty of high quality applicants have high GPA's with a curriculum that includes upper level science, a demonstration of their commitment and ability to achieve. Of course you are correct that low grades in these courses may be a red flag.
Since the National Boards will be integrated by the time you take them, I suggest rethinking the concept clinical performance versus didactic knowledge. The questions will soon be integrated to include a combination of clinical and basic science knowledge.