Feb 13, 2013
14
0
Status
Non-Student
Hey all,

Have a ton of questions, and nowhere to start from. I've been following the threads on here for the longest time, and have finally decided to register today and ask questions.

I graduated with a Marketing/Graphic Design major (3'ish GPA) about a year ago, been working for the past year and change in a marketing firm. Simply put, I had an epiphany a while back and never really acted on the urge. What I'm trying to say, is that I'm ready to start pursuing the career I've ACTUALLY been interested in all this time.

The problem is that for my situation, I have no idea where to begin. I had a semester of Chemistry at school (requirement), but that's about it. What would be the best course of action here?

- Get a masters degree that'll let me complete the pre-requisites I need?
- Do the pre-requisite classes one by one without the major?
- WHICH SCHOOL!?!? :eek: I'm in the New England region FWIW(45 mi, from Boston)

Based on the above 3 bullets, I'm going to need to apply for financial aid. If I decide to do the masters, can I still work full time and complete my Masters degree (or do the one-by-one path)? SHOULD I work full time?

When do I need to take the DAT, near the end of the pre-req portion of the next 1-2 years? Afterwards? How does this process work? Also how long does the pre-req courses process generally take, I'm assuming 2 years if I go for the Masters, but what if I just go to school part-time? Has anyone done this?

Where exactly do I start with all this...should I call up some schools in the general area (any recommendations for someone like myself?) Who do I talk to? This is very daunting...! :(

I'm willing to dive off a cliff in terms of work to accomplish my dream(s), I just need some guidance on where/how to begin.

Any help is appreciated, thanks ladies and gents.
 

mid

Nov 7, 2012
294
2
Status
Dental Student
That program looks like with the optional courses you should be good for just about every dental school. Since the program doesn't lead to a degree I don't see why they would make you take math/english but you would have to talk to them.
 
Feb 5, 2013
12
1
Status
Pre-Dental
Well you're definitely going to need to complete the pre-reqs and I don't think a lot of master's programs will offer those....so I would look at some dental schools you're interested in and determine which courses you need to complete. It will probably take 1 1/2 - 2 years, depending on if you're working/taking summer school classes. A 3ish GPA is on the low side so try to do fairly well in the pre-reqs to show schools you're dedicated and committed. The nice thing is you can begin applying to dental school before you finish the pre-reqs so long as you will have them completed by the time you enter.

I would also be reaching out and looking for volunteer/shadowing opportunities within the dental profession that will allow you to get some exposure to the profession. I'm assuming you don't have any experience shadowing or working in a dental office being a marketing major? You will need a reference from a practicing dentist at a lot of schools so try to begin building a relationship with one ASAP, even if it is your own dentist.

As far as the DAT, there are a lot of resources available that will adequately prepare you to do well without having completed all of the pre-reqs. Just look at the DAT forums for a better idea on this, but you can begin studying right away for the DAT.
 
Jan 10, 2012
186
2
Status
Pre-Dental
Dude, if you're close to Boston, take your classes at Harvard Extension. Cheap and they are evening courses so you can still work. I would advise against doing more than 1 class though if you are working full time, unless you are a machine.

How long ago did you take Chem? If it was a while ago (4 years or more) you will need to re-take.

You can take the DAT after you've done Chem, Orgo and Bio. You will need to also take Physics. Plan on taking the DAT no later than the summer that you apply.
 
OP
A
Feb 13, 2013
14
0
Status
Non-Student
Thank you very much guys. Still breathing heavy and heart going 100 mph, but I want this, oh so bad.

I think I'll bookmark the UNH site I linked there, and start looking at some schools I could possibly see myself in. Any recommendations for the New England area? I'd prefer if I didn't have to go too far (again, a personal preference). I realize I won't be working full-time when I hit dental school 2 years from now, but that's not something to think about right now. For now, if I can work, I will most certainly try to. Plus getting loans deferred might be a nice money saver (for now anyway).

For volunteering and shadowing, should I start that WHILE I'm taking prerequisites? Say, over the summer? How long do you think I should be doing the shadowing part?

Ideas for books? Which DAT book should I get so I can start reading over the questions. Any other recommended books to read while I'm doing the prerequisites?
 
OP
A
Feb 13, 2013
14
0
Status
Non-Student
Dude, if you're close to Boston, take your classes at Harvard Extension. Cheap and they are evening courses so you can still work. I would advise against doing more than 1 class though if you are working full time, unless you are a machine.

How long ago did you take Chem? If it was a while ago (4 years or more) you will need to re-take.

You can take the DAT after you've done Chem, Orgo and Bio. You will need to also take Physics. Plan on taking the DAT no later than the summer that you apply.
So do you recommend the Harvard Extension program then, or? Is that what you did?

I took chem about...2 years ago? I want to say?

Any chance of me starting classes now, or is it too late to start? Will I have to wait until Summer to start taking courses? I've only ever done traditional fall/spring courses, no experience with Grad School/Summer Courses/Extra courses etc.

Thanks.
 

dentalWorks

Nights Watchmen
7+ Year Member
Jun 25, 2009
5,646
158
Sterling Hts, Mi
Status
Dentist
Hey all,

Have a ton of questions, and nowhere to start from. I've been following the threads on here for the longest time, and have finally decided to register today and ask questions.

I graduated with a Marketing/Graphic Design major (3'ish GPA) about a year ago, been working for the past year and change in a marketing firm. Simply put, I had an epiphany a while back and never really acted on the urge. What I'm trying to say, is that I'm ready to start pursuing the career I've ACTUALLY been interested in all this time.

The problem is that for my situation, I have no idea where to begin. I had a semester of Chemistry at school (requirement), but that's about it. What would be the best course of action here?

- Get a masters degree that'll let me complete the pre-requisites I need?
- Do the pre-requisite classes one by one without the major?
- WHICH SCHOOL!?!? :eek: I'm in the New England region FWIW(45 mi, from Boston)

Based on the above 3 bullets, I'm going to need to apply for financial aid. If I decide to do the masters, can I still work full time and complete my Masters degree (or do the one-by-one path)? SHOULD I work full time?

When do I need to take the DAT, near the end of the pre-req portion of the next 1-2 years? Afterwards? How does this process work? Also how long does the pre-req courses process generally take, I'm assuming 2 years if I go for the Masters, but what if I just go to school part-time? Has anyone done this?

Where exactly do I start with all this...should I call up some schools in the general area (any recommendations for someone like myself?) Who do I talk to? This is very daunting...! :(

I'm willing to dive off a cliff in terms of work to accomplish my dream(s), I just need some guidance on where/how to begin.

Any help is appreciated, thanks ladies and gents.
I highlighted above the best route to take.

I am a career changer myself. Back in 2006, I decided to switch from software engineering into dentistry (well... healthcare)... and like you, I had taken ZERO pre-med/pre-dental courses in my initial undergrad.

To make story short, I needed to bring up my sub 3.0 GPA, so I enrolled back into college as a "post-bacc" student. And tailored the classes I needed in accordance with my schedule (staying working while doing parttime school.). I did not seek nor did I want to seek a degree, I just wanted to take my pre-meds. Most local colleges will have such option.

contact me if u have further questions
 
Jan 10, 2012
186
2
Status
Pre-Dental
So do you recommend the Harvard Extension program then, or? Is that what you did?

I took chem about...2 years ago? I want to say?

Any chance of me starting classes now, or is it too late to start? Will I have to wait until Summer to start taking courses? I've only ever done traditional fall/spring courses, no experience with Grad School/Summer Courses/Extra courses etc.

Thanks.
I took my courses there and I recommend it. You will have to wait until the summer but you could potentially apply by summer 2014. I did Chem over the summer and then Bio, Orgo and Phys during the year. Tool the DAT the following summer and have been accepted at 3 schools and waiting on a 4th. So it worked well for me.

P.S. Whatever program you do, I would advise you to try to choose the cheapest option. You have a lot of debt you will accrue in D-school. No need to spend tens of thousands on your post-Bacc.
 

mid

Nov 7, 2012
294
2
Status
Dental Student
Any recommendations for the New England area? I'd prefer if I didn't have to go too far (again, a personal preference).
Harvard, Tufts, UConn, BU, UNE

For volunteering and shadowing, should I start that WHILE I'm taking prerequisites? Say, over the summer? How long do you think I should be doing the shadowing part?
Start as soon as you can, just call dentists tell them you're interested in the field and ask if you can shadow them. I'd say ~100 hours is good.

Ideas for books? Which DAT book should I get so I can start reading over the questions. Any other recommended books to read while I'm doing the prerequisites?
I used Cliffs AP Bio, DAT Destroyer and the Kaplan book for PAT practice. Chad's Videos are also a decent resource.
 
OP
A
Feb 13, 2013
14
0
Status
Non-Student
Very interesting and insightful information guys/gals, thank you very much.

I'll skip the Masters route then, and tailor my classes to exactly what I need in terms of getting into Dental school. I'll do a course or two in the summer, and then the other 2 during the year.

So do I generally only need these 4 courses, or are there a few more? In accordance with Shadowing a dental professional, should I then plan on taking the DAT summer 2014, and then applying right after for Fall? Or? Spring 2015..?

Thanks.
 
Jan 10, 2012
186
2
Status
Pre-Dental
Take the DAT summer 2014 and apply summer 2014 for matriculation in fall 2015. It is a year long process. Apply as early in June as you can.

Also, I wouldn't recommend more than one summer course at a time. At least at Harvard it was a 9-5 day five days a week.

Also you can take a course or two after you've already applied. I took Biochem this fall after submitting my apps this summer.
 

mid

Nov 7, 2012
294
2
Status
Dental Student
Very interesting and insightful information guys/gals, thank you very much.

I'll skip the Masters route then, and tailor my classes to exactly what I need in terms of getting into Dental school. I'll do a course or two in the summer, and then the other 2 during the year.

So do I generally only need these 4 courses, or are there a few more? In accordance with Shadowing a dental professional, should I then plan on taking the DAT summer 2014, and then applying right after for Fall? Or? Spring 2015..?

Thanks.
Look at the schools you want to apply to for prereqs. Many require biochem, a bunch require microbio, harvard requires a year of calc. It is different for different schools.

You take the dat (at the latest) and apply the summer one year before you plan on matriculating.

So if you apply in summer 2014 you would be entering class of 2015 or class of 2019.
 
OP
A
Feb 13, 2013
14
0
Status
Non-Student
So provided I do well on the DAT in the summer of 2014, I can immediately apply for schools? How long does it take to get DAT results back?

What do I do for the year between Summer 2014 and Fall 2015...? That seems like a long wait...does it not?

So Predent, the Harvard classes in the summer are 9-5 5 days a week? How am I supposed to work while I do that, heh? It's not a once a week affair? That's what I thought I was reading.
 
Jan 10, 2012
186
2
Status
Pre-Dental
So provided I do well on the DAT in the summer of 2014, I can immediately apply for schools? How long does it take to get DAT results back?

What do I do for the year between Summer 2014 and Fall 2015...? That seems like a long wait...does it not?

So Predent, the Harvard classes in the summer are 9-5 5 days a week? How am I supposed to work while I do that, heh? It's not a once a week affair? That's what I thought I was reading.
You get your DAT score immediately, but the results take a week or two to mail.

Many people get a job and take a course or two during their "glide year."

It depends on the summer course, but Chemistry was. We had class 9-12, then section 3x a week and lab 3x a week. There were Friday afternoon reviews when there was neither section or lab. It ended up being a 9-5 day, plus studying in the evening. I am pretty sure this will be the schedule for all of the major sciences (Bio, Orgo and Phys.)

I would NOT advise taking a summer course and trying to work at all. We all spent pretty much the whole weekend studying.
 
Jun 15, 2011
482
17
Status
To the OP,

Assuming you have the undergrad degree. Here is what I did as a post Masters non trad accepted to the dental school of my 1st choice:

#1 Take pre-dental courses through a reputable University (not going to get into the whole vs. community college thing). DO WELL, at least 3.5 GPA. Ideally attend a University with a Predental Society/ Club, whatever; often if the University is big enough there will be a system in place to shepherd you through the brambles.
#2 Prepare and take the DAT
#3 along the way shadow dentists, volunteer, and keep your eye on who you will get your Letters of Recommendation from, also network network network with at least 3 dental schools of your choice, plan on ultimately applying to 6-9 schools but build up a relationship with adcom members and deans, etc of at least 2-3

Plan on 3 years from any given fall to actually start dental school:

year 1
fall semester1 Gen Chem I, Biology I
spring semester 2 Gen Chem II, Biology II
during this year also begin preparing for the DAT: DO NOT DELAY!!

year 2
fall semester 1 Organic Chem I, Physics I
spring semester 2 Organic Chem II, Physics II
during this year continue to chip away at preparing for the DAT (there is no physics on DAT you can dump all the physics once done with it)

very important! summer between year 2 & 3
get everything in for your AADSAS application at the beginning of cycle (June)
full time prepare and then take DAT no later than end of summer: AADSAS application complete and submitted

year 3
fall semester 1 wait for interview invites, interview & take courses which are additional prereqs at the d schools you applied to (biochem, microbiology, anatomy, physiology etc)
fall semester 2 accept offer from somewhere, take courses which are additional prereqs at the d schools you applied to (biochem, microbiology, anatomy, physiology etc)

...wait to start in the Fall...

FINAL TWO CENTS: DO NOT BE FOOLED: THE MATERIAL YOU MUST MASTER IN ORDER TO DO WELL IN YOUR COURSES FOR GPA PURPOSES AS WELL AS DAT PURPOSES IS HEAVY DUTY. THERE ARE A FEW GENIUSES OUT THERE WHO ARE EXCEPTIONALLY TALENTED IN GLIDING THROUGH IT. FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF INTELLIGENT PEOPLE, IT STILL REQUIRES MUCH TIME + EFFORT TO EXPOSE YOURSELF TO THE MATERIAL SO YOUR BRAIN HAS TIME TO MAKE ALL THE CONNECTIONS IT NEEDS TO IN ORDER TO DO WELL ENOUGH TO HAVE A COMPETITIVE GPA + DAT. ALSO THE PROTOCOLS AND LOGISTICS FOR DENTAL SCHOOL ADMISSIONS ARE TAILORED TO TRADITIONALS (it seems about 10-15% of applicants/ enrollees are non traditionals?): DO NOT EXPECT TO BE ABLE TO SKIP OVER ALL THE TIME IT TAKES FOR "THE SYSTEM" TO DO ITS THING (frustrating I know).

...initially I was cavalier and thought I'd squeeze all of the above into 2 years and start in the fall of year 3. Perhaps there are some who have made such a schedule work: I found that it was extremely unrealistic at the end of my (successful) journey. I think I started to realize this about 1/2way through that first year...:luck:
 
Last edited:
OP
A
Feb 13, 2013
14
0
Status
Non-Student
You get your DAT score immediately, but the results take a week or two to mail.

Many people get a job and take a course or two during their "glide year."

It depends on the summer course, but Chemistry was. We had class 9-12, then section 3x a week and lab 3x a week. There were Friday afternoon reviews when there was neither section or lab. It ended up being a 9-5 day, plus studying in the evening. I am pretty sure this will be the schedule for all of the major sciences (Bio, Orgo and Phys.)

I would NOT advise taking a summer course and trying to work at all. We all spent pretty much the whole weekend studying.
I see. So what exactly do you suggest for someone in my position to do (working full-time now, salaried job in marketing firm) when it comes time for summer courses? Since I can't work (and a class is basically a full time job schedule wise)? This is all very new to me, and very bizarre. I mean I still have to pay for my car/insurance/other things!

For Fall/Spring courses that I'll be taking after this first Summer course, will it still be full weeks worth of classes, or is it broken up a little more (like an undergrad course load), as opposed to trying to cram the entire course into a few weeks of summer?

Thanks.
 
OP
A
Feb 13, 2013
14
0
Status
Non-Student
Thank you bobby for the insight, I too think it's frustrating to have to work the system, but I feel a breath of relief knowing I don't have to hurry and smash through everything. I'll definitely start by looking up what schools id like to attend and look for the cheaper courses to take at reputable places.

General consensus is that the Harvard extension will work then? Can I get financial aid as well to pay for the credit hours ill need (mostly @ Premed)?

Thanks.
 
Jan 10, 2012
186
2
Status
Pre-Dental
I see. So what exactly do you suggest for someone in my position to do (working full-time now, salaried job in marketing firm) when it comes time for summer courses? Since I can't work (and a class is basically a full time job schedule wise)? This is all very new to me, and very bizarre. I mean I still have to pay for my car/insurance/other things!

For Fall/Spring courses that I'll be taking after this first Summer course, will it still be full weeks worth of classes, or is it broken up a little more (like an undergrad course load), as opposed to trying to cram the entire course into a few weeks of summer?

Thanks.
I'm not really sure what you should do about finances. I was very fortunate that my parents and grandparents were on board and all helped me out with living expenses. I lived with 4 roommates as cheaply as possible. I do remember that Harvard gave me way more money than I needed so it might be enough to live off of- I ended up declining most of my loans and only used it to cover tuition.

Fall/spring courses are in the evening and only once or twice a week (6-9 or 7:30-9:30.)

I'll pm you my email if you want to talk more about the program and my personal experiences. You should also check out the Harvard Extension webpage and check out schedules and whatnot.
 
OP
A
Feb 13, 2013
14
0
Status
Non-Student
Yes please send me the email so we can chat, this'll be immensely helpful, grateful for the aid man!

I checked out the site a bit earlier when you first mentioned. I'll do some more digging when I get home tonight for sure.
 
Oct 24, 2012
1,892
883
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Bobby made some good points there... Just know what you're getting into, because the investment of time, money and effort is substantial. My best advice to you is to never lose sight of the final goal, but take it one step at a time. With that many difficult classes staring you down, it's easy to get overwhelmed. Looking at it one semester at a time makes it far more manageable. If you have options, choose your professors wisely. Some are notoriously good, some... not so much.

I started in on the pre-requisites after graduating in 2010 and I'm finally just about ready to apply. It's taken me three years because I worked 20-30 hours a week while taking 2 classes at a time. Feel free to send me a PM if you have any other questions. I'm a UNH grad, btw!
 
OP
A
Feb 13, 2013
14
0
Status
Non-Student
Bobby made some good points there... Just know what you're getting into, because the investment of time, money and effort is substantial. My best advice to you is to never lose sight of the final goal, but take it one step at a time. With that many difficult classes staring you down, it's easy to get overwhelmed. Looking at it one semester at a time makes it far more manageable. If you have options, choose your professors wisely. Some are notoriously good, some... not so much.

I started in on the pre-requisites after graduating in 2010 and I'm finally just about ready to apply. It's taken me three years because I worked 20-30 hours a week while taking 2 classes at a time. Feel free to send me a PM if you have any other questions. I'm a UNH grad, btw!
Right on, thank you for the insight. I'm looking at Chem/Physics for the first year, and Org. Chem/Bio for the second year, I plan on doing the Harvard Extension program.

I was looking at UConn's requirements, it looks like these classes will fit the bill, but they have extra classes like cell biology and biochemistry that they "recommend". Should I plan on doing these next summer instead (after first year of Chem/Physics)? Recommendations? Insights?

Thanks all again. I'm all over the place today.
 
OP
A
Feb 13, 2013
14
0
Status
Non-Student
The Post-Bacc route, would that be what Harvard Extension does, with it's individual classes, or? I'm seeing the term Post-Bacc thrown around a lot, and I just can't seem to find much info on how it differs from a Masters program and taking individual classes somewhere.

Thanks.
 

mid

Nov 7, 2012
294
2
Status
Dental Student
The Harvard Extension is a postbacc program, meaning its undergraduate courses after you've earned your BA/BS. A masters is a graduate level degree and often requires a thesis (aside from the masters programs designed to get you into a dental/med school).

Look at a bunch of schools requirements. Recommended classes are good to have if you have the time. biochem should be taken after organic chemistry and you will most likely want to take it, many schools require it now.
 
OP
A
Feb 13, 2013
14
0
Status
Non-Student
The Harvard Extension is a postbacc program, meaning its undergraduate courses after you've earned your BA/BS. A masters is a graduate level degree and often requires a thesis (aside from the masters programs designed to get you into a dental/med school).

Look at a bunch of schools requirements. Recommended classes are good to have if you have the time. biochem should be taken after organic chemistry and you will most likely want to take it, many schools require it now.
Gotcha, I figured. Just wanted confirmation. I'm trying to scrounge up all the info I can on my own and the terminology (which is new to me having only done my Bachelors) is a little confusing. Thanks again.

So would the path of doing the 4 science courses, and then perhaps Biochem be a good plan for the next 2 years? Studying for DAT near end of second year and taking that test? Perhaps start applying in April/May'ish of that year too? Ugh.

Anything I'm missing?
 

mid

Nov 7, 2012
294
2
Status
Dental Student
Gotcha, I figured. Just wanted confirmation. I'm trying to scrounge up all the info I can on my own and the terminology (which is new to me having only done my Bachelors) is a little confusing. Thanks again.

So would the path of doing the 4 science courses, and then perhaps Biochem be a good plan for the next 2 years? Studying for DAT near end of second year and taking that test? Perhaps start applying in April/May'ish of that year too? Ugh.

Anything I'm missing?
Applications open generally the first week of June, if you can get the DAT done early the summer after your second year and apply then I think that would be a good plan, also be sure to have asked profs to write you letters of recommendation far in advance of applications opening. Then you could put on your application that you are taking Biochem + whatever else in the fall and should be fine.
 

DarlingDDS

7+ Year Member
Mar 31, 2010
26
3
Chicago
Status
Dental Student
To the OP,

Assuming you have the undergrad degree. Here is what I did as a post Masters non trad accepted to the dental school of my 1st choice:

#1 Take pre-dental courses through a reputable University (not going to get into the whole vs. community college thing). DO WELL, at least 3.5 GPA. Ideally attend a University with a Predental Society/ Club, whatever; often if the University is big enough there will be a system in place to shepherd you through the brambles.
#2 Prepare and take the DAT
#3 along the way shadow dentists, volunteer, and keep your eye on who you will get your Letters of Recommendation from, also network network network with at least 3 dental schools of your choice, plan on ultimately applying to 6-9 schools but build up a relationship with adcom members and deans, etc of at least 2-3

Plan on 3 years from any given fall to actually start dental school:

year 1
fall semester1 Gen Chem I, Biology I
spring semester 2 Gen Chem II, Biology II
during this year also begin preparing for the DAT: DO NOT DELAY!!

year 2
fall semester 1 Organic Chem I, Physics I
spring semester 2 Organic Chem II, Physics II
during this year continue to chip away at preparing for the DAT (there is no physics on DAT you can dump all the physics once done with it)

very important! summer between year 2 & 3
get everything in for your AADSAS application at the beginning of cycle (June)
full time prepare and then take DAT no later than end of summer: AADSAS application complete and submitted

year 3
fall semester 1 wait for interview invites, interview & take courses which are additional prereqs at the d schools you applied to (biochem, microbiology, anatomy, physiology etc)
fall semester 2 accept offer from somewhere, take courses which are additional prereqs at the d schools you applied to (biochem, microbiology, anatomy, physiology etc)

...wait to start in the Fall...

FINAL TWO CENTS: DO NOT BE FOOLED: THE MATERIAL YOU MUST MASTER IN ORDER TO DO WELL IN YOUR COURSES FOR GPA PURPOSES AS WELL AS DAT PURPOSES IS HEAVY DUTY. THERE ARE A FEW GENIUSES OUT THERE WHO ARE EXCEPTIONALLY TALENTED IN GLIDING THROUGH IT. FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF INTELLIGENT PEOPLE, IT STILL REQUIRES MUCH TIME + EFFORT TO EXPOSE YOURSELF TO THE MATERIAL SO YOUR BRAIN HAS TIME TO MAKE ALL THE CONNECTIONS IT NEEDS TO IN ORDER TO DO WELL ENOUGH TO HAVE A COMPETITIVE GPA + DAT. ALSO THE PROTOCOLS AND LOGISTICS FOR DENTAL SCHOOL ADMISSIONS ARE TAILORED TO TRADITIONALS (it seems about 10-15% of applicants/ enrollees are non traditionals?): DO NOT EXPECT TO BE ABLE TO SKIP OVER ALL THE TIME IT TAKES FOR "THE SYSTEM" TO DO ITS THING (frustrating I know).

...initially I was cavalier and thought I'd squeeze all of the above into 2 years and start in the fall of year 3. Perhaps there are some who have made such a schedule work: I found that it was extremely unrealistic at the end of my (successful) journey. I think I started to realize this about 1/2way through that first year...:luck:
Agreed - this is basically what I did over two years and the time needed must be respected! I am now in my third year of postbac and have taken a few more classes, like anatomy and biochem, have interviewed at the two schools I applied to and was accepted into both. I began my postbac at Hunter College in NYC taking classes nights and weekends. Then I moved to Chicago and finished my postbac classes at Northwestern. You can search for postbac/premed programs on this website: https://services.aamc.org/postbac/.

One thing to think about while figuring out where to take classes is if they offer a committee letter. A committee letter can usually be used in lieu of multiple letters of recommendation from science professors. It was a headache for me to get letters of recommendation at Northwestern where a committee letter was not offered. At Hunter a committee letter was offered and had I gotten it, both of my dental schools would have accepted it instead of two science professor letters. Something I didn't really think about in the beginning but would have appreciated come application time.

A masters degree is overkill at this point. Most people who get a masters degree to get into dental and medical school are advised to do so because their science and/or cumulative GPA was too low. If you do really well in your prerequisites you won't need a masters. This is best confirmed by calling a dental school and asking if they'd recommend it based on your GPA.

I worked full time until the last few months of my postbac so I could add an additional course and focus on really studying for the DAT during the summer. It's definitely doable to work and take these classes. I didn't take any classes in the summer because the classes were during work hours. Honestly, taking a class during the summer wouldn't have moved me along any faster. If you take the core classes during the two regular school years, you only have one summer before applying anyway. I wouldn't worry about fitting a class in - just use the time to take a breather and do some volunteering and shadowing. It's important not to burn yourself out as a working, nontraditional student because after the prerequisites you have another four years ahead of you. Take your time and do your best to get those As - that is what is most important to achieving your dream. If you really must take time off from work I would recommend doing so the summer that you apply so you can study for the DAT and kill it. I spent the entire summer studying and took the DAT in August and did really well. Not sure I would have done so well while working, but it depends on your study style.

Good luck! You can do whatever you set your mind to - find the right postbac that allows for night and weekend classes and take your time. You will get there before you know it.