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rcollinb

2+ Year Member
Apr 18, 2018
45
5
Status
Pre-Dental
I am currently starting my second Summer here at my university in Texas getting ready to enter my junior year as a Pre-Dent. With as much excitement I am feeling towards my future, I have concerns and worries as well. With all the concern, I have multiple questions I would like to ask everyone just to kind of clear my mind, as well as clear my check list. Almost all of these questions I am sure are asked here a lot, but I just could not find a clear enough post about all of them at once. I just wanted all the questions answered on one forum so I can get my mind geared towards not worrying so much about things I am not entirely sure on.

Anyways, I have always wanted to become a Pediatric Dentist, so going into college I knew I needed to prepare myself for being successful and making it to dental school. Below I am going to spurt out what I am about right now, and I would sincerely appreciate it if any of you guys/gals could tell me if I am screwed, or on the right track. I also would really love some improvements, additions, and overall things I can do to make myself and my application be better. Below all of that crap, I have a few questions bulleted that I desperately need answered. Thanks again everyone, and good luck on finals if you haven’t taken them quite yet.

I have dental work experience, dental shadowing experience (about 50-75 hours so far), a few volunteer hours (30+), letters of recommendation from three experienced Pediatric Dentists, and one high school science teacher (I know the HS letter doesn’t matter much). I definitely need at least three letters from science professors if I have a shot at getting into my dream school of Columbia. I have 54 hours at the end of this Spring semester, and I will have 57 or 60 (hopefully 60) going into my Fall semester of junior year after this Summer. I am taking 12 hours that Fall, and have yet to register for Spring of junior year. I currently have a 3.46 cGPA, but after this Summer semester I should have a 3.61+ cGPA and a 3.50 sGPA (retaking course, gets replaced). I have completed both Chemistry’s, both Biology’s, Physics 1, and I am enrolled into O. Chem. 1 in the Fall of my junior year. Unfortunately, I received C+’s in both of my Chemistry’s lectures, but I am 100% positive I could get an A in Chemistry 1 if I retook it later on (university replaces grade on transcript). Depending on how I do my junior year my GPA is going to see some important changes. I already know I have to get prepared for the DAT, so I have some supplies and plans made getting ready for next Summer. I forgot to mention I am currently apart of the Pre-Dental Society and Honors College here at my university. I also am going to add to my shadowing hours this summer with different dentists. With all of that knowledge on me, how am I doing this far? Am I behind? Am I screwed, glued, and tattooed? What do y’all suggest? Did I miss anything important?



Upcoming Summer & Fall schedules:

Summer 2018:

-College Algebra (retaking from high school days to change from C to A :bored:)

-Statistics


Fall 2018:

-Organic Chemistry 1

-Organic Chemistry 1 Lab

-Physics 2

-Physics 2 Lab

-Microbiology or Botany (help)

-Microbiology or Botany Lab

Do I need Genetics too, or to be substituted for something?



Lastly, again I am sorry, here are the concerns:

1. Do I need any particular classes BEFORE applying to dental school?


2. When is the best time to apply?


3. Do dental schools use the GPA at the time I apply?


4. Do I need all of my letters of recommendation before I apply?


5. Do I need all my shadowing/volunteer hours done before applying?


6. Do I need 90 or so many hours before I apply or just before I get to dental school?


7. Do I need to complete all pre-reqs before I apply?


8. What DO I NEED before applying? Anything I need to know about applying?


9. Do any of y’all advise taking Summer courses the same Summer you study and take the DAT?


10. What are the top schools for OOS applicants?

What am I missing here?

Again, thank you all for reading through this, and I truly hope some of my questions and concerns get answered. Thanks again!
 
Last edited:
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Its_Me_G

2+ Year Member
Jun 4, 2017
341
420
Status
Pre-Dental
Few things: first, you have too many LORs. Of the 3 from pediatric dentists, pick just one. And drop the letter from your HS teacher, you only get to submit 4 letters total so either 3 science professors (or 2 science and 1 other) and a dentist or a committee letter and a dentist. Second, your GPA won’t be as high as you think because AADSAS doesn’t replace grades for retakes, it counts both grades (regardless of what your university does)

1. Get the majority of your prereqs done before applying so that schools can see those grades. Most schools, however, just require all of the prereqs to be done prior to matriculation, so don’t sweat it if you’re missing a class or two when you apply.

2. Best time to apply is ASAP. I’m assuming you will apply next year or rhe year after. The cycle will open in mid-May and you can start submitting on June 1st. It’s a good idea to take your DAT before the cycle opens so that you have time for a re-take if you need.

3. Yes, dental schools use your GPA at the time you apply, so if your GPA after your junior year isn’t what you want it to be, apply after graduation. There’s also an academic update period 6 months into the cycle, where you can update your summer and fall grades only one time.

4. When the application opens in May, put all your professors and dentists information in so that they can get started on their part. Make sure you give them enough time to write a letter (ask a few months before the application opens)

5. I believe you can update these as you go, but since you won’t be applying for at least a year, try to get them done now.

6. Not sure

7. Refer to 1

8. Just make sure you’re on top of everything so that you can submit on June 1st. It takes a few weeks to verify your transcripts and DAT

9. That’s up to you and how you study. I took my DAT the summer before I applied so that I didn’t feel rushed and I had time to re-take if I needed to.

10. Check out the ADEA official guide to dental schools

Good luck!
 
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rcollinb

2+ Year Member
Apr 18, 2018
45
5
Status
Pre-Dental
Few things: first, you have too many LORs. Of the 3 from pediatric dentists, pick just one. And drop the letter from your HS teacher, you only get to submit 4 letters total so either 3 science professors (or 2 science and 1 other) and a dentist or a committee letter and a dentist. Second, your GPA won’t be as high as you think because AADSAS doesn’t replace grades for retakes, it counts both grades (regardless of what your university does)

1. Get the majority of your prereqs done before applying so that schools can see those grades. Most schools, however, just require all of the prereqs to be done prior to matriculation, so don’t sweat it if you’re missing a class or two when you apply.

2. Best time to apply is ASAP. I’m assuming you will apply next year or rhe year after. The cycle will open in mid-May and you can start submitting on June 1st. It’s a good idea to take your DAT before the cycle opens so that you have time for a re-take if you need.

3. Yes, dental schools use your GPA at the time you apply, so if your GPA after your junior year isn’t what you want it to be, apply after graduation. There’s also an academic update period 6 months into the cycle, where you can update your summer and fall grades only one time.

4. When the application opens in May, put all your professors and dentists information in so that they can get started on their part. Make sure you give them enough time to write a letter (ask a few months before the application opens)

5. I believe you can update these as you go, but since you won’t be applying for at least a year, try to get them done now.

6. Not sure

7. Refer to 1

8. Just make sure you’re on top of everything so that you can submit on June 1st. It takes a few weeks to verify your transcripts and DAT

9. That’s up to you and how you study. I took my DAT the summer before I applied so that I didn’t feel rushed and I had time to re-take if I needed to.

10. Check out the ADEA official guide to dental schools

Good luck!
Thank you for the response. The reason for so many letters is that I have three cousins that are Pediatric Dentists. Anyway I can use that to my advantage? Do dental schools look at retakes at all? I'd really like to think I have an alright trajectory, I am not in a bad position am I?
 
Last edited:

Its_Me_G

2+ Year Member
Jun 4, 2017
341
420
Status
Pre-Dental
Thank you for the response. The reason for so many letters is that I have three cousins that are Pediatric Dentists. Anyway I can use that to my advantage? Do dental schools look at retakes at all? I'd really like to think I have an alright trajectory, I am not in a bad position am I?
From what I hear, schools like letters from general dentists more than specialities because you are applying to school to become a dentist, not a specialist. Lots of people say not to mention during an interview that you want to specialize. So that being said, you should look into getting the bulk of your shadowing hours through a general dentist and have them write your letters.

Regarding the class retakes, they do look at the fact that you did better when you retook the class, but they will still see the initial grade and it will still factor into your GPA. As for you being in a bad position or not, I don’t know. Just do your best to crush the DAT, focus on doing well on higher level science classes, taking your prereqs, shadowing, and volunteering and you should be fine when you apply
 
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Symphonies

2+ Year Member
Feb 4, 2016
161
96
Southwest, USA
Status
Pre-Dental
For your GPA calculation after summer semester, are you completely replacing the grades? I believe the application itself takes into consideration all of your grades, even if your university replaces them.
 

bwc

2+ Year Member
Jun 14, 2015
355
100
Status
Pre-Dental
Thank you for the response. The reason for so many letters is that I have three cousins that are Pediatric Dentists. Anyway I can use that to my advantage? Do dental schools look at retakes at all? I'd really like to think I have an alright trajectory, I am not in a bad position am I?
The recommenders being your cousins is most likely a red flag. Schools frown upon having a letter of recommendation from a from somebody who is too close to you, and I would assume being a cousin is considered too close. Also, the application allows a total of four letters, and most schools require at least two science professor letters.

Anyways, retaking a course you already passed may not be a red flag (assuming you get an A the second attempt), it will not strengthen you application. Retaking a course to get an A is doable by almost everybody, so doing so will not impress them. Also they will include all attempts in your GPA calculation, regardless of what your school does, so getting an A in the retake will not give you a true A in the course for the purposes of applying to dental school.
 

rcollinb

2+ Year Member
Apr 18, 2018
45
5
Status
Pre-Dental
For your GPA calculation after summer semester, are you completely replacing the grades? I believe the application itself takes into consideration all of your grades, even if your university replaces them.
My university replaces grades on the transcript
 

tiper15

2+ Year Member
May 23, 2017
283
129
Status
Pre-Dental
Like was said above the AADSAS counts all courses even if your university doesn't
I think what OP is trying to say is that his previous mark wont show up at all on his transcript, even when they were taken. So if they dont appear at all, AADSAS won't know that he retook them and therefore it wont affect the GPA.
 

Its_Me_G

2+ Year Member
Jun 4, 2017
341
420
Status
Pre-Dental
I think what OP is trying to say is that his previous mark wont show up at all on his transcript, even when they were taken. So if they dont appear at all, AADSAS won't know that he retook them and therefore it wont affect the GPA.
You are still obligated to report it on AADSAS though
 
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