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Does it really matter what University you graduate from?

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by claudiadent, Apr 27, 2004.

  1. claudiadent

    claudiadent Member
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    You know, I have heard it said that it matters where you go if you want to study business or law, because that will determine your job opportunities and salary. However, I have heard that for medical and dental it really doesn't matter where you graduate from because it all depends on what you make of the school while you are there. What are your views on this?

    Claudia ;)
     
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  3. jes1ca

    jes1ca OP Resident
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    I think that a school's reputation does matter a little, but not that much when it comes to med/dental schools. What matters more is what you make of your experience. Faculty recommendations are important for jobs/graduate programs and grades do make a difference. I think this is probably something that can only truly be assessed on an individual basis though.

    Why, are you trying to make a tough decision?

    Jessica
     
  4. Dentalist

    Dentalist carpe diem
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    I think that in general school's reputation does matter to certain extent when it comes to applying for the residency/specialty or even academic medicine/dentistry. However, reputation of school does not matter in practice of medicine/dentistry.
     
  5. Balki

    Balki The Perfect Stranger
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    I you should consider if you are going to be happy or not in that school. Location, tuition, student life and educational quality is something that I looked for. But then again I always looked for ways to challenge myself so I would also look for the most rewarding expereince. If you are reffereing to prestige, then after talking to many dentist (some out of school for nearly 30 years) many tell me that their patients could care less. But many mention expereinces that if they had a chance theyd choose the same school again. And then again i saw the toilet paper analogy here on SDN and thought that might be true. You might also want to speak to the students and ask if they'd choose differently.

    Good LUck

    -The Perfect Stranger-
     
  6. From what I've seen, it can only benefit you if you have atleast one good school under your belt (either undergrad or graduate). Once you get a degree from this place, it really doesn't matter what the other school was ranked. I've personally seen the difference this makes in the field of medicine and dentistry. One person I know went to a top 25 undergrad program and then went to a state medical school while another person i know went to a state undergrad program and then to the same state medical school as the first guy. Now, the first guy is making more than 2x the second one. Honestly, I think graduating from a superior program does have certain advantages.
     
  7. sxr71

    sxr71 Senior Member
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    With all due respect I think you're implying causation where there is none. In the field of medicine what you make depends mostly on your choices (and ability to make for yourself those choices). You can come out as a pediatrician making $90,000 a year or an anesthesiologist making $350,000 with roughly similar board scores You can choose to be a family practitioner in a crowded urban area making $100,000 or to be a family practitioner in a rural area with one doctor making $250,000. You can be an internist at $120,000 or a skull base surgeon at close to $1 million annually. There are so many more variables that determine income that there is no way you can correlate a school name with income. I can show you an FMG who makes 3 times as much as a physician who went to Duke.
     
  8. I understand what you're trying to say but more prestigious, established, and well known practices in any city always look for the best candidates and often times you'll find that they have degrees from the best institutions. It's just an observation I made. It would be nice if you could control how successful you'll end up being and I still like to believe this is true to a certain extent, but that's just not how things work in real life. My point is simply this: it's much easier to stand out when you're a graduate of a top program simply because people know about it and because it offers more opportunities for students to excel and stand out.
     
  9. arns51

    arns51 Senior Member
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    According to the director of admissions at CWRU, they do take the undergrad school into account. However, there are many other things they take into account before this (like GPA, DAT, LOR). And I really dont think that simply attending a better school is going to make up for a lower GPA or DAT.
     
  10. LibertyB

    LibertyB BusyBee
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    It matters a little, but mostly with respect to your GPA.

    A 3.5 from a small "easy" school is not the same as a 3.5 from a big "difficult" school. Mind you small and easy are not synonomous, big and difficult aren't as well. does that make sense?

    I did my first two years of undergrad at a small school (~5500 students) and then transfered to a big school (42,000+ students). Let me tell ya, it was a LOT harder to get an "A" from the big school. It seemed that EVERYONE was a brainiac, Valdictorian or Salutorian. Needless to say, my GPA dropped 0.5pts by the time I graduated (someone has to be at the bottom of the curve! ;) ).

    That's my $.02

    LB
     
  11. gatorfan99

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    Sure it does!

    Florida State U stinks! LOL.. :laugh:



    j/k


    Gatorfan!
     
  12. ziptree

    ziptree DDS
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    I feel that it's pretty hard to get a decent GPA here at my small (~4,000 students) school considering everyone who attends here does so because of the accelerated pre-pharmacy and pre-dental programs.

    And to answer the OP's question, I don't think its a large factor in the admissions process. As everyone has said already, the top two things that count are your GPA and DAT scores, followed closely by your LORs and personal statement. You should also have the "minimum" hours of dental experience, which at some schools, is only 40 hours.
     
  13. marshall

    marshall SDN Donor
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    It definitely matters for medical admissions. My girlfriend just finished interviewing at about 20 schools (seriously) and she always saw other interviewees from the top, famous schools (Cornell, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, etc etc). Even more obvious were the matriculated students. On her interviews they gave her a list of current medical students and their undergrads and across the boards the schools were either really good or really local (like BU medical had a lot of people from Boston schools).

    For dentistry I don't think it matters as much but having just talked with a bunch of people at Penn, it definitely gives you credibility. Talking to both professors and current students they all say the same thing "the name will take you far".

    Keep in mind I am biased because I went to a good school and you *definitely* can get into any dental program if you make the most of where you went, no matter where that might be.

    Cheers,
    Marshall
     
  14. grettlin2

    grettlin2 Senior Member
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    I don't know the actual selection factors in dental schools, but according to my experience, the answer is NO. I am in Post-Bachelor program in CSUF.
    I met one guy from Berkely majoring in Electrical Engineering in my G chem class. His GPA was 3.0 in Berkely and 3.5 in CSUF with 19 DAT. Finally, he got accepted to Boston Class of 2007 only.

    Does he explain to the committee that Berkely is too competitive, so getting B average is difficult especially in harsh major?
    Yes

    Does the committee take the above factors (hard major + hard school) into concern?
    It seems not.

    I would suggest you can choose state schools and above, but be sure to keep your GPA as high as possible. Find a smart strategy.
     
  15. gryffindor

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    Lesson learned from grettlin's story: don't major in Electrical Engineering if you are gonna go to dental school.
     
  16. Jack Worthing

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    thats a whole new thread topic- picking a major

    point taken though (from griffin)

    Picking an ultra-hard purists-only major is sorta like going to the US Air Force Academy in order to go to Professional School (medical, dental, business, law, etc.) for free later on - except without the financial incentive.

    But really now, can't electrical engineering students bring a certain diversity to the dental school class- perhaps they could better understand the inner workings of the dental machinery used in lab and clinic. :)

    kidding...
     
  17. UBTom

    UBTom Class '04 official geezer
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    Hell, if I could fly one of these for a living, I would forget about dental school altogether! :laugh:

    [​IMG]

    Now THAT'S a sports car! :D :D :D
     
  18. grr123

    grr123 Junior Member
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    I absolutely agree with you.When I interviewed at TUFTS back to September last year, there is this student from Duke who is not very sociable nor special (well, excepte he is from Duke). The admission staff were seriously like kissing his ass. "Oh, XX, what do you think of this?", "Oh, XX, how do you like our program?", "Oh, Dr.XX, this is XX from Duke"... I mean, come onnnnn. This is the only reason I say no to TUFTS even they offered me a scholarship. It is just that, well, yes they may prefer students from Ivy League, but PLEASE, dont' make it so obvious. Anyway, the point, is, where you graduate from does matter.
     
  19. Mo007

    Mo007 Gifted Hands
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    Tufts say that about everyone. They are just very personable people, and enjoy meeting people who are interested in their school, that's a treatment they give to anyone who steps into their building.
     
  20. KrebsPsycho

    KrebsPsycho Senior Member
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    Keep your GPA as high as possible plus score high on DAT. At my small Cal state school so far there are only 2 people (including me) who got accepted to a dental school this year. It's so easy to get A's here. When it comes to any kind of standardized test, we do badly. I remember how frustrated my OChem professor was when our class average in the national standardized Ochem exam was 20 something percentiles. Many people in my class have a 3.8-3.9 GPA but couldn't get an interview. Why? They did so poorly on DAT :( . At a BU interview, my friend was even aked, "What do they teach you over there?". My friend has a 3.87 GPA but only 17 DAT and was waitlisted at BU. I think adcoms know students from some particular schools don't get good education. I was told by a professor that for the past 11 years, there have been around 48 people from my school that got accepted to professional programs (dental, medical, vet., pharm.,...). Do the math. There are a lot of small but good schools out there, but I know my school is not one of them.
     
  21. HBomb

    HBomb Senior Member
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    Does it matter what university you graduated from? Well, all else being equal, yes it does. If I were on an adcom (and I'm obviously not) and if I had two candidates with equal everything except for undergrad university, then I would take the candidate with what I _perceive_ to be the better school. But now, here are two things I think about: first, this decision is only needed to be made on the borderline student (between acceptance and non-acceptance). Secondly, no two applicants are exactly equal. All applicant will differ some way besides just their undergrad university. So what are my points: 1) Don't worry about things you have no control over anymore (like the university you attended) and 2) don't be the borderline student. Give the adcoms no choice but to grant you an interview. We frequently make it sound like the adcoms have all the control, but I truly believe that each individual has the biggest level of control over this. You decide your destiny, not them.
     

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