Graduating in 3 or 3.5 Years

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I will be transferring to a new school this fall as a second-year student. However, I have enough credits to be considered a Junior. It is possible for me to graduate in a total of 3 years and attend dental school immediately after graduation. This would require slightly more work and I would need to take 2 CLEP exams to get gen-eds out of the way. However, I could graduate this early while only having between 15-18 credits per semester and very few summer courses. It would be nice to get undergrad out of the way and get on with my life and career. I could also stretch it out and graduate in 3.5 years. I would then have half a year to relax before dental school. This would be a long period of time for me to sit around and wait for school to begin, but it might be nice to have a break. My GPA is in a good spot right now at about 3.94, if that makes any difference. I know that one argument against graduating early is the inability to develop strong extracurriculars. However, I have been running an organization for the past 5 years and am currently turning it into a non-profit. I believe that this will stand out as a strong EC. Do any of you have experience with this? What would you recommend? Would it work against me to begin dental school at the age of 21?
Thank you!


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2+ Year Member
Apr 30, 2016
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I graduated in three years and decided not to apply last year because I didn't think I was competitive enough with everyone else having an extra years worth of shadowing and ecs compared to me. I am currently in my "gap year" and am doing an MBA program because it will greatly help owing a practice in the future.

I think you should decide what will make you not only more competitive an applicant but also happier as a person!

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