Horrible grades for dental schools

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by dentalapp, Sep 17, 2002.

  1. dentalapp

    dentalapp Member
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    Am I in danger of not being accepted anywhere? Will I get into at least one school? Should I have planned to go to Poland/Israel/Brazil/Singapore/India instead?

    I submitted my AADSAS app on the last week of Aug. and is now around #3000 - 3100 and has not yet been sent out to dental schools. Does anyone know around when I can expect the app to be mailed out?

    Also, I sent out my letters of recommendation and transcripts directly to AADSAS. Based on what I've been hearing on this newsgroup, was this really a bad thing to do? If so, I'm in trouble because those were the ONLY copies of letters of recs I had and it takes 2 - 3 weeks for my transcripts to get sent out.

    Anyway, here are my stats:
    Undergrad Inst: Tier 1, nationally respected and private school ( But I took summer courses at three different schools.)
    Major: BS track for Electrical and Computer Engineering
    Cum GPA: 2.95
    BCP GPA: 3.0
    Science GPA: 2.95
    My transcripts have 4 W's and 2 repeats and my machine architecture courses pulled down my grades. Also, I am fitted with heavily technical courses all year round.

    Now look at how worse it gets.

    Required predental courses:
    Bio #1 - C+
    Bio #2 - W
    Bio at a CC over the summer: A

    CHM #1: D+
    CHM #1 - R: A-
    CHM #2: B+

    Organic 1: W
    Organic 1 elsewhere over summer: B+
    Organic 2 " " : B+

    Phy 1: C+
    Phy 2 at a CC over the summer: A-

    Calc 1: A-
    Calc 2: B+
    Discrete math: A-
    Linear Algebra with ODE: B+
    Diff. Eq: A-

    English 1: A-
    English 2: in progress

    DAT
    Academic Ave: 20
    Bio: 16
    Gen Chem: 23
    Organic Chem: 18
    Total Science: 18
    Reading: 20
    Quantitative Reasoning: 21
    PAT: 18
    Will the 16 on my bio section burt me?

    Misc.
    Research: Two studies in electrical engineering
    Community Service: 1 year
    Dental experience: around 50 - 70 hrs
    Past work history: Computer database support for various surgical and infectious disease clinics at my school's medical center.

    Recommendations.
    1 - from a bio professor, which I expect will be alright
    2 - from chem prof #1, which is probably so-so at best
    3 - from chem prof #2. I got a D+ on first attempt but an A- after I repeated his course. I don't what he could have wrote.
    4 - from a dentist/program director at my school's dentistry arm. He assigned to various dental residents each week and I never got to shadow him directly. All he does is coordinate residency programs and does research, and I have no idea what he could have put down on the letter.

    I applied to:
    USC
    NYU
    Columbia
    UD Mercy
    CWRU
    Pitt
    Penn

    So what do you think?
     
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  3. UBTom

    UBTom Class '04 official geezer
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    Speaking from my own experience during my first attempt at applying to dental school back in 1998 (3.0 overall and science GPA, 21 Academic DAT/24 PAT, no acceptances), I think your chances are on the low side. Out of all the schools you applied to, perhaps you might see one acceptance.

    Of course there are a lot of other factors that might make a difference for you such as applicant pool size, GPA trend, how you do on interviews, etc.. But if I was in your shoes I'd expect a significant number of denials.

    Here's one suggestion that might improve your chances: Make sure to devote some extra effort applying to the dental schools in your state/region of residence. Because there are so few dental schools in the U.S. (53), the majority of dental schools have a preference for in-state residents. On my first attempt in 1998 I applied to a lot of out-of-state schools and did not get into any. On my second attempt in 2000 I applied only to schools in New York State (where I live) and got accepted by two and waitlisted by one.

    Good luck!
     
  4. ItsGavinC

    Dentist Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    An honest opinion given the information you provided: I think your chances are nearly zero.

    Of course, I could be wrong, but statistics would say you are fighting a loosing battles, especially since you weren't early on getting your application out. That, coupled with average/poor DAT scores and below average grades doesn't leave much of a chance.

    That isn't to say that you wouldn't be a fine dentist (or won't be!), but schools are going to do initial screens based on GPAs and DAT scores, and your would probably get you cut in that first step.
     
  5. Dr. Kulkarni

    Dr. Kulkarni Member
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    dentalapp,

    BE OPTIMISTIC!!! Several people that I know have gotten in with worse scores/grades than you. AND A 20 ACADEMIC ON THE DAT IS NOT AVERAGE/POOR! It's usually above a 90th percentile which very good. Your distribution could be better but you have some good individual scores in there that should stand out to the committee.

    No one in this WHOLE forum can really tell you what your chances are of getting in, they can only give you their opinions. Therefore, take note of what everyone says but don't take it to heart because the only people that could answer your 'chances' question are the people on the admissions committee!!!

    Good luck to you dentalapp. I hope everything works out.

    dr. kulkarni
     
  6. MrFutureDMD

    MrFutureDMD Member
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    People should realize that these figures are just AVERAGES. Average DAT nationally is 18/18. Average GPA is 3.3-3.4. Many people score above and many people score below. My suggestions is DON'T GIVE UP NO MATTER WHAT THE ODDS MAY APPEAR TO BE...If Dentistry is your destiny, then you'll get into dental school; no doubt about it.
     
  7. dentalapp

    dentalapp Member
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    Well, there are no state schools that I could apply to because I live in New York and NY state dental schools are among the best in the nation.

    Man, you're probably right. Looking at past postings, I didn't realize that dental applicants here have around 3.5+ gpas and 22 DATs. Also, dental admissions place no bearing on undergrad rankings and difficulty of major, and so it looks pretty bleak for me.

    In the meantime, I'll probably try to withdraw my application before it's too late for a refund from AADSAS and ask that my checks to dental schools be cancelled.

    I'll just get a job.
     
  8. UBTom

    UBTom Class '04 official geezer
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    OY, A Fellow New Yorker!

    Dude, I don't know if it's too late, but I think you really should have applied to UB and Stony too. Like I said, you will have a better chance than applicants from 49 other states because these two schools give priority to NYS residents.

    Sheee-oot, nearly half of the guys in my class here at the University at Buffalo dental school (there are 92 of us) are from the NYC and Long Island area.

    My grades aren't much better than yours yet I managed to get acceptances from NYU and UB on my second attempt. After two years here in dental school, I am glad I stuck to my guns! Even if you don't get in this year, don't give up. Do some Masters work in Biology first (which is what I did after my abortive first attempt at applying) or maybe post-bac if that's applicable. Show that you can hack the material, and apply again.

    Good luck!
     
  9. groundhog

    groundhog 1K Member
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    I would say don't give up on NYU, Detroit Mercy, and USC. And, as UBTom has advised, give Boston U a shot. You might also look at NOVA and University of Pacific. Your overall DAT is actually very good and may be your saving grace. It will help those who are checking out your stats to visualize your GPA's as being in the "B" range rather than the "C" range. I say go for it. If you are denied and end up having to do a post-bac or masters, before applying again, I think it might look better in the long run if you showed the persistance from the get go.
     
  10. gryffindor

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    I don't know if it'll help you feel any better, but my research advisor is on the admissions committe here at the Univ. of Buffalo dental school. According to her, each applicant's stats (GPA, DAT, etc) are thrown into this formula to come up with a score for each applicant. Included in this score is also the difficulty of the undergrad school you attended. It's a very small contributor, but it matters a bit. In their formula, a "Tier 1, nationally respected private school" is given a six. My local little Jesuit college down the street is a four. The number for your college is multiplied by 2 and added to your score. So if we had the same exact stats, you would come out slightly ahead of me in the formula if we both applied to UB, based on the undergrad school you attended (since you would get 12 points on your score, whereas I would only get 8).

    Apply to Buffalo if you are a NY state resident. NY state is well represented in our classes of approx 85 students each.

    Good luck!
     
  11. vixen

    vixen I like members
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    dont let people on here tell you "no"....work hard, apply, hope for the best and prepare for the worst...if you get rejected, improve your stats and reapply....if this is what you truly want, go for it, and dont let people (esp on here! :mad: ) tell you otherwise! :clap:
     
  12. Rovert

    Rovert Member
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    yeah, don't get discouraged. Just the other day my predental advisor told me that last year a student from my school was accepted into a dental school with a 2.8 GPA. He said she had excellent dental experience, and that the admissions people took notice. There may be other aspects of your application that outweigh your grades. Additionally, have you shown an improvement in your grades in the last few semesters? I have heard from many legitimate sources that your most recent semester grades are at least as important, if not more important than your overall GPA. Good luck.
     
  13. dentalapp

    dentalapp Member
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    To the person(s) who said my DAT is good,

    I only got a 16 on the bio section.
    Also, my strengths on the exam were mainly the reading and math sections.

    Will my academic ave of 20 really be all that adequate?

    Given that most people we hear of usually scores 21 - 23 ( with not scores like a 16-18 like I got on bio, orgo,tot. sci. and PAT ), I doubt that the national average of DAT scores is actually an 18.
     
  14. Rovert

    Rovert Member
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    The DAT scores we "hear about" are only the ones that people are willing to post on this webpage. I'm positive that there are many people who did not score in the 90th percentile or whatever, and are not as willing to post their DAT scores on the internet. I have a book put out by the predental office here at the university of maryland that lists all the average DAT score and GPAs for the entering classes for every dental school in 1998 (its probably a little out of date, but probably still quite accurate).

    The school with the highest average DAT score for entering classes was Harvard (21.63/19.49) and the lowest average DAT was the University of Puerto Rico (15.63/15.29) The rest of the schools seem to be mostly in the 17-19 range, with a few in the 20s and few in the 16s. Additionally, the average GPAs for entering classes ranges from 3.60 to 2.82.

    Since these numbers are averages, it is safe to assume that there were many students with DAT scores and GPAs that were even LESS than these numbers. It is my belief (and hope) that admissions officers look at far more factors than a few numbers when deciding which students to accept into their schools. In fact, according to this book I'm pulling all these stats from, the two most important factors admissions people look at is the Academic Average on the DATs and the interview itself (although, of course, the relative importance of other factors differs from school to school). Just for interests sake, the factor rated least important was the quantitative score on the DATs.
     

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