7+ Year Member
Oct 21, 2010
Dental Student
I'm a pre-dent looking to improve, nay, guarantee entrance to dental school. I'm very borderline at the moment with a 3.4 Science and Overall GPA with a strong upwards trend line (3.7ish the last couple years of upper division classes). Additionally, I have scores in the 90th percentile range in the DAT but a single 40th percentile in the math section. o_O

Once again, I'm very borderline and if I'm lucky, I might get acceptance to a dental school. If I'm not accepted, I don't want to waste a year waiting for the next cycle. I want to do a masters program because I think it'll show that I'm dedicated to the field. Additionally, I could boost that 3.4 GPA... or will I? Every SDN story I hear about master's goes something like this "I got a 2.7 undergrad and 4.0 in masters." Did those students just really turn it around and kick ass in the masters program? Or is the masters program a bit easier than undergraduate classes? Or is the curve different? Or what?

The point being, I tried damn hard to get a 3.4 cumulative GPA and nearly killed myself (figuratively) achieving a 3.7 those last semesters. I don't want to enroll in a masters program and be overwhelmed with the difficulty, and actually lower my cumulative GPA. I'm not saying I'll only do a master's if it's a piece of cake. I'm willing to work hard and often twice as much as the average student in the class. I could pull A's in undergrad, but just barely. Should I do a masters program given my borderline circumstances? Thanks!

Edit: This is a cross post from the MPH forum I accidentally posted in. Tried to get admins to relocate it. No luck :rolleyes:
Jul 7, 2013
Well first of all comparing an MPH to an SMP is like comparing apples and oranges. MPHs are easy (relatively speaking). This forum is for postbacs and smps. I'm in an SMP now and I can tell you first hand that they are not all success stories. Everyone comes here thinking they will get straight As, and that they are capable of being the best (which is the correct mentality), but isn't necessarily true. There are people here doing great (4.0), a large majority getting B's and some A's, but there are also people who just are not cutting it, and may not be able to ever go to med school now. It is a huge risk, and to me, is only worth taking if you have no other options. I'd do more research if I was you, probably just retake the DAT again bc that is much shorter than a 50 thousand dollar one year program that could possibly be a career ender.


10+ Year Member
Aug 12, 2007
Well, people probably don't post the "I got a 2.7 in undergrad, paid 60k for an SMP and did poorly" stories with the same frequency. The difficulties of the programs from reading seems to be highly variable (some programs are purported to accept you to the host schools with a 3.0+ in the program, others wont accept you with a 3.7). Some students likely turned their habits around but I think that a lot of students that care about their studies and work hard as an undergraduate are of the opinion that their classmates are also approaching the classes in the same manner, which is often not the case. It would likely be easier for somebody who got a 2.7 in undergrad that never went to class, spent 3 hours studying for each exam and didn't hand various things in to improve their relative ranking than somebody who put in 60+ hours of scholarly study into their classes and got a 2.7. If you're relying on simply outworking your competitors I would be exceedingly cautious when approaching SMPs as most SMP students are going to have their backs against the wall, and will likely be putting forth their best effort (or alternatively for many classes you may be graded directly against the medical students - the majority of which are likely both quite intelligent and hard working). There are some dental-track masters programs that might be of interest to you but I don't know a whole lot about them, BU is probably more of an SMP, but Louisville and Stony Brook both have interesting-looking programs (though I'm not sure how hard they are or what use they have). A traditional masters might also be more useful to you than a SMP (which are often useless), though obviously they're likely going to contribute less to "pushing you over the edge" as a candidate. There seems to be relatively sparse information regarding how dental schools value a lot of the programs as well.