I apologize if a recent thread on this topic exists. I scanned a few pages back and found similar elements to my questions, but couldn't find any extensive info on this topic.

I graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2009 with a liberal arts degree and a 2.93 GPA. I avoided sciences like the plague after finding them uninteresting in high school. Of course, I recognized that I have a true passion for dentistry and science in the months after graduation. :laugh:

So, I'm planning on returning to school to take my pre-dental courses.

What is the best approach for gaining admission to a university with the sole intention of taking pre-dental courses? I will not be completing a four-year degree and I worry that a CC will not carry the same weight. Is there any difference between taking the courses at a Cal State University or a UC?

One more question:

I understand that dental admission offices primarily consider the first GPA in a situation where an applicant has completed subsequent undergraduate work. However, I took no science courses during my four years at UCSB. I don't expect to erase my poor undergraduate GPA, but can I expect dental schools to weigh my new GPA (the pre-dental courses) as my "science GPA?"

Thanks all.


Moderator Emeritus
Mar 10, 2010
Sounds like your science GPA is a clean slate so that is to your advantage! You can take your prereqs at community college but you have to get almost all A's and set a goal for 20 or more on the DAT. If you haven't taken math for a while look into an algebra refresher course before you take physics. I wish I had.


7+ Year Member
Oct 20, 2009
Dental Student
I'm in a similar situation but I graduated back in 2004. With a 3.3gpa I was denied as a post-bacc student at my university, so now I'm trying to take classes as a non-matriculated student. It's hard, and I probably won't get in, so I'm looking at community colleges as a backup plan. Some people on here will say that adcoms look down on classes at a community college, but from what I've read, that's not always the case. You should look at the schools that don't accept community college credits and then decide if you may want to apply there or not. If you don't care about Tufts or a few other schools (I think only 5 or 6 out of all DSs won't accept CC credits) just take the classes at a community college.


I'm considering it seriously, customx. It looks like my only options as a non-matriculated student are to take classes at a CSU Extension or UC Extension program or to complete my pre-reqs at my local community college.

Does anyone happen to know what dental schools generally think of extension? Is it viewed any less favorably than taking classes at a 4-year as a matriculated undergrad? It's much more expensive than CC, so if it's not going to carry some legitimacy I'm not sure if it's worth it.