Aug 28, 2016
Hello pre-dental folks,

I am slowly losing hope after reading many negative opinions and threads on SDN. But, I want to hold on to my dream..

A little bit about my background; I've recently graduated from one of the UCs with 3.0 gpa. All my pre-reqs were taken at a cc since I am a transfer student and some upper div. biology courses were taken at UC.
In order to make up my gpa a bit, I am thinking about going through informal post-bacc starting next spring and the problem is that I already have massive amount of lower div. and upper div. science classes on my transcript.. Also, due to financial problems, I think this is the only route that I can take for now.

Is it a good idea to take informal post-bacc at a 4 year institution and take some upper div courses such as immunology starting next year? (I will be working half-time as well)
Or is it a better idea to take pre-reqs again at a 4 year institution?
Are there any better options in my situation? Can a good DAT score compensate my undergrad work?
I will try to build up some good ECs next year as well, but is U.S. military experience a good EC?

I am sorry if I came up with so many questions, but I feel so lost and any advice will be greatly appreciated..
Thank you all in advance.


5+ Year Member
Aug 19, 2014
Dental Student
I'm in a similar situation as you, although a slightly better GPA; mine's sitting at 3.3 but my science is 2.8.
I've asked similar questions and according to the advice I've got, you should re-take pre-reqs you didn't do well in (C or below) and some upper-level science you haven't taken before. If you think UCs are bit tough, I don't think it'd hurt you if you took those courses at another 4-year institution. You might have to take quite a few classes, though.. (at least 1 year?) since you already have a b.s.. In my case, I have to take 25~30 credit hours and get straight A's in them to raise my GPA to where I want it to be.
I'm sure a military experience is a good EC; I'm pretty sure there's a reason why adcoms/applications ask you if you served in armed forces or not.
A good DAT score (23 or up?) will certainly compensate a low GPA to a degree. But you gotta raise it up a bit to at least 3.3? I know quite a few people who is in dental school with 3.2~3.3ish GPA.
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5+ Year Member
Jul 25, 2014
Dental Student
I would have a handful of schools you're interested in, and email the adcoma regarding the CC credits. Based on the GPA, post bacc would be the way to go IMO, proving you can excel in upper level courses. However, schools with a strict No CC policy may still require you retake the prereqs (with no DAT score or ECs capable of compensating for it) and that's a detail they can tell you. The idea of retaking all that coursework is frustrating, but you won't be the first to have done it. :) Don't give up hope; if you want it badly enough, you'll get it.

For now though, yes, making sure you have phenomenal DAT, ECs, and letters should also be at the top of your list to remove the focus from a low GPA. Military shows commitment and discipline as well as the ability to work in a team, so it's a wonderful EC. People have certainly gotten in with 3.0s before, but also be certain you don't apply to schools with a cutoff.


2+ Year Member
Apr 10, 2015
So did you not apply this year? I don't think you are in that bad of a place. If your prereq grades are good and you get strong letters and extracurriculars you will be in solid shape. Just do as well on the DAT as you can (20+) and I think you will have a good shot next year if you apply broadly. If you do end up taking extra courses try to ace them and maybe work your military service into your personal statement because I think you probably possess a lot of good qualities adcoms are looking for. Good luck!
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