Mar 28, 2010
4
0
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
So heres my story..
Background
I transferred 3 times (BU,CC, UMD), cumulative gpa is close to a 2.9 and sci gpa is around 2.6 with a mediocre DAT score (AA 19, TS 16/17, Verbal 24, PAT 21). I graduated with a B.S. in Biology and I'm 2 semesters shy of getting my English degree. My dad graduated from UMB dental school and is an alum.

Extracurriculars
-I have a published paper working as a technical writer over at Johns Hopkins.
-200+shadowing hours at dental offices of many different specialities (including working at my dad's practice for several years)
-100+ hours shadowing an ob/gyn in the OR in Baltimore.
-Some research experience senior year in HS over at USUHS
-Other leadership/athletics/organization stuff.

Presently, I'm 24, moved out to Korea to take some time off and refocus away from my parents. After being here for 6 months, I decided to take the walk of shame to get back on the pre-dental path.

I've spoken with a lot of close friends and don't seem to get a straight answer so I would greatly appreciate any kind of advice on how I can get back on track. I realize everyone on this forum has their own personal story and I figured just reading other members' post may provide good information: However, I need advice on what my best chances are in getting into dental school in my current situation. (Post-bacc work, getting a master's, or just waving the flag on going to dental school).


I really appreciate any sort of advice you guys might have. I just ran into this forum a few months ago and I really wish I knew about this back when I was a freshman. Thanks again!
 

angelnyc89

5+ Year Member
Jul 18, 2009
209
0
91
Status
Pre-Dental
You need to bring your gpa up & take the DATs again. You have good ec but your grades need to go up. Good Luck!
 
Aug 27, 2009
64
1
0
Status
Pre-Dental
I would say as you stand, I don't think you have that great of a shot. Its been my experience, that DAT and GPA are major screening factors.

I would say to do a health science post bacc or maybe a non-thesis master's and pull that off with high GPA. Then do a DAT retake. If you're able to do that, I'm confident you'll then be a strong applicant.

Good luck!
 
Mar 28, 2010
4
0
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Thanks for the info. So I was planning on finishing up my English degree and possibly taking A&P and Microbiology as well. If I do go the Master's route afterwards, would I need to take the DAT's to get in or would I have to take GRE's or none of the above?

Also, I was wondering how much legacy factors in when applying to a school. As I previously mentioned, my dad went to UMB which is my local state dental school and most likely my top choice. I've been getting a lot of different opinions but according to my pre-health advisor, it doesn't really put me in much more of a favorable position. Just wanted to know what you guys thought on it.

Again, appreciate all the help. Thanks!
 

ashlander

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 8, 2008
180
0
91
Status
Dental Student
Thanks for the info. So I was planning on finishing up my English degree and possibly taking A&P and Microbiology as well. If I do go the Master's route afterwards, would I need to take the DAT's to get in or would I have to take GRE's or none of the above?

Also, I was wondering how much legacy factors in when applying to a school. As I previously mentioned, my dad went to UMB which is my local state dental school and most likely my top choice. I've been getting a lot of different opinions but according to my pre-health advisor, it doesn't really put me in much more of a favorable position. Just wanted to know what you guys thought on it.

Again, appreciate all the help. Thanks!
Legacy will NOT get you in unless your dad made some major donations imo.
 
Jul 19, 2009
28
1
0
Status
Dental Student
Retake your DAT and do a master or a postbac to raise gpa. Your TS is low and your gpa for bio major isn't that high so you need to prove to them you can handle upper division science course. And an alumni connection doesn't do much unless he donates 30 millions. Good luck.
 
Aug 27, 2009
64
1
0
Status
Pre-Dental
I agree with the other's that I don't think a connection will have too much pull, unless they're a huge benefactor.

There's a 1 year graduate Certificate program at VCU's school of medicine, you would use your DAT score for entrance into that program. That could help you out...there's also the option to do the second year and get a master's.

For any other traditional master's programs, you'll most likely have to take the GRE.

Regardless of what you do, I think a DAT retake is necessary b/c of your low science scores. Good luck!
 
Mar 28, 2010
4
0
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I agree with the other's that I don't think a connection will have too much pull, unless they're a huge benefactor.

There's a 1 year graduate Certificate program at VCU's school of medicine, you would use your DAT score for entrance into that program. That could help you out...there's also the option to do the second year and get a master's.

For any other traditional master's programs, you'll most likely have to take the GRE.

Regardless of what you do, I think a DAT retake is necessary b/c of your low science scores. Good luck!
Thanks. I really appreciate all the advice.
SO pretty much in summary:
1. I can't bank on legacy
2. Definitely need to retake DAT's
3. Gotta get into a post-bacc or Master's program

*So your saying I have a chance to get into VCU program with my current stats or do I have to raise my DAT scores to even think about applying?

Thanks in advance.
 

KittySquared

Kitty chompers
7+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2010
1,571
31
161
7 seas
Status
Dental Student
Hi there, I totally feel what you're going through. I think a master's program might work more in your favor, since it's a set of grad GPA and admin seem to take grad GPAs a lot more seriously. You can try to do a non-thesis, small masters program in bio and do very well on it on the first year and apply at the end of that first year, so when you finish your second year, you go to dental school directly. And before you start your master's program, maybe take 3 months to study the DAT and get that TS up to 20.
 

dentalWorks

Nights Watchmen
7+ Year Member
Jun 25, 2009
5,646
157
181
Sterling Hts, Mi
Status
Dentist
Well statistically speaking, students with 3.4+ GPAs along with 19+ AA and TS scores have the best chance for interviews. I would do some post-bacc, try 30-40 credits in post-bacc and try to 4.0 everything. the more you 4.0, the faster you can bring up your GPA.

About your DAT, I mean, 19AA is always respectable score, yeh the sciences are a little low, but if you just re-study for the DAT, develope a good strategy and use the right material you should be able to do better than a TS17. However, I you do plan to do the post-bacc route (or the masters) DON'T TAKE THE DAT NOW... for obvious reason that it usually gets voided out by most schools after 2-3 years from the time you take it. Finish up your post-bacc (or masters) then take the DAT
 

Hordel

10+ Year Member
Nov 20, 2008
226
2
0
Washington
Status
Dental Student
I pretty much agree with everyone thus far. Your GPA is low and I think that is your MAIN weakness, that being said I think you can do a masters type program and have a much better shot. The legacy, as stated, ISN'T going to help you, I was a legacy at OHSU and didn't even get an interview there. The only way the legacy will help is if a MAJOR contribution to the school was made by your father. Finally, your DAT's (I think are okay, I was never great at standardized tests). I actually got in with a lower DAT AA, but my science was higher. I honestly think, and am not sure, that the science section is something that schools will look at somewhat heavily, and I think it was my saving grace. You might also want to add some volunteer time, I didn't notice anything about that, and schools LOVE that stuff! If you want to be a dentist DO NOT give up, just improve your stats and make sure that when you get an interview you show them why they can't pass you up!! I wish you the best of luck!