Last two years of college vs. postbacc vs. SMP

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blu_lix

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I really don't have any excuses for my GPA. It's sub-3.0, and even with the numerous amount of health issues I had during the last 2 years, I'm still messing up in the quarter where my health issues are out of the way. I'm on the track for a BS in biochemistry, and I have an intended minor of business.

But now that I'm thinking about it, would it be more beneficial to take upper-level biology and chemistry courses instead of doing the minor? I'm kicking pchem's butt this quarter, and even I'm surprised about it, and my lowest grade this quarter is probably going to be my accounting class. I am capable of taking upper level courses (as shown by pchem) and I'm on track to take the biochem series next year (I took pchem before biochem, but I have all the coursework finished that's needed for the DAT). Would it be more beneficial to get around 20 credits of upper level coursework, or should I take an SMP or a postbacc?

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I was in your shoes, I had a sub-3.0 at the end of my sophomore year from a lack of motivation and ultimately because I didn't know I wanted to do dentistry. I received a 3.5 my junior year and a 4.0 senior year which was about 50 credits that only brought my GPA to about a 3.3 since I already had so many credits. I was thinking about doing an SMP, but instead I really buckled down and killed my DAT which is absolutely crucial if you decide to apply after doing 20 hours of upper level science courses. I'd say that if you bring your GPA to at least a 3.0 and 22+ on your DAT you'd have a decent shot, just be strategic with your application (schools you apply to, personal statement, etc.). Also I'd advise you to keep taking upper level science courses during the cycle you apply in case you don't get in December 1st so that you can submit an academic update. Good luck you got this, just stay focused!
 
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Well if you can take upper div electives at your school now, do it. What would your oGPA and sGPA be if you aced all of them? If the final GPA isn't too bad with a strong upward trend, you can apply with a high DAT and get in. If it's not high enough after that, I think a masters is better than a postbac in your case.

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Hey! Being sub 3.0 can be scary but if this is something you really truly want, you can make it happen. I don’t recommend jumping into an SMP right away, for two reasons. Number 1: Once you do an SMP that is your last shot. Number 2: The concern that you mentioned that even without the health issue that you’re not doing your best. I would think that maybe you need an overhaul of your study methods. Pchem is a difficult class, so it’s awesome that you’re doing well! I just want to remind you that biology can be difficult in a different aspect. The material isn’t hard, it’s how much material you’re expected to know. If you’re taking several upper level bio courses together, then it is about discipline. Making sure you see the info every single day for each class for a short amount of time to build endurance. That’s the thing about the post bacc you want to get as close to a competitive semester as you can make it look for each semester. Do the 20 credits you need and then if you can get a good DAT, try applying once. If you don’t hear back, ask schools what you can improve on. THEN think about an SMP. SMPs are so expensive and with the cost of dental education the way it is right now, you want to avoid that extra debt if you can.


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Well if you can take upper div electives at your school now, do it. What would your oGPA and sGPA be if you aced all of them? If the final GPA isn't too bad with a strong upward trend, you can apply with a high DAT and get in. If it's not high enough after that, I think a masters is better than a postbac in your case.

I think my oGPA would be around a 3.4, but if I'm more realistic in my capabilities, maybe I'd be around a 3.2

I was in your shoes, I had a sub-3.0 at the end of my sophomore year from a lack of motivation and ultimately because I didn't know I wanted to do dentistry. I received a 3.5 my junior year and a 4.0 senior year which was about 50 credits that only brought my GPA to about a 3.3 since I already had so many credits. I was thinking about doing an SMP, but instead I really buckled down and killed my DAT which is absolutely crucial if you decide to apply after doing 20 hours of upper level science courses. I'd say that if you bring your GPA to at least a 3.0 and 22+ on your DAT you'd have a decent shot, just be strategic with your application (schools you apply to, personal statement, etc.). Also I'd advise you to keep taking upper level science courses during the cycle you apply in case you don't get in December 1st so that you can submit an academic update. Good luck you got this, just stay focused!

Wow, that's amazing that you were able to turn around and get a 4.0 by the end of senior year. How long did you take to prep for the DAT?

Hey! Being sub 3.0 can be scary but if this is something you really truly want, you can make it happen. I don’t recommend jumping into an SMP right away, for two reasons. Number 1: Once you do an SMP that is your last shot. Number 2: The concern that you mentioned that even without the health issue that you’re not doing your best. I would think that maybe you need an overhaul of your study methods. Pchem is a difficult class, so it’s awesome that you’re doing well! I just want to remind you that biology can be difficult in a different aspect. The material isn’t hard, it’s how much material you’re expected to know. If you’re taking several upper level bio courses together, then it is about discipline. Making sure you see the info every single day for each class for a short amount of time to build endurance. That’s the thing about the post bacc you want to get as close to a competitive semester as you can make it look for each semester. Do the 20 credits you need and then if you can get a good DAT, try applying once. If you don’t hear back, ask schools what you can improve on. THEN think about an SMP. SMPs are so expensive and with the cost of dental education the way it is right now, you want to avoid that extra debt if you can.


Thank you so much for the heads up on upper level bio classes. I will admit that I'm starting to think my study methods aren't good enough either, and so I'm thinking of trying to change over break and giving it a try before the next quarter starts.
 
Wow, that's amazing that you were able to turn around and get a 4.0 by the end of senior year. How long did you take to prep for the DAT?
About 2.5 months, I took a summer off and really gave my all into studying for it! I believe anyone can do well on it if they study the right resources and put the time into it.
 
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