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Masters or Post-Bacc with Low gpA

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by krazydesi, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. krazydesi

    2+ Year Member

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    Hey guys,

    So here is my background. Graduated May 2010 with a degree in engineering. I then took a year off to build up a start-up I was working on and now I have a job in a finance company. I took most of the pre-reqs for pre-dental back in school because I was going to apply right out of school. However, due to money issues I did not and instead worked on getting a job and working on my start-up. Now I am kind of regretting not going straight to dental school. I mean my other reason was because my gpa was not hte highest.

    I just wanted your opinion on if I should go back and do some Post-Bacc or do a one year SMP program for dental application.

    I graduated from Penn State with a 3.4 cGPA and probably have like a 3.1 sGPA. Maybe slightly more. I have a lot of extra-curr back in PSU and also currently involved in volunteering.

    I was going to study hard for DATs and try to get 20+ (hence I said try my best). I wanted to know if I need to do a SMP or Post-bacc with those stats assuming I do real well on DATs. I was going to take them next spring and study starting now so I know it inside and out.



    Basically if I apply broadly 20-30 schools do I have a shot with cGPA of 3.4 and sGPA of 3.1 assuming 20+ on DATs

    I can probably get some strong letters of recommendations also from old professors. Also what would I do in my case if I can only get 2-3 letters of rec since I have been out of school for a year? Can I get a letter of rec from like someone I shadow and such?

    Thank you
     
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  3. bing12

    7+ Year Member

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    I am assuming you have no taken any upper level bios since you are an engineering major. If this is the case, I would suggest doing post bacc, and just take upper level bios, get that sgpa up to a 3.3/3.4 or above, and i think you will be in good shape.

    Classes I would suggest taking( look at the ADEA guide to dental schools for additional classes):
    Cell Bio
    Microbio
    Biochem
    Genetics
     
  4. dentalWorks

    dentalWorks Nights Watchmen
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    postbacc vs masters was something I had to deal with 4 years ago when I started my pre-dent journey. I was a computer science graduate with zero pre-dent courses.

    For your particular case, the MOST reasonable (and best) option is post-bacc.... you still have plenty of undergrad pre-dentistry type courses (like the ones bing suggested) to take. Take those and you'll be able to increase the sGPA and BCP to much more acceptable levels.

    all the best
     
  5. KittySquared

    KittySquared Kitty chompers
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    I've asked an admissions officer at a nearby dental school and was told that low GPA with a really high DAT score like 23+ might land you a few interviews and possibly even acceptance.

    However, if your DAT is just somewhat above average like 19-20s on most sections, then I think a grad degree might be a good idea. Afterall, a graduate degree is worth more than a post bac which still just consists of undergrad classes. Overall, both will up your chances of getting in. I would highly recommend doing either

    1) 1 year of postbac, 5 or 6 sci classes with some medical ethics classes or other classes that are beneficial to dental school and maintaining no less than a 3.8 GPA

    or

    2) doing a 1 year masters program in biology/physiology without thesis, OR with a 2 year program with thesis and maintaining no less than 3.8 GPA

    Make sure nothing is less than 19 on your DATs and you should be in good standing by applying to 20 schools, in my opinion.

    Best of luck

    -Kitty
     
  6. doc toothache

    10+ Year Member

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  7. krazydesi

    2+ Year Member

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    Apologize for late reply.

    I can figure out my sGPA but I know my whereabouts that is why. I have taken few upper level science classes back when I was in undergrad. Got like b+'s because I was not really serious about pre-dent or anything. But now that I see how much I miss it want to go back. I was thinking of trying to do well on DATs and then seeing if I should enroll in Post-Bacc program.

    Do you think with engr degree and my current stats and assuming I get 22 + on dats I could land a few interviews? (I know 22+ is very difficult, but it's still a goal).
     
  8. BoxerRumble

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    I think it really depends on how many upper division science classes you've taken. If few as in 2 or 3, then there are plenty more you can take with a post-bacc program to bring up your GPA. If you've taken like 4-5 or more, then a Master's degree would be good. Some schools look more favorable than others on you obtaining another degree and showing you really care. I am applying this cycle, finished my Master's with a 4.0 in the summer, and have 6 interviews so far. My undergrad sGPA was around a bit lower than a 3.3, and cumulative about the same. I had a lot of credits under my belt. I had taken a lot of upper division science classes already, classes like physiology, neuroscience, biochemistry, microbiology, anatomy, genetics, immunology, and probably a few others I don't remember.

    I think one advantage of a master's is that you have a separate grad GPA column, and the grades also get averaged into your cumulative GPA column. While a post bac will only help your undergraduate GPA calculation. For schools that care about your undergraduate GPA more, then that would be good. Most schools it seems look at your cumulative and your grad GPA. It's always nice to have that shiny 4.0 for them to look at.
     
    #7 BoxerRumble, Sep 5, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2011

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