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Tonerockyhorror

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First off--hello to everyone. I am not only new here but new to the possibility of denistry as a profession. I am in kind of a tough situation now so I was hoping some people here in the know could give me some advice.

I will be graduating in a few weeks from UCSD, but with a Comparative Politics degree and no science classes. I had fully intended to be in law school next fall and had already been accepted to schools before just recently changing my mind. I have always been interested in dentistry but scared by the science courses, however I now realize a few years of hard work in tough subjects will award me more benefits in the future.

So the problem now is that I still have all the prerequisites to fulfill while working full-time from here on out. My college GPA will be 3.6 overall so I'm not in horrible shape on that front but I have no idea what my science GPA will be. I also know I have to shadow a dentist, which will be done when I find time, but I don't have any research experience because it doesn't come up much in politics.

Now that my situation is basically out there does anyone have any advice on what path to take. I will not be applying until next year so that means I have two years before I start dental school. Should I just take 1 or 2 classes a semester and take the DAT next spring? What should I do about research experience? Should I take the classes at a university if I can or stick with community college? I probably won't be able to take anything beyond the specified prerequisites, so will this hurt me significantly? Am I basically screwed because I am starting this process too late?

Sorry for the long post and all the questions, but I am just getting started and I would like to get on the right path, which I would assume people who have already gone through the process can do for me. Thank you guys for any and all advice you can give me cause anything will help.
 

Zurik5

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Politiks' got not much to do do with dentistery..... you're on the right track. Get your pre-reqs out of the way (bio, chemistry, phys...puke) do well on the dat (20ish) and you should be good to go. Best of luck.
 

The Musketeer

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Take the science courses by parts, don't overload yourself with all science courses in the single year. Do about 3-4 science courses a year and the rest can be electives that you can get high marks. Also take some of them in the summer to ease the burden...

An about DAT, if possible, try to take the DAT after you have taken Organic Chem I as there is a specific section just on Organic Chem.

Research part is not as important as it seems, majority of the people have little or no research experience. Just as long a you maintain a good GPA and DAT then you should have no problem getting in. If you have time then I think you should do dental volunteer than research since dental experience will give you a better perspective into dentistry than research will do.
 

Tonerockyhorror

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Thanks Musketeer-

The problem is that I am already done with school and so I have no other classes that I could take to break up the science. I had planned on taking general chem I this summer, chem II + Ochem I in fall, Ochem II + Bio in spring, and bio + physics I&II after I apply. The DAT would be taken after spring next year. Any advice on if this would be an okay path...should I really stick some recommended courses in there as well?
 

Calculus1

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Tonerockyhorror said:
Thanks Musketeer-

The problem is that I am already done with school and so I have no other classes that I could take to break up the science. I had planned on taking general chem I this summer, chem II + Ochem I in fall, Ochem II + Bio in spring, and bio + physics I&II after I apply. The DAT would be taken after spring next year. Any advice on if this would be an okay path...should I really stick some recommended courses in there as well?
I would take both of your gen chems in the summer, then take O Chem and Bio in the fall and spring. This way, your next summer is cleared up to study for the DAT and apply to schools. You'll also have all of your DAT subjects out of the way.
 

flighterdoc

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Tonerockyhorror said:
First off--hello to everyone. I am not only new here but new to the possibility of denistry as a profession. I am in kind of a tough situation now so I was hoping some people here in the know could give me some advice.

I will be graduating in a few weeks from UCSD, but with a Comparative Politics degree and no science classes. I had fully intended to be in law school next fall and had already been accepted to schools before just recently changing my mind. I have always been interested in dentistry but scared by the science courses, however I now realize a few years of hard work in tough subjects will award me more benefits in the future.

So the problem now is that I still have all the prerequisites to fulfill while working full-time from here on out. My college GPA will be 3.6 overall so I'm not in horrible shape on that front but I have no idea what my science GPA will be. I also know I have to shadow a dentist, which will be done when I find time, but I don't have any research experience because it doesn't come up much in politics.

Now that my situation is basically out there does anyone have any advice on what path to take. I will not be applying until next year so that means I have two years before I start dental school. Should I just take 1 or 2 classes a semester and take the DAT next spring? What should I do about research experience? Should I take the classes at a university if I can or stick with community college? I probably won't be able to take anything beyond the specified prerequisites, so will this hurt me significantly? Am I basically screwed because I am starting this process too late?

Sorry for the long post and all the questions, but I am just getting started and I would like to get on the right path, which I would assume people who have already gone through the process can do for me. Thank you guys for any and all advice you can give me cause anything will help.


Something like a post-bac pre-med program. It should cover your pre-reqs, and I think UCSD has one.
 

wimmcs

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Calculus1 said:
I would take both of your gen chems in the summer, then take O Chem and Bio in the fall and spring. This way, your next summer is cleared up to study for the DAT and apply to schools. You'll also have all of your DAT subjects out of the way.

I would also highly recommend what calculus said. I was in your same boat... a business degree with only science pre-reqs to take. I started out last year (Jan 03) taking 2 classes: Bio1 and Chem1. In the summer I took Chem 2 and volunteered quite a bit. In the Fall, I took OChem1, Bio2 and Phy1 and this Spring I just finished OChem2, Phy2, Physiology and another upper division biology course. This summer I'm studying for the DAT and applying as well as volunteering some more. In the Fall, I'm planning on taking Micro, Cell Bio and Biochem (all upper division science) and in the Spring, I'm planning on taking Anatomy, Genetics and maybe something else. This way I feel that even though I don't have a "science degree", at least if you notice, I have a lot of additional science courses.. might as well be a biology degree. Good luck and it's definitely doable.
 

Tonerockyhorror

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Wimmcs-

So I take it doing only the pre-requs just will not cut it? I do plan on doing chem, ochem and bio before next summer so I can prepare for the DAT but I had only planned on taking physics and maybe a couple upper division classes the next year...mistake? Thanks for your response it was very helpful.
 

wimmcs

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Tonerockyhorror said:
Wimmcs-

So I take it doing only the pre-requs just will not cut it? I do plan on doing chem, ochem and bio before next summer so I can prepare for the DAT but I had only planned on taking physics and maybe a couple upper division classes the next year...mistake? Thanks for your response it was very helpful.

No problem!! Again, I was in your same boat last year... just thinking of taking only the "required" science courses. From my research, I have learned that the more science backgroud you have, the better the chances you have for acceptance and the better you will probably do in d-school. Again, this is only my opinion. But, to back it up, I have spoken to a number of admissions personnel over some time and they've all indicated that the more science background someone in a "non-science" degree has, the better the chances for acceptance. That is why I am taking all those additional upper division courses in biology. What I did is I researched many d-school websites for "desired" coursework and I did a count and that's how I decided which classes I was going to take above and beyond the "required" science classes. My other concern was the number of credit hours per semester... since all we can do is science. So as I said, I started with 8 last spring, 4 summer, 12 last fall, 14 in the spring... and this fall I'm debating whether to take 9 or 12. In the Spring, I will take 6 or 9. Then I should have a pretty solid/good science background in my opinion. BTW, in all those classes I've earned one B (in physio) so definitely doable, but a lot of hard work. Let me know if you have additinal ?s. We're here to help!!
 

ecdoesit

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hi, Tonerockyhorror,
First of all, congrad on ur graduation and ur growing interest to dentistry. If you havent done so, there is a predental society meeting this thursday at UCSD.
Please visit this link http://acs.ucsd.edu/~ucsdfdc/index.php
We are very excited and thankful to have one of the deans from Arizona to come to talk with us.
The time and location of our meeting is:
May 27 ? Richard J. Simonsen, D.D.S., M.S
Associate Dean for Preclinical Affairs and Research. Professor, Restorative Dentistry, Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health.
Where/When: TBA, 4:30 - 7:45pm
Price Center - Santa Cruz/San Francisco Room
Topics include: Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health, his career path in dentistry including University of Minnesota Dental School, practicing in Norway, working for corporate dentistry and public health and outreach

Dr Silverstein, our dental advisor, will also be there. Plus, a bunch of dental students. And some of us have different background. Some people from business, some people from engineering. So, if you want to hear more advice, you are welcome to join us at that time. We can talk more. Let me know if you need additional info.

Sorry about the rush. Kinda have to get ready for work.
EC
 

Tonerockyhorror

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Thanks again for the great advice WIMMCS and ECDOESIT-

I will definitely check out the dental society meeting and I will try not to be too late cause i have class until 4:50. I do have a couple more questions:

1) Would it be okay if I only had OChem, Bio and Chem done before I started to apply and then do physics and some upper division Bio the next fall and spring or will this be frowned upon because I won't have a lot in my initial science GPA?

2) Since I will be working plus volunteering and shadowing will I be able to take 1or2 classes this summer and 2 classes each subsequent semester or will schools be hesitant to admit because the load isn't real heavy? I would take more classes, but it would be hard with work and all the other ECs I have to do, plus I wouldn't have any non-science to break up the difficulty of taking 3 or 4 classes.

Thanks again for the info and the patience, this is really helpful to me since this is a huge step I'm taking--I just passed up scholarship money at a law school to try for dental school, so it is scary.
 

wimmcs

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Tonerockyhorror said:
Thanks again for the great advice WIMMCS and ECDOESIT-

I will definitely check out the dental society meeting and I will try not to be too late cause i have class until 4:50. I do have a couple more questions:

1) Would it be okay if I only had OChem, Bio and Chem done before I started to apply and then do physics and some upper division Bio the next fall and spring or will this be frowned upon because I won't have a lot in my initial science GPA?

2) Since I will be working plus volunteering and shadowing will I be able to take 1or2 classes this summer and 2 classes each subsequent semester or will schools be hesitant to admit because the load isn't real heavy? I would take more classes, but it would be hard with work and all the other ECs I have to do, plus I wouldn't have any non-science to break up the difficulty of taking 3 or 4 classes.

Thanks again for the info and the patience, this is really helpful to me since this is a huge step I'm taking--I just passed up scholarship money at a law school to try for dental school, so it is scary.

1 - Yes, I would say apply with all the classes you can get between NOW and next Spring/Summer. (will you be taking classes this summer... yes?)
2 - I understand your dilemma, however, 2 science classes is the absolute minimum, especially coming from a "non-science" degree. Remember, the adcoms are looking for those who can "hack" the difficulty and the rigorous work of dental school. It would be risky (IMO) to accept those non-science students that only took the absolute minimum science classes per semester. Then again, you are working, which complicates the whole situation. How about calling a couple of the schools that you're interested in and asking them for their opinion? I've done that and some have been very helpful. You may also want to PM me if you want to take this "off-line". Good luck!
 

Tonerockyhorror

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Yeah I am going to take classes this summer for sure and I will definitely call the admissions offices when I get chance. If I get lost again I will PM you next time, but thanks for all your helpful posts.
 
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