Non-Traditional Applicant [Engineer applying to dental school]

May 6, 2017
11
16
Hi SDNers,

I am a non-traditional applicant from automotive industry. I am an occupant safety engineer at one of the big 3 automotive OEM Companies (GM/Ford/Chrysler) in Michigan.
I work in an R&D Vehicle Safety department, doing vehicle crash simulations with crash test dummies to evaluate occupant safety.
It's hard to find anyone that knows about dentistry around me, so I am asking some questions here.
You will probably never find an automotive engineer changing career to dentistry. At least I have not seen anybody yet, except me.

My stats are:
Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering from top 10 Engineering school in the US = GPA 3.2
I took all the dental prerequisites while I was in undergrad [I always had a strong interest in dentistry]. Most of them I got A, except biology I got B.
No upward trend in my GPA, around 3.1~3.4 throughout all 4 years.

I graduated back in 2010. It has been 7 years since I completed my bachelor's degree.
My undergrad GPA was very low, so I just decided to go with my engineering degree back then.

I am currently doing my Master's in Biomedical Engineering in Injury Biomechanics, and completed my 1st year with 3.91 GPA.
I haven't taken my DAT yet, do you guys think AA 22 will be high enough to make up for my low undergrad GPA?

Also, I do not have much shadowing hours (~30 hours).
I really have no time to shadow/EC as I work full-time, went to school full-time (no more during summer), and have to study for the DAT...
and Yes.. I worked and went to school full-time. Both Full-Time. It is possible if you are pursuing a company sponsored Master's Degree.

To summarize..

Undergrad GPA = 3.2 (from 7 years ago) - took all the pre-requisites
Master's GPA = 3.91 (last year)
DAT = Have not taken yet - Planning on taking it Late June - what score will make me a competitive applicant?
How important is undergrad GPA compared to most recent GPA?

I am really concerned about lacking shadowing/ECs/dental related experiences.
My state is Michigan. Other than U of Michigan and UDM, which schools should I apply to?
Both schools have average admission GPA of around ~3.6 which is a lot higher than my undergraduate GPA.

Any input will be greatly appreciated.
 

I-hate-alginate

La Dolce Vita
2+ Year Member
Mar 28, 2017
662
1,029
Hi SDNers,

I am a non-traditional applicant from automotive industry. I am an occupant safety engineer at one of the big 3 automotive OEM Companies (GM/Ford/Chrysler) in Michigan.
I work in an R&D Vehicle Safety department, doing vehicle crash simulations with crash test dummies to evaluate occupant safety.
It's hard to find anyone that knows about dentistry around me, so I am asking some questions here.
You will probably never find an automotive engineer changing career to dentistry. At least I have not seen anybody yet, except me.

My stats are:
Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering from top 10 Engineering school in the US = GPA 3.2
I took all the dental prerequisites while I was in undergrad [I always had a strong interest in dentistry]. Most of them I got A, except biology I got B.
No upward trend in my GPA, around 3.1~3.4 throughout all 4 years.

I graduated back in 2010. It has been 7 years since I completed my bachelor's degree.
My undergrad GPA was very low, so I just decided to go with my engineering degree back then.

I am currently doing my Master's in Biomedical Engineering in Injury Biomechanics, and completed my 1st year with 3.91 GPA.
I haven't taken my DAT yet, do you guys think AA 22 will be high enough to make up for my low undergrad GPA?

Also, I do not have much shadowing hours (~30 hours).
I really have no time to shadow/EC as I work full-time, went to school full-time (no more during summer), and have to study for the DAT...
and Yes.. I worked and went to school full-time. Both Full-Time. It is possible if you are pursuing a company sponsored Master's Degree.

To summarize..

Undergrad GPA = 3.2 (from 7 years ago) - took all the pre-requisites
Master's GPA = 3.91 (last year)
DAT = Have not taken yet - Planning on taking it Late June - what score will make me a competitive applicant?
How important is undergrad GPA compared to most recent GPA?

I am really concerned about lacking shadowing/ECs/dental related experiences.
My state is Michigan. Other than U of Michigan and UDM, which schools should I apply to?
Both schools have average admission GPA of around ~3.6 which is a lot higher than my undergraduate GPA.

Any input will be greatly appreciated.
20+ will seal the deal for you. I'm sure you won't have any problems on the DAT.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

DMDDDSHopeful

Achievement Unlocked: Dental School
2+ Year Member
Mar 25, 2016
1,193
1,509
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Dental
Hi SDNers,

I am a non-traditional applicant from automotive industry. I am an occupant safety engineer at one of the big 3 automotive OEM Companies (GM/Ford/Chrysler) in Michigan.
I work in an R&D Vehicle Safety department, doing vehicle crash simulations with crash test dummies to evaluate occupant safety.
It's hard to find anyone that knows about dentistry around me, so I am asking some questions here.
You will probably never find an automotive engineer changing career to dentistry. At least I have not seen anybody yet, except me.

My stats are:
Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering from top 10 Engineering school in the US = GPA 3.2
I took all the dental prerequisites while I was in undergrad [I always had a strong interest in dentistry]. Most of them I got A, except biology I got B.
No upward trend in my GPA, around 3.1~3.4 throughout all 4 years.

I graduated back in 2010. It has been 7 years since I completed my bachelor's degree.
My undergrad GPA was very low, so I just decided to go with my engineering degree back then.

I am currently doing my Master's in Biomedical Engineering in Injury Biomechanics, and completed my 1st year with 3.91 GPA.
I haven't taken my DAT yet, do you guys think AA 22 will be high enough to make up for my low undergrad GPA?

Also, I do not have much shadowing hours (~30 hours).
I really have no time to shadow/EC as I work full-time, went to school full-time (no more during summer), and have to study for the DAT...
and Yes.. I worked and went to school full-time. Both Full-Time. It is possible if you are pursuing a company sponsored Master's Degree.

To summarize..

Undergrad GPA = 3.2 (from 7 years ago) - took all the pre-requisites
Master's GPA = 3.91 (last year)
DAT = Have not taken yet - Planning on taking it Late June - what score will make me a competitive applicant?
How important is undergrad GPA compared to most recent GPA?

I am really concerned about lacking shadowing/ECs/dental related experiences.
My state is Michigan. Other than U of Michigan and UDM, which schools should I apply to?
Both schools have average admission GPA of around ~3.6 which is a lot higher than my undergraduate GPA.

Any input will be greatly appreciated.

You need EC, volunteering, and a DAT score. Other than that, apply to as many schools as you can. Everything else seems fine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
About the Ads
May 7, 2017
3
0
20+ will seal the deal for you. I'm sure you won't have any problems on the DAT.
Hi you gave very good advice so wanted to ask about my situation.

I really need help with advice for applying to dental school based on my specific situation. I am a non-traditional applicant, and here are more details about my current situation.

- Undergrad at one of top 50 universities in USA (BBA Bachelors of Business Admin) graduated a year early (3 years instead of 4) but had some problems and GPA wasn't that good. Got a 2.93 from universities and with transfer credits added in 3.1
- Have been working as operations managers for past 3 year
- Candidate for Masters degree is MSc Supply Chain (will graduate very soon) so far GPA is 3.5 (because of plus -minus system mainly should only go higher not lower)
-Have not completed any pre-reqs except gen chem I


I was always very interested in the medical/dental field and did a lot of volunteer and shadow work in high school (200 hours+) but I got a 89 in gen chem I and thought it was over. Which I regret now because I ended up doing worse in business. Besides the point, I am a really good standardized test taker, and had a high SAT and GRE school in comparison to my GPA. As for work, I am doing great and been growing rapidly in my field. I will definitely have some great recommendation letters from work and my Masters program.



Questions:

1. Be honest, what are my chances?
2. Where should I complete my pre-reqs?
3. Can I complete pre-reqs at community college?
4. While working can I do online classes and in person labs to complete pre-reqs?
5. Do I need to do any kind of shadowing/extra-curric?
6. What kind of DAT score will I need to prove my candidacy?
7. I don't mind moving to Dental school but pre-reqs I would like to complete in Texas, what programs are good?


Thank you in advance. I really appreciate any and all kinds of honest advice!
 

DOC YANKEM

2+ Year Member
Jan 25, 2017
400
399
School Library
Status (Visible)
  1. Dental Student
My stats are:
Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering from top 10 Engineering school in the US = GPA 3.2
I took all the dental prerequisites while I was in undergrad [I always had a strong interest in dentistry]. Most of them I got A, except biology I got B.
No upward trend in my GPA, around 3.1~3.4 throughout all 4 years.

I graduated back in 2010. It has been 7 years since I completed my bachelor's degree.
My undergrad GPA was very low, so I just decided to go with my engineering degree back then.

I am currently doing my Master's in Biomedical Engineering in Injury Biomechanics, and completed my 1st year with 3.91 GPA.
I haven't taken my DAT yet, do you guys think AA 22 will be high enough to make up for my low undergrad GPA?

Engineering is one of the most challenging majors, especially from a top 10 Engineering school in the US. The 7 year gap since you completed your bachelors degree is certainly detrimental. However, I wouldn't sweat it since you recently completed your first year with a 3.91 GPA. Dental schools will acknowledge the most recent academic grade. A DAT score of 22 will definitely make up for your low undergrad GPA.

Also, I do not have much shadowing hours (~30 hours).
I really have no time to shadow/EC as I work full-time, went to school full-time (no more during summer), and have to study for the DAT...
and Yes.. I worked and went to school full-time. Both Full-Time. It is possible if you are pursuing a company sponsored Master's Degree.
I've heard of accepted dental applicants with 100-200 shadowing hours. The learning curve plateaus quickly after 200 hours. I'm sure you will find time for shadowing, whether it be 5 or 10 hours a week. Keep in mind, you have time to improve your application after submission. You can easily send an academic update via AADSAS portal or email.

Lastly, how long is your masters program in Biomedical Engineering in Injury Biomechanics?
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
May 6, 2017
11
16
Engineering is one of the most challenging majors, especially from a top 10 Engineering school in the US. The 7 year gap since you completed your bachelors degree is certainly detrimental. However, I wouldn't sweat it since you recently completed your first year with a 3.91 GPA. Dental schools will acknowledge the most recent academic grade. A DAT score of 22 will definitely make up for your low undergrad GPA.


I've heard of accepted dental applicants with 100-200 shadowing hours. The learning curve plateaus quickly after 200 hours. I'm sure you will find time for shadowing, whether it be 5 or 10 hours a week. Keep in mind, you have time to improve your application after submission. You can easily send an academic update via AADSAS portal or email.

Lastly, how long is your masters program in Biomedical Engineering in Injury Biomechanics?

Thank you for your reply. I am planning on doing at least a couple of hours of shadowing a week.
I will probably do more as I have no classes during summer.
My Master's Program is 2 years. I completed one year, so just one more year to go. By May 2018, I will have my Master's completed.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

DOC YANKEM

2+ Year Member
Jan 25, 2017
400
399
School Library
Status (Visible)
  1. Dental Student
Thank you for your reply. I am planning on doing at least a couple of hours of shadowing a week.
I will probably do more as I have no classes during summer.
My Master's Program is 2 years. I completed one year, so just one more year to go. By May 2018, I will have my Master's completed.
Kudos to you, most applicants with a low undergraduate GPA would pursue a one year masters program. Did you make up your mind whether you will apply for the upcoming application cycle this June? You would start dental school Fall of 2018 if accepted. It's completely feasible, but personally I would give myself another year of preparation in improving extra-curriculars.
 

doc toothache

15+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2006
8,368
2,623
Status (Visible)
  1. Dentist
You might want to consider taking some upper level bio courses to convince yourself that the cortex is not in any need of WD 40. It might be wiser to contact the schools you are interested in and ask them for advice. While 30 hours of shadowing should be more than enough, keep in mind that some schools have a specific requirement for number of hours shadowing. You most certainly will need to convince the powers to be that you are genuinely interested in dentistry and not just wanting to scratch the 7 year itch.
 
May 6, 2017
11
16
Kudos to you, most applicants with a low undergraduate GPA would pursue a one year masters program. Did you make up your mind whether you will apply for the upcoming application cycle this June? You would start dental school Fall of 2018 if accepted. It's completely feasible, but personally I would give myself another year of preparation in improving extra-curriculars.

Thank you. I will be applying this June. If I do not get accepted, I will be applying again next year. I agree with you, I probably need more ECs/Dental related experiences...
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

crumps

2+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2016
47
18
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Dental
Just genuinely curious, can prerequisites "expire?" I think there are some schools where its reccommended that you retake prerequisites that are older than 5-7 years but are there some that just flat out won't accept them if it's been too long?
 

DOC YANKEM

2+ Year Member
Jan 25, 2017
400
399
School Library
Status (Visible)
  1. Dental Student
Just genuinely curious, can prerequisites "expire?" I think there are some schools where its reccommended that you retake prerequisites that are older than 5-7 years but are there some that just flat out won't accept them if it's been too long?
For some dental schools, the pre-requisites can "expire" after x years. I believe the cut off is usually 10 years, not 100% sure but someone can correct me if I'm wrong. The dental schools will just ask you to retake the pre-requisites again. Do your research and call the admissions office if you have any unique questions pertaining your circumstances.
 

Faefly

2+ Year Member
Jun 21, 2016
2,015
1,207
Status (Visible)
  1. Dental Student
sorry guys, i feel like such a newby here.. but what is ECs?
They do that a lot in forums
Using acronyms instead of real terms which is annoying, to say the least.
EC: Extra Curricular activities.
 
About the Ads
This thread is more than 4 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.