Non-traditional-Pre-dent

2+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2018
4
1
Hey guys! Would love to hear some feedback on what y'all think about my timeline.
A little background- I graduated in 2015 with a BS in petroleum Engineering and worked for 2 years in oil and gas. Quit my job in the summer of 2017- had no idea what I wanted to do with my life when I quit, but I took coding classes at the CC just so I wouldn't be doing nothing. July 2018, I made the decision to pursue dentistry. I go to UT Austin.

Fall 2018: Ochem1, Bio1, Bio lab, general chem lab
Spring 2019: Ochem2, Bio2, Genetics, Ochem Lab
Summer 2019: Study for DAT and apply by July 2019
Fall 2019/Spring 2020: Biochem, Anatomy&Physiology, Microbiology

Undergrad Engineering GPA: 3.0
Target Post Bac GPA: 4.0
Shadowing hours: 20 so far. Working on it
Volunteering hours: none so far
Already took: Gen Chem, Physics, Statistics, English, Math

QUESTION 1: I will not be a full time student in either the Fall or Spring semester, but I am taking a heavy science courseload. How do you think this looks like to dental schools (considering I'm not working and I don't have family obligations)? d?

QUESTION 2: I get done with the Spring semester in the third week of May and I plan to do 6 weeks of hardcore studying so that I can take the DAT by end of June/early July. I hear it takes a month for your scores to reach the dental school. If I submit my application by early July and my scores make it in by early August, will that be too late? (Considering Dental schools have a rolling admission)? Also is 6 weeks of studying for the DAT enough?

QUESTION 3: One of the things i'm really concerned about is showing dental schools my dedication. I know I'll have my 100 hours by the time I apply, but I need a way to show dental schools that I didn't just wake up one day and decide to apply. I feel like dental schools want to see at least two years of commitment and my plan is to get my prereqs and application done in one year. How can I improve my application because I feel like good grades/good DAT wont cut it. What else can I do?
 

Blackca3

2+ Year Member
May 29, 2017
201
148
Status (Visible)
  1. Dental Student
Hey guys! Would love to hear some feedback on what y'all think about my timeline.
A little background- I graduated in 2015 with a BS in petroleum Engineering and worked for 2 years in oil and gas. Quit my job in the summer of 2017- had no idea what I wanted to do with my life when I quit, but I took coding classes at the CC just so I wouldn't be doing nothing. July 2018, I made the decision to pursue dentistry. I go to UT Austin.

Fall 2018: Ochem1, Bio1, Bio lab, general chem lab
Spring 2019: Ochem2, Bio2, Genetics, Ochem Lab
Summer 2019: Study for DAT and apply by July 2019
Fall 2019/Spring 2020: Biochem, Anatomy&Physiology, Microbiology

Undergrad Engineering GPA: 3.0
Target Post Bac GPA: 4.0
Shadowing hours: 20 so far. Working on it
Volunteering hours: none so far
Already took: Gen Chem, Physics, Statistics, English, Math

QUESTION 1: I will not be a full time student in either the Fall or Spring semester, but I am taking a heavy science courseload. How do you think this looks like to dental schools (considering I'm not working and I don't have family obligations)? d?

QUESTION 2: I get done with the Spring semester in the third week of May and I plan to do 6 weeks of hardcore studying so that I can take the DAT by end of June/early July. I hear it takes a month for your scores to reach the dental school. If I submit my application by early July and my scores make it in by early August, will that be too late? (Considering Dental schools have a rolling admission)? Also is 6 weeks of studying for the DAT enough?

QUESTION 3: One of the things i'm really concerned about is showing dental schools my dedication. I know I'll have my 100 hours by the time I apply, but I need a way to show dental schools that I didn't just wake up one day and decide to apply. I feel like dental schools want to see at least two years of commitment and my plan is to get my prereqs and application done in one year. How can I improve my application because I feel like good grades/good DAT wont cut it. What else can I do?

Everything your doing is fine. I graduated in business, worked for 2.5 years and then started dental school a year and a half later. I didn't have any prereqs or any shadowing before quitting. Never took more than 12 hours. Sent out my app late July. Didn't have any issues getting interviews or acceptances. Don't have any issues making decent grades in dental school. You'll be fine as is.
 
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Vund

2+ Year Member
Oct 2, 2018
6
2
Tennessee
Status (Visible)
  1. Dental Student
I'm basically you. I graduated 2010 with a BS in EE then spent a couple years in the navy. Got out and worked as an engineer in manufacturing/industry before deciding I wasn't happy where I was and wanted to be a dentist. Started back up in school in Spring 2017 but could only take 6-8 hours a semester since all of the classes are required for each other too. I had a 3.2 undergrad but have been killing my prereqs and have gotten all A's (except for one A-). I had about a 100 hours shadowing across four dentists and 100 hours of volunteering. I spent the better part of a semester studying for the DAT while taking classes and got a 23 overall. I applied this July and have 4 interviews scheduled for this fall of the six schools I applied to.

but I need a way to show dental schools that I didn't just wake up one day and decide to apply

Why not? Just explain in your application why you wanted to switch. Did you want to help people? Was someone you know a dentist? Sweet work schedule? You're giving up a career in engineering to pursue dentistry, what inspired you to do that? If anything, it separates you from other applicants because you're not just a fresh undergraduate.

Being a petroleum engineer, you probably have a stronger background in chemistry than I did, so 6 weeks might be enough for you for studying for the DAT. My EE did not help me at all. Just double and triple check you're meeting the prerequisites for the schools you want to apply to, sometimes they're weird like having 9 hours of English or not counting microbiology towards your 12 Biology hours. Sounds like you already have a plan though! Good luck.
 
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princeafrica

Certified Boss
2+ Year Member
Dec 7, 2017
1,104
1,546
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  1. Dental Student
QUESTION 3: One of the things i'm really concerned about is showing dental schools my dedication. I know I'll have my 100 hours by the time I apply, but I need a way to show dental schools that I didn't just wake up one day and decide to apply. I feel like dental schools want to see at least two years of commitment and my plan is to get my prereqs and application done in one year. How can I improve my application because I feel like good grades/good DAT wont cut it. What else can I do?

I switched to dental last september. You just need to get a good number of shadowing hours and do volunteering. I only have 1 dental related volunteering so it does not necessarily have to be dental volunteer as long as you should commitment to community service. You will need a good DAT and you will need a very good personal statement. Dental School is increasingly competitive every year so you are right the grades and DAT won't cut it. Your application needs to have a theme and everything you do needs to be intentional so your application comes full circle.
 

Vund

2+ Year Member
Oct 2, 2018
6
2
Tennessee
Status (Visible)
  1. Dental Student
Out of curiosity. What sucks about engineering?


Nothing in particular is wrong with the career path itself, in my case I was good at my job but wasn't feeling fulfilled or satisfied. I wanted to have a direct impact on others' well being and healthcare is the best way I feel I can do that. Dentistry has always appealed to me and I figured if I really wanted to do that then I needed to make the switch now. I knew after my first day shadowing that I had made the right choice and I'm stoked about it.
 

Blueshirts

7+ Year Member
May 3, 2014
435
403
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  1. Dental Student
Make sure you can get a committee letter at whatever school you attend. Makes a huge difference in many ways.
 
Jun 8, 2018
42
25
QUESTION 1: You should be fine as long as you ace the courses you are taking, also keep up with shadowing/volunteering to show dedication. If your school has a predental club then I'd suggest joining and being active in ways that you're able to.

QUESTION 2: Whoa, that seems like a late end for your semester (mine ends early May). 6 weeks should be fine for you, you were able to hold an pet. eng. courseload. I studied for ~2 weeks over the winter break and got a 21 AA (hardcore mode, though). You will still be "early" if you submit June-Aug if your scores aren't verified by then - you can get them to see your unofficial report where they can confirm your scores later. Early August isn't too late.

QUESTION 3: Aim for 150-200 hours, yeah they will prefer that but your sudden career change looks like you take dentistry seriously (seriously enough to quit engineering). You have the answer to this one, you need to find out something you can do to make you stand out. Maybe that's starting your own dental club or something, this is up to you.

Good luck!
 

dent_wannabe

2+ Year Member
May 22, 2018
588
258
Status (Visible)
  1. Dental Student
I did engineering and am applying after working for a little bit, though I am taking less gap years than you. I kind of always had the intention to be pre health, so I completed my prereqs along with my engineering courses. Now I'm applying and seeing what ultimately happens.

You should take a full load, unless you are working full time. You have your sciences, then don't forget about some non science courses that dental schools may require. For example, English. Find one of these courses that is not very high pressure to fill in your schedule.

6 weeks is enough time to study for the DAT for some people, but that is kind of pushing it. Of course you can assess if that will be enough time for you then, but don't rush it. Take the time to do it well in one shot. Dental schools much prefer to see it once and done. If you ultimately have to retake, they may raise the bar for you in terms of what DAT scores they expect you to get. Also, if you don't improve significantly on a retake, it will reflect poorly. If you feel ready next summer, by all means go for it. If you need to defer your application to summer 2020 to ensure that you have adequate time to prepare for the DAT, then there is nothing wrong with doing so. Apply only when you are ready.

I think you just have to demonstrate a commitment to dentistry. At least you didn't just wake up and apply. You did enough shadowing hours to cover most schools. If you can do volunteering or paid employment in a dental setting, that would help. You don't need to devote a lot of hours, just make it be over a span of at least a year or so.
 
Dec 21, 2017
241
149
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  1. Pre-Dental
If you fresh took the BIO ochem gchem, 6 weeks full day for DAT is more than enough.
You don't need to review much bc you just took it.. and I guess you are great at math already so no need to spend much there too.
Keep reading science articles to help RC. I am not sure how PAT would affect you. It depends on individual.

I was out of school for almost 5 years and I had to re-review all bio gchem ochem and QR, while I was still full time working + raising 2 young kids. I spent 1-2 hr for watching videos for 4 weeks (which is about only 3-4 full days worth time..) and 3 full weeks 8 hr/day 9-5 for DAT prep and was ok with DAT. I didn't have to do much of RC and PAT that reduced time. 6 weeks are long.... especially you have nothing else bothering you. lol
 
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