Non-traditional - Tough Situation. Some guidance would be highly appreciated.


2+ Year Member
Aug 18, 2015
Hey guys, I'm a long time lurker of studentdoc and now that I am fully committed to dentistry, I have the urge to reach out to all of you hard working people for some guidance in this pursuit.

So here's the situation I happen to be in (I'll do my best to make this short):
It's been a year and a half since graduating with a degree in Public Health from a reputable Big Ten school. My cumulative GPA is a meager 2.9 GPA and since graduation, I've been working part-time as a tutor and scribe/medical assistant at a medical practice while shadowing a dentist. It was during my shadowing experience, I became motivated to pursue the field of dentistry.

Here are my reasons to pursue this field:
1. The thought of owning and running my own practice is absolutely amazing and exciting to me. (Of course, I bet the logistics behind setting one up will suck, but definitely something I'd be willing to sacrifice).
2. Working with my hands and treating patients to boost their confidence with a bomb looking smile (How awesome is that?!)
3. Less schooling compared to medicine.

I now finally have some purpose in life to pursue something I have a HUGE interest in. The problem is this low GPA hurdle (Perhaps many of you can relate).

My grades in the sciences during my first 3.5 years in undergrad are as follows (I have not yet taken any physics, orgo 1 lab, or orgo 2 w/ the associated labs):
Semester 1:
Biology 1: B
Chem 1: Withdrawal

Semester 2:
Biology 2: C+
Stat 100: B-

Semester 3:
Chem1: B+
Chem Lab: A-

Semester 4:
Chem2: C+
Chem2 lab: B+
Molecular Bio: C+
Physiology: C+
Physiology lab: B

Semester 5:
Orgo1: D
Genestics: D

Total credits taken: 122

My question is:
1. Given I enroll in a post-bacc, should I retake all of the pre-requisites or just the classes I got a C+ and lower?
2. Beside shadowing, what more could I do to make myself more competitive?
3. Master's or Do-it-yourself post-bacc?
4. How is the process going for you guys?

Thanks for your time guys!


5+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2015
Dental Student
1. Yes, you should retake the classes that you feel confident in making an A in. It would look really bad if you do not make an A in a class that you have previous knowledge on. You don't need to retake any classes with B's because that's perfectly average. When admission committees see your improvement, and question about your past experiences. You can explain to them that you were immature, unmotivated, and was not responsible in prioritizing your goals. However, you owned up to your mistakes and started to grow as a person (making better grades in post-bacc). This will not be a 1-year informal post-bacc, I want to say it has to be a 2-year one in order to increase your GPA significantly.

2. You can volunteer for a clinic, food pantry, school, etc.
Possibly run for leadership roles at the university you will be attending for your informal post-bacc.
Study hard for the DAT, and score very well (22+)

3. Your undergraduate GPA is low, so it will make sense for a post-Bacc. After completion of your informal post-bacc, and your GPA is still low, then you can look into special master program for health professionals.

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