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Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by NTdawg1, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. NTdawg1

    NTdawg1 2+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2014
    Hello all, I am looking for feedback or validation because I feel like I am on this pre-dental journey alone for now. I am currently a 1st year at a local community college pursuing a major in Biology. I graduated HS with a 4.0, Community College was just to save money and I plan on keeping a high GPA 3.5+ I am looking to transfer probably to UC, most likely UCDavis. In order to transfer with this major, I have a lengthy list of requirements aside from the GE classes, most of which are pre-reqs. These classes will take me 3 years to finish here and are: Plant Biology, Animal Biology, Cell Biology, Chem (2 semesters), Organic Chemistry (2 semester), General physics (2 semesters), and Calculus (2 semesters.) I was thinking the best time to take the DAT would be the summer before my senior year, that way the knowledge is some what fresh.
    Here in my community college I have met hardly any science majors, and even less pre-med/dental so there aren't many people to discuss the plan with really. I will have constant anxiety until the day I'm accepted into dental school haha, but I know this path is for me.

    I would appreciate any advice, tips, or concerns anyone has to share with me. Thank you
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  3. hannah_hoac

    hannah_hoac 2+ Year Member

    Aug 20, 2014
    You are fine with the DAT plan :). Make sure you start working on those community services and shadowing! Join the pre-dental club at UC if they have any and get to know some science professors well so they can write you good letters of recommendation (at least 2).
    Good luck buddy!
    nattmelson likes this.
  4. DATtestTho


    Jun 17, 2014
    Id try and take your pre reqs at a 4 year if possible to show adcoms you can handle a 4 year school. If you take everything at CC (bio, physics, chem, ochem), I dont know if that will look too hot.
    SXCoronado and Danielqta like this.
  5. NTdawg1

    NTdawg1 2+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2014
    UC's won't let me transfer without having completed all the mentioned classes :/
  6. morning92

    morning92 2+ Year Member

    Oct 2, 2013
    Looks like you have everything planned out! First thing to do is to take a deep breath and let go of some of that stress. Dental school applications are a long way off and, if you start worrying and stressing now, you're going to totally burn yourself out before you even get started.

    Like DATtestTho said, it would be best to take all required prereqs for dental school at a 4 year college. It looks better and if some 4 year colleges won't accept CC credits, it's likely that at least a few dental schools might have similar concerns. If this isn't possible and you have to take them at CC, don't worry unduly over it. You can cross that bridge when you get to it.

    For courses, make sure you add biochemistry to your list of things to take. Honestly, the more biochem you take, the easier your first few semesters in dental school are going to be. I'd also highly recommend taking microbiology (preferably with lab).

    To better your application, try to get involved with a variety of things and start shadowing early so that you can build up your hour count. For activities, it's good to get involved with at least one community service activity (to help build up those service hours and leadership skills (try to find one that involves person-person interaction)), a leadership activity (if community service doesn't cover this), and one activity that's fairly unique and has nothing to do with dental school (odd advice, I know, but my hobby was brought up at every single open file interview I went to!). Research is also a pretty good thing to consider getting involved in as it generally shows attention to detail, ability to both follow instructions, critical thinking skills, and gives you another thing to write about in admissions essays. For shadowing, try and keep mainly to general dentists as that's what dental schools train you to be and want to know you're interested in, though it's good to shadow specialties for variety.

    Best of luck! You're going to do great. :)

    As a side note: Regarding the DAT, I'd strongly recommend taking it within a few months of finishing your organic chemistry series as that's one of the sections that's not all that well covered in DAT study materials.
  7. trangtn

    trangtn 2+ Year Member

    Sep 9, 2012
    Hey I'm from UCD. Are you sure they won't let you transfer in without those classes? I had a couple of friends that transferred over after 2 years of CC and started taking Ochem. Like others have stated, it's better to do your requirements at a 4 year uni. So if possible, you can finish up GChem and Calc at CC and transfer over and start taking the upper divs at UCD. If you transfer to UCD, since it's on a quarter system, you can finish all those upper divs in a year so it would take you a total of 2 years to get all those courses done :) And you can have more time to study for the DAT!
  8. NTdawg1

    NTdawg1 2+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2014
    Thank you for the replies. So as it turns out, I've been misinformed by my college's counselors. While it is required that I take the 2 semesters of Calculus, 3 semesters of biology, and 2 semesters of general chemistry alongside my general ed, I do not need to take the 2 semesters of Ochem or physics at my CC however it is "strongly recommended"... either way as long as I have a 3.5+ gpa I'm guaranteed into Davis. So since it is possible to hold off on Ochem and physics until the transfer school, should I do it? I have been getting mixed responses, some people say if I can just finish them all up while I'm here and save money, whereas I find it more logical to take Ochem and physics and a 4 year - just harder most likely. Thanks
  9. Dental2000

    Dental2000 5+ Year Member

    Jan 12, 2011
    Some schools have a cut-off at how many Credits you can take at a CC. That being said, is there no other way for you to take these pre-reqs at any 4 year university? Gen Chem1 and 2 are major pre-reqs.

    Here is what I would suggest: If you are really intent in going to UC davis and you wish to graduate from there, look for another 4 year university and take those classes UCdavis requires from there. After that you can apply and get in UC Davis to complete the rest of your undergrad years. Getting those Dental pre-reqs from 4 year uni's are highly favored over CC credits.

    for you bio, Cell Biology is sometimes a pre-req and sometimes a 'strongly recommended' course for Dental schools. This should be most def. taken at a 4 year university.
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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2015
  11. NTdawg1

    NTdawg1 2+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2014
    I don't know if this is a ridiculous question or not, but would it be wise to slowly start studying for the non science related portions of the DAT such as PAT, quantitative reasoning, and reading comprehension now? Then when I finish chem, bio, and ochem in the coming years I can worry about those more.. Is it to early?
  12. pinkster

    pinkster 2+ Year Member

    Apr 26, 2014
    They will be changing the QR next year so I wouldn't start looking at material now. Also, you can't really study for the reading. If you really want to be proactive, start reading science articles. As for the PAT, you could study if you want but it really isn't a section that requires more than a handful of practice tests. Overall, I wouldn't study yet. No reason to be studying for a test that plenty of people have conquered with 3 months of studying.
  13. hongbinbaneben

    hongbinbaneben 2+ Year Member

    Mar 16, 2013
    It takes time to improve and train your perceptual ability, in my opinion. So I don't think it's a bad idea to start playing with the PAT early. That's what I did, and when I actually started studying for the DAT, it made my life much easier.
  14. kimothy_777


    Jun 6, 2014
    Try a couple practice PATs. If you struggle with ex) rotating shapes in your head, wouldn't hurt to practice every now and then. If its not that difficult for you, just wait until a few months before like others have mentioned.
  15. NTdawg1

    NTdawg1 2+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2014
    I was browsing through the ADA sample questions and they left me a bit clueless lol. I'm all about starting things earlier for less stress in the future. Any recommendations on materials or articles to read for practice aside from sciences? This semester has been pretty easy, so I would like to use my free time wisely
  16. swimpolo

    swimpolo 5+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2011
    I'm at UCLA dental school right now and we have a few students every year who transferred from community college to a UC. From what I've gathered from them you don't have to take all the pre-reqs before you are eligible transfer, but this was 1-3 years ago and I'm not sure if policies have changed etc.

    As for taking ochem and physics until you transfer, my personal opinion is that you should take these classes at the 4-year university. The reason why is because dental schools want to know if applicants can handle their curriculum. In their eyes, seeing someone who took all their pre-reqs exclusively at community college may appear as if the applicant is avoiding taking them at a 4-year university where -- yes it's more expensive -- but likely more difficult/rigorous. Not that I'm discounting community college coursework by any means. Good luck with everything -- sounds like you're on track!
  17. 2THDDS

    2THDDS 2+ Year Member

    Jul 26, 2014
    I am glad your dilemma has been solved.
    Like many people have mentioned, try to leave the upper level course for 4 year institution.
    Some schools may be okay, but it certainly looks better if you take them at 4 yr inststitution and do well on them.

    There are few schools that do not accept CC prereqs, so beware of that when you apply (I know tufts do not accept ANY CC credit, and there are some other school that doesn't accept CC prereqs.)
  18. NTdawg1

    NTdawg1 2+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2014
    Thanks for the replies guys

    Swimpolo, UCLA dental is the dream so it's very reassuring to hear that there are other community college kids in your classes.

    Do you guys have any recommendation to a first year on how to get ahead in order to boost my future application? I do all my school work, I work, and volunteer, but I'm getting bored and feel I can do more. Thx
  19. pinkster

    pinkster 2+ Year Member

    Apr 26, 2014
    Research? I feel like it has really helped me get interviews.

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