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Please Help Concerning Dental School!!

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by FutureOrthoDDS, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. FutureOrthoDDS

    FutureOrthoDDS 5+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2008
    Hello SDN!!,

    I just want to say first off that this is a TREMENDOUSLY HELPFUL site, having pre-dents, dental students and successful dentists all here to help each other is an amazing thing and thanks for all your help- I really learned a lot and many questions I had regarding dental school have been answered simply through the forum. Now, onto some business...a little about me. I am 23 years old and have an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Radiation Therapy (radiation therapists use high energy radiation to treat cancer patients). I completed this field at a time where money was scarce and I just wanted to complete something quick (like a nursing degree--in & out in 2 years). I can't complain, only 2 years and I earn $69K my first year.

    Now however, times are better and I really want to pursue dental school. My concern is if there is a chance that I could take all the required pre-reqs and upper-division courses and still apply to dental school without a formal Bachelor's degree. A survey of dental students nationwide in '07 showed that 68% received a Bachelor's prior to entering dental school. My concern is...what about the other 32%? What have they got? The majority of dental students have a Bachelor's degree, but what about the rest? How do dental schools look at applicants without Bachelor's degrees? Would my formal AAS count for anything? If anyone has gained admission into dental school without a formal Bachelor's, I'd like really appreciate your input. Even on Buffalo's Dental School website, it states "students are strongly encouraged to receive a Bachelor's prior to dental school admission, however, if you don't have a Bachelor's, the student must be able to demonstrate a high level of academic achievement." Pretty much saying that if you don't have a Bachelor's, you better be an DAMN GOOD STUDENT! (high GPAs, high DAT & PAT scores, extracirriculars, etc.).

    My degree is so specific to radiation therapy only, that I can't just walk into a school and go for 2 more years and get a Bachelor's (at least I don't think). My biggest fear is having to go back to school from the beginning, start with a fresh new major & complete 4 years to get a Bachelor's (in something like psychology, biology, what have you). That is something that I can't afford to do--having to wait until I'm 27 just to start applying to dental schools. Anyway, I know this is a looong post and I apologize, I just wanted to be thorough in case anybody needed to know the specifics of my situation. I have always been a good student so if I have a high GPA and good DAT & PAT scores, extracirriculars, shadow/internship/experience, several letters of recommendation, a professionally written personal essay and my formal Associates degree, do you think I can still apply & have a good chance of gaining admission to dental schools? If ANYONE has ANY INSIGHT into this, please help me out. ALL of your responses are GREATLY APPRECIATED. THANKS ALOT GUYS!!
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  3. Count Orlok

    Count Orlok Octagonecologyst 5+ Year Member

    Jan 14, 2008

    Based on my knowledge of the admissions process I would say that the option of not obtaining a bachelor's degree and be admitted to dental school is for students who have completed all of the pre-requisite courses and have completed 3 years (i think the cut if 96 hours or something like that) of undergraduate education. In your situation I am not sure how they will view the radiology therapist training. I would suppose you will have to complete all the necessary pre-requisites for each school you apply and then depending on how your previous schooling counts you may have to take additional courses to get enough credit to meet the minimum number of hours to be able to apply. If I were in this situation, I would just call a few schools and ask to speak with their dean of admissions, explain my situation, and talk this thing out. I am sure that anybody who deals with this on a daily basis can give you much more valuable/correct advice than I can. Good luck on your endeavor.
  4. VilleDent

    VilleDent Hate Teeth? Visit KY! 2+ Year Member

    Dec 3, 2006
    We have a few people in our class that didn't finish their B.S. My advice would be to take all the required pre-reqs and once you have those under your belt, start applying. If you don't get in, go ahead and take another year of classes. Hopefully, you could get the pre-reqs in two years, then slide into dental school, but I think the only way to do that is to absolutely demolish your pre-reqs (3.7-3.8) to show you can do it without that degree. You have a good GPA with those classes and do well on the DAT, I don't think that too many schools will care. Good luck.
  5. FutureOrthoDDS

    FutureOrthoDDS 5+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2008
    VilleDent & Count Orlok, thanks very much for your replies. I figured that taking mabe 2 more years of pre-reqs and doing VERY well on them as well as the DAT would be the way to go. I just don't want to have to start over in school for another 4 years to earn a bachelors. I will also definitely call the admissions offices @ the schools that I am interested in to further solidify my course of action--thanks Count Orlok. Time to get to work. Thanks again guys and good luck to you in dental school.
  6. FutureOrthoDDS

    FutureOrthoDDS 5+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2008
    And if ANYONE else has any advice or input, ESPECIALLY if you personally went through a similar situation, your replies are humbly welcome....I need all the help I can get. Thanks!!
  7. TeamGuo

    TeamGuo 2+ Year Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    Without a BA or BS you just have to do extremely well in all your pre-reqs and on your DAT. I applied last year to one school for early admission, after 3 years, but my DAT was not high enough, and plus they wanted me to take a lot more upper level courses.

    Pre-reqs are one thing, you have to take a lot more science courses on top of that. Admission person I was talking to said that people who get in after 3 yrs of college are usually very close to graduating, meaning they took a lot of upper level classes on top of their pre-reqs.

    I think I checked out U of Tufts, not 100% sure, I think it was Tufts of Penn, they had a stat for admission without obtaining a BA or BS, which was

    pre-req gpa = 4.0
    DAT = 23 and above.

    So I mean it's possible, but pretty intense to gain admission without a bachelors. You must also consider that a lot of people who are applying has more than a bachelors degree, like M.S degrees.

    If you really want to get in before getting your bachelors, take a lot of courses at once, and show them that you can still get A's with heavy course loads.

    Good luck with everything! :thumbup:
  8. sajjy

    sajjy 5+ Year Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    not all of 32% but rest of them have masters or post bacc.
  9. Brownstain


    May 25, 2008
    I think there may be a simple thing that you are overlooking. Was this radiation assistant degree from a community or junior college? If so, most schools won't accept this a coursework towards your pre-reqs or at all. It may affect your total hours etc. I would think the 68% would be higher, only 2 people came into my class w/o degrees. You have to account that some schools also have early admissions programs which skip out of undergrad study. I think they were counting advanced degrees. To be honest 27 isn't old. You could do 2 yrs worth of prereqs while still working at least part time. We have plenty of people who started school in the over 25 club. Be aware that this is going to be a huge amount of work. Cramming that stuff into 2 yrs is going to be hard, it will require you to work hard, I don't think I could pass Ochem again. Good luck, nice change of career path in my opinion.

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