Post-Baccalaureate or Masters or straight to Dental School

Nov 11, 2013
9
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Hi all,

I want to get some opinions as to what route I should take: straight to Dental School, post-bac or a Masters (I've been thinking about doing a Masters in Public Health). I am currently a junior at GonzagaU in WA state, but only 18 and a first year in college. Long story short, I went to community college my junior/senior year in high school and graduated HS w/ an AA degree. I had a 3.79 at the CC and did an honors program there too and graduated June 2013, transferred over to GU ( I started in the summer rather than the Fall, just wanted to start college asap after HS :p ) and got 4.0s in both summer classes. I intend on maintaing a 3.75+ at GU as well like I did at the CC.

I've had this dilemma per say, for quite a while though. I know I want to go into Dentistry, but I don't know what my chances would be like applying with only a year of university-level classes under my belt. So I guess I'm just curious what other people would do in my scenario or think I should do...
1) Take the DAT sometime late this school year and apply for entrance in D School for Fall 2015?
2) Stay for a year of extra and do a post-bac (if I do this, I'll be getting a BA (maybe a BS) in Biology w/ a Research Concentration, rather than just a BA in Biology)?
3) Graduate at the end of next year, my second year, and pursue a MPH before dental school. The main reason I thought up this option is because I'm shaving two years of my education, so this would put those two years towards something major (which I'm sure would help in admissions)

Also, do you guys think it might be worth a shot studying up for the DAT sometime in the next few months, taking it, seeing if I do well and applying based upon that? If I don't than I could just stay for another year?

Any opinions are welcome of course, I just want to get some input on what others would do.
Thanks guys! :D
 

doc toothache

10+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2006
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Unless you manage to take a significant number of upper level science courses in the the one year and fare well on the DAT, you will have a pretty steep hill to climb.
 
OP
mleting
Nov 11, 2013
9
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Unless you manage to take a significant number of upper level science courses in the the one year and fare well on the DAT, you will have a pretty steep hill to climb.
Thanks for replying :)

That's exactly what I thought. I've just had so many people like my parents and even my dentist who I shadowed encouraging me to just whiz through school. I don't think it's manageable though. So what do you think would be the best option out of the other two? Staying for post-bac for a year (or two, if necessary) or trying for a MPH? I like the MPH option a lot because a masters certainly looks great in my opinion and puts the two years saved to good use, but that's a two year commitment right out the door.
 
Last edited:

jkswimman

7+ Year Member
Mar 27, 2010
30
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Dental Student
A mph is a good masters to have if you want to study public health. But some dental admission deans I've talked to recommend more scientific masters. I would suggest taking the time to look at other masters too. Specifically more science based. I know Midwestern University has a 9 month master of arts in biomedical science. A nice feature about this kind of a master is that it's only 9 month and you get a guaranteed interview at both/either campus if you meet the requirements.

I'd just recommend more research and talk to a dental admissions dean but go for what you think is best for you. Good Luck!
 
May 27, 2011
113
30
Status
Pre-Dental
A mph is a good masters to have if you want to study public health. But some dental admission deans I've talked to recommend more scientific masters. I would suggest taking the time to look at other masters too. Specifically more science based. I know Midwestern University has a 9 month master of arts in biomedical science. A nice feature about this kind of a master is that it's only 9 month and you get a guaranteed interview at both/either campus if you meet the requirements.

I'd just recommend more research and talk to a dental admissions dean but go for what you think is best for you. Good Luck!

I second the Midwestern Uni (MWU) MA program! I actually chose to be in the 2 year program (it's my second year and writing a thesis is kicking my ass), but I took the same heavy load of courses as the 1 year people and it helped me a lot on the DAT. :)
Also, I don't think it's any secret anymore that MWU really likes their Master's students and tends to accept a good majority of their own into the dental program. :] (I'll update you with hopefully good news on my end come Dec 2 to back that statement up)
 
OP
mleting
Nov 11, 2013
9
0
Status
Pre-Dental
A mph is a good masters to have if you want to study public health. But some dental admission deans I've talked to recommend more scientific masters. I would suggest taking the time to look at other masters too. Specifically more science based. I know Midwestern University has a 9 month master of arts in biomedical science. A nice feature about this kind of a master is that it's only 9 month and you get a guaranteed interview at both/either campus if you meet the requirements.

I'd just recommend more research and talk to a dental admissions dean but go for what you think is best for you. Good Luck!
Awesome, thanks for the info! I'll definitely look into some more science-based programs, and thanks for the info about MWU. I'm going to look into that and see what I can find about other 1-year programs (and the one at MWU of course :p).

I second the Midwestern Uni (MWU) MA program! I actually chose to be in the 2 year program (it's my second year and writing a thesis is kicking my ass), but I took the same heavy load of courses as the 1 year people and it helped me a lot on the DAT. :)
Also, I don't think it's any secret anymore that MWU really likes their Master's students and tends to accept a good majority of their own into the dental program. :] (I'll update you with hopefully good news on my end come Dec 2 to back that statement up)
Good luck!! :D
 

LaughingGas

7+ Year Member
May 17, 2010
1,713
431
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Dental Student, Dentist
Call the schools and ask directly. MWU MA program is mostly for people who had low undergrad GPA. Unless I am missing something from your post, you have good GPA, hence, you don't need masters program as you could potentially be in more debt.
 
OP
mleting
Nov 11, 2013
9
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Call the schools and ask directly. MWU MA program is mostly for people who had low undergrad GPA. Unless I am missing something from your post, you have good GPA, hence, you don't need masters program as you could potentially be in more debt.
GPA-wsie I guess I'm faring well, its just that going straight from undergraduate doesn't seem like that viable of an option as mentioned before because 1) I'd have a HUGE uphill battle, taking upper level science courses and prepping for the DAT towards the end of spring/early summer and 2) I'd only have a year of undergraduate under my belt when applying.

So I'm curious, do you think that staying for an extra year as a post-bac and maybe getting a BA in Bio w/ a Research Concentration (and some minors possibly) would be my best bet? I have thought about the debt too, and a masters adding an additional $30k to over $60k isn't appealing, its just that it'll help get me admitted and I want the best chance possible (especially for UW, the cheap-ish state school where I'm at). I have emailed a dean a short while ago, so I'm just holding out to see what he says. I'll try calling some schools too later. Thanks :D
 

doc toothache

10+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2006
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You seem to have a fixation on post bac/MS, both of which are usually prescribed for those with low gpa. Why not concentrate on finishing your B.S. and worry about alternatives after you receive rejections outright? With nary a semester under your belt, there is not much advice any dean can give you.
 
OP
mleting
Nov 11, 2013
9
0
Status
Pre-Dental
You seem to have a fixation on post bac/MS, both of which are usually prescribed for those with low gpa. Why not concentrate on finishing your B.S. and worry about alternatives after you receive rejections outright? With nary a semester under your belt, there is not much advice any dean can give you.
I guess because I don't feel like an acceptance is all that possible. I'll have one year of uni./ two years of CC under my belt, which I don't see getting me an acceptance. I'm trying to plan it out so that I can spend three years in undergrad (w/ a post-bac that way) or two years undergrad and an additional year (or two) w/ a masters program. I'm just trying to decide what the best route for me is out of the two.

Even as you said earlier, I'll have to take a significant number of upper-level science courses (which I'm already taking a number of) and fare well on the DAT. I'd much rather plan for an additional third year and just take the DAT next year in my senior year, that way I could still be saving a years time.
 

Daneosaurus

D4
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Mar 13, 2012
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Most schools don't care that you went to CC especially because you have competitive GPA (Michigan is the only one I know of that explicitly states that they will not accept CC credits). Plenty of people do. I sincerely doubt that alone would be a hindrance to immediate acceptance.

If it's a problem, I'm in the same boat as you, and you have the higher GPA."
 

doc toothache

10+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2006
8,150
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Dentist
Most schools don't care that you went to CC especially because you have competitive GPA (Michigan is the only one I know of that explicitly states that they will not accept CC credits). Plenty of people do. I sincerely doubt that alone would be a hindrance to immediate acceptance.

If it's a problem, I'm in the same boat as you, and you have the higher GPA."
Actually there are 7 ds that claim not to accept CC prerequisites, one with a qualified no and 10 others with a qualified yes.
 
OP
mleting
Nov 11, 2013
9
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Actually there are 7 ds that claim not to accept CC prerequisites, one with a qualified no and 10 others with a qualified yes.
Yes, but I don't have much of my pre-reqs done at CC (really only general bio and general chem. as I was aware of the whole "CC credits aren't worthy" bologna. I could retake those if a school I decided to apply to required it. In fact, it'd be an easy 4.0 then to replace both the dreaded 3.7s since I already know the material and could work on weak areas).

I don't believe UW is one of those school's though, but I'd have to check on that to be 100% certain. The UW is my overall best bet for d school, as I looked at the rankings in your signature earlier (and thanks for those!!!) and if it's accurate, theres a 30% acceptance rate in-state so my chance should be great as long as I don't bomb the DAT due to my o-GPA.

I realize that you are a long-time member of the boards here and a dentist according to your profile, so I'm wondering what you would advise someone like me to do seeing as you've made it through all the schooling and out in the real world? Just stick it out and graduate in two years from undergrad? Try to get in the end of this year and hope for the best? I know you said earlier trying at the end of this year would be very challenging, but also suggested I just wait and see if I do in fact get rejected? I just feel like I need to be prepared for what route I'm going to take as getting interviews/acceptances the winter of next year doesn't seem all to viable, and I know applying can be greatly expensive so I want to make it work my first time around when applying comes along, albeit spring '14 or spring '15.

Most schools don't care that you went to CC especially because you have competitive GPA (Michigan is the only one I know of that explicitly states that they will not accept CC credits). Plenty of people do. I sincerely doubt that alone would be a hindrance to immediate acceptance.

If it's a problem, I'm in the same boat as you, and you have the higher GPA."
Just curious, did you do any pre-reqs at the CC?
 

Daneosaurus

D4
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Mar 13, 2012
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Yes, but I don't have much of my pre-reqs done at CC (really only general bio and general chem. as I was aware of the whole "CC credits aren't worthy" bologna. I could retake those if a school I decided to apply to required it. In fact, it'd be an easy 4.0 then to replace both the dreaded 3.7s since I already know the material and could work on weak areas).

I don't believe UW is one of those school's though, but I'd have to check on that to be 100% certain. The UW is my overall best bet for d school, as I looked at the rankings in your signature earlier (and thanks for those!!!) and if it's accurate, theres a 30% acceptance rate in-state so my chance should be great as long as I don't bomb the DAT due to my o-GPA.

I realize that you are a long-time member of the boards here and a dentist according to your profile, so I'm wondering what you would advise someone like me to do seeing as you've made it through all the schooling and out in the real world? Just stick it out and graduate in two years from undergrad? Try to get in the end of this year and hope for the best? I know you said earlier trying at the end of this year would be very challenging, but also suggested I just wait and see if I do in fact get rejected? I just feel like I need to be prepared for what route I'm going to take as getting interviews/acceptances the winter of next year doesn't seem all to viable, and I know applying can be greatly expensive so I want to make it work my first time around when applying comes along, albeit spring '14 or spring '15.


Just curious, did you do any pre-reqs at the CC?
Yes. I have done Gen Bio 1&2, Gen Chem 1&2, and physics 1 at CC. I'm in O-chem 1 now, at my university (going to get an A, barring a complete melt-down on the final). But will have to use a consortium agreement to take ochem 2 at the CC (unavoidable scheduling conflicts). I really doubt it will hold me back.
 

arlmay

5+ Year Member
Oct 29, 2013
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Resident [Any Field], Dentist
Im probably one of very few replying to this that can say they have been in your shoes. I also completed CC and high school simultaneously and went to university at age 18 with my associates. Personally I looked at getting a business minor at first, planning on focusing on my grades in the meantime. In doing this I drug my college out a semester and ultimately another year before dental school. I have since chosen against the business minor and spent my time instead on extracurriculars and research. I think the choice was a good one, but I guess I will find out shortly if I'm accepted in a few days. Dont be too concerned about only being in university for a short time at a young age. Prove yourself by your drive and performance getting good grades and nailing your DAT. If you have any more questions feel free to message me
 
OP
mleting
Nov 11, 2013
9
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Im probably one of very few replying to this that can say they have been in your shoes. I also completed CC and high school simultaneously and went to university at age 18 with my associates. Personally I looked at getting a business minor at first, planning on focusing on my grades in the meantime. In doing this I drug my college out a semester and ultimately another year before dental school. I have since chosen against the business minor and spent my time instead on extracurriculars and research. I think the choice was a good one, but I guess I will find out shortly if I'm accepted in a few days. Dont be too concerned about only being in university for a short time at a young age. Prove yourself by your drive and performance getting good grades and nailing your DAT. If you have any more questions feel free to message me
Good to hear I'm not alone, and good luck! I hope you get some acceptances! :D Are you a Running Start'er to? WA state? And one more thing, as you said you spent an "extra" year before dental school. So ultimately you're still ahead one years time on your Bachelors, right?
 

arlmay

5+ Year Member
Oct 29, 2013
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Correct, I'm still "ahead" a year. I was part of a program called running start in Illinois coincidentally.
 
OP
mleting
Nov 11, 2013
9
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Correct, I'm still "ahead" a year. I was part of a program called running start in Illinois coincidentally.
Nice! Didn't know there were other programs with the same name. Cool though. And hey, best of luck in your endeavors. Did you also do pre-reqs at a CC?
 

arlmay

5+ Year Member
Oct 29, 2013
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I took gen chem 1 and 2, English 1and 2, and physics part 1 at CC. Total of 65 credits on my transcript from CC and ill graduate with about 145
 
OP
mleting
Nov 11, 2013
9
0
Status
Pre-Dental
I took gen chem 1 and 2, English 1and 2, and physics part 1 at CC. Total of 65 credits on my transcript from CC and ill graduate with about 145
Mine's fairly similar, as I did English 1/2 and then a General Biology, Astronomy ( don't know why I ever decided to take that... aghhh ), and General Chemistry I. I wasn't allowed in to Gen Chem II because I wasn't even supposed to get into Chem I ( got instructor permission though ) since I didn't do pre-calc before it. I'm actually just doing it now and wish I would've did it long ago as it would've helped in Chem.

One final question ( for now at least :D ), was Chem I/II and Physics I the only science courses you took at the CC? The ones I listed are the only ones I took, and because of that I have to do a BA in Biology over a BS, else I'd have to stay an extra year in undergraduate. If I planned better I would've got my Associates of Science rather than the Arts. :/
 

arlmay

5+ Year Member
Oct 29, 2013
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Resident [Any Field], Dentist
I took other intro bio courses but they didn't end up being classes in the biomedical science major at my university so they were pretty much worthless. I suppose they are factored into my science and overall gpas though.