Aug 23, 2017
8
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Pre-Dental
I graduated from WVU in 2015 with a BS in biology and have been struggling ever since. I graduated with a low GPA of about 2.9 and have been wanting to return to school to beef that up for a possible chance at dental school. So my options I was thinking about are as follows and I'm curious what is best in your eyes.
1. Returning to WVU (or any school) to retake classes or do a DIY post baccalaureate program and take upper level classes.
2. Finding an official post baccalaureate program as a GPA enhancer.
3. Finding a Masters program that I could fit into to help.
I have not taken the GRE or DAT just for reference.
I know the path I could possibly go down is not an easy one at all but I am prepared to put in the time and effort to succeed. Thank you for any help.
 

toothsucker

2+ Year Member
Jul 30, 2017
43
56
Status
Dental Student
I'm in dental school and my advice to everyone in your situation is the same: do the masters. And not in something like oral sciences, etc. but a core science like bio, micro, biochem, chem. If you end up not getting into dental school, your career prospects in another field will be pretty strong because of the MS.
 
May 17, 2008
2,922
3,217
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Dental Student
Any option is fine as long as it consists mostly of upper level science classes (I don't think retaking courses is needed unless your grade was below a C or you really need to relearn from scratch for the DAT). Since you already finished with a degree in bio I'd lean towards the masters program. Doing well on the DAT is also going to be critical for offsetting any concerns about your GPA.
 
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careerchanger09

2+ Year Member
Feb 24, 2017
112
184
Status
Pre-Dental
You can apply for a formal post-bacc program; there are a lot of programs intended for dental/medical students. These tend to be a little more expensive but you get guaranteed spots in classes and you get some advising around applying.

Alternatively, you can crash courses at your local college/university (probably not community college though). This is what I did. I am California resident and took crashed courses at my local CSU through a program called Open University. This was a cheaper option but the major downside is that I was competing with undergrads for spots in these classes and I could only have a spot in the class if there was one available. Obviously, there is less advising with this option which can be hard if you need guidance along the way.

Ultimately, I think it depends on where you are coming from. I would definitely take a full length DAT practice test at some point too to see what your biggest gaps are.
 

Roogbyman

7+ Year Member
Mar 15, 2012
14
18
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Pre-Dental
Was/am in a very similar position. Graduated undergrad with a sub 3 GPA. I highly recommend a formal post-bacc program, I did VCU's Certificate Program just for reference. I also retook the DAT after the program and was able to do quite well. Good luck and feel free to message me with any specific questions.
 

nick526xxh

2+ Year Member
Jun 11, 2015
33
21
Status
Dental Student
Just do a DIY post-bac with upper level BIOL class to minimize cost. (Make sure you ace them) And study hard for DAT. Some of my classmates did post-bac to get in due to low undergrad GPA or career changer, however they are the top of our class now. Understand your strength and weakness, at the same time, gaining shadowing experience is another important factor. If you are still not sure what to do, I suggest contact Dr.Price at WVU SOD admission, she will be happy to answer your questions.

And feel free to contact me here at SDN.
 
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Kingfish23

2+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2017
513
650
My opinion: why spend money on a post bacc and get nothing out of it? Maybe a certificate ? I'd recommend just going for the masters. When you're done you'll have a masters degree that you can use if you don't get in your first cycle, or to use in the meantime while you're waiting to matriculate. Plus, masters degrees make you way more competitive than just a post-bacc. They're traditionally more challenging than undergraduate courses and similar to what you will see in dental school. With a 2.9gpa, you probably won't be able to take enough classes to make a dent in your GPA. Your masters GPA is calculated separately as "graduate" GPA. That's my 2 cents.
 
OP
C
Aug 23, 2017
8
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Thank you everyone for your responses. I have a lot to think about this weekend
 

acemason

7+ Year Member
Aug 14, 2011
169
150
Status
Pre-Dental
Thank you everyone for your responses. I have a lot to think about this weekend
I think post-bac programs are an excellent option. I had pretty much the same undergrad GPA as you and did a post-bac for 5 quarters and got straight As. So far I have 5 interviews. When your GPA is that low it becomes less about increasing your GPA substantially, and more about demonstrating a solid track of sustained improvement.

Post-bac programs are usually much cheaper than masters, the downside is that they're usually not eligibility for financial aid since you won't be receiving a degree. Also, there IS a separate GPA that is calculated for postbac programs as well. I don't agree with the above poster saying that masters make you more competitive than a postbac. They are viewed pretty much the same in the eyes of admissions committees. Many of my friends from postbac have gotten into excellent schools such as UCSF, UOP and Columbia.
 

Kingfish23

2+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2017
513
650
I think post-bac programs are an excellent option. I had pretty much the same undergrad GPA as you and did a post-bac for 5 quarters and got straight As. So far I have 5 interviews. When your GPA is that low it becomes less about increasing your GPA substantially, and more about demonstrating a solid track of sustained improvement.

Post-bac programs are usually much cheaper than masters, the downside is that they're usually not eligibility for financial aid since you won't be receiving a degree. Also, there IS a separate GPA that is calculated for postbac programs as well. I don't agree with the above poster saying that masters make you more competitive than a postbac. They are viewed pretty much the same in the eyes of admissions committees. Many of my friends from postbac have gotten into excellent schools such as UCSF, UOP and Columbia.
I've seen people with 3.98gpas in a post bacc through like 40-60 credits get rejected from those same schools. So who knows lol
 
OP
C
Aug 23, 2017
8
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Does anybody have any recommendations on good/possible for me post baccalaureate or master programs? I live on the east coast but am open to going ANYWHERE to help myself out!
 

Kingfish23

2+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2017
513
650
Does anybody have any recommendations on good/possible for me post baccalaureate or master programs? I live on the east coast but am open to going ANYWHERE to help myself out!
Barry University in South Florida is an excellent choice. They have a great track record of getting students into professional schools.
 
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