Aug 12, 2015
19
5
Status
Pre-Dental
Hey guys, I have just graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology this past may. I am in definite need of some advice. Although I have hit a great amount of obstacles and failures throughout college, I will reach my ultimate goal is to gain acceptance into Dental School. I just need the right guidance. My current cumulative GPA is a 2.6. I scored 18 AA on the DAT last summer. I have just been accepted into a post-bacc program at Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, MN. I plan to retake most of the science courses in which I received lower than a B. I also plan on adding some more science courses to make my application more competitive. I understand that at this point I am still far from even being considered and that is why I am posting this thread. Throughout this year I plan on taking as many courses as I can and receiving nothing but A's to boost my GPA. I also plan on adding to my shadowing hours throughout the year as well. I am looking for advice that anyone may have to ultimately guide me to reach my goals and succeed in applying for the 2017 cycle. Please give me all the suggestions that you guys may have.
 
OP
1
Aug 12, 2015
19
5
Status
Pre-Dental
One of my main concerns is when to apply for the 2017 dental school cycle. I am looking to improve my GPA and retake the DAT, as well as adding on more shadowing hours and attending ASDA conventions. With theses things in progress what would be the right time to start my applications and put myself in the best position possible?
 

JLT223

Dental Student
2+ Year Member
Jun 3, 2015
2,944
2,987
Status
Dental Student
One of my main concerns is when to apply for the 2017 dental school cycle. I am looking to improve my GPA and retake the DAT, as well as adding on more shadowing hours and attending ASDA conventions. With theses things in progress what would be the right time to start my applications and put myself in the best position possible?
You're going to want to submit the application ASAP when it opens in June. Aim for the 3rd week or so; that should be plenty of time to fill everything out. You can submit it without DAT scores. Take the DAT by the end of July at the latest.
 
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OP
1
Aug 12, 2015
19
5
Status
Pre-Dental
I'm a little confused. I want to apply for the the 2017 dental application cycle. It's already august. Would it make sense for me to apply right now with a 2.6 GPA? I am also looking to gain more recommendations from professors and dentists this upcoming year as well. As you can see I am definitely in need of guidance so please bare with me! Thank You
 
OP
1
Aug 12, 2015
19
5
Status
Pre-Dental
Okay, I understand. So I am looking to apply during this year to get into dental school by the fall of 2017, and I want some advice on what a good time frame would be for me to apply in this situation. I understand that current application cycle has already opened and at this point in time I would not feel comfortable submitting a noncompetitive application. I am going to be improving on my GPA and DAT, as well as adding on more experience to my resume. I know looking at my GPA and DAT, this will be a very tough year, but I am giving myself no option but to get into school by the fall of 2017.
 

JLT223

Dental Student
2+ Year Member
Jun 3, 2015
2,944
2,987
Status
Dental Student
Okay, I understand. So I am looking to apply during this year to get into dental school by the fall of 2017, and I want some advice on what a good time frame would be for me to apply in this situation. I understand that current application cycle has already opened and at this point in time I would not feel comfortable submitting a noncompetitive application. I am going to be improving on my GPA and DAT, as well as adding on more experience to my resume. I know looking at my GPA and DAT, this will be a very tough year, but I am giving myself no option but to get into school by the fall of 2017.
If you don't apply this summer you cannot enter for the fall of 2017.
 
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2y4life

2+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2015
85
59
Status
Non-Student
Unfortunately with a 2.6 and an 18AA, you will not be accepted into any school even if you apply (considering that it is rather late already with subpar stats).

Retake those classes, get A's, and then retake the DAT next June and apply then is my advice
 
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Rand627

5+ Year Member
May 7, 2014
382
363
Status
Pre-Dental
Unfortunately with a 2.6 and an 18AA, you will not be accepted into any school even if you apply (considering that it is rather late already with subpar stats).

Retake those classes, get A's, and then retake the DAT next June and apply then is my advice
Agreed. You can't raise your gpa in time for this cycle, plus you need to retake the dat!
 
OP
1
Aug 12, 2015
19
5
Status
Pre-Dental
Its hard for me to hear that. What if I were to apply to any schools with a January or February deadline, would they possibly give me a conditional chance if I have retaken and gotten above 20 on my DAT and a high GPA the first trimester of my post bacc? Im sorry, I am just under a lot of pressure from my parents. I really want to take to the challenge and try my best to get in this upcoming 2017 year.
 

pgex2t

2+ Year Member
Sep 19, 2015
600
630
Status
Dental Student
Unless you score an incredibly high DAT (24+ minimum). The chances of you receiving interviews this cycle are extremely low (in my personal opinion-0). It is already considered by many to be relatively late in the cycle (to begin applying) and your GPA does not meet the minimum requirement for consideration for many schools. It would be irresponsible for anyone on this forum to tell you to apply this cycle. Spend that money to better yourself as an applicant for future cycles.
 

schmoob

Moderator
2+ Year Member
Mar 26, 2015
2,467
3,529
It's hard to hear, yes. But better heard from us than from rejection letters that costed you thousands of dollars in application and secondary fees.
Trust us, do something to increase your competitiveness and apply next year. Use this year wisely. Applying to dental school would not be the wisest choice IMO.
Don't worry man, it's not over. Keep your head up and keep pressing forward!
 

CareerNumTwo

2+ Year Member
Apr 17, 2015
191
123
Status
Pre-Medical
Its hard for me to hear that. What if I were to apply to any schools with a January or February deadline, would they possibly give me a conditional chance if I have retaken and gotten above 20 on my DAT and a high GPA the first trimester of my post bacc? Im sorry, I am just under a lot of pressure from my parents. I really want to take to the challenge and try my best to get in this upcoming 2017 year.
Your parents aren't the ones going to dental school. If this is what you want, you need to go about it the right way. Take everyone's advice. Knocking your first year of post-bacc out of the park + a high DAT is STILL no guarantee that you'll receive an interview, let alone an acceptance.
 
OP
1
Aug 12, 2015
19
5
Status
Pre-Dental
Thank you all for the advice. After reading through everyone's thoughts, I feel that applying the next cycle will definitely be my best option. I'm going to move on from this application cycle and start planning ahead for 2018. How should I go about finding the right schools for myself that will be in range for me to gain interviews? What is a good number of schools to apply to? I want to put myself in the best position to get into dental school. I want to stay as organized as possible from now, so that when application time comes, I am fully prepared. Again I appreciate all of the guidance and support!
 

pgex2t

2+ Year Member
Sep 19, 2015
600
630
Status
Dental Student
Based on your GPA, it may be advisable to apply to 18+ schools. At this point in time, your #1 priority should be scoring a 22+ (or 21+?) on your DAT in tandem with acing your post-bacc courses. The ADEA guide has the most accurate range of stats for ea. individual school, but I find that stalking the SDN school specific forums and acceptance thread could benefit one too in terms of knowing interview dates as well as more precise individual data of what type of applicant gets interviewed/accepted/rejected (for specific schools). For example-I'm almost certain that a sub 3.0 gpa applicant would get automatically tossed out for MWU-AZ and NOVA unless there are extraordinary circumstances. Like many have said, recovering from a weak GPA is a long and tedious process, but if being a dentist is what you really want, you'll get there eventually.
 

Rand627

5+ Year Member
May 7, 2014
382
363
Status
Pre-Dental
You'll 100% want this book

http://www.adea.org/officialguide/

It's the best way to line up your statistics (race, location, gpa, dat, etc) with schools in question. It's worth the 20 bucks or whatever it is for the online edition. I used it for hours when selecting my schools.
 

LuckBloodandSweat

2+ Year Member
May 26, 2015
1,368
835
Status
Dental Student
I can't refute what other people have said. You'll want a really a very high DAT and a 4.0 in postbacc this year. Truth hurts sometimes ;(. Your chances are nonexistent for this cycle. If you're that determined, I know you'll do whatever it takes!
 
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OP
1
Aug 12, 2015
19
5
Status
Pre-Dental
Hey guys, I'm almost 2 months into my post bacc. Keeping up with straight A's. From the looks of it, I will be able to finish two semesters with 4 classes each (total 8 classes), determined to bring in only A's. I would be finishing up my post bacc by mid-April. This will give me about a month to study for the DAT. I plan on retaking t he DAT mid-May. Please let me know of how to best improve my scores from an 18 AA to 21+ AA. From January until May I also plan on extensively working on my applications and requirements. I have also spoken to the head of the science department at my school about receiving a committee letter as well as recommendations from a couple of dentists. I want to be ready to go on the first day the application cycles open up, which I believe is June 1st. I am highly determined. I just wanted to see if there is any other advice or suggestions you guys may have. Also I needed some help on how to exactly make a list of schools that would give me the greatest chances of getting in. I appreciate all the advice I will receive. Thanks!
 
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Flemish

2+ Year Member
Sep 12, 2016
169
241
Status
Dental Student
It looks like you've made great progress since the beginning of this thread. Great job! However, I think that if you're really serious about scoring well on the DAT--as you should be--you should allocate more time to studying for it. I'd say at least 6 weeks if possible (depending on how much time you have to study every day). You could really use a 22+ score and those don't come easily. I understand that you want to apply early, but that won't do much for you if you don't have a stellar score.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 

schmoob

Moderator
2+ Year Member
Mar 26, 2015
2,467
3,529
Great work so far! Keep up the confidence and performance, it's important.
I also agree that 6 weeks might be better for the DAT. Applying early is important, but even if you take your DAT late May, it's ok. If you take your DAT and submit June 1st, it will still take a few weeks to get your GPA verified and your scores to come in. You're better off using that time to prepare for a better score.
Also, I would recommend looking into an SMP and starting it during the summer if possible. There is no guarantee you will be accepted, and you don't want to waste a year sitting around waiting to find out. Always work on making yourself more competitive. This way if you are not accepted, you will be ready to go the following cycle with a stronger application. Otherwise you would just waste ANOTHER year and you'll be kicking yourself.
Stay positive and keep up that motivation, you will get in one way or another!
 
OP
1
Aug 12, 2015
19
5
Status
Pre-Dental
Thanks for all the advice guys! I definitely believe more time devoted for the DAT will only get me a better score! So I also need to guidance in picking out my courses for the next semester. I will for sure be taking Organic Chemistry 1 & 2 and Human Anat/Phys 1 , however I am confused on which to choose between Cell Biology vs Microbiology. I have seen that some dental schools require either one of them or none. What would be the best way to make a choice from the two? I am leaning towards Cell Biology only because I would have the same professor I currently have for Intro Biology. I believe her recommendation letter would be even stronger when receiving A's in both of her classes. I appreciate all the help!
 

2jz

2+ Year Member
Dec 2, 2016
97
67
Status
Dental Student
You could certainly look into what schools you'd like to apply to and see if they require either of the courses. If none of the schools you'd like to apply to require microbiology, then I'd definitely take cell bio for the reasons you stated.
 

CareerNumTwo

2+ Year Member
Apr 17, 2015
191
123
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks for all the advice guys! I definitely believe more time devoted for the DAT will only get me a better score! So I also need to guidance in picking out my courses for the next semester. I will for sure be taking Organic Chemistry 1 & 2 and Human Anat/Phys 1 , however I am confused on which to choose between Cell Biology vs Microbiology. I have seen that some dental schools require either one of them or none. What would be the best way to make a choice from the two? I am leaning towards Cell Biology only because I would have the same professor I currently have for Intro Biology. I believe her recommendation letter would be even stronger when receiving A's in both of her classes. I appreciate all the help!
Wait, you're taking both O Chem 1 & 2 next semester?? Does your school do quarters or half semesters?


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 

2y4life

2+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2015
85
59
Status
Non-Student
Ouch, I looked into that route as well. The only negative thing about that post bacc program is that the school is basically a glorified community college with 1 PhD program, 3 Masters programs, and 3 Bachelors programs. The students like it and it's more of a Chiropractor school, or really, that's basically all it is. I called Marquette as well as the UofM and both schools said it would look much better on my application if I went to a traditional or more reknown 4 year university. The rigors is not up to par with most 4 year universities and when I called Marquette, I rebutted with a hypothetical "would I be better off taking courses at say a UW-Lacrosse over Northwestern?" and I received a resounding yes.

With that said, I hope it goes well.
 
OP
1
Aug 12, 2015
19
5
Status
Pre-Dental
Hey everyone, hope all is going well. I have made a great amount of progress since I last posted. I finished off last trimester with a 4.0, taking Gen Chem 1 + 2, Biology, and Biochemistry. This trimester is coming to an end in another month, and I can say I will end up with another 4.0 trimester, taking OChem 1 + 2 and Microbiology. I have just started studying for the DAT, which I plan on retaking around the 2nd or 3rd week of May. This should give me roughly 3-4 weeks for review of all the material, following 4-5 weeks for practice tests. As for study materials I am using DAT Destroyer + Math Destroyer, DAT Bootcamp, Cliff's Bio 3rd edition, Feralis Notes, Chad's Videos, and possibly Qvault. If anyone has any suggestions/advice on my study plan, please let me know. I have also spoken to the head of the science dept. at my school regarding a committee letter, which will include 3 - 4 professors. Along with that, I will have a LOR from a dentist I shadowed 60+ hours when I was back home. I have accumulated ~100 hours of shadowing experience throughout the years. I have also successfully made a list of schools (~20 total) to apply to. I plan on applying June 1st when the 2018 cycle opens up. I was wondering, if I were to submit my applications on the day the cycle opens, would it be beneficial for me to continue school during the summer and take Anat/Phys 1 and Cell Bio. Would schools take these classes into consideration? Would this help my chances? One last thing, I was looking through last years application and realized there was a question about manual dexterity/hand-eye coordination. Does anyone have any suggestions for this? My main goal is obviously to put myself in the best position to be an excellent applicant. Any advice you guys have, I will greatly appreciate! Thanks!
 
OP
1
Aug 12, 2015
19
5
Status
Pre-Dental
I'd say you're on the right track, based on the updates you've provided.

Check out the link in my signature for DAT advice, and let me know if you have any questions.
I will definitely take a look! Thank you!
 
OP
1
Aug 12, 2015
19
5
Status
Pre-Dental
Wait, you're taking both O Chem 1 & 2 next semester?? Does your school do quarters or half semesters?


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
They are ~16 week trimesters. If the class is accelerated, it is split into 8 week sections each. For example, I am just finished Ochem 1 last week (from Jan and Feb), and now I am taking Ochem 2 (March and April).
 

schmoob

Moderator
2+ Year Member
Mar 26, 2015
2,467
3,529
Hey everyone, hope all is going well. I have made a great amount of progress since I last posted. I finished off last trimester with a 4.0, taking Gen Chem 1 + 2, Biology, and Biochemistry. This trimester is coming to an end in another month, and I can say I will end up with another 4.0 trimester, taking OChem 1 + 2 and Microbiology. I have just started studying for the DAT, which I plan on retaking around the 2nd or 3rd week of May. This should give me roughly 3-4 weeks for review of all the material, following 4-5 weeks for practice tests. As for study materials I am using DAT Destroyer + Math Destroyer, DAT Bootcamp, Cliff's Bio 3rd edition, Feralis Notes, Chad's Videos, and possibly Qvault. If anyone has any suggestions/advice on my study plan, please let me know. I have also spoken to the head of the science dept. at my school regarding a committee letter, which will include 3 - 4 professors. Along with that, I will have a LOR from a dentist I shadowed 60+ hours when I was back home. I have accumulated ~100 hours of shadowing experience throughout the years. I have also successfully made a list of schools (~20 total) to apply to. I plan on applying June 1st when the 2018 cycle opens up. I was wondering, if I were to submit my applications on the day the cycle opens, would it be beneficial for me to continue school during the summer and take Anat/Phys 1 and Cell Bio. Would schools take these classes into consideration? Would this help my chances? One last thing, I was looking through last years application and realized there was a question about manual dexterity/hand-eye coordination. Does anyone have any suggestions for this? My main goal is obviously to put myself in the best position to be an excellent applicant. Any advice you guys have, I will greatly appreciate! Thanks!
Great to hear! This is definitely going to make you much more competitive. Keep those grades up, study hard for the DAT, and keep doing what you're doing. I'm confident you will land a few interviews with this performance.
 
OP
1
Aug 12, 2015
19
5
Status
Pre-Dental
Thank you! Would anyone be able to answer some of my questions from my most recent post? I have to make this decision for the upcoming summer, and at this point I am not exactly sure.
 

eldmd_32

5+ Year Member
Nov 23, 2013
301
306
Status
Pre-Dental
I say stick with continuing the classes after you apply. It'll show initiative on your end and you'll be able to submit an academic update with those grades.

Your DAT timeline seems pretty good...especially since you've just covered a lot of the material that will show up on the exam. If your mind isn't innately wired for perceptual ability then make sure you incorporate enough time to train yourself to understand that section. You have a sufficient amount of materials already. Just make sure you don't take the exam until you're getting or surpassing your goal score for each section of the practice tests.

For the hand-eye coordination section, do you have any hobbies that are associated with working primarily with your hands? Art, playing musical instruments (the more detailed the better...the harp would be fantastic since it's so unique but drums/guitar/piano work as well), having the yo-yo mastered (my cousin's won the national competition multiple times and is seriously sick at that), cake decorating, stitching...pretty much anything that requires careful attention to detail and use of both hands would satisfy practice of the skill. What you come up with doesn't have to be something I've listed. Every year someone mentions something really cool and unique which makes you think "Ugh! I wish I could do that!"