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Pre-dental classes question... Non-traditional student, non-traditional approach

I Want to be a Dentist, should I...

  • take courses slowly during my time off?

    Votes: 9 64.3%
  • save money and wait till I can afford to go back to school full time?

    Votes: 5 35.7%

  • Total voters
    14

Sp00kyScuby

Um...what?
10+ Year Member
Oct 27, 2007
7
0
Washington
  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    A little background: I've got a Bachelors of Aeronautical Science with a GPA of 3.79 but only have a semester of physics under my belt when it comes to science courses. My current job is great in a lot of regards but I have always been interested in the medical career fields. After spending a lot of time researching, I have decided that Dentistry is something I want to pursue. My current job takes me a away from home for extended periods of time (3-6 months) but then as a trade off I get about the same time off when I return. And this is where my question comes in:

    What is everyone's opinion on taking the pre-dental courses every other semester? For example: Take Bio 1 and Chem 1 one semester, then take a semester off (back to work), then take Bio 2 and Chem 2 (third semester) etc...

    Obviously taking everything consistently is the best bet but thats not an option because of my work schedule.

    Thanks for any advice,
     
    Last edited:

    DMDreaming

    Full Member
    10+ Year Member
    May 24, 2007
    377
    2
    1. Dental Student
      If you choose to only take classes every other semester, you will want to address why as part of your application or in letter to each school. Part of what DS are looking for is someone who can handle a heavy course load and, if you don't tell them why you only took classes every other semester, they might think you couldn't handle it. I know some people on SDN frown on online classes but it might be an option for you. I, too, was a non-trad, working full time and trying to complete my pre-reqs. I chose to take some online classes and some courses at a CC since they had evening options. I addressed this in a letter I wrote to the admission's committees. In a couple of interviews, they were impressed I could maintain a solid GPA and work 25-40 hours a week. So, IMO it's all about how you spin it to the ad coms.
       

      jaypea65

      Full Member
      10+ Year Member
      Oct 10, 2006
      318
      2
      1. Pre-Dental
        Trust me on this one. As a non-trad, I started taking classes several years ago to finish my degree and satisfy the prerequisites for dental school. I find myself at the ripe age of 43 now. I now wish I would have quit work or at least went part-time to get things accomplished quicker. If dentistry is your life dream, then just do it and get 'er done! You will be glad that you did.
         
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        Sp00kyScuby

        Um...what?
        10+ Year Member
        Oct 27, 2007
        7
        0
        Washington
        1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
          adcoms like to see candidates who maintain a high course-load because it better prepares them for the rigors of d-school.

          From what I can gather the dental prereqs I need are:
          8 Semester credits of Biology
          8 Semester credits of Chemistry
          8 Semester credits of Organic Chem
          8 Semesters of Physics (I have 5 credits from UG but I'm not sure if it will work, it was "Physics for Aerospace Sciences")
          8 Semester credits of some sort of Biology (Micro / Anatomy / Biochem etc...)

          The best I could do for a "high course load" would be 3 classes (12 credits) at a time because of the pre-reqs for the hire level classes. However, my last two semesters as an UG I had one semester with 21 credits and another with 25. Think those would help off set the lighter load I would be taking now?


          Thanks to everyone who posted above, I applicate it.
           

          Sp00kyScuby

          Um...what?
          10+ Year Member
          Oct 27, 2007
          7
          0
          Washington
          1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
            Yeah, as far as I know 12 credits is full time. When a "high" course load was mentioned I was thinking considerably higher. I think I read somewhere that Dental school is somewhere around 30 credits a semester.

            Thanks again,
             

            DMDreaming

            Full Member
            10+ Year Member
            May 24, 2007
            377
            2
            1. Dental Student
              From what I can gather the dental prereqs I need are:
              8 Semester credits of Biology
              8 Semester credits of Chemistry
              8 Semester credits of Organic Chem
              8 Semesters of Physics (I have 5 credits from UG but I'm not sure if it will work, it was "Physics for Aerospace Sciences")
              8 Semester credits of some sort of Biology (Micro / Anatomy / Biochem etc...)

              The best I could do for a "high course load" would be 3 classes (12 credits) at a time because of the pre-reqs for the hire level classes. However, my last two semesters as an UG I had one semester with 21 credits and another with 25. Think those would help off set the lighter load I would be taking now?


              Thanks to everyone who posted above, I applicate it.

              Even though 12 credits is full time, this isn't showing the ad coms you are capable of taking on the rigors of DS unless you point out to them you were working full time. First time I applied, I didn't point out I was working full time while taking classes and it hurt me. In fact, when i was declined and phoned to see what I could do to strengthen my app, I was told I should try to take more credits. I then mentioned I was working full time and it was hard to take more than 12-14 credits if I wanted to maintain a decent GPA. The dean of admissions was like "oh, well that's different". He also told me to make it known what I was doing. They thought I was just goofing off and trying to pad my GPA. Long story short, the ad coms only know what you tell them about yourself. And dont assume you'll get an interview where you can fill them in.

              Also, I agree with jaypea65. I wish I'd have just taken the plunge, quit my job and concentrated only on school. If I would have, I'd have been able to apply 2 years sooner. It would have been tough but those extra years would have been nice.
               
              Last edited:

              Resonance

              Member
              10+ Year Member
              7+ Year Member
              Jan 30, 2006
              220
              0
              1. Pre-Dental
                A little background: I've got a Bachelors of Aeronautical Science with a GPA of 3.79 but only have a semester of physics under my belt when it comes to science courses. My current job is great in a lot of regards but I have always been interested in the medical career fields. After spending a lot of time researching, I have decided that Dentistry is something I want to pursue. My current job takes me a away from home for extended periods of time (3-6 months) but then as a trade off I get about the same time off when I return. And this is where my question comes in:

                What is everyone's opinion on taking the pre-dental courses every other semester? For example: Take Bio 1 and Chem 1 one semester, then take a semester off (back to work), then take Bio 2 and Chem 2 (third semester) etc...

                Obviously taking everything consistently is the best bet but thats not an option because of my work schedule.

                Thanks for any advice,
                I agree with all the above posters about taking a full load of courses, but if you chose not to I do not believe this would be much of a concern in your case. A GPA of 3.79 puts you above the mean GPA of every dental school in the country save U of Neb. I think the best idea is to go full time allowing you to focus not only on completing the pre-reqs, but also in terms of studying for the DAT it would be beneficial to not go in fits and starts.
                 
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