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Pre-dental Need advice from SDN

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T14dan

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Hi SDN.
So here is my question. What would be my best move for getting into dental school at this point.
Here are my stats.
BS. Biochemistry
GPA 3.1
DAT-not taken yet, but typically I am a good standardized test taker.
Current job- silicones material scientist. (we actually make materials for dental impressions and I have worked on projects for this specifically.) **might be something unique
Pre Reqs. Gen Chem 1: A- Gen Chem II: A- Orgo I: A- Orgo II: C+ Bio 1: A Genetics: B- Calc I: A-
Physics I: B+ Physics II: A Analytical Chem: B
Here is the killer Biochem I: C Biochem II: C-

What do you recommend. I had some health issues during my senior year that really crushed my GPA and now I have a stable job, but I REALLLY want to go back and try to get into dental school. My uGPA is set in stone at this point. Do non-URM's ever have success from post bacc or masters if I nail it. I guess that I am terrified to do a masters or post bacc, drop the dough and still not get in. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

Blake1e

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Your uGPA might not be set in stone. I graduated already with low gpa like you and after playing on a gpa calculator I figured if I get a 4.0 semester (with 21 credits) again I can increase my overall by 0.1, which is a significant increase. You could go back to undergrad for a second degree (post-bac, and you dont have to get the 2nd degree though you can if you want) and take a bunch of sci classes to boost your overall and sci gpas. Play with the GPA calc to see just how set in stone your gpa really is.

If more undergrad classes isnt enough to raise your GPA then masters will probably be your next best option. Dont worry about being non-urm, as long as you dont apply to dental schools like howard and puerto rico it wont be too much of a problem.

When you take the DAT aim for at least a 22AA.
 

doc toothache

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Hi SDN.
So here is my question. What would be my best move for getting into dental school at this point.
Here are my stats.
BS. Biochemistry
GPA 3.1
DAT-not taken yet, but typically I am a good standardized test taker.
Current job- silicones material scientist. (we actually make materials for dental impressions and I have worked on projects for this specifically.) **might be something unique
Pre Reqs. Gen Chem 1: A- Gen Chem II: A- Orgo I: A- Orgo II: C+ Bio 1: A Genetics: B- Calc I: A-
Physics I: B+ Physics II: A Analytical Chem: B
Here is the killer Biochem I: C Biochem II: C-
Do non-URM's ever have success from post bacc or masters if I nail it. I guess that I am terrified to do a masters or post bacc, drop the dough and still not get in. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
You are likely to be at least equally "terrified" if you do not get an acceptance, unless you believe that that the C and C- in your major will work for you.
 

squigloo

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Unless you score 23+ on the DAT, the only way to make yourself a competitive applicant would be to go for a masters. Study hard for the DAT and take it some time before the fall, do well in a masters or post-bac, then apply after everything looks good. Is this plan a huge waste of time if you don't do well in the post-bac/masters? Probably. So make sure you're willing to put in the work beforehand.

Your other option would be to just take the DAT and apply with your current GPA, however you'll most likely be staring at rejection emails if you don't get crazy scores across the board.
 

T14dan

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Unless you score 23+ on the DAT, the only way to make yourself a competitive applicant would be to go for a masters. Study hard for the DAT and take it some time before the fall, do well in a masters or post-bac, then apply after everything looks good. Is this plan a huge waste of time if you don't do well in the post-bac/masters? Probably. So make sure you're willing to put in the work beforehand.

Your other option would be to just take the DAT and apply with your current GPA, however you'll most likely be staring at rejection emails if you don't get crazy scores across the board.


Do dental programs take a masters seriously, or would it be more prudent to get a post bacc? In a masters, I would have a new GPA to run with, but I have heard that dental schools do not always take these seriously. Also, I want to do exceptional on the DAT. Should I quit my full time job to study? MUSC has a post-bacc program geared towards dental students, but it is in it's infancy and is therefore a risk. That being said, I REALLY would love to go to MUSC dental.
 

Blake1e

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Do dental programs take a masters seriously, or would it be more prudent to get a post bacc? In a masters, I would have a new GPA to run with, but I have heard that dental schools do not always take these seriously. Also, I want to do exceptional on the DAT. Should I quit my full time job to study? MUSC has a post-bacc program geared towards dental students, but it is in it's infancy and is therefore a risk. That being said, I REALLY would love to go to MUSC dental.
I know this wasnt directed at me but... Masters are of course taken very seriously, just avoid taking a fluff masters thats not related to bio, chem, or dental. Whats more important your job or the most important exam of your life? I would quit and put all my time on the DAT, this is assuming your parents will take care of you. I think MUSC post0bac would be the way to go if you want to go to MUSC dental, though I cant say for sure because I dont know enough about the post bac program.
 

T14dan

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Ahh, they hate me. I inherited a LOT of money from my grandpa and they think if I quit then I will just become a trust fund baby. In all honesty, I would give every dime away if it meant dental school. I really want to run my own business, provide jobs to others and make people feel confident smiling. It is a a proven fact that small amounts of dopamine are released into your brain, when someone smiles at you. (i know that sounded like a cheesy interview answer, but it is truly my perspective) Shadowing in a free clinic made me realize how MUCH help people need in keeping their teeth clean and I want to run a business and volunteer in a free clinic
 

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Ahh, they hate me. I inherited a LOT of money from my grandpa and they think if I quit then I will just become a trust fund baby. In all honesty, I would give every dime away if it meant dental school. I really want to run my own business, provide jobs to others and make people feel confident smiling. It is a a proven fact that small amounts of dopamine are released into your brain, when someone smiles at you. (i know that sounded like a cheesy interview answer, but it is truly my perspective) Shadowing in a free clinic made me realize how MUCH help people need in keeping their teeth clean and I want to run a business and volunteer in a free clinic
If you can survive for a few months living off your inheritance while you study for the DAT then I say do it. Forget what your family thinks, dont let them hold you back. If I had a nickel for every guy I knew who screwed up his life by doing what his family wanted over what he knew would be the better path Id have almost a dollar. Do what you know is right and if the mood is right shove it in their faces when you succeed (as politely as possible of course, theyre still your family after all).
 

T14dan

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I know this wasnt directed at me but... Masters are of course taken very seriously, just avoid taking a fluff masters thats not related to bio, chem, or dental. Whats more important your job or the most important exam of your life? I would quit and put all my time on the DAT, this is assuming your parents will take care of you. I think MUSC post0bac would be the way to go if you want to go to MUSC dental, though I cant say for sure because I don't know enough about the post bac program.


I appreciate all the advice that I can get. The program is new, which makes me skeptical since I'm a guy who likes to see numbers and proof of prior success before I invest in something. On the flip side, however, it also may mean that the dental school and post bacc program will want "success" stories so that they can continue to sell their product to pre-dents. It's a close call. One thing that is for certain though, is that I will need to become a resident of South Carolina before I move. What is your perspective on a newer program. (FYI, the post bacc medical program is established and has been successful in the past)
 

T14dan

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I am trying to decide between a masters and a post bacc program. I can probably get my GPA to 3.3, but it will be a grind to do so. Would i be better off going to a masters program and trying to get in from there?
 
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T14dan

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If you can survive for a few months living off your inheritance while you study for the DAT then I say do it. Forget what your family thinks, dont let them hold you back. If I had a nickel for every guy I knew who screwed up his life by doing what his family wanted over what he knew would be the better path Id have almost a dollar. Do what you know is right and if the mood is right shove it in their faces when you succeed (as politely as possible of course, theyre still your family after all).

They will throw me out of the house if I quit my job. In an ideal world, I would live at home while taking classes in an informal post-bacc program at UNCC. I would ace them, then ace the DAT, and spend almost no money on the whole experience. ($8,000) If I leave home and do a masters program, then I will have higher tuition and higher living expenses. It is such a tough choice.
 

Blake1e

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They will throw me out of the house if I quit my job. In an ideal world, I would live at home while taking classes in an informal post-bacc program at UNCC. I would ace them, then ace the DAT, and spend almost no money on the whole experience. ($8,000) If I leave home and do a masters program, then I will have higher tuition and higher living expenses. It is such a tough choice.
They said they will throw you out after you explained what you were trying to do? Try explaining yourself again but in a better (nicer) way and ensure them you will get a job again after you finish the DAT.

If your family is as cold to you as you make it seem (and you have tons of money you could live off of for many years) then...

You know your situation better than anyone else so only you can figure out the best solution to your problem. Good luck man, I know you can figure this all out.
 

Glimmer1991

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MUSC has a post-bacc program geared towards dental students, but it is in it's infancy and is therefore a risk. That being said, I REALLY would love to go to MUSC dental.

They will throw me out of the house if I quit my job. In an ideal world, I would live at home while taking classes in an informal post-bacc program at UNCC. If I leave home and do a masters program, then I will have higher tuition and higher living expenses. It is such a tough choice.

You live in Charlotte?! I'm sorry... but why in the world would you rather go to MUSC than UNC or ECU? Not only is UNC highly renowned, but it is MUCH less expensive than MUSC. MUSC is a great school, don't get me wrong, but it is ridiculously expensive when you compare it to the in-state options you already have. I know you have a lot of money, but still... it's always good to try to save. :) I'd understand paying the extra for, say, maybe Harvard if money was no object. But MUSC? I don't get it.

You are worried about spending extra money on a masters program, but not on the huge increase in tuition prices at MUSC... The numbers below are JUST tuition.

In-state tuition at MUSC: $59,742.00
OOS tuition at MUSC: $90,335.00
In-state tuition at UNC: $27,850.00
In-state tuition at ECU: $23,716.00

I can understand being in a sticky situation with your parents. I'm sure they have your best interests at heart, but they don't always understand. Maybe you could strike up a plan where you just work on the weekends, and study for the DAT 5-6 hours a day during the week.
 
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T14dan

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They said they will throw you out after you explained what you were trying to do? Try explaining yourself again but in a better (nicer) way and ensure them you will get a job again after you finish the DAT.

If your family is as cold to you as you make it seem (and you have tons of money you could live off of for many years) then...

You know your situation better than anyone else so only you can figure out the best solution to your problem. Good luck man, I know you can figure this all out.

My family is not cold. They are advising me on what they think is best for me and just don't like the uncertainty of changing paths. The truth is that I love my family and I know they are looking out for me, they just often value my security over my dreams.
 
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T14dan

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You live in Charlotte?! I'm sorry... but why in the world would you rather go to MUSC than UNC or ECU? Not only is UNC highly renowned, but it is MUCH less expensive than MUSC. MUSC is a great school, don't get me wrong, but it is ridiculously expensive when you compare it to the in-state options you already have. I know you have a lot of money, but still... it's always good to try to save. :) I'd understand paying the extra for, say, maybe Harvard if money was no object. But MUSC? I don't get it.

You are worried about spending extra money on a masters program, but not on the huge increase in tuition prices at MUSC... The numbers below are JUST tuition.

In-state tuition at MUSC: $59,742.00
OOS tuition at MUSC: $90,335.00
In-state tuition at UNC: $27,850.00
In-state tuition at ECU: $23,716.00

I can understand being in a sticky situation with your parents. I'm sure they have your best interests at heart, but they don't always understand. Maybe you could strike up a plan where you just work on the weekends, and study for the DAT 5-6 hours a day during the week.

Yeah, you make a good point. I don't have an astronomical amount of money. (400k) By God, I had no idea that MUSC was SOO much more expensive. I had read that it was the most expensive public dental school, but it is almost 3x more expensive than ECU. I think you make a good point. You are right, ECU is BY FAR my best option.
As far as UNC goes, I would recommend that you look at my stats posted above. It would take a MIRACLE for me to get into UNC. I fall way below their GPA mean and I'm no case for social or economic justice. I'd have to buy the school a new building to get in. Don't get me wrong, I'm the biggest non-alum tarheel fan in the world, I'm just trying to be realistic.
 

T14dan

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Did the post-bacc thing for a semester and thanks to some kind rounding by AADSAS, I gotta 3.2 now. Took the DAT: 20AA, 21QR, 21RC, 18PAT, 20TS. Played in a national ping pong tournament for my school, wrote baller statements(writing is my thing, don't extrapolate from forum posts), got a publication, 2 time state champ in tennis, tennis club president, volunteering at free dental clinic, plus private sector material science research job experience (1yr). I'd give myself a 35% chance for an interview and a 20% chance for an acceptance this cycle. 24 yrs old white male. What do you estimate my chances are? Do you think tennis and ping pong prove hand-eye coordination? Do you think I should try to retake the DAT in January or stick with my scores? Signed up for 3 more upper level bio classes in the spring. Any advice is, of course, appreciated.
 

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Did the post-bacc thing for a semester and thanks to some kind rounding by AADSAS, I gotta 3.2 now. Took the DAT: 20AA, 21QR, 21RC, 18PAT, 20TS. Played in a national ping pong tournament for my school, wrote baller statements(writing is my thing, don't extrapolate from forum posts), got a publication, 2 time state champ in tennis, tennis club president, volunteering at free dental clinic, plus private sector material science research job experience (1yr). I'd give myself a 35% chance for an interview and a 20% chance for an acceptance this cycle. 24 yrs old white male. What do you estimate my chances are? Do you think tennis and ping pong prove hand-eye coordination? Do you think I should try to retake the DAT in January or stick with my scores? Signed up for 3 more upper level bio classes in the spring. Any advice is, of course, appreciated.
Whats your sciGPA? Also do you mean this current cycle or the cycle starting this coming June? If your sciGPA is at least 3.2 then Id say you might have a reasonable chance of getting at least one yes if you apply early to 15+ carefully selected schools (use/buy the dental guidebook). If your talking this current cycle then its not looking good b/c its past Dec 1. And yes your EC will help you a significant amount, but dont forget GPA is number one and DAT is #2.
 

T14dan

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Well, yes, I do mean this cycle. Applied to 13 schools before Dec 1st. I can't imagine the lateness will help. Already got a hold from one school,(which may be the best news I get this cycle lol). I applied to the lowest stat schools I could get my application on time for. I'll just list them out for ya: Case, Creighton, East Carolina, Temple, NYU, Colorado, Louisville, Southern Illinois, Midwestern, Marquette, Missouri, South Carolina, Nova.
ECU is my best chance, imo. My sci GPA is a 3.1. Is the last-minute application a death sentence in most cases? Does being a little older help?
 

T14dan

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I sometimes feel more optimistic than most though. Most schools just reject below a 3.0 outright, but if the average is a 3.4-3.5, then AT LEAST half the enrollees probably ARE in the 3.0-3.4 range. There will be 3.8-4.0's to pull the average up, but probably many less 2.8s to pull it down. It's just basic math...or a loser on sdn trying to rationalize why he's not THAT bad an applicant. ;0
 

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Well, yes, I do mean this cycle. Applied to 13 schools before Dec 1st. I can't imagine the lateness will help. Already got a hold from one school,(which may be the best news I get this cycle lol). I applied to the lowest stat schools I could get my application on time for. I'll just list them out for ya: Case, Creighton, East Carolina, Temple, NYU, Colorado, Louisville, Southern Illinois, Midwestern, Marquette, Missouri, South Carolina, Nova.
ECU is my best chance, imo. My sci GPA is a 3.1. Is the last-minute application a death sentence in most cases? Does being a little older help?
How many pre-Dec invites and any post-dec? Depends on how last-minute we're talking, if September or later then maybe (Ive only seen high stats folks get away with it). A 3.1 sciGPA could mean trouble, some schools like NYU and I believe Nova as well require a min of 3.2, some others recommend at least 3.2. But with all schools it will be difficult to get in with less than 3.2. So take a bunch of sci classes (mixture of upper-lvl and easy-A) and you could bring it up a good amount in one semester. I dont think being older will neither help nor hurt you.
I sometimes feel more optimistic than most though. Most schools just reject below a 3.0 outright, but if the average is a 3.4-3.5, then AT LEAST half the enrollees probably ARE in the 3.0-3.4 range. There will be 3.8-4.0's to pull the average up, but probably many less 2.8s to pull it down. It's just basic math...or a loser on sdn trying to rationalize why he's not THAT bad an applicant. ;0
If a schools *median* was 3.4-3.5 then youd be right and half would be in the 3.0-3.4 range. But the most likely reality is that accepted applicants will all hover closely around that schools avg (3.4-3.5). Dont sweat it, Im also an optimist & I thought the same thing but I didnt get in last cycle with a overall 3.2 & 3.1 sciGPA and I kept on marching on undeterred.
 

T14dan

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How many pre-Dec invites and any post-dec? Depends on how last-minute we're talking, if September or later then maybe (Ive only seen high stats folks get away with it). A 3.1 sciGPA could mean trouble, some schools like NYU and I believe Nova as well require a min of 3.2, some others recommend at least 3.2. But with all schools it will be difficult to get in with less than 3.2. So take a bunch of sci classes (mixture of upper-lvl and easy-A) and you could bring it up a good amount in one semester. I dont think being older will neither help nor hurt you.

If a schools *median* was 3.4-3.5 then youd be right and half would be in the 3.0-3.4 range. But the most likely reality is that accepted applicants will all hover closely around that schools avg (3.4-3.5). Dont sweat it, Im also an optimist & I thought the same thing but I didnt get in last cycle with a overall 3.2 & 3.1 sciGPA and I kept on marching on undeterred.

Do you mind telling me how many schools you applied to and what your DAT was? I did not know about the cutoff for sci-gpa. I have over a 3.5(exclude biochem) in the pre-requisite science courses, so I'm hoping that boosts me a bit.

And, if you assume that most are actually 3.4-3.6 then you are right. I have seen a lot of 3.8-4.0 on this site though, which would require the 3.0-3.3 to bring the mean to 3.4-3.5
 

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Do you mind telling me how many schools you applied to and what your DAT was? I did not know about the cutoff for sci-gpa. I have over a 3.5(exclude biochem) in the pre-requisite science courses, so I'm hoping that boosts me a bit.
Ive applied 3 times, always to 15 schools.
1st time: cGPA 3.1/ sGPA 2.8 and 20AA/22TS/22PA/16RC -Result: nothing

2nd time: 3.2/ 3.1 and retook DAT (mainly bc of low RC) to get 24AA/25TS/23PA/20RC --Result: 2 pre-dec invites and 2 post-dec and no acceptance.

3rd time: 3.3/3.2 and 24AA --Result: 4 interviews (3 pre-dec) and so far one acceptance.

If biochem is dragging your sGPA down that much then you must retake it and get "A"s so the damage will be mitigated and your chances go way up. Biochem is probably whats killing your chances the most right now.
 

T14dan

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Ive applied 3 times, always to 15 schools.
1st time: cGPA 3.1/ sGPA 2.8/// 20AA/22TS/22PA/16RC -Result: nothing

2nd time: 3.2/ 3.1 and retook DAT (mainly bc of low RC) to get 24AA/25TS/23PA/20RC --Result: 2 pre-dec invites and 2 post-dec and no acceptance.

3rd time: 3.3/3.2 and 24AA --Result: 4 interviews (3 pre-dec) and so far one acceptance.

If biochem is dragging your sGPA down then you must retake it and get an A so the damage will be mitigated and your chances go way up.

Well, ****. I am MUCH worse by the numbers than your second application cycle with that rocking DAT score and you did not get in. I'm not getting in this cycle. I hate the idea of having to wait even another year to get into dental school. It may take two more years. Gosh. Was it horrible waiting for those years? What did you do during that time?
 

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Well, ****. I am MUCH worse by the numbers than your second application cycle with that rocking DAT score and you did not get in. I'm not getting in this cycle. I hate the idea of having to wait even another year to get into dental school. It may take two more years. Gosh. Was it horrible waiting for those years? What did you do during that time?
Your EC is way better than mine during the 2nd time (and I improved for the 3rd time by gaining min wage work exp, amassing total 200hrs shadowing, research etc). I strongly believe I wouldve gotten in my 2nd time applying if I had a 3.2 science.

Was it horrible waiting those 3 years applying? Yes and no. Im pretty good at emotionally disassociating from whatever situation Im dealing with, so I kinda felt nothing/empty most of the time with some low levels of anxiety every now and then that Ive learned to just ignore. But I did sometimes let myself feel the gravity of my situation, I find it very motivating in short bursts. I intentionally took my failures very personally and set out to prove to myself that I am not your standard idiot and that I am worthy of my high aspirations. I was very obsessed, I spent most of my time working on this. My large social circle dwindled down to a few close friends (get a 4.0 with 21 credits is time consuming). I did date but I was often too busy for them. I rediscovered my love for reading. Girls are way too distracting/time-consuming to me, but a book you can pick up and resume anytime w/o drama. I regret nothing, and Im happy as can be, finally getting in.
 

T14dan

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I pray that EC's will matter to one of the 13 schools I applied to enough to make up for my rather average academic record. I can explain the year of bad grades(side effect of a medication), but I think these adcoms are pretty numbers oriented.(as they should be)

I'm glad to see that you stuck with it and got in. Those years of waiting, studying, and reading might make you a more appreciative and enlightened dentist anyways. Good luck in dental school. The hermit lifestyle you've adopted might be the norm for the next four years. After that, I think you will be a great dentist.
 

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I pray that EC's will matter to one of the 13 schools I applied to enough to make up for my rather average academic record. I can explain the year of bad grades(side effect of a medication), but I think these adcoms are pretty numbers oriented.(as they should be)

I'm glad to see that you stuck with it and got in. Those years of waiting, studying, and reading might make you a more appreciative and enlightened dentist anyways. Good luck in dental school. The hermit lifestyle you've adopted might be the norm for the next four years. After that, I think you will be a great dentist.
Thanks dude, report back (here or a new thread) when you do get in, Id love to know what happens and Im sure others would too. Good luck, I know you got what it takes to win.
 
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