Sep 17, 2017
2
0
Status
Pre-Dental
I'm a dental hygienist practicing for about two years. I'm thinking about heading back to school in order to apply for dental school. Although some would balk at this idea, as shown in previous threads from RDHs looking to apply, I do not see myself staying as a clinical hygienist for long and want to move forward.

I was previously enrolled in a four-year college from 2008-2011, where I actually took most of the pre-reqs required. I then transferred to a dental hygiene program, which I completed with a BSDH in 2015 (instead of an AAS, just to keep my options open). However, most of my pre-reqs are not only "expired," but also had grades ranging from C's and B's, with only two A's for Orgo Chem 2 and Physics 1. Thus, I am looking to re-take them. I know that compared to how I was back then, I am much more mature and have the work ethic to try and pull the grades needed. I did not attempt to take the DAT within the past years I was in school.

I want to get started on my pre-reqs ASAP, which leads to the question in the title. Should I apply to a formal post-bacc program within the city I'm practicing in, or DIY it by taking classes here and there to fit my work schedule? I do work on weekends, so unfortunately Saturday classes are a no-go until the summer. I am not interested in pursuing a Master's, as I am currently paying down debt occurred from my previous schooling.

If this helps, I am not only practicing dental hygiene for two years, but also freelance for a dental mouthguard start-up company. I have also had two internships under my belt, both for NYU's Pediatric Dentistry department assisting in outreach programs, and NYU's Bluestone Center for Research. I had a 3.2 overall GPA from my previous 4 year, but graduated with a 3.4 when I got my BSDH.

Thanks in advance, and looking forward to your advice.
 

predental21250

2+ Year Member
Aug 20, 2015
392
341
Status
Pre-Dental
I like the username :p Just learned about SDF the other day and it seems to be a magic bullet

Have you tried contacting NYU and seeing what they suggest? I did an informal 5th year to boost my GPA and I don't regret it as it got me where I wanted to be in the end.
 

FanOfCostco

7+ Year Member
Jan 30, 2012
1,242
1,288
Status
Pre-Dental
A formal would be a good idea. Informal can be a back up if you don't get in
 
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careerchanger09

2+ Year Member
Feb 24, 2017
112
184
Status
Pre-Dental
I'm a dental hygienist practicing for about two years. I'm thinking about heading back to school in order to apply for dental school. Although some would balk at this idea, as shown in previous threads from RDHs looking to apply, I do not see myself staying as a clinical hygienist for long and want to move forward.

I was previously enrolled in a four-year college from 2008-2011, where I actually took most of the pre-reqs required. I then transferred to a dental hygiene program, which I completed with a BSDH in 2015 (instead of an AAS, just to keep my options open). However, most of my pre-reqs are not only "expired," but also had grades ranging from C's and B's, with only two A's for Orgo Chem 2 and Physics 1. Thus, I am looking to re-take them. I know that compared to how I was back then, I am much more mature and have the work ethic to try and pull the grades needed. I did not attempt to take the DAT within the past years I was in school.

I want to get started on my pre-reqs ASAP, which leads to the question in the title. Should I apply to a formal post-bacc program within the city I'm practicing in, or DIY it by taking classes here and there to fit my work schedule? I do work on weekends, so unfortunately Saturday classes are a no-go until the summer. I am not interested in pursuing a Master's, as I am currently paying down debt occurred from my previous schooling.

If this helps, I am not only practicing dental hygiene for two years, but also freelance for a dental mouthguard start-up company. I have also had two internships under my belt, both for NYU's Pediatric Dentistry department assisting in outreach programs, and NYU's Bluestone Center for Research. I had a 3.2 overall GPA from my previous 4 year, but graduated with a 3.4 when I got my BSDH.

Thanks in advance, and looking forward to your advice.
I am also a career changer and did an informal post-bacc this past year at a CSU and I graduated college in 2009. All of the dental schools I talked to on the west coast (with the exception of Loma Linda) said my undergrad grades are still fine to meet requirements. When I spoke with dental admissions depts they all strongly recommended that I take upper division biology classes (micro, anatomy, developmental biology, physiology, and histology) as opposed to re-taking classes that I got lower grades in. Those classes will be better for demonstrating that you can handle the rigors of dental school.

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 since they don't always count). 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.

You should take a full-length practice DAT sometime soon so that you can figure out where you stand and figure out how much you need to study and this may influence what classes you should take (or re-take).

Feel free to PM me if you have some specific questions.
 
OP
S
Sep 17, 2017
2
0
Status
Pre-Dental
I like the username :p Just learned about SDF the other day and it seems to be a magic bullet

Have you tried contacting NYU and seeing what they suggest? I did an informal 5th year to boost my GPA and I don't regret it as it got me where I wanted to be in the end.
I am also a career changer and did an informal post-bacc this past year at a CSU and I graduated college in 2009. All of the dental schools I talked to on the west coast (with the exception of Loma Linda) said my undergrad grades are still fine to meet requirements. When I spoke with dental admissions depts they all strongly recommended that I take upper division biology classes (micro, anatomy, developmental biology, physiology, and histology) as opposed to re-taking classes that I got lower grades in. Those classes will be better for demonstrating that you can handle the rigors of dental school.

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 since they don't always count). 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.

You should take a full-length practice DAT sometime soon so that you can figure out where you stand and figure out how much you need to study and this may influence what classes you should take (or re-take).

Feel free to PM me if you have some specific questions.
I had previously emailed dental schools along the Northeast coast (with the exception of Ivies such as Harvard and Princeton) with the question of whether or not they accepted my credits from my previous four year and almost unanimously they said that they wanted credits from within 2-3 years of application. The only exception was NYU. I'll definitely try to email them again with the difference of re-taking classes vs taking upper division classes again.
Also, as a part of my hygiene background, I took courses on A&P, dental histology, nutrition, dental anatomy, etc, at NYUCD, where I was in hygiene school. It seems like a reach, but would that look favorably on me?
 

careerchanger09

2+ Year Member
Feb 24, 2017
112
184
Status
Pre-Dental
I had previously emailed dental schools along the Northeast coast (with the exception of Ivies such as Harvard and Princeton) with the question of whether or not they accepted my credits from my previous four year and almost unanimously they said that they wanted credits from within 2-3 years of application. The only exception was NYU. I'll definitely try to email them again with the difference of re-taking classes vs taking upper division classes again.
Also, as a part of my hygiene background, I took courses on A&P, dental histology, nutrition, dental anatomy, etc, at NYUCD, where I was in hygiene school. It seems like a reach, but would that look favorably on me?
That's weird...I didn't apply to east coast schools but it seems odd that there is a discrepancy between West Coast and East Coast. You may want to just call the admissions departments and ask them directly. I did a quick skim of the websites for Tufts and BU and I didn't see anything about pre-reqs expiring.

Having a dental hygiene degree in on your resume is a huge addition to your application. You should have some recent coursework on your transcripts but get guidance from admissions departments about what classes to take. I imagine that it would be best to take the "suggested" courses beyond the pre-reqs for your situation.
 
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