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Reality of actually getting in to dental school

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by OliviaRae, Sep 27, 2014.

  1. OliviaRae

    OliviaRae 2+ Year Member

    Apr 25, 2012
    Currently my overall GPA is around a 3.28 and I graduated from the University of Michigan.
    It is low but I've had a positive trend from freshman to senior year of undergrad. (My freshman year GPA being a 2.85...with my senior year with a 3.8). My sGPA is slightly lower than my current 3.28. I think around a 3.2.

    I still have more classes to take this term that can hopefully boost my GPA if I do well (4 more classes to be exact including this term). I already have 133 credits under my belt so I don't know how much more these can help my cumulative GPA if I don't get 4.0 in all my classes. I also am planning to take the DAT in the spring before I apply summer 2015.

    I don't care too much about prestige in terms of what school I go to but with these scores would this just ruin it for me? Do I even have a chance?

    A bit more background about myself...I had been planning on going to school of public health for Epidemiology MPH, had applied fall 2013 and was accepted into Columbia, University of Michigan, Boston, Tulane, UCLA, and UCBerkeley. I then realized this is not what I wanted to do. I made the choice to switch to dentistry because I realized that it had all the perks of the medical field that I was looking for including long-lasting doctor-patient relations (vs. epidemiology which was a lot of research and less human contact), it was very detail oriented, and it is definitely a health-science field. So far, I love it and I only wish I made the switch earlier. Anyways, I'm currently finishing up the last few pre-reqs before applying next summer. In the meantime, I am shadowing dentists and working in a dental lab. I also have had years of biochem lab experience in the past.

    I guess my biggest concern is my GPA. If I get it up to a 3.3 would I even stand a chance?
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  3. HookahLungs

    HookahLungs 2+ Year Member

    May 20, 2014
    The DAT is your worst enemy at this point. If you conquer that (21 or above) you're bound to get interviews at several schools. Good luck.
  4. 2THDDS

    2THDDS 2+ Year Member

    Jul 26, 2014
    well, DAT can actually help him in this situation. Doing well on DAT is certainly easier than the effort to raise up that GPA significantly.
    SXCoronado likes this.
  5. mkhan27

    mkhan27 5+ Year Member

    Mar 18, 2011
    Dude thats a good sGPA and cumulative GPA. I wish I had that right now. Take your DAT and try to get 21+ and you are bound to get in. If you don't get in your first time you apply, then apply to smp programs. There's a lot of them around the US or take a look at post-bacc programs. If you will do an smp, then do a 1 year one because your GPAs are good and you just need to prove to dental schools that you are ready for dental school. These smps are really fast-paced and you take courses that you will take in dental school as D1-D2, so they can be hard but if you do well in them then you can prove to dental schools that you are dental school ready. Good luck and let me know if you got any questions about smps.
  6. zhou381OSU

    zhou381OSU 2+ Year Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    South Carolina
    You definitely have a shot of getting into dental school. My sGPA and oGPA are very close to yours but I studied for three months straight in order to do well on the DAT. I applied relatively early this cycle to 18 schools, and I currently have 6 interviews.
    SXCoronado and OliviaRae like this.
  7. BrainDent

    BrainDent 2+ Year Member

    Jul 20, 2014
    My gpa is about the same and I have five interviews so far.
    SXCoronado and OliviaRae like this.
  8. csudental

    csudental Banned Banned Account on Hold

    May 31, 2014
    it depends about your DAT and EC's
    getting 22+ in each section will got you many interviews
  9. catman856

    catman856 2+ Year Member

    May 31, 2014
    being URM can give you a boost
  10. Jbrowndds

    Jbrowndds SMILE ON!!! 2+ Year Member

    Oct 31, 2012
    It's to tell because you need to take you DAT. I would say take it early enough that you have time to retake it and make a better score and still submit early.
  11. irunblue

    irunblue 2+ Year Member

    Jun 14, 2011
    I am an alum of the GREAT Univ. of Michigan, so GO BLUE!
    I had/have a lower gpa/sgpa than you do, I got a 20 on my DAT. Applied to 10 schools and have 5 interviews thus far!! Anything is possible.
    Good luck!!!
    shyfox9p likes this.
  12. OliviaRae

    OliviaRae 2+ Year Member

    Apr 25, 2012
    Wow thanks everyone! This makes me feel a lot better to know that all is not lost!

    I'm definitely studying for the DAT now on top of finishing up pre-reqs...I was thinking of taking it in the spring term when I would be really ready rather than taking it at the end of this year as I only want to take it once because I know dental schools can see all your scores anyways. I would continue studying up until then, I just don't have to time to put all my efforts into it at the moment. I want to take it when I know I can do my best but at the same time I want to be able to have time to retake it if I have to :/

    And also, how important is it to apply early?
  13. BrainDent

    BrainDent 2+ Year Member

    Jul 20, 2014
    I applied late last year (0 interviews) early this semester (5 interviews). BTW, two other people I interviewed with at ASDOH yesterday had 3.29. Also I recommend you do a PPAC (committee interview) for your letters of rec if you haven't already.
  14. JSloane


    Oct 9, 2014
    Hey All,

    I would like to get some feedback as a non-traditional applicant. Currently I am 30 and a 4th year PhD student in Toxicology at University of Colorado Health Sciences. I have lost my love of research, and want to pursue my underlying dream of going to dental school. I have a 3.9 undergrad GPA in biochemistry and molecular biology, and a 4.0 graduate GPA in 4 years of neurotoxicology curriculum, including a MS degree. I imagine I would do well enough on the DAT, as I have tutored basic biology and chem for some time now. Just trying to get a feel for how competitive I would be as an applicant and non traditional status. I have good letters of rec, tons of volunteer experience and over six years research in total. All opinions would be appreciated.

  15. Meowmixers

    Meowmixers 2+ Year Member

    Oct 11, 2012
    Here's my 2 cents to JSloane:

    your stats look good: high GPA/sGPA; lots of research and volunteering, probably will obtain high DAT. With those, you're already a pretty great candidate, and you'll probably be competitive at most schools, and probably hear back from more than a few.

    The one area I might improve in your application is this: you didn't mention any dental shadowing experience. Schools'll wonder why this guy/gal decided to change their path, and whether they *know* the field and if they'll be happy being a dentist. Because you're a PhD student, this question becomes even more prominent -- does this person just want to change paths for kicks? Does this person understand the new field (dentistry) and what it entails, or have they romanticized the profession?

    Hence, I would say to increase hours of volunteering/shadowing/working/experience in a dental office (I'm assuming you have none, since you didn't mention any). With shadowing hours, volunteering, and high GPA/DAT, and a killer personal essay explaining your new passion and why you're changing paths, you'll be golden for many schools.

    (also, your status says you're an MD/PhD student. Just why do you want to go into dentistry?? Even I'm curious why you applied, got into a seriously tough program, and now want to change paths.)
  16. JSloane


    Oct 9, 2014
    My apologies for the MD/PhD designation. I clicked incorrectly. I am solely a PhD student. I actually have substantial dental experience. Two family members are dentists and orthodontists. I grew up around their practices and spent years working for both of them.

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