laffytaffy19

2+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2017
33
19
Status
Pre-Dental
Hello! I'm a junior this year, and recently found out that I could finish everything (all my dental school prereqs and major classes) by next spring and graduate in 3 years. :O I'm able to do this because of having a ton of transfer credits from taking college courses in high school.

I'm not ready to apply this cycle, so I would have to take a gap year. I would use the gap year to do research, do an internship, work at a dental office, or do a fellowship, which are all things that could benefit me immensely and prepare me for dental school. This makes me super excited for graduating in 3!

However, a part of me is not sure if I should graduate in 3... There are many pros in doing so, but I also realize that college is a precious experience that only happens once. I'm on a scholarship, so money isn't a huge issue either. I would just spread out my classes a bit more and graduate in 3.5. Doing this would allow me to be more involved with clubs, possibly taking a bigger officer position in our school's pre-dental society and global brigades, etc.

Any thoughts?? Any help is appreciated :)
 

1ysh

2+ Year Member
Dec 23, 2016
236
158
Status
Pre-Dental
I only graduated in three years because I didn't want dental interviews to interfere with classes and my college was expensive a f.
However in your situation you're not applying this cycle and you have a scholarship.
My years in college were some of the greatest moments in my life, and I'd do anything to go back to one of those days for once.
I strongly suggest taking your college time slowly, especially because you don't have to rush anything.
 
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artist2022

yes, I'm a girl
Moderator
2+ Year Member
Dec 25, 2016
2,162
2,880
Status
Dental Student
I was in the same boat as you (only 1GE left), but since I didn't apply last cycle, I did not want to take a gap year, so for this last year I added two minors, I'm doing research, and I have a job, while taking my remaining classes for the minors and staying full-time. I felt like if I took a gap year I'd waste a lot of time lol and also it'd be harder to jump back into the rigorous schedule of dental school, but that's just me.
 
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pookatooth

2+ Year Member
Apr 28, 2017
88
177
Status
Pre-Dental
I am going to end up graduating in 3.5 years. Reserving the spring and summer for travel before dental school starts (hopefully...) It worked out fine to study after junior spring for DAT and use the beginning of the summer to write the application. I think that some "real world" experience before dental school is valuable, whether that be traveling or staying in your college town working. I'm sure once dental school starts you are put on a trajectory of forced adulthood, mainly because of loans. This may be the last time for a while to exist in a sort of psuedo-responsibility reality. Ask yourself if you would be happy taking more classes you don't necessarily need or if something else would make you more happy.
 
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Jul 14, 2017
66
83
I was in a similar situation as you, ultimately deciding to graduate 3 years and take a gap year (this year) for my application cycle. Saying this however, I did so out of pure hatred for my undergrad and had no interest in taking grad level classes anymore. If finances aren't an issue, you have your DAT in order, and feel that staying an additional half year would potentially bolster your extracurriculars for your app, then I would stay the extra time! You would have to ensure you wouldn't slack off in your last year and maintain good standing and utilize your time productively. Ultimately, your happiness is crucial in this decision and this will show in your application and interviews.
 
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helloboys

2+ Year Member
May 18, 2016
278
187
I could have done the same, but I just decided to double major. That way I could have a BS in two majors, and only 4 years. Hopefully that would look good for dental schools.
 
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Sensibleshrike

2+ Year Member
Aug 5, 2017
63
25
Status
Pre-Dental
Hello! I'm a junior this year, and recently found out that I could finish everything (all my dental school prereqs and major classes) by next spring and graduate in 3 years. :O I'm able to do this because of having a ton of transfer credits from taking college courses in high school.

I'm not ready to apply this cycle, so I would have to take a gap year. I would use the gap year to do research, do an internship, work at a dental office, or do a fellowship, which are all things that could benefit me immensely and prepare me for dental school. This makes me super excited for graduating in 3!

However, a part of me is not sure if I should graduate in 3... There are many pros in doing so, but I also realize that college is a precious experience that only happens once. I'm on a scholarship, so money isn't a huge issue either. I would just spread out my classes a bit more and graduate in 3.5. Doing this would allow me to be more involved with clubs, possibly taking a bigger officer position in our school's pre-dental society and global brigades, etc.

Any thoughts?? Any help is appreciated :)
Sounds good as long as youre not applying to Texas schools, they hate seeing gap time in academics and it would reduce your chances of getting in to around 0%. But any other programs it sounds like a good plan.
 
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laffytaffy19

2+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2017
33
19
Status
Pre-Dental
Sounds good as long as youre not applying to Texas schools, they hate seeing gap time in academics and it would reduce your chances of getting in to around 0%. But any other programs it sounds like a good plan.
Hi! where did you see that taking gap time in academics was bad for admissions in Texas?
 

Sensibleshrike

2+ Year Member
Aug 5, 2017
63
25
Status
Pre-Dental
Hi! where did you see that taking gap time in academics was bad for admissions in Texas?
It is pretty well known, also I had a friend that applied round 2 and didn't take any course work and then was denied by the Texas schools, he had to reenroll in 12 hours in the fall semester of his year off to get in. Really doesn't make any sense to me if i am being honest.
 
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laffytaffy19

2+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2017
33
19
Status
Pre-Dental
It is pretty well known, also I had a friend that applied round 2 and didn't take any course work and then was denied by the Texas schools, he had to reenroll in 12 hours in the fall semester of his year off to get in. Really doesn't make any sense to me if i am being honest.
Oh really? I've never heard of this before. I actually know quite a few people who did a gap year and still made it into a Texas dental school. I know that for medical school, gap years aren't looked at negatively as long as you use that time valuably. I'm sure dental schools wouldn't be too different...
 

Sensibleshrike

2+ Year Member
Aug 5, 2017
63
25
Status
Pre-Dental
Oh really? I've never heard of this before. I actually know quite a few people who did a gap year and still made it into a Texas dental school. I know that for medical school, gap years aren't looked at negatively as long as you use that time valuably. I'm sure dental schools wouldn't be too different...
Yea, they seem to understand that you will not make it in the first time, they want you to remain in coursework however. Texas A&M even says on their website that solely gathering experience/working in a dental setting will not help your application progress during a gap year, they want you volunteering and taking coursework, which unfortunately will disqualify a lot of people because they cannot financially support being a full time student after they graduate.
 
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laffytaffy19

2+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2017
33
19
Status
Pre-Dental
Yea, they seem to understand that you will not make it in the first time, they want you to remain in coursework however. Texas A&M even says on their website that solely gathering experience/working in a dental setting will not help your application progress during a gap year, they want you volunteering and taking coursework, which unfortunately will disqualify a lot of people because they cannot financially support being a full time student after they graduate.
I went to take a look. Texas A&M is referring to re-applicants and not people who are applying and being considered at their school for the first time. Those are 2 different things.
 
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