Should I pursue a Post Bacc?

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Apr 6, 2022
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Hello, I am currently in my undergrad with plans of graduating this next Fall. It's looking like I am going to graduate with an oGPA of 2.9. I know I am capable of so much more but unfortunately went through a tough time during my undergrad with multiple difficult family times along the way. I unexpectedly lost my mother during school and took virtually no time off while I went through that. I thought I'd be able to simply push through and did not realize how badly effected mentally I was until recently looking back on the past couple of years. The goal was and has always been: get into dental school. However, I went through a tough period where I lacked motivation/discipline and made series upon series of bad choices throughout my undergrad and I am paying the price now.

Enough of the sob story, I am posting today to get some different opinions and advice for me moving forward. My GPA is low for dental school with my sGPA slightly lower. I have currently completed all dental school prerequisites and simply need my degree requirements to graduate. I plan to study for the DAT this summer and know that I can do well on it but I want an exceptional score to make up for my lower than average GPA.

In my mind my options are staying and retaking classes where I am at now or pursue a post bacc. I am leaning towards wanting to go the post bacc route but my GPA will still be under a 3.0 at time of graduation and I'm pretty certain most post bacc programs have a 3.0+ cutoff. I am trying to get to the 'next step' as soon as realistically possible as I already feel behind even though I am only 23.

Also, I have been a member of the pre-dent society at my college for three years, have 100+ shadowing hours at multiple offices, my volunteer work is 'good' not 'great', and I really want to crush the DAT first go round with a 20+ score. I am also fortunate enough to have some extremely good connects for letters of recommendation, one of which is a family friend who is a professor at a dental school here in Texas. How much can letters of recommendation do for an applicant? Not relying on them but am curious.

After retaking classes or maybe a post bacc route, how do my chances stand of getting in? I am determined to get into dental school one way or the other as I am truly passionate about the dental field. I shadowed one day at a dental office and have never looked back (4 years ago). I just need to figure out the best way to prove myself to dental schools in the next year or so. Please let me know what you all think!

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First, graduate.

Second, that GPA is going to be an albatross. You should ultimately go for an SMP, but many may have GPA requirements (must be 3.0+) so do your homework. Do NOT rush taking your DAT. This is a long haul and you should look for postbac programs with DAT prep included as well as any linkages.

Where's your clinical experience and community service?

If you have been a member of your predental club, I would expect you to know the answer to process questions like letters of recommendation.

Finally, don't be too hard on yourself. I'm sorry about your family situation, but problems don't magically disappear in dental school. Have your sought grief counseling or any other help?