iloveteeth.5

2+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2018
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Hi everyone! I am very grateful to have been accepted to two of my top choices (UMich and UPenn) but I am having trouble choosing between them, especially because we are not able to visit this year. I am really interested in specializing (especially Perio, although that could change). I don't currently have a strong preference about location. I would like to do research and it sounds like both schools have many opportunities. Based on Dental School Explorer, I believe UMich OOS is about $80k less for 4 years. I would especially like to hear more about the student culture and student/faculty relationships at both schools. I currently have more info about Penn because they sent us a packet in the mail, so I would love to hear from UMich students about what you have liked and disliked.
School 1: UMich
*OOS
Pros:
  • about $80k less for 4 years
  • strong clinical education
  • #1 US dental school
Cons:
  • ranked
  • mandatory attendance
  • very short breaks (would graduate college and then head to dental school a few weeks later)
  • doing research through the Immersion pathway means I couldn't take the unique Selectives pathway electives (?)
School 2: UPenn
Pros:
  • unranked
  • longer breaks
  • advanced simulation units (?)
  • Could do summer research and still take selectives (?)
Cons:
  • more expensive
  • clinical education (?)
Summary: Both sound like great schools; I am leaning slightly toward Penn but might be biased because I have more info about it. Will Penn give me a higher chance of specializing and is it worth the extra $80k? Student culture is also important to me and will help my decision. Thanks in advance!!
 

S_Diamond_DDS

5+ Year Member
Jun 24, 2015
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If you do the immersion pathway you can still take electives, just more work obviously. If your goal is to specialize, then you might consider some kind of premium to go to penn for the no rank system, however unless penn is giving you a scolarship, your figures are off. Last I checked, umich was ~400k oos coa and penn was ~540k oos coa, which is a huge premium and only worth it, if you’re confident you can’t be top 1/3rd of the class on your own merit. Those that intended to keep their rank high and didn’t slack, generally did.
 
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S_Diamond_DDS

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Jun 24, 2015
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On the other side of the coin, if you’re not type A personality and want more breathing room, I’m guessing penn would be a better fit imo
 

iloveteeth.5

2+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2018
9
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If you do the immersion pathway you can still take electives, just more work obviously. If your goal is to specialize, then you might consider some kind of premium to go to penn for the no rank system, however unless penn is giving you a scolarship, your figures are off. Last I checked, umich was ~400k oos coa and penn was ~540k oos coa, which is a huge premium and only worth it, if you’re confident you can’t be top 1/3rd of the class on your own merit. Those that intended to keep their rank high and didn’t slack, generally did.
Thanks so much for your response! Would you mind pointing me to where I can find those updated figures? I was going off of the 2019-2020 figures from Dental School Explorer (attached)
 

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S_Diamond_DDS

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Jun 24, 2015
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Thanks so much for your response! Would you mind pointing me to where I can find those updated figures? I was going off of the 2019-2020 figures from Dental School Explorer (attached)

Sorry you’re right, must be confusing schools. They’re about an 80k difference.
 
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future_nostalgia

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Sep 4, 2017
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Current Penn D2 -- I think if you're very interested in Perio, Penn's perio faculty is extraordinary!! I don't know much about Michigan but I know from our perio courses that we've taken so far, our faculty does an amazing job at presenting the content.

Student culture at Penn is extremely collaborative. We're graded but unranked so it allows for less competitiveness amongst the student body and really forms a strong sense of community. Part of why I chose Penn was also because there seemed to be strong relationships between upperclassmen and underclassmen which mattered to me because I felt like upperclassmen are usually the best sources of information in dental school. As for relationships with faculty, you'll form really close relationships with faculty in the pre-clinic and less-so with lecture faculty just because they're mostly just lecturing and less involved in teaching you how to be a dentist. With that said, lecture faculty is always open to questions and meeting with students one on one to discuss their course if needed. One thing that I do still love about PDM is how the sense of community permeates throughout the entire school (students, faculty, staff, etc.) and it's not just amongst the students.

Hope this helps! Feel free to message me if you have any other questions.
 
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Pablo Sanchez

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Jul 11, 2016
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I go to Penn. I think that Penn is a good school, and I am happy with my decision to go here, but if I were in your shoes I would go to Michigan.

$80k is a lot of money. If you invested the $80k that you'll save going to Michigan upon graduation at ~26 years of age, with a return of 10% your $80k will be worth close to $5 million by the time you reach retirement age at 67.
 
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wengerout

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Jun 24, 2015
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Can't go wrong either way, I personally choose to spend 100k more to go to the school I liked and don't regret it, but that's hard to decide this cycle with only zoom calls.
 
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Aug 27, 2019
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Who determined michigan is the #1 dental school? By almost any measure, michigan wouldn't come out #1 lol
 
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