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USC Interview Feedback

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by oceansize, Oct 8, 2002.

  1. Hey PreDents,

    Went to my USC Interview on Friday Oct. 4. It was a pretty stressfree day. There was no one-on-one interview and most of the day was just spent drilling the Problem Based Learning Curriculum. The part that was assessed, was a simulated PBL case (nonscience). We had lunch with first and second year PBL students in one large group and ended the day with a tour. The scariest part of the day was the financial aid overview, including the fact that USC is the second most expensive dental school in the nation.

    Also wanted to mention, that they say the PBL curriculum credits graduates with higher than average board scores. Students there seem to love the learning style, having only 2 hours of class per day. They also said that they will interview around 500 students, accept 300 to fill the 144 positions for 2003.

    Good luck with your interviews!
  2. Evaglo

    Evaglo Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Sep 14, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Thanks for your feedback. I am going to USC on Oct 18. It really helps because I don't know what to expect since PBL program is something new. Since there is no one-on-one interview, what do they base you on to get accepted to their school??
  3. DesiDentist

    DesiDentist G. S. Khurana, DMD, MBA
    Moderator Emeritus Vendor 10+ Year Member

    Jul 21, 2001
    Likes Received:
    I think USC does the PBI

    Problem Based Interview. They just let the prospective students interview themselves. :p

    If students are doing everything, I wonder where the money goes?

    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  4. gradM.S.

    gradM.S. Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Oct 9, 2001
    Likes Received:
    From my experience last year the interview was definitely optional. You can select to be interviewed on the day you schedule (that is if there are any openings left).
  5. OP

    They said that the one-on-one interview is only going to be used for applicants who have previously applied and interviewed at usc in previous years. The thing being judged was how we interacted during the pbl sample case. They wanted to make sure that the pbl thing was for us. So, I guess this meant participating, etc.

    So, don't be nervous and have a good time there. Everyone was super nice, friendly, and were joking around. I think they want to make sure you're not an antisocial person, otherwise pbl won't be right for you since it relies on group learning.
  6. dentaldamit

    dentaldamit Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Nov 2, 2002
    Likes Received:
    i'm at usc right now. as far as the interview goes, most of the people who interviewed with me (around 20, broken into groups) got in. interview is non stress. you gotta have personality. they wanna see you process facts come up with ideas and hypotheses (non science stuff, i think my group had a plumbing case)

    i would ask alot of questions regarding pbl when you're there, especially first and second years and not just the ones who are at the luncheon. they're volunteering and eating for free so you know they're usually happy with the program. i have my doubts about pbl and, honestly, i now know it doesn't work for me.

    pbl is not very structured and unless you're self-motivated and like researching on your own, you're probably going to be very frustrated, just as i am. it's works for some, but most first years are confused as heck and don't know what's going on half the time.

    it's true. there are no lectures. which is great. only two weeks of exams (midterms and finals) which makes the semester pretty stress free. but in group, you're not only responsible for your learning but seven other students. session grading is very subjective, which i hate but group makes faculty human, instead of pompous academics who love to hear themselves talk.

    remember this program is young. your class is the 3rd full pbl class. administrators are doing their best, but it's alittle annoying when they keep changing schedules on us three times a week and there's not enough room for all groups. i hear one group got stuck in a storage room on the health sciences campus. i can't imagine when the whole school has turned into pbl. yikes!

    my advice is ask ask ask and not just faculty and studenst during the tour, but random kids in the hall. classmates tell me all the time, 'man i wish i could save them 300k in tuition money.' so ask anyone. everybody is cool as heck there. good luck and don't just listen to me, ask around. take care.
  7. Regina330

    Regina330 Senior Member
    15+ Year Member

    Nov 28, 2000
    Likes Received:
    I am also a first year USC student, so I feel compelled to add my viewpoint of USC and PBL. First off, I will tell you that PBL was my biggest influenece in choosing USC because it most compliments my style of learning: engaging scientific/dental information to real-life cases from the very beginning. I think being in a small group where you are engaging in thought and formulating ideas sure beats hours of mind-numbing lectures. PBL promotes understanding over memorization and I find that it is MUCH easier to retain and apply information when you understand it.

    As far as PBL not being structured, I agree to some point.....the school is struggling to find places to put the groups for class, but they are still accomodating 2 full traditional classes. I think that it will only get better with time...I know that there are plans to break up some of the large lecture halls to add more group rooms. And as far as schedule changes, yes they DO happen often.....and most of the time we don't know at all what the school has planned for us in a given day until one or 2 days before. I understand this is frustrating to people who have jobs, people who are the type that have set schedules, etc. but I look at it as these 4 years being my job, and if I have to change plans around it, so be it. Plus, it will help us to deal with inconveniences later on, like patients who don't show up for appointments! :mad:

    I agree that everyone at the school is really cool, which makes the transition to dental school that much easier. And PBL promotes students helping one another, so there is no cut-throat competition.

    In conclusion, I would say that in order to cope with and benefit from PBL you have to be self-motivated, patient, and flexible. Make sure you ask ANY questions you have about PBL to students/faculty at the interview. Make sure you really understand what it is all about before you commit. I know people who truly had no clue how it works until school started, and there are things that I did not know about PBL until I started, even though I thought I had it figured out.

    PBL is not for everyone, so if you are interested in USC, find out as much as you can before you choose it, because it is an EXPENSIVE committment, but if you are like me, one that is definitely worth it!

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