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Want to pursue a masters, but not sure which... My grades are crap!

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by craigory, May 18, 2008.

  1. craigory

    craigory 7+ Year Member

    Oct 28, 2003
    Well the long and short of it is that I am making hardly any money with my undergraduate degree in Biology. I have to work multiple part time jobs just to scrape together maybe 30,000, and it is making me miserable. I'm working way more than forty hours a week and making similar money to my 19 year old brother.

    At the same time, my GPA is trash, a 3.08, and after looking at how AADSAS calculated my science GPA, it is also a 3.08 (somehow this is different from the way UIC calculated it). So I'm sitting on a 3.08GPA, 20AA, 20TS. I was told by UIC admissions this makes me a "weak candidate", but not a "very weak candidate". Very reassuring words right there!:rolleyes:

    So, while my dental application is going out this year again for round 2, I don't want to sit around and wait in poverty anymore just to be rejected. I planned on working towards a Master's degree, but if I'm going to go another 25k or more in the hole, I want it to be for a Master's that I can actually get a real job with in case I never do make it into Dental school.

    I see all these programs to be a PT, PA, MOT, etc. at Midwestern here in Downer's Grove, IL, but they have a Biomed program supposedly geared towards getting you INTO a professional program (dental, med school, etc.) My only problem with this program is that if I get through and don't get into dental school, it's probably about as useful of a degree as my B.S. in Bio.

    Does anyone have any opinions on a master's program? I'm curious what others have done. I don't want to be one of these people where I fail to become a dentist so I just go into any other health profession, but it seems that a masters will only increase my chance of dental school acceptance if it is a program steeped in the sciences.
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  3. mooredge

    mooredge Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    May 16, 2005
    I think you got the right idea. I would recommend getting a masters in bio. If you do well >3.5 GPA that should look good and boost your gpa to a reasonably better number to get you in. I was talking to the dean of Western ( the school to open up in 2009) awhile back and he basically said that doing a masters or post-bac was pointless unless it was in bio or closely related.
  4. SugarNaCl

    SugarNaCl Dental Student Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    Akron, OH
    I went for my masters years before deciding I wanted to go to dental school. A NY state resident, I went for my MS at VCU in biology (physiology/neuroimmunology) concentration. I was told by my interviewers at VCU that it looked good and they color code applicants with a 'VCU connection' and that helps your application, too. When I graduated from the MS program, I worked as a research assistant at a cancer hospital for 3 years. I didn't have a problem finding a job and the research and experience looked good to dental schools when I finally decided to apply.

    If you want to know for sure, I would contact the schools you are interested as I did. I'm happy I went for the masters, though postbacc would bring up your uGPA while an MS doesn't... So if GPA is what the schools are looking for (which is almost always exclusively undergrad GPA), an MS won't help you much... but like you said, it's a good fall back degree and offers you (in my opinion) an edge in basic science courses in dental school. In addition, the experience (MS with thesis) is unmatchable unless you went with a PhD IMO.
  5. SoonDent

    SoonDent 5+ Year Member

    Dec 13, 2006
    New Jersey
    Craigory, I was in your boat, here's how it worked out for me.

    I'm an NJ resident and graduated with a BS in Bio in 2004. I knew I wanted to go to dental school so I did my masters at night while working full time at a pharmaceutical company making way too little money. My masters was in biology w/out a thesis or lab classes, just lecture. My undergrad was in your ballpark so I brought my graduate GPA to a 3.97 and DAT to above 20s. Last year, having completed 3/4 of my masters I got no interviews and this past cycle having completed my masters I got 4 interviews and 2 acceptances. During the interviews they cited the strong graduate work as a reason to interview me.

    I know what your saying about not wanting to invest in something that's a dead end if you don't get in, so you'll have to decide how much of a risk you want to take. I knew that there wasn't much else I wanted to do so I went for broke and it worked out.

    PM me if you have any questions.
  6. craigory

    craigory 7+ Year Member

    Oct 28, 2003
    Thank you guys for all the advice! I am glad to hear you were in my position too, "soondent". The job market is really crap right now!

    I think I am going to try to work on a Master's program that lets me take my classes in the late afternoon or night and try to work full-time. I'm just nervous about not being able to pull all the A's... although I have to say, this one year of life post-graduation has seen me mature more than the entire time period between age 18 and 22. It's quite the eye-opener to be in the real world, and even though everyone warns you about, man, do I wish I could go back to being 18 and just do it right the first time through.

    Anyway, sorry for the off-tangent, thanks for your advice guys.
  7. blankguy

    blankguy 7+ Year Member

    Aug 11, 2003
    You are not the only one who "wasted" those 4 years. There are plenty of people who had to pay the price for that. A lot of people regret not being mature. There are advantages of being dental student later in life. :cool:
  8. Quattro DMD

    Quattro DMD 5+ Year Member

    May 20, 2008
    Dallas, TX
    Dude I know what you mean. After I graduated I couldn't get a decent job with a bio degree....I ended up working in a medical lab testing for chlamydia/gonorrhea....haha. Now Im back at school working on a masters in human nutrition. I guess when you go for a masters degree do something that you like (preferable science related). And I live in AZ and the Midwestern out here offers that masters in biomedical sciences. It sounds like a cool degree but if you don't get into dental school I don't see how that would help your job situation.

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