What should I do?


Full Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2010
  1. Pre-Dental
GPA = 3.71
BCP = 3.67
Science = 3.62

DAT = 20AA/19TS/22PAT

80 hours of shadowing.

Undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences, 2004 (I know... I getting am old).

For the most part, been working full time as a carpenter since college.

Submitted application summer 2010: 7 schools, 3 interviews, 0 acceptances. I asked two of the schools I interviewed at for feedback, and both mentioned the age of my coursework as something to improve.

In response, I enrolled in a post-bacc evening science program starting fall 2011, taking two classes per semester while still working. 4.0 gpa in upper division biology courses so far.

Submitted second application summer 2011: 6 schools, 1 interview, 0 acceptances. Unfortunately, even though I started taking the evening classes, this application is very similar to last year's. Nothing on my transcript changed until my two most recent classes showed up after academic update in January.

Looking for opinions on what I should do now!

Both of my advisors at my current program are telling me to take a year off from applying, so as to really dramatically improve my application. Both of them have told me to keep my DAT scores, and not mess with them by trying to retake.

Three options I am considering:

1) Continue taking evening post-bacc courses. If I get enough credits, I will be eligible for a committee letter, which I think would be very helpful because my current LORs were written by professors I had around 10 years ago! The downside is that I've taken the equivalent courses during undergrad for almost everything this program offers. It's really sort of a dead end.

2) Find an evening graduate science program in my area. This has proven very difficult to find! The best I have found so far is online master's programs, but I am reluctant to take that route.

3) Quit my job and move to a new city to do a special master's program. This is a bit daunting because I've realized I'm getting less mobile as I get older; my fiancee and I are currently planning our wedding. I do realize, however, that this phenomenon is only going to get worse as I age, and if this is the smartest route, I should bite the bullet and do it sooner rather than later.

Should I wait another year before reapplying? Which of the three options is best? What other options are out there that I haven't thought of?

No need for overly optimistic encouragement; I would most appreciate honest responses. Thanks so much for any input, and good luck to everybody!


Full Member
Apr 3, 2012
  1. Pre-Dental
I like the idea of getting a recent LOR, especially from a committee. LORs from 10 years ago is a bit outdated. People change. Heck I did.

I can't see why taking any sort of science courses now would hurt you as long as you get good grades.

I had concern over prerequisites done years ago and asked an administrator about it. She said it didn't matter when you took them. I would think that the DAT would symbolize whether or not you retained the information. So me thinks that perhaps you need to apply to schools that don't discriminate about aged coursework. Perhaps, before you apply, ask schools if they frown upon that. I did find a few schools that like coursework within a 5 year window from when you apply.

Also, applying to seven schools seem low. Did you apply to the same schools the 2nd time around? What kind of schools did you apply to, private or public? It might be a good idea to apply to more schools and possibly private. I'm the kind of person that doesn't like to take chances. From what I hear, students are applying to schools in the double digit range (~15-20).

Also, I'd like to look at the whole application when applying. I didn't read any volunteering. Have you done any? What kind of shadowing? General practice? And Personal Statement? Academic enrichment courses?

Lastly, I'm not sure when you took the DAT, but the score expires after a few years. I think it's 2 or 3, maybe depending on the school. You might want to check into that, because applying again with DATs that are no longer valid is like shooting yourself in the foot.

You're not old. I graduated from undergrad in '02.
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