What's the Average Semester Units Pre-Dent Undergrads Take?

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Pepperdine Univ. Pre-Dent
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Freshman year I took 34 units (2 semesters of 17) My academic advisor recommended no more than 15, but i believe i handled 17 (Biology I, Gen. Chem. I, Psych, Pre-Calculus, etc.) units well and decided to go for another 17. Last semester, which was the fall semester of my soph. year, i signed up for 18 units, was screwed over and ended up taking 15. Those units consisted of physics, o. chem, sociology/stats, etc. and got a 3.9 gpa. This semester i decided to take 20 to challenge myself, but after realizing that i was practically confining myself to the $600 worth of book i'd have to buy, i dropped a class and am now taking 17units again. (comparative anatomy, physics, calculus, o. chem, etc.) I am getting my ass handed to me!! haha. but i'll be alright.

1 of my questions: is a 3.4 cumulative gpa "good" so far? I mean, to compete for a spot at a dental school is this not that bad thus far? I have not gone below a 3.0 at any semester report.

2: How many semester units do you all take? After this semester i will have 66 total units in my 2 years. Is this right on par?

Any advice is appreciated!


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1) a 3.4 GPA is just fine, especially when considering that you've never had below a 3.0. Try to get an consistent upward grade trend (have the GPA get better each semester, even if only by .05).

2) After 2 years, the average student would have between 50-70 credits under their belt. You are right on track.


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Last semester I had 16 working 40 hours a week. This semester I have 15 working 34 hours a week. I'd say on an average I take between 13 and 16. I try to take at least 14 though.
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I tried to keep it at 15 hours or more every semester. Plus I threw in a couple in the summers. But don't spread yourself too thin. If I had two or more science classes, I always threw in a "basket weaving" course or two ;)


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It depends on how many credits your school requires you to graduate. For instance in my school you have to attain 128 credits by garduation time. So in order to get 128 credits in 4 years you would have to take 16 credits per semester. This means that every semester of college you would be taking 16 credits and you wouldn't have to take any classes in the summer. I don't know what your situtaiton is (how much you work and etc...) But if work isn't getting in the way, then i would say take 16 per semester.

Many people I know graduated early by taking 18-20 credits per semester along with some summer classes and they were done in 3 years.


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I took only three sci classes per quarter which amounted to 12-13units. Some times I would need to take a social study course with two other science courses. I worked for the majority of my time in school at fulltime. My opinion is that D-school do not care if you work, they just want to see heavy course loads of 14+. This is not a requirement; only two out of the many quarters in school did I ever exceed 13units.
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