Dental Will multiple transcripts and online pre-requisites coursework be looked at negatively?

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Oct 14, 2011
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There are some questionable parts of my application I am concerned about addressing during the application process and interviews.

I've taken 10 online courses from 7 different accredited universities (Some for my major and some for my pre-reqs and a one just out of personal interest). Yeah crazy. I know it's not something I can change now but how can I address concerns from the admissions committee that I'm shopping around for easy classes? Is it really an issue if I aced those classes and my GPA at my home university in a very rigorous major is 3.7+? Will my very high academic average help my case or am I still fighting an uphill battle?

As for online pre-reqs, I took organic chemistry 1 and 2 lectures from another accredited university and the in-person lab at my home university. How would this be viewed in light of a 30 in organic chemistry on the DAT? What about online biochemistry? All my pre-requisites are A- or higher.

Am I overreacting about how online coursework will devalue my application? Any tips about addressing skepticism about the rigor of my coursework?
Do all those online courses count towards your degree? Did you get approval from your school before you took those courses?
Not all of them.

I'm a non-science major. For the courses that I took elsewhere that meet major requirements, yes, I did seek pre-approval for those courses before taking them. I then transferred them over for credit to fulfill degree requirements.

For the pre-dental pre-requisites that I took from somewhere else, none of which are major requirements, I did not seek pre-approval because there was no need to transfer them over to my home university for credit. Of note, when I requested permission to register for the organic chemistry lab at my home institution, the instructor (who also teaches the organic chemistry lecture) allowed me to register after I sent him my transcripts from the other university.

I should also add that all my online pre-requisites coursework are pre-health, science major level courses.
 

TheBoneDoctah

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Just because you took courses online and at several schools doesn’t necessarily mean you were shopping around. I took courses at 5-6 schools before transferring to a 4-year institution. I was never asked about any of this when applying to medical school (I know you’re applying dental, but shouldn’t be looked at any different.)




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Oct 14, 2011
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I think if you had specific circumstances that dictated you had to take online courses, you would probably be okay. I agree that it's probably not a huge deal to a lot of schools, especially in the current application environment.

For me -- having had a lot of experience with undergraduate students who would take summer courses or online courses outside the major -- the key issue for me is whether the course itself has the equivalent rigor as the home university. A lot of online/summer courses, especially in prerequisite science, tend to be for non-science majors and fulfill general education requirements. However, the courses themselves would not meet prehealth rigor (for science majors). I would normally go back to the syllabus for specific classes to determine this, especially if the home university didn't approve transferring the grade or credit. Of course, I also know a lot of universities run "hybrid" classes as a mix of in-person and online for prerequisites, so the issue of "online" courses isn't a clear "don't do it" unless it comes from a non-accredited university.

Yes, the DAT would make a little difference, but you didn't really disclose that you had taken the DAT (I presume your 30 in OC is hypothetical), but the DAT is not the same thing as a traditional final exam in a class. For me it just tells you how strong your test-taking skills are for a science-rigorous test, not necessarily how well you did in your class. Otherwise there would be a stronger correlation between grades and MCAT/DAT/etc. scores, which I can tell you there isn't a linear relationship.

The pain will come with having to enter all your transcripts into ADEA AADSAS. Get unofficial copies of all your transcripts and accurately transcribe them into your application when it's time.
 
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