I would be wary about doing both. the whole point of doing a masters is to get a really good gpa at the end of the program. But if you feel you can handle a part time job in addition to getting straight A's in your masters then go for it. Ultimately its upto you considering your stats. If you are lacking in gpa though, i would suggest doing the masters which would be a better option. good luck
i'm probably going to do both, work full-time and take a couple of grad courses courses because the reason i haven't been accepted isn't really academics. if you're stats are weak, you might want to listen to BBD's advice.
This is my opinion if it were me; Both if you can but if it were only one, I rather go to school and do well than to work anywhere (unless you need to for financial reasons). Here's how I look at it, if you didn't get in its mainly because of your grades/Dat scores rather than experience in the work field. Grades will always impress the admission committee even at the graduate or post bacc level (if they are good grades of course) but working with a big name such as NIH isn't going to be the one extra deciding factor whether you get in or not. So what is the only difference between you as an applicant this year and next year? Working at NIH? That generally wont be enough to get you over the hump especially if you do not have stellar stats or just decent ones. The admission committe isn't dumb you can say you work at NIH cranial/oral blah blah blah but they all know with just a BS degree you're just a peon working probably at the bottom of the food chain in that department. Although it looks good its not like your going to lead a research or anything. Just my thought.
I did a MS that was coursework based part-time and worked doing research part-time, I was full time busy to get good grades.
I would recommend against full-time work with grad school. Some people in my MS program worked fulltime and took 2 classes a semester, and they really worked their butts off and were extremely tired all the time! Not that its bad to work that hard and save $$$ and prove you can manage your time, but realize that if you are getting and MS to improve you chances of admission, that grades in the classes are you #1 priority, so I wouldn't work more then part-time rather then risk my grades from being so worn out all the time.
I'll try and keep it simple, but my recommendation would be to pull out all the stops and word towards a master's degree, whether it be thesis or non-thesis. Taking individual courses may help a little, but at least in an MS program you'll have more direction, and dental schools will take note of this. I'd also like to add that while making money is very tempting (trust me I'm low on funds myself being I'm a "professional student"), you need to ask yourself which will be the better investment in terms of your goal of dental school. PM me if you want more graduate school info. Good luck!
my advisor told me that if you start a masters program and don't finish it (i.e. get a degree), it often gets looked rather disfavorably upon by adcoms. For my part, if I don't get accepted, i'll be looking into finding a 1 year MS program or possibly MPH. Not sure. lots of options if my two remaining schools both say no.