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CleverThought

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May 30, 2011
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Hey guys!

I'm a sophomore and lately I've been seriously toying around with the idea of sitting for my DAT this summer and applying a year early for D-school. I know it's very rare for a non-degree student to be admitted into dental school, but I feel I could possibly be a good candidate. The school I would be applying to did accept one 3 year/no degree student into the 2011 class, so although rare it isn't impossible.

I do face a few weaknesses. I don't take organic chem until next year, so it will be fine for school admittance, but I won't have it for the DAT. I did take an intro level class (100 level) "organobiochemistry" and got an A, so I have some background. But I do feel I could self teach myself enough that I could do decent on that section of the DAT.

However, I have some good points about me as well. Currently I have a 3.97 GPA, with a 4.0 science GPA - including classes such as Anatomy, Physiology (both taught by an M.D.), and Microbiology. I've presented at 2 research conferences and a third next week. The research I've conducted has been in both psychology and biology departments, and I've been the main contributing author on one of the projects. I also have numerous volunteer and shadowing hours and I work in a hospital, so I have patient contact experience as well. I should also mention that I am a state resident of the school I intend to apply to, so hopefully that gives a little advantage. Money is not really a restriction, but I don't want to necessarily throw out a lot of money for a task that is almost guaranteed to fail.

The two main set backs at this point are my age (19 - 20 in a few months), not having a bachelors by time of matriculation, and not having organic by the time of the DAT.

I feel I can have a fairly competitive DAT if I study for it over the summer. The school's average is a 19 AA. Their GPA average is a 3.66, with a 3.60 science GPA average.

Would it be a waste of my time to spend $1000+ to apply a year early? Should I just cool it?

Thanks guys!
 

KittySquared

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Apr 6, 2010
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First of all, I hope you aren't going to apply to only 1 school. If you got gen chem and bio down solid, I'd take O chem 1 and 2 over the summer and ace them. That'll take you to mid July. Take your DATs right after, whilst given that you've been studying for the other sections. Get Crack DAT PAT and you should have 20+ every section. I know a few 19 or 20 year olds that got accepted. It's doable. Just as long as you have already taken o chem 1 and have o chem 2 at least under the section that asks for which classes you plan on taking so they know you will be completing the prerequisites. They want to see you're on the verge of finishing them up, not barely half done.

But don't kill yourself. O chem isn't easy if it ain't your cup of tea. At least for me it was like listening to nails on a chalkboard. I'm more fond of listening to Mahler in the backyard whilst enjoying a rich discussion of cognitive dissonance over a fine glass of Merlot, you see. And some may find this boring.

Your GPAs are beyond solid. Get 100 hours of shadowing and apply mid July. You should be in good standing. That's if you're super anxious to get in somewhere. Alternatively, you can finish pre-reqs all on time by next May, do some research, get a publication or write a senior thesis. You'll have a chance with the tops like UCSF, Columbia, Harvard and such. The world is your oyster. Cheers!

-Kitty
 

CleverThought

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First of all, I hope you aren't going to apply to only 1 school. If you got gen chem and bio down solid, I'd take O chem 1 and 2 over the summer and ace them. That'll take you to mid July. Take your DATs right after, whilst given that you've been studying for the other sections. Get Crack DAT PAT and you should have 20+ every section. I know a few 19 or 20 year olds that got accepted. It's doable. Just as long as you have already taken o chem 1 and have o chem 2 at least under the section that asks for which classes you plan on taking so they know you will be completing the prerequisites. They want to see you're on the verge of finishing them up, not barely half done.

But don't kill yourself. O chem isn't easy if it ain't your cup of tea. At least for me it was like listening to nails on a chalkboard. I'm more fond of listening to Mahler in the backyard whilst enjoying a rich discussion of cognitive dissonance over a fine glass of Merlot, you see. And some may find this boring.

Your GPAs are beyond solid. Get 100 hours of shadowing and apply mid July. You should be in good standing. That's if you're super anxious to get in somewhere. Alternatively, you can finish pre-reqs all on time by next May, do some research, get a publication or write a senior thesis. You'll have a chance with the tops like UCSF, Columbia, Harvard and such. The world is your oyster. Cheers!

-Kitty
Thanks for the reply!

I of course intend to apply to numerous schools, but my in state school or possibly Creighton are probably the only ones I would go to if I got accepted this cycle - just because I have some circumstances which really don't allow me to travel too far away at this point. If I hold off (or have to reapply), my opportunities will be expanded as far as being able to move away and things.

As for taking O-chem over the summer, I unfortunately don't have the luxury. I go to a small private school where there are no science summer classes and the local CC only have introductory chem and gen chem over the summer. So I will be taking physics over the summer and possibly studying for the DAT, pending I decide to apply.

It's a much harder decision than I anticipated, but I greatly appreciate your input!
 
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ataha

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Thanks for the reply!

I of course intend to apply to numerous schools, but my in state school or possibly Creighton are probably the only ones I would go to if I got accepted this cycle - just because I have some circumstances which really don't allow me to travel too far away at this point. If I hold off (or have to reapply), my opportunities will be expanded as far as being able to move away and things.

As for taking O-chem over the summer, I unfortunately don't have the luxury. I go to a small private school where there are no science summer classes and the local CC only have introductory chem and gen chem over the summer. So I will be taking physics over the summer and possibly studying for the DAT, pending I decide to apply.

It's a much harder decision than I anticipated, but I greatly appreciate your input!

It's pointless to apply to schools you won't go to lol. But to your main question I think you're a solid applicant for this type of thing (applying sans bachelors), you won't know if you don't try, good luck.
 

Parklife

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Mar 25, 2012
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I'm considering the same thing. I will have bio and ochem over with at the end of my soph year. I'm considering it, but I don't think I will do it. You really do grow a lot in a years time in college. Plus the upper level bios will really help in preparing. You should become a TA for your strongest subject so you can focus on the other two(bio, ochem, gen chem combos). It pays, it looks good on record, it helps with DAT and D-school, and you get to help others!
 
4

433439

Hey guys!

I'm a sophomore and lately I've been seriously toying around with the idea of sitting for my DAT this summer and applying a year early for D-school. I know it's very rare for a non-degree student to be admitted into dental school, but I feel I could possibly be a good candidate. The school I would be applying to did accept one 3 year/no degree student into the 2011 class, so although rare it isn't impossible.

I do face a few weaknesses. I don't take organic chem until next year, so it will be fine for school admittance, but I won't have it for the DAT. I did take an intro level class (100 level) "organobiochemistry" and got an A, so I have some background. But I do feel I could self teach myself enough that I could do decent on that section of the DAT.

However, I have some good points about me as well. Currently I have a 3.97 GPA, with a 4.0 science GPA - including classes such as Anatomy, Physiology (both taught by an M.D.), and Microbiology. I've presented at 2 research conferences and a third next week. The research I've conducted has been in both psychology and biology departments, and I've been the main contributing author on one of the projects. I also have numerous volunteer and shadowing hours and I work in a hospital, so I have patient contact experience as well. I should also mention that I am a state resident of the school I intend to apply to, so hopefully that gives a little advantage. Money is not really a restriction, but I don't want to necessarily throw out a lot of money for a task that is almost guaranteed to fail.

The two main set backs at this point are my age (19 - 20 in a few months), not having a bachelors by time of matriculation, and not having organic by the time of the DAT.

I feel I can have a fairly competitive DAT if I study for it over the summer. The school's average is a 19 AA. Their GPA average is a 3.66, with a 3.60 science GPA average.

Would it be a waste of my time to spend $1000+ to apply a year early? Should I just cool it?

Thanks guys!

:laugh:
 

boss3

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Nov 17, 2011
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SocietysDentist, you never know what some people may be capable of with the resources of friends, the internet, and books designed for the purpose of teaching the material.
 

shdwpally

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Stay and enjoy your last year of college for sure. I made the mistake of applying/graduating a year early and it has probably been the biggest regret of my life
 

AwesomeTeeth

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Feb 21, 2011
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Hey guys!

I'm a sophomore and lately I've been seriously toying around with the idea of sitting for my DAT this summer and applying a year early for D-school. I know it's very rare for a non-degree student to be admitted into dental school, but I feel I could possibly be a good candidate. The school I would be applying to did accept one 3 year/no degree student into the 2011 class, so although rare it isn't impossible.

I do face a few weaknesses. I don't take organic chem until next year, so it will be fine for school admittance, but I won't have it for the DAT. I did take an intro level class (100 level) "organobiochemistry" and got an A, so I have some background. But I do feel I could self teach myself enough that I could do decent on that section of the DAT.

However, I have some good points about me as well. Currently I have a 3.97 GPA, with a 4.0 science GPA - including classes such as Anatomy, Physiology (both taught by an M.D.), and Microbiology. I've presented at 2 research conferences and a third next week. The research I've conducted has been in both psychology and biology departments, and I've been the main contributing author on one of the projects. I also have numerous volunteer and shadowing hours and I work in a hospital, so I have patient contact experience as well. I should also mention that I am a state resident of the school I intend to apply to, so hopefully that gives a little advantage. Money is not really a restriction, but I don't want to necessarily throw out a lot of money for a task that is almost guaranteed to fail.

The two main set backs at this point are my age (19 - 20 in a few months), not having a bachelors by time of matriculation, and not having organic by the time of the DAT.

I feel I can have a fairly competitive DAT if I study for it over the summer. The school's average is a 19 AA. Their GPA average is a 3.66, with a 3.60 science GPA average.

Would it be a waste of my time to spend $1000+ to apply a year early? Should I just cool it?

Thanks guys!

Just because they accepted one person last year doesn't mean that they do it on a regular basis. You don't know if that person's mom was the dean, if their alumni parents donated a million dollars to the school, or if their research about to change dentistry.

Although your app is good, it's honestly not AMAZING. You did well in school, did two research projects, and have some volunteer hours. Do you have shadowing? Do you have solid letters of rec from professors and dentists? Do you have some activities actually involving dentistry like mission trips or volunteer clinics?

It's great that you did well in the anatomy class and microbiology class but they're still electives and don't make up for the fact that you haven't taken any ochem. Everyone's who is applying has most likely already taken 2 classes of ochem. That puts you at a disadvantage. Even if you did well on the DAT overall, it's going to stand out if your score on the ochem section is lower then everything else.

If it was me, I would wait until junior year to apply like everyone else and continue to improve your app while taking ochem. Honestly, what's the rush? Undergrad work is much more easier then dental school, you want to stay there are long as you can.

If you decide to apply early anyway, I wouldn't waste money applying to many schools and hoping to get in. Apply only to your state school and see what happens.
 

sacapuntas

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Feb 25, 2011
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SocietysDentist, you never know what some people may be capable of with the resources of friends, the internet, and books designed for the purpose of teaching the material.

Very true, I self taught O-chem and it was my best section on the DAT.


OP - What neighboring state are you in next to Nebraska? If You are in CO let me know and I can help you prepare for the DAT w/out O-Chem. I am looking for some more volunteer hours;)
 

CleverThought

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Very true, I self taught O-chem and it was my best section on the DAT.


OP - What neighboring state are you in next to Nebraska? If You are in CO let me know and I can help you prepare for the DAT w/out O-Chem. I am looking for some more volunteer hours;)

Haha unfortunately I'm in IA! That's a bit of a drive, I'd think.

Also, to who asked about volunteering/shadowing/extra curriculars. I've gone on 2 service trips and I volunteer on a regular basis at a local animal shelter. I've also done some volunteering for an after school science program at an elementary school.

I'm the president of an organization and the secretary in another, I'm also in a invitation only leadership program, and a pre-dental club. I also was awarded freshman of the year and am a nominee for leader of the year for this school year. I also tutor students in biology, statistics, and writing in our schools tutoring center.

Lastly, I've split my time shadowing 3 dentists to get a feel for the profession and I've developed a good relationship with 2 of them that I am confident I could get LOR's.

I agree that not having o-chem is a really big disadvantage in the pool, and I am also aware the o-chem is quite a feat to tackle. I would probably prepare using DAT study guides, other online tools, and the help of my adviser, who is a chem professor.

I don't know if that really changes my strength as an applicant, but I totally see the validity in your point that waiting a year isn't going to hurt me in the least. I appreciate the input!
 

NOLAdentist2016

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Yes. It's most likely a waste of money. Plus, when you applying for the second time around, schools would see that you're a second time applicant. Idk if this makes a difference or not, but you might be judged on it.
 

dantemac

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Can't travel? No Ochem? Why bother?

If I were you, I would take the DAT early. I fully 100% agree with you there. The results are valid for three years. Organic can probably be self-taught.

As for an application cycle, your goal is to see as many schools and the best schools (i.e. apply intelligently to schools you think will interview you). Your goal should not be to try to get into one specific school and cut a year off the process. How will you ever know what else is out there for you? How do you truly know you want to attend that school, unless a spouse or kids are holding you back?
 
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