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Top 10: Ways to Get Into Dental School

Honestly, getting that acceptance letter to dental school is a difficult process and sometimes you may feel like giving up. There are a lot of hoops you have to jump through, but once you gain acceptance, it's a refreshing feeling to say the least. This is especially true if you can secure yourself a scholarship as well! Here is a list of those things you should be focusing on in your difficult journey. It is this difficult journey that we focus upon, and so Top Ten Nation writers will continually write more about this topic now and into the future.

Most of the following information may seem like common sense, but be sure to read through this, as there may be something you have not encountered before. Where did we derive this information from? As dental students and faculty, we have sat on admissions interviews for incoming classes. The process isn't as mysterious as some would make it out to be.

Top 10 Ways to Get Into Dental School (Admissions Advice for the Pre-dental Student)

1. Keep Your GPA High (+ how high should it be anyways?)
This is probably the most critical aspect of your application to medical or dental school. Your GPA is analyzed in many different ways, including pre-requisite GPA and overall GPA. Try to keep it as high as possible at all times. This should have priority above everything else. This means that if you are sacrificing grades because of a part-time job - think about quitting! How high should your GPA be? What kind of GPA is average enough to gain admission into a dental school? Opinions can vary, but we would say that most people agree that it falls within a pretty tight range. Greater than 3.30 for US dental schools, and greater than 3.60 for Canadian dental schools. [Canadian schools are difficult to get into because of the fewer seats available and a strong preference for in-state residents.] If your GPA is higher than what we've stated, please understand that it still requires effort to gain admission. It just means that your GPA is not going to hinder your application as much. Try to follow everything else in this list too! If your GPA is less than what we've stated, try to work hard to do well on the DAT, and as evidenced, the DAT is #2 on this list.

2. Ace Your Admissions Test (DAT)
This is an important indicator to level you out with all the other applicants. It is factored in quite heavily by a lot of dental schools! Think about it - some undergraduate colleges hand out higher average GPA's to all of their graduates in comparison to other colleges. As such, you can imagine that dental schools would like to account for applicants that have a 4.00 from a school that hands out 4.00's to everyone! Admissions committees know this happens. It is the DAT's job to level out all of the applicants based on an equally hard exam that all applicants have to take. This standardized test can make or break you if you have a 'sub-par' GPA. I didn't have a great GPA myself, but I killed the DAT, and here I am now, a dental student. So how do you go about doing well on this type of an exam? Check out our advice on Top 10 Ways on How to Ace the DAT.

3. Attend a University, Not a Community College
Universities are viewed as proper preparation for the rigors of medical and dental school. Community colleges are viewed as being easier in the eyes of admissions committees and so the amount of time spent at a community college needs to be limited. Try to limit a community college to about 2 years maximum. Certain schools will tell you this outright. Other schools will simply disqualify applicants if they have spent too much time at a community college for their pre-requisite courses.

4. Complete Your Pre-Requisites/Preparatory Degrees With a Full-Time Course Load
Being a part-time student, or not carrying the maximum amount of courses per semester reduces the likelihood that your GPA will be viewed as being an accurate indicator of your potential. Think about it, a person with a part-time load will obtain A's in their courses easier than a person who is taking the maximum load of courses that they can take. Dental schools want to accept students who can handle the tough cirriculum that they will face, and students with full-time course loads are viewed as being more prepared to handle the environment of a dental school.

5. Conduct Biomedical or Clinical Research
Before we begin, let's make clear that you can get into medical or dental without doing research (*phew*). Okay, research is an integral part of medical and dental sciences. Without research, there would be no progress in these fields and progress is critical to helping people achieve better and more useful lives. Conducting research allows you to reap the benefits of being a part of such a valuable community. But don't fret if you didn't do research. I dipped into it myself, and I didn't enjoy it at all. If you don't like research, try other extra-cirriculars which make make you look just as good as someone who sweated over small vials of urine all day.

6. Obtain Great Reference Letters From Your Professors
This is important. Start to build good relationships with your professors in undergraduate university. It's hard to do especially if your undergrad university is huge like mine was. Our advice? Ask lots of questions early on in your classes and try to make the professors at least kind of remember you. It is also best to ask professors in classes in which you got an 'A' to write you a letter. So listen, I finished undergrad before I realized I wanted to go into dentistry. How did I go about getting reference letters? Well, I ended up flirting with one lady professor... I volunteered in another ones lab for a while, and the last one? Well I went from office to office (of old professors that I had) until I came across someone cool enough to just write one without giving a shit.

7. Job Shadow
This will give you insight into what the occupation you are pursuing is all about. Plus it's a good opportunity to get another reference letter. Honestly, you should do this anyways, since it is a good idea to know what you're getting yourself into. A lot of dental schools are beginning to require this before applying as well.

8. Volunteer and Obtain a Job in a Related Field
Give back to the community and obtain skills in the field that you are pursuing. Build your knowledge base in the medical or dental profession and see what happens in the day to day life of these professionals.

9. Perfect Your Interview Skills
Being honest about your intentions is the best advice that you could receive regarding interviews for dental schools. I found that a lot of schools just did the following: they took my application and sort of reworded questions that were on the application. They were looking for the exact same answers that I had written down on my original application. It is a way to catch small embellishments. Other methods included group questioning methods. Just don't let other applicants intimidate you... Some of them will seem smarter or more sharp than you. Who cares? People will always be smarter (and some more stupider) than you! Again, just tell the truth. Here's an example of a type of question that you may get: "If you were to walk out of a bank, and you quickly noticed that you took a pen from the bank, what would you do?" Well... most people end up saying, "I would return it." That's a bad answer, because in reality, most people would just keep it and move on. In fact, the best answer for this question is to say, "Most banks have their pens chained to the desks!" So what's the motto of the story? Don't try to impress your interviewer(s). Just tell the truth!

10. Be Well Rounded
Continue your participation in whatever you enjoy! Simply being a book-worm will detract from your social skills. Social skills are important in medicine and dentistry because you guessed it - you will be working with people! So what does "well-rounded" mean? It does not mean that you have to save the world. It just means that you should participate in a socially beneficial way outside of your school environment. Join clubs, recreational leagues, and do things that you enjoy! Guess what? Sometimes if you are only a book-worm, it can be "sniffed out" during the interview. Our society does not want socially inept doctors!

BONUS: Manyak222 reminded us that we should include the following:
APPLY EARLY
This should technically be somewhere at the top of this list. Applying early to US dental schools is important because schools employ rolling admissions. Simply said, the earlier in the process that you apply, the greater the chances of admission. Note that it is recommended that you apply the first day that the application is available (which is usually online for dental schools via AADSAS). Honestly, the sooner you apply, the higher your chances of getting in! THIS IS PROBABLY A LOT MORE IMPORTANT than you may initially think. Applying early can easily mean the difference of getting accepted or not getting accepted.

Please feel free to leave a comment and visit soon for more information.

189 comments:

  1. Research the schools so that you apply to the ones that best match your career goals. If you are looking for a school that focuses on clinical work, for example, you have less chance of getting into a school that focuses on research (and vice versa). Selectively applying will not only save you money on your applications, it will increase your chances of getting into the type of school that you want.

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  2. You said that you "killed" you DAT test. I was wondering if you had any specific strategies for studying for the DAT. This is a very extensive test and the only test that I have taken (length wise) that compared was the ACT back in high school. It seems like there is so much to cover and it is hard to find somewhere to start. How should I get started and what should I focus on? I was wondering if you had any specific strategies for studying for the DAT so maybe I can kill it also. thanks for the help.

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  3. clffster16
    Thank you for your comment, we will have one of our writers post a Top 10 Ways to Do Well on the DAT, but this may take a while. Please leave your email if you want a quick reply. I will be happy to share some insight with you

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    Replies
    1. I would love to hear your tips for "killing" the DAT. My email is singhash@msu.edu thanks!

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    2. I would like to get some tips on "killing" the DAT. Email me at skvaaj@hotmail.com
      Thanks, would really appreciate it!

      Delete
  4. what was your gpa like?

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  5. My overall GPA in undergrad was around 3.65. My science GPA was around 3.55. If there is any specific information you are looking for, please feel free to ask.

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    Replies
    1. When you pointed out the importance of getting work/volunteering experiences, how do we meet that requirement? I can see how students can work as assistant in pharmacy, but are there positions like that in small private dental practices? Maybe apart from receptionists, everyone in the practice are dentists or other specialized support staff with specific degrees (ex. dental hygienist, college certified technicians, etc)

      BTW, Canadian GPA is insane even if you're from the same province. In Alberta, it's 3.88 GPA average in both science and general field... crap, I can barely keep that up in first year :(

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    2. Hi :) I just finished my first year of my undergraduate (majoring biochemistry) and I screwed up my second semester and I got 3.41 so far for my gpa... do you think i still have a shot for a dental school??? this summer I had a shadow experience for 100 hours at a clinic ...

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    3. How did you get a shadowing role at clinic? I am an undergard freshman and have no clue where to begin.

      stephanie.segal@hotmail.com

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    4. Hi:) I was just wondering how much the admissions committee values your PAT score? I have a 3.84 gpa, 3.77 science gpa, 23 AA, 24 TS, but scored a 17 on PAT and a 17 on QR so am really nervous that those scores will set me back and now unsure what schools I should be aiming at applying for because most have a 20 PAT average

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  6. I know some medical schools give out merit-based and other type of scholarships. Do dental schools give out scholarships based on merit, need, minority, etc?

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  7. I recently changed my major to BS in biology and BA in chemistry. In my previous major my GPA was around a 3.0. Will the schools be concerned with these grades or focus mainly on my Bio. and Chem. GPA.

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  8. Larry:
    Yes, most dental schools do offer merit-based scholarships. Please contact the schools directly for this information.
    Anonymous:
    Depending on the dental school, each school uses a different "formula" to calculate the performance of applicants. A greater proportion of that is focused upon pre-requisite courses, however, all school work is generally considered.

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  9. Hi,
    I was wondering if I'm a poor candidate for getting into dental school. I am an older, non-traditional student (in my thirties) and I just graduated from a UC with an average of 3.85 overall and 3.79 in science. However, I never took more than 3 courses per quarter - 2 science and one non-science (3 classes per quarter is considered full time). In addition, many of the quarters I took my non-science as a pass/no pass. I did work as a private tutor and I have been a TA for lower and upper division bio classes several times (4 times for biochemistry and 1 time for general biology).
    Also important to note that I have put myself through school (currently owe 35,000 dollars) and had always relied on public transportation (in southern California).

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous,
    Your stats and profile is on par or above par with any applicant to dental school. AdComs show leniency to non-traditional applicants considering their different circumstances. Non-traditional applicants need to demonstrate in what way they aren't 'traditional.' Your age and experience is certainly a factor. Shy away from using debt and public transportation as factors to be considered or discussed, as these reasons are negligible. Most, if not all students accrue debt and use public transportation at one point or another. Good luck with your application, if you require further assistance, feel free to ask via a comment or email.

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  11. Do dental schools consider where you earned your undergraduate degree? I go to a "top" school, but I got a C+ in Chemistry my freshmen year, annihilating my GPA, both science and overall. To make things worse, I had some personal problems and am only taking 12 credits this semester. I wanted to go to UPenn, are my chances shot? I have done biomedical research,have an internship this summer, and have done a good amount of shadowing.

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  12. It's difficult to answer without having more information. One or two bad grades may pull down your GPA, but it won't hurt you significantly for applications. Try to keep your GPA as high as possible. Do dental schools consider the quality of undergrad? Perhaps, but not formally. For most, if not all schools, it doesn't factor into whether you will get an interview or not. It may help superfically after the interview and during the final selection. For more information, feel free to write back.

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  13. I currently have a 3.3 science and 3.4 overall. I did get an A in Organic Chemistry. What other information would help you to estimate my chances?

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  14. Splash,
    Please email me at toptennation@hotmail.com with your GPA stats, DAT stats, and anything else that you feel is relevant. I feel email will be a better medium for this disussion. I can provide advice from a dental school student and AdComs perspective.
    Take care.

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  15. I am considering turning down admissions to the top 3 UCs for essentially a full ride to a Cal State. Is it true that dental schools look very unfavorably on Cal States' quality of undergrad? I'm sure I could excel there, with GPA and ECs, but after all I've heard about the Cal State stigma, I might transfer to a UC in 2 years just to prove to adcoms I can handle rigorous coursework.

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  16. Dental schools do not have stigma's against any particular school in terms of calculating chances for an interview (unless it is a community college, which are not viewed upon as favorably). Individual interviewers may have a bias against a certain undergraduate university, however, this is completely subjective, and in my opinion, this type of bias is near non-existant.

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  17. I'm only a freshman right now, but there's already a chance that I might make a B in my physics class at a community college, but I'm making an A in university cell biology. How bad would the B hurt me, especially since it's a community college

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  18. Andy,
    Don't stress about every individual grade! You have 4 years ahead of you and everyone falters on a few grades here and there. It's the averages at the end that count. On top of that... A "B" isn't even that bad of a grade! Try to keep your grades up over the next few years and you'll be fine!

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  19. I have just finished my freshman year and have already received 3 D's in nonscience coures and a C in a science course, I still would like to pursue dental school, but with such bad grades already maybe I should consider something else?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Please email me at toptennation@hotmail.com
    and we can discuss your plans further privately.

    ReplyDelete
  21. RajarambalithakurdayaliprataapMay 12, 2008 at 6:15 PM

    So I have a 3.6 overall and 3.5 science applying for fall 09 cycle. What should i get on DATs to guarantee acceptance in school on east coast?

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  22. Nothing guarantees admission. Doing well on the DAT doesn't mean that you will definitely receive admission. Getting 19 or 20+ on every section will better your chances.

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  23. I have my undergrad in Civil Engineering and am currenlty getting my masters in civil (company pays for it) and have previously applied to dental school but did not get in. I have been working as a civil for the past four years and hate it and am trying for dental school again. However, my overall gpa, although great for engineering, is really low for dental school, is there anything you can suggest to offset the fact that I have a substandard gpa? Thanks!

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  24. I didn't get into dental school for the 2008 cycle, so I just applied again for 2009. I had already graduated with my BS, but I did take the DAT again. I have also been doing research with a professor for the past 6 months. If would be great if you could give me your opinion on what my chances for admission might be. Here are my stats:
    DAT(Academic avg: 19, PAT:21, Quantitative Reasoning: 17, Reading: 18, Bio: 20, GenChem: 21, OChem: 21, total science: 21). My overall GPA is 3.32 and my science GPA is 3.23, My BCP: 3.27. Thanks.

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  25. Anonymous (Civil engineer) and Den & Kik,
    Please email toptennation@hotmail.com, as your questions require detailed responses, and a private conversation would be better!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi. I currently have around a 2.8 science GPA and around a 3.2 overall. I know this isn't good but I have two years of college left. Do I have any potential at all in getting into dental school? Thanks.

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  27. My friend wants to get into dental school but he did very poorly his first year (he was on "subject to dismissal" for bad grades)
    Has this ruined his chances for dental school even if he gets great GPA for the other 3 years?

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  28. To the last 2 posts:
    Just do better over the next few years! Dental schools look at trends too, and they understand that a person matures over time. Just increase those grades, and you'll be fine!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I am a non-traditional student (28 yrs old w/a 10 yr old) and have a less than perfect academic record, (which began over 10 years ago) did poorly, went to community college off and on for many years with so-so success. After a 3 yr break, I returned to comm. college and have had almost all A's, received an AA degree, am now to the point where I can transfer to a 4-year college to complete my BS in bio after next year. With having spent so much time in limbo, coupled with my time in a comm. college (will be 4 consecutive years), does this make it impossible to get into dental school even after I complete my BS?

    Sorry so long winded!

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  30. i was just womder what specific prerequisites did you take for dental school?

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  31. Anonymous, not at all, due to the fact that you are a non-traditional applicant, it is not at all impossible for you to gain admission.

    Mr Werner, we have been asked this question before, so I will do a new post on this fairly soon, keep your eyes open for it, and I hope it will help you soon, apologies for not being able to quickly answer this for you.

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  32. What do you think about attending a Dental School in another country and saving yourself four years of study?

    What I mean is that here in the U.S, most of the time the students are required to have a Bachelors' to be be accepted in a Dental School. In other countries to have a bachelor's degree is not a requirement and you can start dental school when you graduate from high school.

    What are the pros and cons of this idea?

    ReplyDelete
  33. Anonymous:
    Re: Foreign dental schools
    It initially sounds as if it's a great idea, however, I recommend otherwise. Note that if you attend a dental school outside of the US or Canada, they are not accredited by the ADA or the CODA, and therefore, you will be unable to practice in the US or Canada. This includes schools in England or Australia or any other developed country. The only way to qualify at that point is to take a 2 or 3 year Advanced Standing or Qualifying Program to earn a DMD/DDS in either US or Canada. (There may be exceptions or slight variations to these rules in a handful of states). These Advanced Standing seats are significantly harder to gain entry into than just the straight 4-year DMD/DDS seats. This doesn't mean that it isn't possible, plenty of people do what you have suggested. Other problems you may face include a lack of quality education, and unbeknown issues arising from the introduction of pass/fail NDBE Part 1 exams in 2010. Please note that currently all dental schools with Advanced Standing seats in the US use NDBE Part 1 scores to scrutinize candidates for admission. This is all "up in the air" after 2010, as dental schools will be scrambling to come up with other ways to scrutinize foreign applicants.
    The only pro of following what you have suggested is saving potentially 2-3 years of education. Note that a lot of foreign dental schools that don't require undergraduate education are 5-year programs as well, so an additional year may be lost there. You may or may not lose those years regardless while applying for (and potentially waiting for) an Advanced Standing seat in Canada or US. It is of my personal opinion that this route is not recommended due to the mixture of all of these things: you probably aren't going to save any time anyways, most dental schools that don't require undergrad education aren't in developed countries anyways (i.e. England or Australia would require undergrad...) so you'd have to deal with safety issues being overseas. Dental school is difficult and it's better being somewhat closer to your family so you can go see them more often during even short vacations. Why deal with Visa issues? And then, why potentially deal with having to compete for heavily wanted AS seats, all for an attempt to save at most 1 or 2 years of education? Take the safer route and apply to a US or Canadian dental school. I hope this long winded answer helps.

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  34. Also note that if you are dedicated to dental education just graduating out of high school, there are a handful of 7-year programs available in the US that allow you to graduate early with a dental degree. (Basically they assure you that you will get into dental school after 3 years of undergrad).

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  35. Hi. I want to go into dentistry but I can't be sure if I would be able to get in. So I'm thinking about going to health science as a back up and continuing pre-dental courses. Do you think this is a good idea. Btw, right now I'm a biology major. Thanks!

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  36. Hello. I got a C and B in organic chemistry 1 and 2. Do you think I should retake it or do you think i should do better in the upper division bio courses?sm

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hey Can you tell me what you think my chances are:

    I got a 19 TS, 18 AA, 16 PAT :(


    Do you think I even have a chance with those DAT scores?


    My science GPA is 3.8

    60 hours of shadowing, 20 hours volunteering, 2 semesters of research

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  38. For the general questions above, try to head into programs that will allow you to maintain a higher GPA. If you do poorly on a course, don't retake, just do better on an upper level course!
    For the above post re: low DAT scores, yet higher GPA, sometimes AdComs may question why you have a low DAT when your GPA is so high, which throws the credibility of your high GPA (relatively) into the air. Some AdComs may overlook this. It is best to rewrite the DAT in such cases.

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  39. I'm currently pre-dental and am debating over taking two classes: physiology and biochemistry. I know that they are not required for dental school but that they are recommended. I'm trying to take upper division bio courses to boost up my science gpa. Which class would be more beneficial for dental school? Both? Thanks.

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  40. It is advisable to take either course, as they would both benefit you. Both are subjects also tested upon on the NDBE Part 1. If you had to choose between the two, my personal choice would be physiology. Physiology requires comprehension of the material, whereas biochemistry in my opinion is rogue memorization of pathways and enzymes, etc.

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  41. I am going into my 4th year of undergrad and hoping for a career in dentistry, but my GPA right now is only a low 2.7. I'll put all effort in this last year, but can probably raise it to a 2.9 or 3.0. I know my chances of getting into a dental school is slim to none, so that's why I haven't taken the DAT test yet. Do you think I should retake some of the classes I've done poorly in (namely GChem & OChem)? Should I reach for a masters or a postbac program to improve my chances? Should I wait out taking the DAT until raising my GPA to a desired range?
    Please help!

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  42. NicNac,
    Don't focus too much on retaking classes, but try to take higher level courses in the same subject and try to get a higher grade. You should definitely look into a masters or a postbac program to improve your chances. There are 1 or 2 year programs out there that can help you demonstrate your abilities. Waiting for the DAT is up to you. Just be sure to write the DAT well in advance of the application cycle so you have it done with before you apply.

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  43. I'm a dental graduate from Australia. My academic transcript is OK and I graduated with honours. I'm interested in applying for a masters program in prosthodontics. How dificult is it to get in, and what criteria is assessed?

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  44. I'm planning to apply to dental school in 2010. I graduated in 2005 with a B.S. in Biology and took some more graduate courses afterwards.I tried to apply in 2006 but I ended up pregnant! So, now I'm taking care of my baby girl. Do you think I have to retake pre-req before I apply since I took those classes in 2002 and 2003? My GPA isn't so high bc I made some poor grades in my freshman and sophomore years. I'm planning to take DAT next year. My old DAT score was 19 PAT 20...but I think I have to retake it since it has been 3 years. Thanks for the help.

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  45. Before I ask my question, I'de like to thank the person in advance for donating their time=)

    Ok...I am from Canada attending a canadian university, and aspiring to attend a dental school in the states (since its so dam competitive in canada). Here are my stats: in my degree : BA in Psychology, GPA: 3.7, science GPA: 3.5 - shadowed a dentist, volunteered for year in ER ward at hospital, actively involved in the "golden key honours society", worked as a Applied Behavioral Interventionist with autistic individuals etc. I have yet to take the DAT;
    ----However, during my degree, I took 3 semesters of part-time study (2 courses each semester---also, when taking science courses, I took only 3 courses each semester when completing them--->
    --Will this severely effect my Dental application?
    --How hard is it to get into american dental schools as a canadian applicant.Am I competitive enough.? thx again

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  46. Serena,
    Prosthodontics residencies are moderately competitive in the US, definitely not as difficult as Endo or Ortho residencies, but still remain somewhat competitive. Depending on the program, you should aim to be in the top 10-15% of your class. Class ranks, GPA, NDBE scores, interviews, and affiliations are some of the major criteria assessed.

    Anonymous,
    As far as I am aware, there is no restriction as to how recent the pre-req's need to be. If your GPA is low, that's a different reason I suppose. There is however a restriction regarding how recent the DAT scores are like you have stated.

    Jeremy,
    Your stats are fine to gain admission with. There is little that you can do to change your course load history now. Your GPA stands to be quite competitive for the private dental schools in the US. You should focus your applications towards the private schools since you are Canadian. See our post for Canadians to see which schools to apply to. Try to do well on your DAT and interviews, and remember to apply early and you should be fine!

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  47. Hi
    I am an international student, and I have completed 2 yrs in a community college with a GPA 0f 3.67. I am now attending an accredited University, and I have 2 more years to complete my undergrad studies. Sadly, I did not do my research about getting into Dental Schools and decided to do major-Biology that caused my GPA to drop to a low where I was asked to take up another major thats was less challenging. In addition I have taken 2 semesters of reduced course loads. I am now taking classes in Psychology.

    I worked for 5 years in a Dental Clinic in my country, and 6mnths here in New York. Have I lossed my chances of getting into a Dental school?

    ReplyDelete
  48. Once your doen with dental school, who can apply for specialization....? e-mail me back if you can missakharian@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  49. Anonymous,
    You still have another 2 years to raise that GPA, don't give up hope! You can always try to ace the DAT and do a post-bac program to shore up your GPA even more if need be so.

    Missakharian,
    Any graduate can apply for specialization. For most specialties, a competitive class rank, board scores and impressive letters of reference are required. Interviews are generally conducted.

    ReplyDelete
  50. hi,
    I'm a canadian grad student at u of t and recently began studying for the DAT trying to get into an US dental school.

    My issue is my GPA, i got a 3.7 in my final year of university which is the reason im in a graduate program (biology) but my overall is only 2.85. Would my graduate school GPA help at all ? Im currently just starting my research so i dont know how the grades will turn out.

    Based on the requirements i think even an amazing DAT score will not help my standings.

    I was looking at applying to
    NYU, Boston, Howard, Meharry. Im afraid of the minority schools since they will most likely not consider any non minority and have even higher expectations.

    Please let me know what you recommend.

    ReplyDelete
  51. stressed101,
    Your graduate GPA will definitely help, and I think a good DAT score will help as well. You can't be pessimistic, especially with your increasing trend in GPA - that's for sure! Try to do as well as you can in your grad program, you'll be surprised with the results. Don't plan on applying to Howard or Meharry unless you are a minority. You should apply to many many more (at least 10) private dental schools. See our post on Top 10 easiest dental schools to obtain admission into for a list of many of these schools. Follow the rest of the advice on our pages as well, such as applying the first day, and you'll skyrocket your chances of admission!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Hi, I'm currently in my fourth year at a Canadian University getting my Honours in Biological Sciences but am planning on coming back for a fifth year to gain research experience, do more volunteer, extra-curriculars, etc and just to spread out my essential upper year courses in Biology over this year and the next. I have a couple questions: If I take the Canadian DAT in February and am not pleased with my scores and re-take in November, will my getting the results be too tight with applying by December 1st 2009 for 2010 entry? Also, does it make a difference that I'm deciding to come back for a year in any way? Will they factor that in to which grades are relevant since some schools like Toronto won't factor in the worst year being that it wasn't the most recent? Thanks so much for your help, your blog is very useful :)

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  53. overwhelmed,
    Unfortunately, we are inexperienced enough with the Canadian dental education system that we cannot provide a great answer. As far as we know, the best thing to do would be to contact the schools you plan on applying to directly to see if the late submission of DAT scores would affect your application. I believe the Canadian dental schools have individual difference in the way they approach additional years of undergraduate and graduate education as well. Again, you probably need to ask the schools directly. If any reader is able to chime in and assist, we would welcome that.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Hello,

    I have 3.65 GPA with A's in Organic Chemistry. Physics.

    And my DAT is not that good as it is 16 AA 16 TS 14 PAT.

    I have been shadowing in two clinics in total of 150 hours. for the pas 3 months. And I already apply to 11 college of dentistry. I wanted to ask how much chances will I have in order to be admitted. I would really appreciate if you can reply.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Hello,
    You should re-write the DAT before continuing to apply to dental schools to have a significant chance at gaining admission.
    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Hi,

    I am strongly considering the dental profession but come from quite a different background than most applicants. I am interested in American schools as I don't think I have much of a shot at Canadian ones. I have a BSc from a well respected Canadian school in math (3.8 overall, 3.9 major), and a MSc in math from another top school with a 3.9 GPA and highly respected supervisor. Undergrad and grad research experience (obviously in math though), mainly A or A+ in all science courses. But I have little of the prereqs, and little volunteer work.

    Assuming I took a year to get the prereqs, volunteer a bit, shadow a dentist (my aunt works for one), and did fairly well on the DAT, would I be a good candidate despite my math background?

    ReplyDelete
  57. PP,
    Yes! You would be a very strong candidate.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Hi, I'm a sophomore at a private university and recently decided I wanted to go into dentistry. I thought about it for nearly a year and finally made up my mind. I haven't declared a major yet and hesitating in choosing between Psychology and Biology. I like both subjects, but seem to be more comfortable with Psych. What are the chances that I'll get in if I work my as** off now to finish the prerequesites and graduate with a psych degree?

    My original plan was to go into Psych because I was interested in it before dentistry, but people say I should do Biol to do better in Dental school. I'm not sure anymore. Thanks in advance for answering!

    ReplyDelete
  59. (Thanks for your time by the way!) I am a 5th year student at a university. My grades are not good and I don't do as well as i like in some science courses, some I've had to retake too.. which is horrible for my transcript. I will be graduating this year. I was wondering if i should get my masters and continue at my school or should i apply to dental school. I know for sure my chances of getting into dental school is very very slim.

    ReplyDelete
  60. EE,
    The actual degree that you do technically does not matter when it comes to admission at a dental school - complete whichever degree you want!
    In terms of preparation for dental school, that's what the pre-req's are for, and dental school starts off with the basics and quickly brings you up to speed (emphasis on quickly). If you are a strong student, you should have no concerns, good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  61. Anonymous,
    If grades are a definite concern, yes check out post-bac or masters programs to shore up your GPA, and make sure to keep re-writing the DAT until you get a really strong score (above 24 maybe?). You can do it, just try your best!

    ReplyDelete
  62. I've had a really rough experience in university (taking the hardest engineering discipline - engineering physics). I did average in first year, and then I began to fall as the courses became more specialized and problems at home started to get worse. My parents were just going through a divorce and lived together while they were going through this process, and since I lived at home for university, I had to see it day and night - bicker and argue and trying to calm them down in the burning of midnight oil.

    I eventually came to graduate with a C average, and two failed courses. I did a first year biology course thinking I would have time for it all, but I scored a pretty low mark as a result. Same with chemistry.

    Fast forward to now, I'm working at one of the top engineering firms in Canada, but I've always wanted to do something more than engineering - postgrad into medicine or dentistry. After having talked to several dentists, and hearing their compliments to such a great career, I've been convinced that I do want to pursue dentistry.

    I want to ask; what's the best path into upgrading myself so that I can become competitive for Canadian dental schools? Is there any hope in my situation at all?

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Do a masters or a post-bac program in which you can demonstrate that you can obtain the grades required to attend dental school! Also, try your best to score as well as you can on the DAT.

    ReplyDelete
  64. I am non-trad student and I already have a masters degree (MBA) from a top school. Would my high non-science GPA mitigate my low(<3.2) undergrad GPA? Thanks

    Rafael

    ReplyDelete
  65. To an extent, it will. It's all just a formula and the formula varies by the school. Sort of like (X) + (Y) + (Z) = Q, Whereas all of the variables are like your overall GPA, science GPA, DAT scores, and even extracurriculars. The amount of mitigation depends on the individual school and their 'formula' for invitation to interviews. There are a few schools that look at the DAT quite heavily.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Hi,
    I am a Canadian, graduated in 2006 with an Engineering Degree. I am not passionate about my field and I always wanted to do dentistry. Can you please advice me with my issues:

    1. My undergrad GPA is 3.0 (I did bad in my earlier years but better toward the later years). Also, majority of my course load was on 80%(ie, 4 courses) and not 100%. I know some schools want to see full course load. Do I even have a chance of getting in to any US schools?
    2. I have a few of prerequisite courses (bio & physics) avg mark of C. Do you recommend repeating these courses.
    3. I am planning to do the remaining prerequisites (biochem, physiology, organ chem, etc), is it okay to do them on part time basis or is it better to do full time.

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  67. Hello, I appeared for my NBDE Part 1 a week ago. I am very much confused about what to do as concerned with the admissions. Though I dont have many dental schools left for applying (NYU, BU), I still wana give it a shot. I dont wana spend time and money unncessarily in Public Health in which I am currently enrolled at SDSU since August this year. What are your views on whether I should go in and apply this year or wait for more dental colleges to apply next year? My graduate GPA is 3.53 with TOEFL 104.

    Jim

    ReplyDelete
  68. hi. i'm currently a junior in undergrad and have an overall of 3.2 and a science gpa of around 2.8. Is there any way for me to get into dental school? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Noor,
    You have a chance, but you need to pick up your GPA as much as you can on your remaining pre-req's... try to ace the DAT! Don't repeat courses, simply take higher level courses and do better on them. It's best to do any pre-req's on a full time basis.
    Jimit,
    If you are willing to shell out money for a small chance at admission, why not? Whatever gets you in earlier, and that's always what we strive to tell people, try to get in as soon as possible... chances dwindle the longer you wait.
    h.h.,
    Sure, ace the DAT, try to raise your grades with the rest of the program you have left... if you don't have luck, be sure to apply to post-bac and masters programs concurrently to give yourself another shot at redeeming your GPA and your application portfolio.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Hi,
    I am in a delima in that I am not sure if presuing denistry is worth my time and money. I am 28, married and have an Engineering degree from a Canadian school.
    I would be looking into applying to a US school which will cost me more than $200K of debt. I am not sure if I should go this direction? It will take me about 6-7 years to do school (including prerequisites), which means lost income and also incur additional tuition debt.
    Do you think is it worthwhile presuing this profession knowing these factors. I am if I should let go of my engineering degree. Off course, I will enjoy dentistry more than my current job.
    Can you please help me make a decision.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Nadia,
    This is every dental student's dilemma. Is it worth it to give up so much lost potential income, and pay a hefty tuition to get a dental education? No one can give you a straight answer to this. The decision is up to you. I suggest doing the math and calculate everything. Life is also about doing what you want. You should factor in everything you've mentioned! Good luck, and perhaps we will write a post on this topic soon.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Hi,
    I've just finished my first semester as a sophmore. I'm used to getting A's and B's each semester but this particular semester was not so great for me.
    I was taking 19 units which consisted of calc II, o chem/lab, engineering based physics and a forgein language. I was so stressed and when I failed my first calc exam I decided to withdraw from ochem. but because i kept o chem for two months into the semester, all other classes were deeply affected. I managed a B in both physics and forgein language but I will be getting my first C in Calc. Are my chances to get into dental school dwindling? Current GPA:3.4. also you mentioned dental schools looking down upon community college...does this mean they will not take into account of my general chem and bio classes that I took at community college? I'm only spending 2 years max here and will be transferring to a four year university in the fall

    ReplyDelete
  73. Hello, i am a pre-dental student at community college in California and will transfer to a 4-year college as a junior next fall. I have completed most of my dental school pre-requisites at the community college except for organic chem and physics and am wondering how much this will affect me when i apply to dental school. Several dental schools I have looked at (Tufts, Boston U, USC, etc.) will not admit students who have completed most of their pre-reqs at a community college or have spent less than 3 years at a 4-year college. The only solution I've seen is to repeat all the pre-req courses when I transfer, but that makes all my work over the past year and a half seem useless. Could you suggest some dental schools that will at least consider students in my situation or should I start looking at other career choices?

    ReplyDelete
  74. My situation is that I have a 2.8 GPA with like 2 C-. I know some/most dental schools do not accept C-(they are from my general bio class and gen chem sophomore year), so should I retake those classes? I've read through the comments and saw that you usually suggest to take higher division courses rather than retaking it, but what do you think about my situation? I was hoping to enroll for a masters program or a post-bac, but some require that one must have a 3.0 or above. Does that eliminate my chances into those also? I am just hoping for any ways to boost my application for dental school. Please help...

    ReplyDelete
  75. rbui:
    Your GPA is fine still, try to do as best you can, and try to limit your experience at a community college to less than 2 years of your total 4 year program. They will still consider your grades from community college courses.

    Julia and Annie:
    If you have to re-take courses since you didn't meet the minimum requirement due to either grades or community college, then I guess you have to re-take. I am unaware of specific requirements of all the dental schools out there, try looking at the AADSAS's information booklet to gain information about specific dental schools. You can still get into dental school, it just may take a little bit more time. Don't get discouraged.

    ReplyDelete
  76. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  77. I've been told by so many people that it is harder to get into dental school with a biology or any other science major. Is this true? I'm a junior in college right now and i think its too late to switch majors.

    ReplyDelete
  78. h.h.,
    It's not that it's 'harder' for biology or science majors to gain admission, it's simply that there are many many more biology/science majors applying to dental schools so the statistics seem to show that it's 'harder' for biology/science majors to gain acceptance. For example, since there are so few engineering major applicants, it would appear at first glance that a huge proportion of engineering major applicants gain admission. Don't let these statistics scare you off, your chances of admission do not depend on your major, they depend on your GPA and DAT scores primarily. I hope this answers your question.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Hi! I am a senior at a 4-year private university, majoring in International Business and have taken the pre-dental courses. My CUM GPA is 3.6 and Science GPA is 3.4. I received a B- in organic chem and am worried that will look bad on my application...? Another big concern is my lack of experience...do you recommend that I shadow a dentist before applying to schools?!
    Thanks so much! This blog has been very informative =)

    ReplyDelete
  80. Girleyg1313,
    Dental school admission committees don't necessarily focus in on 2 or 3 'bad' grades. Everyone has a few! It's the GPA average that counts and you're doing fine. Yes you should definitely shadow a dentist and have exposure to dentistry to prove that you have an understanding about what you're getting yourself into. Plus you should have a letter of reference from a practicing dentist anyways, no better way to get one by shadowing the dentist!

    ReplyDelete
  81. hey! I' am currently a senior in high school. I was considering to go in a Community College
    for the first two years, and then transfer to the university of Arizona to get Bachelors. Is this bad? I dont know if i could afford four years of straight university. I also wanted to know what are my options, if any, if I am not accepted into a University? How easy is it to get a student loan these days? I am a Hispanic and i wanted to know if that is an advantage? I have yet to apply for scholarships. I am afraid that i will not recieve any because of my grades. They arent excelent but not bad either. I am very worried because i live in Arizona and I have only heard of one dental school.

    ReplyDelete
  82. BMF,
    If you can avoid community college, I suggest doing so. If financial constraints prevent you from doing so, then that is that, and you should go ahead and attend community college and try your best shot at admission anyways. In regards to loans, I am not qualified to assist you with that and I suggest contacting the Financial Aid offices of the colleges you intend on applying to. Sorry I could not help you with that particular question, loans policies vary so much from state to state and school to school. Being Hispanic certainly does help in regards to admissions to dental school. Minority Hispanic students at many schools are considered valuable as they are able to serve a growing Hispanic population. You certainly don't have to remain in Arizona for dental school. There are many dental schools around the country, and many to apply to. I hope this helps.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Hi, I am currently a freshman and highschool. I plan to become a orthodontist. In my free time I read and study dentistry books. I have checked out mostly every book in the library about dentistry. In the summer my orthodontist invited me to work and learn from him. They say that you need experience before you get into dental school. My main concern is my GPA. I just don't know. In first quarter I had a 2.3 and in third quarter I had a 2.7
    These are really bad grades for a freshman but yet I didn't push myself, I thought it was easy but I have to work for it to make and it pays off. Also my SAT and DAT counts alot too and BCP, right now in bio I have B's soon going to get in honors chemsitry. I am just concered of making it into dental school.

    ReplyDelete
  84. bentley,
    You have a lot of time to increase your GPA, so don't stress too much just yet, but do understand that you do need to start doing better. You have a few years to go still before you should stress!
    I hope this helps.

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  85. Hi, I'm in a unique situation where I was accepted into dental school in the past but decided not to go because of unfortunate circumstances in my life. As a result, my GPA dropped tremendously to a 2.9. I took 43 units worth of science courses at a community college to raise up my science GPA to a 3.33. I also retook my DATs and received TS/21 AA/20 PAT/22. However, I got a 17 on reading comprehension. I did get several interviews the last time I applied, but did not gain acceptance. (I did apply in December, however)

    I am planning on taking 24 units worth of science courses at a community college to raise up my GPA to a 3.4 or 3.5. However, I am not sure if it would be better to take fewer upper div. classes at a University in subjects that I did poorly in my last year, such as Neurobiology. Should I go the community college route and take a bunch of science classes or the University route and take fewer but more challenging classes? I have this spring quarter available to take classes before applying in June. I am trying to find the best option because my DAT scores expire this year.

    As a backup plan, I am applying to a one year master's in biology program, which starts in the fall. Do you think it's worth it for me to pursue the master's degree in my situation? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Hi,
    I am currently a junior at UC Davis, but I transferred over after completing 2 years at a community college. I have a gpa of 3.59 overall and not sure about my science. How do I know what classes to use to calculate my science gpa? I've used my GE classes to kind of buffer my gpa because I have a C and a few B's in science, will that look really bad when I apply? I also have an internship on campus at a plant research lab where I work 10-15 hrs/wk and therefore have not taken much more than 10-12 class units a quarter. I get 2 units a quarter for the internship. Will this affect my chances of getting into dental schools? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  87. Daniel,
    I would take the university route and take more challenging courses. The back up plan consisting of the masters program is an excellent option. As well, consider any other post-bac programs.
    Cakabir99,
    Biology, chemistry, and physics courses are counted towards your science GPA. Therefore, this distinguishes your overall GPA from your science GPA, and addresses whether or not your overall GPA is buffered by other courses since your sciGPA will show that. Carrying a course load below the maximum course load does in instances decrease your chances of admission, so this is not a recommended course of action. I hope this helps!

    ReplyDelete
  88. I am applying dental schools this june, my GPA now is about 3.3 or 3.4. I havent take DAT yet, i am taking Kaplan Review for DAT now. I have a situation. I probably will receive 1 or 2 W's this quarter, and I already had one on my transcript,so, will these 2 W's hurt me? and what about 3 W's. Also, I was a transfer student from a community college, I did just ok over there, about 3.2 GPA overall,people said community grades are not important, but committ will definitly look at them, is that true? my 4 year univeristy GPA is now about 3.3, so what does it mean to me? good sign? or what else. I have 4 years working experience at a dental office, will it help me at the first place? plz help me, plz..thx alot!!!

    ReplyDelete
  89. Kaywen,
    You're doing okay in terms of getting into dental school. It may be difficult to get into state dental schools, but you should be okay for private dental schools, but you do need to do well on the DAT and the interviews. For every W that you have, you should have an explanation prepared as to why you withdrew. Try not to make it a habit, especially since it will be apparent that you withdrew just to save your transcript from a poor grade. Your community college grades are still factored in, although not as heavily. Try to maintain a full course load, without W's, as that reduces your course load and decreases your chances of admission. Your experience at a dental clinic helps, but remember that your grades come first. Make sure to do well on the DAT to prove that you are a strong candidate. I hope this helps!

    ReplyDelete
  90. In my pre-dental summary packet from BYU it has listed three ways students get accepted into dental school. The first is irrelevant to my question. The second is a "seven-year program" that I've seen you mention in prior posts, and the third is the case of a student just taking minimum requirements to get into dental school, foregoing the completion of the university's core requirements to receive a bachelor's degree. My question is, how does the seven year program get you through undergrad in 3 years? Do you forego a bachelor's degree in that case too? If so, how is that any different/better than the third example? And if not, how does the seven year program condense into undergrad into 3 years and still receive a bachelor's?

    Also, in your opinion what is the general consensus among dental schools and employers of students who did only take the minimum dental school requirements? Is it typically harder for these students to get accepted into a dental program and find employment after graduating?

    ReplyDelete
  91. Snoobies,
    It depends on which program... You forego a bachelors degree with the 7 year program with some programs, and with others you may not. Contact the schools directly for more information. The programs in which you receive a bachelors, your core courses in dental school which are essentially duplicated allow you to qualify for a bachelors as well, and as such, it allows the school to grant both degrees. The method in which some students apply after 3 years and gain admission is increasingly difficult, and unless you have a spectacular application, that method probably won't work. So yes, it is typically much harder for these people to get into dental school. In terms of employability, your undergraduate doesn't matter at all. A dentist is a dentist, is a dentist... and everyone is on an equal footing upon graduation, unless you specialize, or hold masters degrees in a field that applies to your employability. I hope this helps.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Wagner?Rutgers? or Stony Brook? Im a senior in high school debating on which school would be best for me to attend in terms of dental. Wagner has a & year program, Rutgers does too, and stony brook has a dental school on sight. Any insight on which would be best between the 3? Or at least between Wagner and Rutgers?

    ReplyDelete
  93. My overall GPA is 3.85 and science is 3.69. I haven't taken my DAT yet. What I worry about most is my lack of experience in the dental field. I actually do not have any experience, will this hurt my chances of getting into dental school greatly?

    ReplyDelete
  94. My overall GPA is 3.85 and science is 3.69. I haven't taken my DAT yet. What I am mostly concerned with is my lack of experience in the dental field. I actually have no experience; will this affect my chances of getting into dental school greatly?

    ReplyDelete
  95. I am very interested in going to UBC's dentistry school. However, I never had braces myself and my teeth arn't your so called "perfect pearly whites" so will this affect my interview? Would I have less of a chance to get in?

    ReplyDelete
  96. I'm very interested in going to UBC's school of dentistry. However, my teeth arn't "perfect pearly whites" infact I have crooket teeth myself and never had the chance to get them fixed. Would this affect my interview? Would this lower my chance of getting in?

    ReplyDelete
  97. I have a question. what if my DAT is 21, and my GPA is 3.4, will I have good chance of getting into a dental school in california? thx thx thx thx

    ReplyDelete
  98. Hi, I am graduating this may with a 2.8 gpa. I transferred in into a better school and killed my gpa my first year. I will be taking the dats in june and was wondering if I have a chance to get into dental school? And what are my options?

    ReplyDelete
  99. Your website has been greattt!! you are doing an amazing job in helping us out! thanks!

    I wanted to say that my GPA is about 2.7 and my science GPA is even lower. Im in my fourth year persuing a Bsc in Specialized honours psych and im graduating in fifth. Last term I received all A's (with 5 course) and decided to try my best for dental school, I have only taken math and bio (did very bad in first year). I have calculated that if I do get all A's until the end of next year I would be bringing my GPA to atleast a 3.0 if not higher. I'm currently taking G-chem and physio, do u think i should retake bio? Do universities calculate science GPA on only Bio, G-chem, O-chem and physics (only required courses)? or do courses like biochem, physiology and other science courses get calculated with ur science gpa? do u think i have a chance at getting in? if its best to persue masters, do dental schools accept psych graduate students?
    thanks

    ReplyDelete
  100. Heres a tough one. Can a person apply to dental school with a criminal record? Example, a felony. first time, non violent. This person is completely rehabilitated, continueing down a postitive path. Graduated from a University with competitive academic GPA and DAT scores. I was wondering if anyone has ever heard of a case like this, and if a person ever got into a dental program

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  101. Okay, like most of you I want to go to dental school, but the problem is that my gpa is very low. I went through a lot of crap end of sophomore year beginning of junior and my grades were really bad that whole time and even tho I did well my subsequent years my gpa was still hurt pretty bad especially since I switched schools(did poorly early on at the new harder school-partly due to my personal problems) and this school that I graduated from only uses the classes that you took there to calculate your gpa. Ive done alright on my DATS (20s and 21s) so I decided to maybe get an associates degree from a state college (not community) in dental hygiene and then apply to dental school. Is that a good plan?

    ReplyDelete
  102. 3.5 overall & 3.3 science, what DAT score do i need to get an interview at a school like michigan or upenn? i know you can only approximate, but i would REALLY appreciate a ballpark. it would help to put me at ease. thanks!

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  103. 3.5 overall
    3.3 science
    what DAT do i need to secure an interview at an ivy league dental school?

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  104. I am a non-traditional student. Did MD in some oversea university and then did one year of Family Medicine residency in USA. I was very new to the system so was put on probation initially. I was also going through lots of family problems so couldn't focus on work. Finally I resigned from residency but probation was taken off when I resigned. After resignation I also divorced my spouse and then analyzed what I really want to be. I always wanted to be a dentist but due to family pressure I went into Medicine. So I decided to do DDS. In my country we don't do undergrads before medical school and go directly after high school. So I needed to do undergrads here. I am finishing this year from a canadian university with AADSAS scale GPA of 3.77 and my DAT scores are AA25, PAT21, RC22. I have done job shadow at a dentist office. I am applying for the next year but scared how my old degree will effect my chances. I had 3.53 GPA in Medical school but just concerned of being on probation for some time during my residency. Also I think if they can suspect I switched to DDS just bcoz I cudnt survive medicine although this wasnt the case. I was genuinely interested in DDS and I was a loser at residency coz my family troubles were not letting me focus. Any advice will be highly appreciated. What I can do to improve my chances.

    ReplyDelete
  105. I am a non-traditional student. Did MD in some oversea university and then did one year of Family Medicine residency in USA. I was very new to the system so was put on probation initially. I was also going through lots of family problems so couldn't focus on work. Finally I resigned from residency but probation was taken off when I resigned. After resignation I also divorced my spouse and then analyzed what I really want to be. I always wanted to be a dentist but due to family pressure I went into Medicine. So I decided to do DDS. In my country we don't do undergrads before medical school and go directly after high school. So I needed to do undergrads here. I am finishing this year from a canadian university with AADSAS scale GPA of 3.77 and my DAT scores are AA25, PAT21, RC22. I have done job shadow at a dentist office. I am applying for the next year but scared how my old degree will effect my chances. I had 3.53 GPA in Medical school but just concerned of being on probation for some time during my residency. Also I think if they can suspect I switched to DDS just bcoz I cudnt survive medicine although this wasnt the case. I was genuinely interested in DDS and I was a loser at residency coz my family troubles were not letting me focus. Any advice will be highly appreciated. What I can do to improve my chances.

    ReplyDelete
  106. I have been a dental hygienist for 12 years and I am considering dental school. I am a non-traditional student (38 y/o married mom)with some Bio coursework as I was a Bio major for 3 years in undergrad (1988-1991), but had to withdraw due to finances (I was paying my own way). I don't know why I didnt finish the Bio coursework as opposed to going to Hygiene school, but that's the route I took. Fast forwarding to the present, how should I proceed? Do I need to reapply to a univ. and completely start over or should I just take the classes required by my school of choice (Medical College of GA)? I definitely possess interpersonal, clinical, and business acumen needed to be a proficient dentist, however, that doesn't amount to much when I need an updated GPA and a killer DAT. Your input would certainly be appreciated.

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  107. What are your thoughts on a gap year?

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  108. I am interested in becoming a dentist. Here is my background.

    I an 35 years old and working as technical lead/project manager in Information Technology. I have an engineering under grad degree from India and majored in Electronics and Telecommunication. I completed my undergrad in 1996 and has been working in IT since 1997. I am a married woman and have a seven year old son. I have never been to a school in uS but was academically strong in India. Here are my questions:-

    1. Will age be a big factor is application denial? As my background is in engineering and mathematics, I will have many pre-requisites and DAT before I apply. I might already be forty years old by the time I enter dental school.

    2. What is the usual cost of dental school study? Is financial aid need based or merit based?

    3. Will I have difficulty practising pursuing dental career once I graduate based on my age?

    4. My scores are from India from school where we didnot have GPA. I donot know what will be equivalent of my degree in USA.

    Thanks.

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  109. Hi I just graduated from undergrad as a bio major and haven't applied to dental school yet. Thing is, I did horribly junior year and got a 2.2 during the second semester of junior year. However, I got a 3.8 and 4.0 for senior year which gave me a cumulative gpa of 3.2. Do you think I still have a chance? Also, would it affect my chances if I applied a year later? Thanks.

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  110. I'm a non traditional student: 35, single mom. I'm attending community college, intending to transfer and complete my bachelors, then apply to dental school. In my area there are two options when I transfer. One is Evergreen State University, which is a very liberal university that doesn't give grades. The other is a small private university, St Martin's. They have a pre-dental program, which sounds ideal. I would personally prefer Evergreen- but will a degree from a no-grades university affect my chances of getting into dental school? I can't do much about getting some of my education at a community college.

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  111. I think your website is incredibly valuable. It has helped many of my olders friends who have made it into DentSchool and I hope it'll help me too!

    I just need some advice as to where I am standing. I am desperately seeking advice since no one else is able to help me! I've tried student doctor but most people are undergrads like me and have no idea what they are saying.

    Im a UCLA undergrad, a senior majoring in Physiological Sciences. Its a very tough major and I probably will have around a high 3.37 - 3.39 cumltive along with a 3.28-3.29 science GPA after this week's Finals. My first 3 years were pretty bad and I avg around 3.0-3.1. I got Cs in my biology pre-reqs and had around 3 Withdrawals. But Phy Sci classes are basically harder Biology classes and I've managed to avg As in them.

    It wasn't until this past summer, I decided to pursue dentistry. And my motivation went through the roof- this year has been awesome! I got involved in a mobile clinic group. I shadowed a little in the spring break, but need ot do more. In the summer I got an A- in my 5 unit writing class. my first quarter grades were 3.91 with 18 units (4 classes, 1 science), second quarter I got 3.74 with 23 units (5 classes, 2 science), and this quarter I'm taking 1 Phy Sci core class + a Phy Sci elective + Neurosci core class (3 classes- 15 units) and prob will get around 3.6-3.7. I've gotten As in all science classes this year except this quarter I might get one B or B+. I'm getting a great Teacher Recs from my Phy Sci prof (will be a GREAT recc),Physics, and a family friend who was in the USC ad com years back.

    I pulled off very mediocre stats my 1st 3 years but my senior year has been great for me.

    1. Do you have any advice as to where or how I should apply (to)? Who would see the potential in me? Private? Public?

    2. And cus I chose pre-dent this past summer, I have to study for the DATs and take them this summer. I end school on june 11th and I'm wondering how I should study for that and how long I need to study for it. I'm aware the earlier to apply is better.

    3. Should I revolve my Personal Statement around my story of change? Or just be general about my entire 4 years?

    Thanks if you read all of that!
    Can you advise me to my email jorasic@gmail.com?
    I'd really really appreciate it!

    ReplyDelete
  112. I graduated this year as a biology major. I did horribly junior year second semester and received a 2.5 for that semester. However, I received a 3.7 and 3.8 for my senior year and ended up with a 3.2 GPA and around 2.5 science GPA. I'm planning on applying for the entering class of 2010 but am not sure if I have any chances of getting in. What would you advise?

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  113. I am in 2nd year undergrad in biomedical science and my Gpa is a 3.0, every year it gets harder to bring up my GPA and im afraid with the classes getting harder i will not be able to bring it up much. Would i have any chance of getting into a dental school with a GPA close to 3.0? what options do i have if i dont get in

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  114. As GPA is heavily emphasized, what would Dental schools make of someone that went to New College of Florida, where there is no GPA?

    Please write back, as I'm interested in both dentistry and the New College of Florida

    ReplyDelete
  115. As GPA is heavily emphasized, how would Dental schools respond to someone from New College of Florida, where this is no GPA?

    Please reply as I'm interested in Dentistry and the New College of Florida

    ReplyDelete
  116. It's hard to believe no one has posted since me back in March. Anyway, my inquiry this time is somewhat simple. I started my Bachelor's degree just this week and am trying to decide on a major. I'm 24 at the moment and feel a little behind in starting college considering I'll be ~32 by the time I graduate dental school, so I'm torn between streamlining my graduation and choosing something I could enjoy more. I have a great passion for photography and would like to major in that and just take the requirements for DAT preparation and to fulfil dental school acceptance requirements. On the other hand, I could major in Exercise Science (which was explained to me as a "preprofessional major" which will be seen as a lesser degree to dental schools?) which seems to be the quickest graduation plan, or Biology which would be slightly longer however wouldn't carry the "preprofessional" impression. I'm seeking your professional opinion on choosing a science major vs. photography. The photography would add a sense of diversity to my application, but would it be a detriment in the fact that I didn't take all the other science classes a biology major would have, and therefore I would be seen as more science-uneducated? I estimate that going the photography route and taking pre-dental reqs (32 credit hours?) would add about 24 extra credits vs. doing a biology major, which to me doesn't seem like a lot extra to graduate with a major in an area I love. However, my main goal is to be a dentist and should photography (or any other unrelated major for other readers) be a considerable detriment in anyway to my acceptance into dental school, that alone would direct my decision to choose a science major.

    ReplyDelete
  117. I am majoring in Chemistry. I only have enough time to take 3-4 Biology classes before I take the DAT. Will that be enough to do well on it?

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  118. Hi, here is my situation...I had spent 4 years at commnunity college (2 years I was taking classes for nursing, i thought I would like to do nursing) but later I work part time at a dental office and believe that dentist is the profession that I truly want to be. So I took another 2 years completing the required courses for dental schools as well as for my major (biochem). But I am so worried that I spent so many years at community college...is it so bad? I also have couples W...(like 5...) Is that also really bad? My overall GPA is 3.68.I'm so worried..Should I continue?

    ReplyDelete
  119. Hi,
    I have a question. I know that you've mention that dental school look at the school you graduated from. I'm in the process of getting my BS in Farmingdale State College in NY, is that going to lessen my chances of getting in?

    ReplyDelete
  120. I will soon be a freshman in college working towards a B.S. in Biology with and to study dentistry. However, I have one big concern: How am I going to earn enough money for dental school with a biology degree? How did you manage this?(Thanks in advance.)

    ReplyDelete
  121. hey...thanx so much well in advance for the all advice and help!!
    I already have a bachelors degree in Biotechnology from India and i have aslo completed 30 pre dental requisites from a community college in the US, which includes just one science course(physics 1). I am planning to join university for the coming spring semester. I was also thinking of transferring my course work from India(which includes biology, chemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, etc.) towards my bachelors in biology. I was wondering whether my India course work would even count towards my pre dental requirements or will i have to take all those courses again over here in the US?? pl advice me...what should i do as i am too confused??

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  122. how badly would it look if i have a low grade c or lower in a gened history class? im only a freshman so i know i can rebound gpa wise from it i was jus curious if a class as easy as a gened history would look bad thanks

    ReplyDelete
  123. My passion for dental school is VERY strong! I am a certified dental assistant and have over a thousand hours of shadowing, clinical experience, and internships. My GPA is a 2.8 and I am graduating in May. I have applied and took the DAT and got a horrible score. I do not know what to do now because my whole life has been poured into becoming an orthodontist. Any advice?

    ReplyDelete
  124. I am currently a dental hygienist and am back in school to do my prereqs. for dental school. I graduated with my BS, and a 3.0 GPA, but I got a D in radiology. I am currently a volunteer hygienist. I have taken some courses at a community college but the majority at a university, I plan to do the last 24 credits at a university. I don't want to waste alot of money on school and may not get into dental school. Any advise?

    ReplyDelete
  125. My situation:

    I've had a horrible (1.3 GPA average) academic record my whole college career until last semester (lower junior).

    But I found out why last summer all my efforts had never paid off:
    I was diagnosed with a learning disability: ADHD.

    With treatment, counseling, and medication I now have all A's and B's, but now have a very strange transcript to present dental schools.

    I also have been a dental assistant since my senior year in high school and love dentistry for all the right reasons (not the money).

    another funny fact: I am completing all my pre-reques but i am technically a Spanish Lit major (i'm hispanic).

    I still have time to build up my GPA and am planning on destroying the DAT, especially now that I found out why i was never able to reach my potential and now have many more opportunities in my future.

    I would love some opinions or advice, should I still pursue my dream? Would dental schools take in consideration my overcoming learning disability? could this hurt or help me?

    help!

    ReplyDelete
  126. hello i am currently a sophomore about to be a junior, and have a 4.0 science GPA and 3.94 overall. I have taken all my pre-reqs except orgo, which i am taking next semester, and I was wondering if my application will be impaired due to me taking 12 credits this semester and 14 next semester? The main reason for doing so is because I am in three leadership positions in different honor societies, i am a Gen Bio TA, and I shadow extensively which all together takes up basically my whole week. I simply wanted to ask if I aced my DAT, which I have already begun studying for, would it make up for my lower amount of credits these past two semesters?

    ReplyDelete
  127. I got your e-mail from the Top Ten Nation blog and I have a few questions myself. I just graduated from a private college in Michigan last June. I started out a science major, but I wasn't doing well in the classes, receiving mostly C's in them. I switched my major after study abroad sophomore year because I thought that maybe this area wasn't for me and ended up finishing with a degree in Economics & Business and a final GPA of 2.822 (hard to recover from the science classes).

    During the job hunt, I realized that I really wasn't interesed in Econ, so now I'm back on the science track. This school year, I'm doing a post-baccalareate program trying to finish/redo some the science classes that I either didn't finish taking or that I needed to retake. My gpa is doing better, but I'm REALLY struggling in Organic Chem II and considering retaking it (only class). I'm scheduled to take my DAT in August and I have done a lot of extracurricular activities that I think will look good on the application: including: shadowing, dental externship for a week, student government, senior thesis, research, etc.

    I do not want to give up because I think I will be unhappy doing anything else; but, I also don't want to waste more money than necessary. Am I a lost cause? Any advice?

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  128. my current GPA is 3.35 and Im finishing my junior year. I am an RA and going to be doing research this summer. I am hoping to get my GPA up to 3.4. my science GPA is only 3.10 but should be going up. I have a biology major, chem minor, and psych minor. I will have to go for a total of 4.5 years to finish everything. What do you think is the most important thing for me at this point to get into dentistry school? should I spend all my time this summer that im not working studying for the DAT and try to kill it sometime in the fall? or should I look at getting job shadowing right now and save the DAT for end of next summeR? or yeah? thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  129. Hello,
    I have just turned my attention from a degree in Mechanical Engineering to Dentistry. I am attending BYU I am quite excited about the idea of being a Dentist, but considering my major have suffered a GPA tank. I obtained a minor in mathematics, and some of those classes brought my overall GPA to a 3.0. I would really like to move forward with this idea, but want to be reasonable. Do i have a chance at Dental school, Honestly How seriously do schools Consider Undergraduate degrees when accepting students into the program?

    ReplyDelete
  130. My situation is a bit unique so here i go.
    I attended college when I was 18-19 and got a gpa of 2.8 overall. I dropped out for 5 years and ran my own online retail store but came back when the economy began to hit the skids. Anyway in the 2 1/2 years I have been back I have earned a solid 4.0 even at the UC I transferred too. As it stands all my science pre-req's will be done at the UC(I decided to change to pre-dent after I transferred). I have a dental internship i am currently doing, volunteer at the local hospital, and tutor economics all while maintaining 15-17 unit course loads. My overall GPA is 3.6 right now and science GPA is 4.0. Any suggestions to help me out or am I doing good?

    ReplyDelete
  131. I am sure this question is answered and I apologize if I am asking it again. What classes will be counted towards the science gpa for dental schools? and Will it be only science courses or will it be MATH and science?

    ReplyDelete
  132. Can a BA in Biology instead of BS have the same acceptance level. Further would an online program bachelors lessen my chances even though it's coming from a school with a decent reputation.

    ReplyDelete
  133. Hi,
    I think Ive read almost every post. I feel prompted to ask a couple quick questions hoping you have time to answer. I'm a Canadian and graduated this last Fall in Washington State University with a major in Biology and minor in Chemistry. Cum. GPA 3.78. I did ALOT of undergraduate research,won many awards for this research including grant funding- and currently workfull-time at a National Laboratory as a Lab Tech Cancer Research.

    Ive recently been recruited to other graduate schools to begin a PhD in biochemistry. But my heart is in Dental School. I am studying for the DAT now--but my question is this...

    Should I begin a PhD, or even a MS this coming Fall while I apply to Dental School?

    I understand there is a great level of commitment to the application and so I worry that I should keep my job (and the financial freedom/interview freedom)...
    Would it be considered puddle jumping?

    I don't really want to start something without finishing- but if the MS or PhD helps my chances of acceptance in the long-run...is it worth it??

    Here is another curve-ball.
    I did most my undergraduate in Canada playing basketball. I transferred to the US and did my last 50 credits here. My degree says Magnum Cum Laude.. but i know my transcripts from Canada are garbage. Any thoughts?

    lastly- does being Canadian hold Any advantage in applying in the US? stupid question- just curious.

    Sorry for the length...!

    Thanks a ton. Your blog is MOST helpful!

    ReplyDelete
  134. i am foreign trained dentist. I completed my BDS in 2009. I have one yr experience in my country as a dentist. I have GPA of 3.95, TOEFL ibt 110, NBDE PART 1 as 82. Can i think of getting admission in dental school in US

    ReplyDelete
  135. Hello,
    I am currently about to graduate ASU with a degree in Construction Management and I have a current GPA of 3.8. I am very strongly considering pursing a career in Dentistry. I received my AA a couple of years earlier. I am also an older student in my mid 30's and have worked very hard to put myself through school. I am a very good student and am considering completing some of my pre-requisites at a local community college. I do not have many of the pre-requisites except physics because of my current major. I will be graduating in December and want to know if I would be a good candidate. What suggestions would you have for me.
    Thank
    Ghh

    ReplyDelete
  136. my bds gpa is 2.22 ,i have done my post graduation in conservative and endo,and got work experience for 6 months as senior lecturer ....i am going to appear for nbde......i have a BAD BAD GPA in undergraduation....is this going to affect my admissions

    ReplyDelete
  137. I attended a university for two years and completed 48 credit hours. My GPA was a 2.1 when I transfered to another university as a sophomore. I have done really well since I transfered and have a 3.8 GPA. Will my GPA from the first university keep me from getting into dental school?

    ReplyDelete
  138. I am a "non traditional" student I have a 3 year B.A in Criminology (2007) and left school for 3 years to "figure out" what I wanted to do. Went through various jobs that didn't click with me. I went back to school this year (2010)as a friend of mine suggested I should look into denistry. I work 2 part-time jobs to support myself and my wife and want something better for the both of us. I have shadowed my dentist and have started to volunteer in the dental community. I love every aspect of dentistry and now upgrading my B.a into a 4 year B.a in Sociology since its now a requirement to have a 4 year B.a when applying(Canada-Ontario). My question is that I am taking two classes one sociology and general chemistry. (Note I haven't taken chemistry since grade 11 - which was 11 years ago!) I am not passing this class (chemistry) but doing quite well on the labs, at this point, do you think I should try and muster a D and retake it. Or should I go back to "adult school" and take grade 12 chemistry to better prepare myself? Same goes for biology since I didn't take it since grade 10 also. Let me know your honest opinion I would really appreciate it!

    Thanks again! Sorry its so long winded!

    ReplyDelete
  139. I am a 37 yr old, non-traditional student w/ a B.S. in Occupational Therapy (OT), Public Health and Psychology. I've practiced OT for over 10 years now and obtained my MBA approximately 3 yrs ago. I've been in Rehab Management for approximately 5 years. My cumulative GPA is probably around 3.4. I am also a CPT in the USAR. I am considering applying to Dental school. Assuming I fair well on the DAT, I'm curious to know how marketable and/or desirable I am within the realm of DS applicants? Thanks in advance! JT

    ReplyDelete
  140. Hello doctors..
    Actually, I AM a dentist. I graduated from a very good dental school back home in 2004. My GPA was 2.7
    Now I'm preparing for the NBDE part 1. My exam is scheduled in Jan 18. can you please give advise on what other exams will increase my chances on getting accepted in a dental school? thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  141. Hi,
    I got extremely sick this past term and wound up taking a medical leave of absence. I am wondering whether this will hurt my chances of getting in, and I am also wondering whether it will be a crime if I take organic 2 over the summer at home instead of my normal school. Both are research 1 institutions, and both are Florida schools (UF is where I go, FSU is where I will be taking 2.)

    Also, how many shadowing hours should I have? Depending on that I can shadow this semester and do research in the summer or switch them.

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  142. I need an honest opinion.

    I am a 26 year old college grad who has recently taken a great interest in dentistry. In college I studied International Business Management, French, as well as Spanish. I graduated with a 2.99 (I didnt take my freshman year seriously).

    I have no science background but I really want to try becoming a dentist. I have done a lot of research as to how to become one. I know i need about 16 credit hours of sciences and to take the DAT and all that jazz. I have setup volunteer time with a local non-profit dental association for kids and try to talk to every dentist I see.

    I would like to know if dentistry is something I should really consider. What are my chances of getting in with such a low GPA even if I can possibly ace the DAT. I want to be taken seriously when applying. Any help or advice will be appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  143. just a note about the GPA section: just because you attend school part time and have a 4.0 doesnt mean it is any easier to obtain than a traditional student that takes 4 or 5 classes, especially if you are a non-traditional student like myself. I work full time as a dental assistant (for the last 7 years), have 4 kids and go to school part time. I do have a 4.0 and rank in the top ten percent at my school, and i can tell you it is not easy at all. there should be no bias when looking at a GPA.........

    ReplyDelete
  144. Hi,
    I just got my masters in teaching Biology and now I am thinking of going to dental school. My undergraduate GPA is 3.4 while my graduate GPA is 3.82. I am just wondering if having a GPA of 3.4 is going to negatively affect my chance of getting in and if having a master in teaching Biology is going to positively affect my chance of getting in? Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  145. Hi,
    I am a junior majoring in Biology, my current science and overall GPA is 3.3. I plan to take the DATs in May. What kind of DAT score should I aim to get if I want to get into dental school. I took 3 classes (Gen Bio 1, Gen Chem 1 & 2) at a community college over the summer, will that effect my chances of getting into dental school? I still have time to take them over during my senior year, but I wanted to know if its even worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  146. Are you sure about attending at CC for more than 2 years would have significant disadvantages towards dental admission? I stayed in C.C for about 4 years and got transferred to UC Berkeley, I could have transferred after 2yrs of CC, but the thing is that, I was waiting for my california residency since the tuition at UC is about 1/6-7 cheaper that way. I knew some school doesn't accept cc's predental courses, so I am taking most of my predentals at UCB. Do you think 4 yrs of CC would really jeopardize the chance for dental school?

    and one more question, ok, I have 17 units for this semester, including some tough physics and biology, statistics, math

    I got no time for ma econ class right now, It's too late to drop the course, so the only option I got is just to give up on econ and get NP, and focus on other courses for all A's.
    I guess I can actually go to classes and study for econ to get P, however I'm afriad that would give me less time available for other courses, and I may end up with B's for physics, bio or stats.

    Econ is no pre-med or pre-dent course, and I don't really need this class anyway. ..
    If i get NP for whatever the course, I know it doesn't count towards GPA, but i'm afraid I may look bad on the transcript when it comes to med/dental school admssion.

    Do you know whether NP does anything??

    ReplyDelete
  147. Ryan

    I have 2 C's and a C+ in my science classes out of 8 total science classes. I am ending my 2nd year of college and going to a university. Do you think I should retake those courses I got a C in at the University or just keep going and try allot harder to get A's.

    ReplyDelete
  148. Hi! im in my sophomore year in my undergrad and I have always wanted to be a dentist. I have uncles and a grandfather who were/are dentists. Will their letters of reccommendation help me? also, my gpa right now is only a 3.3 but I am shadowing three dentists this summer and doing volunteer work. I am involved in many clubs and organizations around campus and have over 100 hours of community service so far. My freshman year I received two Cs, in GenChem 1 and 2. Should I retake these courses to raise my gpa? Do I still stand a chance of getting into dental school? There is nothing else I want to do. Please help!

    ReplyDelete
  149. This is my first year in college , i really need to know when is the perfect time to take the DAT test or if i dont have to take because I have a 4.0 GPA...

    ReplyDelete
  150. When is good to take the DAT test?

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  151. I have a question about you #4 Complete Your Pre-Requisites/Preparatory Degrees With a Full-Time Course Load. I recently applied to my universities dental hygiene program and was not accepted. I was never a full time student, and I have finished all of my prerequisites so I can't take a full course load. I have been going to community college since 2006, taking one two classes a semester and not going for some semesters. When I first started college, I was not sure what I wanted to be and was not focused; but now I know what I want to be and am really focused! Reading number 4 made a little sense of me not getting accepted, but I am worried that I will never be accepted. Do I still have any chances of getting in? If I reapply, should I mention my long time frame at cc in the personal statement letter? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  152. I made a C in General Chemistry I and II. I am going into my Sophomore year in Fall 2011. I am stressing about getting into Dental School already because of these C's. I also took college classes in high school and made a C in Algerbra, B in Trig, B and A in history. The rest of my grades are A's. As of right now, I feel like giving up because I don't want to have a Biology degree in the end and not get into dental school. What else would I do? Please let me know if you have any advice.

    ReplyDelete
  153. I came across your blog and the information on it is extremely helpful. I have a question regarding my special case though. I made a stupid mistake and got a petit theft charge. I am currently a 3rd year biochemistry major at university of Florida and I have gotten competitive GPAs and DAT. I have a lot of dental experience, volunteering hours, research background, and leadership skills, and I have already gotten my letter of recommendations. The prosecution date is June 10th and probably they will release the charge between Mid June and end of June. The charge will be dropped but I will still have to diverge my arrest on the application. I want to go to NOVA dental school and I am going to take a tour there end of May or beginning of June. Should I ask them about how they deal with criminal record through the phone anonymously, or should I ask them in person at the tour and be honest about responsible about it? Should I apply the first day the application is open ? Or should I wait until my case is prosecuted and the charge is dropped (even though I still have to tell about my arrest on the application)? Would I even have a chance for dental schools? Sorry for the long email, your advice will be very very helpful!

    ReplyDelete
  154. i will be graduating this dec, but some of the school's due date application is around Dec. I would have my grade ready yet. Because my grade won't come out of the end of the month. So, should I contact with the school first and say I will send the grade later.
    thanks for the help

    ReplyDelete
  155. I'm going to be a freshman at SFA university and I want to do pre dental and get into a dental school. What all should I do at school to be a good candidate
    You can email me at clintonmasih@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  156. Hi
    Im 26 years old now, past couple of years i had to deal with a difficult medical situation that caused few Ws, D, and a F grade....
    after my recovery ive been attending school full-time (12+ semester units) and been getting a 4.0 GPA each semester, ive retaken all those classes and received an A.
    my current GPA is 3.4, and i still have 3 more semesters to get As ;)
    ive done research, worked in a oral surgery office and some volunteer work...
    i really want to go to dental school, do you think if i have a chance?

    ReplyDelete
  157. Hi, I spent 2 years at 4 yr college and I quit going there then I changed majors several times. and my GPA is really bad, like 2.3. I retook almost all the gen chem, and first ochem class and first bio class. Also I have some Fs and Ws and Cs and Ds. My goal is to take whatever pre-reqs for the science major for undergraduate and transfer, and go to dental school after raise my GPA from there. Is my dream not realistic? Should I quit? I feel stuck and feel like dying. My bf left me coz of this and myself I feel terrible being stuck at the same spot. I feel helpless. It'd be great if anybody replies me. Even my science adviser told me that I need to get out of CC...(I was there about 3 years, off and on, taking random class for switching majors from biz to art and science). Please help!! Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  158. Hi,
    I have just graduated from high school and was accepted into a local UC but rejected from the UC I wanted to attend. I was wondering if I should just go to the UC I have been accepted in or if I should transfer after 2 years from a local community college to the other UC I wanted to attend because of it's better reputation. You have mentioned that it's best to avoid community college so I was wondering if I should avoid it and just go to the UC I've been accepted in even though it's not as prestigious as the other one I can possibly transfer into.
    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  159. What actual degree did you graduate with from undergrad school. I understand that it honestly doesn't even matter, but a lot of it prepares you for the DAT and dental schools? So I was wondering what your degree was. Also, with being well-rounded? Does Greek Life look good, I know there are many stereotypes about it, but that's not why I joined, it is quite different than people imagine?

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  160. Hi kristinachic,
    Please see the post dated October 2011 on the main Top Ten Nation page for a reply to your comment question. Your comment was selected for a Spotlight "FAQ" post.

    See: http://toptennation.blogspot.com/2011/10/faq-does-volunteering-or-greek-life.html

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  161. 27 year old male nontrad student just starting predental courses at a 2yr university in wisconsin. Iv been a dental assistant for 5yrs and cant imagin doing anything other then dentistry. I have MANY connections in the dental field and have taken many continuing ed course around the country. Do schools look highly at nontrad student with experience in dental? And is age ever a factor?

    ReplyDelete
  162. hey guys! thanks for this post it's really helpful!! but i have some further questiona if someone could be helpful please:
    I am US permanent resident and I am willing to become a dentist and I am in my senior year (not in the USA) so next year I am travelling and goin to enter a University to take my pre-requisite courses so idk if they'll have me start as a freshman for my first year but if so do u have any advice what to do ? thank you!

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  163. Hi there,
    I was wondering i have been taking the prereq for dental schools such as org chem, gen chem, biology, biochem, physics, math, art. I have a GPA of 3.63 and major in psychology with a GPA of 3.9. I am planning to apply for the university of Florida in Gainsville and they require students to take microbiology and genetic with molecular cell based. But since I am a senior already and I took these classes at a private university so I do not think that I am able to fit microbiology and another bio class in my schedule anymore. I have been volunteering, shadowing a dentist, and joining clubs at my school. I was wondering what my chance of getting into the florida university if I do not take microbio and genetic. Will scoring a high DAT score allow me to get in or should i consider of taking an additional year off and take these two classes? I am also planning of taking a year off to do additional job shadowing and volunteering.

    ReplyDelete
  164. I happened to find this post and am not sure if you still reply to the post often. I would like personal insight about Dental School and a career transition. I am considering going back to school as my dream has been to go to Dental School and be an Orthodontist since I was in High School. I am definitely not a traditional "potential" student. I am currently active Army as an Environmental Science and Engineering Officer. This would mean going back to school to re-do pre-reqs as it's been years since I've been in college. I've done research in Nuclear Radiology as I also worked as an Envr Scientist in a Nuclear Power Plant. I'm also a thirty yr old mother of three and wonder if my odds of dental acceptance even look remotely promising. My undergrad was in Biology and my GPA at the time was 3.6 but it's been years and I would start from ground zero for Science courses. My concern is taking a step back from my current career path to take the risk of acceptance but would like to know if my professional experience, military background, and GPA (although this may be different with re-taking courses...as I know many dental schools like sciences to be no later than 5 yrs old) would be support for acceptance? I would be taking a great deal of risk and I would like bottom line up front info if it looks good in my favor, or if I should put the dream to rest and continue with my current career path. Just curious if you have better insight. Thank you in advance....
    Respectfully,
    MRA

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  165. I have a GPA 2.4. Is it possible to get into dental school by Acing the DAT? thanks

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  166. Do you think there is a big bennefit of attending the school that you plan on entering dental school at. Do you get more time per question on the DAT compared to the ACT? Thank You

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  167. I am a senior this year at Marquette University. I am just wondering what you think my chances are to get into dental school. I have a 3.5 overall GPA and a 3.73 science GPA. I had a BC in both general chemistries, and AB's in O-chem. I started my freshman year with a 2.9 GPA increasing every semester- 2.9,3.0,3.2,3.4,3.5,3.8,4.0,4.0. On my DAT I got a 19. However, I completely panicked on the PAT section and I got a 17. I am kind of freaking out because I absolutely do not want to take the DAT again, but I bombed the PAT section. Do you think this 17 will kill me given my other information? I have been a dental assistant for the past 3 years also.

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  168. I know that it does not technically matter what you major in but if I were to major in Automotive Technology or Marriage and family would that look bad when applying to dental school? Do they really not care about what you major in as long as your GPA and DAT scores are up to standards?

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  169. I am currently a junior in high school and I feel very strongly that I would like to be an orthodontist. Is the University of Wisconsin-Madison a smart choice for college? Furthermore, what is an ideal major in college to impress dental schools?

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  170. I am a 38 year old student that decided to go to dental school after working as a dental assistant for 16 yrs. I will start a pre-dental cirriculum this fall but i am wondering if it will be enough to get me into the school I want to attend. It is a brand new dental school that opened fall 2011 and I will be finished with all pre-dental courses at the end of Spring 2014. Will I have a better chance of getting in by completeing my BS in Biology? I did not find where the school required it and they are only taking residents of my state as of now. I have everything else only need the sciences and to take the DAT.

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  171. Hi. I am in my last semester and I have an overall GPA of 3.25, BCP = 3.15, and an overall science GPA of 3.20. My major is Natural Science. I will take a year off of school after I graduate to take the DAT. If I do well on the DAT do I have a reasonable chance of getting into Dental School. Thank you, Al

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  172. I want to know; after high school, should I go straight to a university or a pre-dental school which near me is a college? I'm confused is it high school-> university->pre-dental school-> dental school. If you can, can you please explain to the steps. Thank you in advance.

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  173. Hello, I am a junior Biology major at a private college. I also have a business minor, bible minor, and am thinking about pursuing a chem minor as well. I have around a 3.45 gpa but have taken near a full load each semester and am also on the varsity golf team. I am currently in the process of a 3-semester long credited research project with a professor here on campus. I would also like to get an internship for the upcoming summer. I'm wondering what kind of chance I would have at getting into dental school. I feel like I have a very well-rounded resume but worry about my gpa hovering around 3.5. Thanks

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  174. hello,
    I am a senior at college with 4.0 gpa, few volunteer hours and 100+ shadowing hours. I have not taken DAT yet. I transferred from a community college with very very bad grades and repeated courses there. Even though I have improved as much as possible, I am very scared from my community college grades. Please let me if there are any chances for me. By the way, I think i can do well on the DAT since i have taken many practice exams and i think I know the material but i am really discouraged from my cc grades.

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  175. I am going to community college next year. I know I want to go to dental school
    How do I volunteer in a dental clinic. What exactly would they need for me to do?

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  176. Hi, I am a sophomore in high school. I am currently taking Biological Science and Agricultural Aplications, English 2, Geometry, Medical Terminology (college course), Biology, and Global Studies. I plan to take English 3, Algebra 2, AP U.S. History, Chemistry, Spanish 2 (I took Spanish 1my freshman year), and Medical Careers (2 hour class where i get to job shadow the second semester) next year. I am taking Consumer Economics this summer to get ahead in credits. My senior year, I plan to take English 4 (or other English credits), Physics, AP American history, an elective that I can't think of, and the CNA class that would certify me as a nurse assistant. Its a three hour class where I would learn anatomy and physiology. I started my freshman year with a c but now j keep mainly A's (currently holding one B in a class that requires me to have a 92 for an A instead of the usual 90) I wanted to go to University of Illinois and do a pre-dental program. After that, I wanted to attend MidWestern for dental school. I don't know if I am headed in the right direction. Any suggestions?

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  177. I have been a chemistry major for freshman, sophomore, and half of junior year and accumulated a 4.0 GPA so far, and it's looking good this semester. Not that my school is easy, but it definitely isn't harvard. I decided on dental school about 3 days before the start of this semester, and have been frantically getting everything together to apply this cycle. I started shadowing and by the time I apply I will have around 60 shadowing hours completed(just from this semester). My DAT is scheduled for late May. I am the Vice President of 2 organizations and am active in 3 others. I also have conducted 2 years of research in an organic chemistry lab where I have had several posters presented and possibly one publication. I also have tutored for general chemistry for two years. I am anticipating a worst case scenario of 19 on the DAT. My question is: what are my chances of getting an interview??? As long as I can get an interview I will tackle that monster when it gets here, but first I just want an interview. What do you think? I'm a white male

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  178. i did spend a relatively long amount of time in college trying to figure out what i wanted to do,is it really that much of a detriment to your application if you attended for that long?

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  179. Hi, I am a sophomore in high school. I am currently taking Biological Science and Agricultural Aplications, English 2, Geometry, Medical Terminology (college course), Biology, and Global Studies. I am also involved with FFA, HOSA, and Tri-Hi-Y. I plan to take English 3, Algebra 2, AP U.S. History, Chemistry, Spanish 2 (I took Spanish 1my freshman year), and Medical Careers (2 hour class where i get to job shadow the second semester) next year. I am taking Consumer Economics this summer to get ahead in credits. My senior year, I plan to take English 4 (or other English credits), Physics, AP American history, an elective that I can't think of, and the CNA class that would certify me as a nurse assistant. Its a three hour class where I would learn anatomy and physiology. I started my freshman year with a c but now j keep mainly A's (currently holding one B in a class that requires me to have a 92 for an A instead of the usual 90) I wanted to go to University of Illinois and do a pre-dental program. After that, I wanted to attend MidWestern for dental school. I don't know if I am headed in the right direction. Any suggestions?

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  180. Does anyone know how difficult it will be to get into a dental school with a Hospitality bachelors and a 3.0? I am currently taking the prerequisites an and doing very well. I believe my science GPA will be around a 3.4. Should I give up now?

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  181. Hello,

    I am senior in University with 2.99 gpa but i did my associate in science in community college and had 3.8 gpa over there. Did they count grades from community college too.

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  182. You have some great information in here and I'm so glad I stumbled upon this blog. I've noticed you haven't responded in awhile, so I'm hoping you are still managing this blog. I have a few questions:

    I've been an orthodontic assistant for the last 11 years and have finally made the decision to go back to school to get my BA then apply for dental school. I was wondering if my 11 years in the field will help me on my application for school? Also I probably won't be applying for schools until I'm around 32, does age have any affect on whether or not I would be accepted into a dental school?
    Another question about my application: I have multiple doctors and patients who want to write letters of recommendation for me. Is it too early to have them write them now, considering I won't be applying for dental school for another 4 years. And is it appropriate to have patients write letters of recommendation?
    One more question I thought of: I'm starting at a community college for financial reasons, and will transfer to a university. Does the university I choose affect my chances of being accepted? I was wondering if I should try to attend a school that has a dental program so I can volunteer and work with the students and professors to build a rapport.
    Thank you.

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  183. Hey, i just started my first year of university, Suggest me on which courses should i do a major and minor in ? Which courses did you take ?

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