Pre-Dental Expert Answers - Student Doctor Network Wiki

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Below are some frequently asked questions that have been answered by SDN Dental experts.

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C- in general chem what to do?

I initially was on the verge of getting a D in gen chem so my professor advised me to take the F freshman fall semester this way i could retake the class at my school and it would not be accounted for in my gpa but it would be on my transcript. So i did just that, retook it in the spring and ended up with an awful professor who failed most of the class and I unfortunately ended with a C-.

my next question is, now being a senior in undergrad realizing how awful this must look on my application how should i go about this? do i retake gen chem 1 at a different university to balance out the C-. Are dental schools averaging out the F and the C- already or just looking at the C-?


AADSAS does not use grade replacement, therefore both grades will be factored into your overall, science, and Bio/Chem/Physics GPA. I think whether you retake this course for a second time or just let it be depends on how your other grades are. If your grades otherwise are very strong (ie, mostly As) then I don't think these F/C- alone will be enough to disqualify you from consideration. If the F/C- is accompanied by a whole slew of mediocre grades (Bs and Cs) then I think you may want to do any/all of the following:

1. Crush the DAT (22AA+) 2. Enroll and excel in an SMP 3. Get a lot of relevant work experience to boost your application 4. Consider an alternative profession

Worried about a low GPA. 3.1-3.3

Right now, I have a pretty low GPA. Haven't taken the DAT yet, but am concerned about my grades and getting in to dental school. Do you know of any one that has gotten into a school with this similar GPA?


Yes, but a low overall GPA needs to be supported by other factors - ie, a high BCP GPA, a very high DAT score (22-23AA+), and/or extenuating circumstances/fascintating experiences/life story. A low GPA with little else standing out on the application does not bode well for admission.

DAT scores

Hello All,

When applying for the DAT, I didn't select any schools to send my official scores too. I am under the impression that the official DAT scores will be automatically uploaded in 3-4 weeks on my AADSAS application by just providing the Dent-pin # on the AADSAS application or is this not the case? Can someone please guide me whether this is true or not as I'm unable to find information on whether the scores will be imported to my application or do I have to take some other way.Thank you.


There is little value in selecting schools to which your DAT scores will be sent. They will be automatically uploaded to AADSAS and schools will be able to view them there. A select few schools will ask that your DAT scores be sent directly to them, at which point you'll need to send them individually to the tune of $37/per using the link below.

Is it too late to try out for dental school?

I graduated from 4 years university back in 2006 with bachelors of science (with low gpa mid 2.50 ish). After I graduated I worked at the dental clinic as a dental assistant for several years and I wanted to further my education in this field so I went to study abroad and got my master’s degree in preventive dentistry and public health with 3.9 gpa (out of 4.0) and successfully completed my thesis from 2nd best university in South Korea. After Master’s, I got married , had a baby and worked for several years to save money. I am still out of country for now but my desire to become a dentist has become very clear and I am planning to move back to the states where my home is. Realistically speaking, it’s been too long Since I graduated from college with low gpa but I am willing to retake any prerequisites if I need to and if I get high dat score, What are my chances to get admitted to any dental schools in the states? any comments or honest thoughts are all appreciated! Thank you


This is complicated because you live and have studied abroad. You need to call schools you're interested in and ask their policy on foreign degrees. Many will not accept those credits, leaving you only with a US degree with a poor GPA. I think your best bet to get into a US dental school is to do a formal masters in biomedical sciences degree in the states and score very well on the DAT. This is a risky path, however, because the MBS degree offers no other job prospects other than making one a better applicant for professional school (MD, DDS, etc). I think this is overall a long risky path for someone who has a family to support. To be frank, I think it'd be wise to explore other career options.

Re-take physics 1 for admission into dental school?

I took physics 1 last semester and got a CR (credit) as a grade. I think dental schools require a letter grade for admission? I asked the physics department at my college if I could re-take the course and they said I can, but the new grade I receive will not be calculated in my GPA, it will just be visible on my transcript. So the question is, should I re-take physics 1, is it necessary to have a letter grade in order to apply to dental school?


You would probably need to recheck with admissions offices at the schools you are applying to, but in general prerequisite classes must be taken with grades and not pass/fail. You'd probably plan to retake the class, but note that your application GPA will include the letter grade you earn even if your institutional GPA will not.

How does a BS/MS in Biotechnology help with my dental school application?

I am currently in a 4+1 program and I am considering applying to dental school after I graduate with my master's degree. One of the main reasons why I've decided to go into a master's program was to show dental schools that I have attempted (and hopefully achieved) to get better at the areas that I didn't do so well during my bachelors.

I have not yet taken the DAT, but I've done about 80 hours of dental shadowing. I am aiming to take the DAT by next year before I graduate with my master's degree.

So, even though my bachelor's GPA isn't as high as I would like it to be, if my master's GPA and DAT (plus research experience and more dental shadowing) are high, would that significantly help my dental school application?

Or would I have to either retake some bachelor's courses or go for a master's in oral health?


I don't think a MS is biotechnology is as advantageous to an application as a special masters program (designed specifically to prove students can hack a medical curriculum after a lackluster undergrad performance). That said, If your masters program grades are very strong (close to a 4.0) and your undergrad GPA is only mediocre (3.0+) I don't think you should jump right into taking more undergrad courses. I would do your best to ace the DAT and try a round of applications to see if you get interviews. If you apply to many schools and do not get any responses then I think you may have to consider a SMP to prove yourself. Good luck!

What should I do based on my current stats?

Hello SDN community,

I am going to be taking a gap year applying to dental school. However, I want to know what I should do in the future based on my stats.

oGPA: 3.52 BCP GPA: 3.33 AA DAT: 24, nothing below a 20 Sci DAT: 24; nothing below a 20 100+ hours of shadowing general and pediatric dentist 1000+ hours of volunteering Varying hours of research, did participate in clubs Dropped one class, W

I'm mostly worried about my gpas and as a senior it's too late to improve it too significantly. I had a really bad sophomore year that ruined my gpa. If that sophmore year was removed my gpas would be significantly higher but that's life. I'm pretty sure I'll get into a dental school but I have high ambitions and want to get into my dream school which demand higher gpas. I rather not take a master's program because I'm a financial aid student and cannot afford it probably. I know most masters programs do not give out aid anyway.

Any thoughts and opinions are welcome, and thank you for your time!


It's hard to tell without a complete view of your transcript and any geographic advantages you have for in-state consideration. On face value it doesn't appear that you are that far off from a solid application that could result in interviews at the right places. So if anything, I would network with current dental students and admissions staff over the next year, get your evaluation letters all lined up, and submit an early application next cycle.

September applicant, too late?

Hi guys, I’ve been feeling extremely anxious because I haven’t received any news from schools yet. I submitted most of my apps beginning of Sept but I still haven’t heard back so I added a few more schools within the last week.

I have a 3.6 science gpa and 3.74 overall gpa. 22AA, 21TS, 22 RC / none below 20. I’ve done some shadowing, worked as a dental assistant for about 1.5 years, and have research experience.

I applied to 13 schools (USC, UNLV, UOP, NYU, Tufts, Rutgers, Western U, Touro, Roseman, UCLA, Buffalo, OHSU, and Stony Brook).

Do you think I have a chance of getting in this cycle? Do you think it’ll increase my chances if I apply to more schools at this point or should I just prepare myself to reapply next cycle. Since it’s already nearing the end of October, I’m sure pre dec interviews are no longer attainable... I’m losing hope and really need some advice


It's possible some of the schools that have larger classes and have later interview calendars might be able to pick you up, but your late application pretty much has put you at a disadvantage. I would keep contact with your high-priority schools on your list to make sure nothing is preventing you from getting your file reviewed if there are still interview spots open.

DAT retake & Interview

Hello, my name is Dona I took my DAT and got 19 AA 20 TS. I submitted my application and I have an interview in two weeks, now in my application I indicated that I will retake the DAT, because I got 15 on my QR now my question is, in the interview should I ask about retaking the DAT ? should I retake it no matter what ? or should I wait and see if they will ask me about it ?

Thank you so much.


I don't know if it's worth you asking about whether you should retake the DAT if it's already scheduled. I'm also not sure if you should retake it since you already have an interview invitation on hand.

should i try for boston ?

so the boston uni has opened the application and they say that chances of getting the invitation is highest if application is submitted by sept 1. interview invitations will continue from oct 2018 to march 2019 and the deadline of the application is 31st dec 2018. Should i apply now or wait next year ??? please let me know .


I suppose it depends on your metrics and if all your materials are ready to go (letters, DAT scores, transcripts verified). If it's a place where you want to go, why wouldn't you go ahead and submit? If it's not, then I'd wait.

chance me?

Hi, I am a urm (AA). sgpa: 2.4 overall gpa: 3.0 dat 19. total science: 19 shadowed: 100 hours volunteers: 100 hours great LOR. applied early (2nd week of june) to howard, meharry, tufts, LSU (my state school).

chance me? Should I complete a post bac or masters? Or just retake classes.


It's not clear how many hours of science coursework you've taken and how rigorous it is. Certainly I would recommend a master's because you will need a structured, rigorous schedule and mentoring to show you are prepared.

Prerequisite Help?

Does anybody know what should I do with " 0/6 PREREQUISITES COMPLETE Match Prerequisites"? under the Professional Transcript Entry. Also, I submitted my application 10 days ago but only 3/14 schools received my application. I am so worried that I am late for application.


Hopefully you actually have taken the prerequisites. I think this step is to identify which courses you have taken match those prerequisites. If you don't do it, many schools will just overlook your application because you either didn't take the required coursework or you're unable to follow directions.

10 years Dental assisting experience

I have been a dental assistant for 10 years. I am a non-traditional student and have been going to school off and on for 10 years as well. I have finally applied to dental schools but have a low gpa and low dat. What are the chances of getting an interview or even getting accepted?


It's not clear where you are applying and whether you have in-state options, which would likely help you be considered for an interview. Low DAT won't help your application when there are similar non-traditional applicants who show they can test well in spite of a lower GPA due to a longer track record of coursework (science or non-science).

which short term courses I can do before enrolling into a dental school?

Which courses should I pursue while waiting from the dental colleges ? Will it help in increasing my chances to get admission or not ? I have heard people take up courses in MPH, certificate courses in infection control or emergency procedures, etc. Please help me out here as I want to utilize my time. Please share some links/ ideas if you think it will be useful for me .



Most applicants really don't do anything special during the year of their application. Many are focused on their upper-level biomedical coursework, finishing research or capstone projects, or planning volunteering opportunities. There are many applicants who get some certification before they apply, like as a X-ray technician or dental assistant. But usually these are obtained before applying so that they can count that towards their dental experience.

PA to Dentistry?

I was a PA student and I left the program after a semester. I left because of multiple reasons, I did not have my heart set on becoming a PA and I only went into it because everyone told me it was a good idea, my gpa suffered because I was not motivated which pushed me to leave and find a career I am passionate about . I graduated with Bio major and psych minor from college with a 3.6 GPA and I am now applying to dental schools. Does anyone know of a dental student/ dentist who switched to dentistry from PA or any other field?

What are my chances of getting into dental school if I considered going into another profession when I was entering college? And should I go into detail of why I decided to switch in my PS?


Sure. You have pretty solid grades as undergrad, and you probably have most if not all the pre-reqs. It will probably take you a year to 'switch tracks' -- study and take the DAT, shadow some dentists and perhaps do some research, either in a school of dentistry or oral/maxilofacial surgery or ENT (whatever you like best) -- those activities should get you strong letters of support. People switch tracks all the time, no sweat!

Dental schools accepting community college credit

Recently I have learned that Tufts school of Dental Medicine does not accept any community college credit... My situation is that I graduated from Santa Fe College with my A.A and transferred to the University of Florida where I am currently working on my BS in nutrition. The pre reqs I completed at santa fe included Calc, Gen chem 1 & 2, and Bio 1& 2 (which were required to transfer to UF) The rest of my pre reqs I am taking at UF. Does this still apply even if I transferred and intend on graduating from a University with higher level science courses or is it if you possess any community college credit at all you won't be accepted? Could use some guidance! Thanks (:


The best thing to do is to read through the requirements at Tufts. If they say they don't accept any required courses taken at community college, then they don't; you can confirm with them if that's the case. You can also see if any of your upper-level biomedical science courses (with a biology or similar prefix) could be used to satisfy the requirement.

Can I get into DDS schools with a 2.65 GPA (B.S)

I just graduated with a B.S. and my final GPA is a 2.65. Before you judge me hard core, let me give you some back ground. My mom passed away unexpectedly shortly after I transferred to university. My mom and I were very close and it was the most difficult thing I have ever been through emotionally. I decided to to take 19 hours the next semester to try to not think about how sad my life was and it made things worse because I failed many classes. On top of everything, I also have dyslexia... blah blah blah. I also have more than 6 years of dental experience and even started a nationally student run organization for pre-dents in my home state.

I will NEVER give up on being a dentist, I just want to know if can get in with that low of a GPA or What I should do.


I won't say that it will be easy to get in with a cumulative GPA like that unless you show you can really excel at rigorous biomedical science courses now that you have gotten your life back together. Your excuses won't give you a pass unless they shape you into a stronger applicant and an outstanding dentist (later on). I would probably try to start over again since I'm not sure you could get into a postbac/master's program with that low of a GPA (but you should ask around).

Does an F grade in core science requirement and 2 c’s in other science class not allow me for medical profession

I have an F grade in my physics 2 class I plan to retake the physics class and get better grade and I have 2 c’s in my other science class, will I have any chance to get admitted for DO program?


While these grades will make it difficult to get into medical school, as long as you do well in all of your other courses, you may still be able to do well in medical school. Your overall GPA will be a much more important piece of your application.

What do you suggest to improve my GPA

Hi Friends,

I have bachelor in Interior Architecture (2002-2006) GPA 3.20 and master of Architecture (2006-2008) from Europe. I was also PHD student in Architecture for 2 years 2013-2015 in Europe. Diplomas have been evaluated . I moved to Montreal and interested in studying Dentistry or pharmacy in Canada or US.

I have started prerequisite courses in Sep 2015 at university and some colleges level with a certificate in Science . I finished pre- requisite courses last year, but I repeated 2 courses from College in university to get a better grade. Overall passed 57 university credits and GPA 3.40.

I have chosen two wrong elective courses in my second semester (Philosophy and English ESL). I Failed philosophy and C for ESL. My grades for pre-request courses are: 2 gerenal biology A-, 2 general chemistry B and B+; Organic A+, cal 1 A- and cal2 A , physics mechanic A+ , electricity A- and Modern Physics B. I mostly got 4 courses or 12 credits/ per semester.

I recently accepted to study major in Biology for fall 2018 and I need 1.5 to 2 years to finish courses in biology. My studies will be more that 4 years and I don’t think that I can get admission .

What do you suggest me to do?  Start a bachelor  in  another University or repeat my fail and  ESL  courses and continue major in same university?

Thank you


I am not an expert in admissions for Canada, but here are my 2 cents: one F won't sink you, though it would behoove you to repeat the course and ace it. Showing you can persevere and stick with it means a lot -- it may be a better course of action than jumping ship. That is unless there are some extenuating circumstances -- behavioral or personal issues with the professor who taught the English ESL class. You have already shown you can do well academically, architecture is NOT an easy subject matter. Finish up at your university, study extra hard for the standardized exam(s) and good luck with admissions and your career switch.

How to use the best out of my gap years

Hello, This is my first time asking a question here, and I wanted to get some opinions from you guys.

To begin with, I just graduated from a college and I was wondering what I could do during the gap years before I apply for 2019-2020 cycle.

Here is my spec fyi,

GPA: 3.42 sGPA: 3.30

Extracurricular activities - President/ international student association (senior yr) Volunteering - Medical global brigade (Honduras Nicaragua) 9 days - Washington Adventist Hospital 32hrs Total 86 hours

Shadowing -General Dentistry 312 hrs (spent 2 summer and 1 winter) - Orthodontic 16 hrs ( a month)

Research -Undergraduate researcher for senior year (2 semesters, took it as a class/3credits each)

So, I have a year to prepare before I apply,, I have not yet taken DAT, but planning on taking it by October. Meanwhile, I wanted to either work as a dental assistant or research assistant in an industry as an intern. But I am insecure about my GPA, so I also thought about going to Rutgers for Postbacc next spring.

What do you guys think? Thank you in advance.


Depending on where you intend to apply to, your GPA's appear a little low, but it's not clear what major you pursued or what courses factored into the calculation. You should continue to do well with shadowing and volunteering whenever you can, but taking the DAT is going to be critical, as is maintaining relationships with those from whom you want to get evaluation letters. If you are thinking about a postbac/master's program, contact their program directors to see about their advice for you now.

any chance to explain situations before interviews?

Hi! i am about to start my junior year of college, and last semester I had a situation in my personal life that affected my grades. (long story short, i had a crazy friend who completely faked being suicidal, i invested all of my time trying to keep her from hurting herself, and ultimately my grades suffered significantly) I got all B's that semester and still have a 3.5 GPA, but my transcript shows an extreme downhill trend which I know is frowned upon when applying to dental school. So, my question is, is there any chance to explain a situation like this on an application/supplemental applications? I know I could explain it very well in an interview, but of course I would have to make it that far first (which is what I'm worried about).

any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you!!


On the ADEA AADSAS application you have a prompt where you can explain any academic difficulties. That would probably be the best place to disclose this information. School -specific applications will depend on the school.

Early Interviews

Is it advantageous to interview on one of the first interview days or pretty early (August/September)? Do early interviews mean a better chance of acceptance?


All US dental schools cannot extend offers until December 1. So any interviews you have in August/September vs. October/November count the same usually.

dental school requirement

Hi I took Physics 1 and got a c- but took physcs 2 and got a b+ does that mean i still have to retake physcs 1 so dental schools can accept the class


In general, a C-minus does not count as a passing grade for many dental schools, so chances are you will need to retake it.

pre dental school gpa

Hello I just finished my first two years of college i got a b in chem1 a C in chem 2 a C in physics 1 a B in phyics 2 An A in organic chemistry 1 and 2 An A in Bio 2 And Anatomy 2 a C- first then retook calc and got an A an A in microbiology An A in english 1 and 2 and i was wondering if Those Cs will show off badly on schools and if i can still can get into dental school.


While grades alone are not going to prevent you from getting into dental school, having a consistent academic history of generally average performance in undergraduate isn't going to help you. All grades are calculated in the application, including retakes. You may want to talk with some admissions counselors about your situation and your prehealth advisor on campus for ideas.

Am I a failure??? Advice on GPA 57 hours in 3 semesters Bios major

So, I was homeschooled. After 2 years of doing nothing traditionally with my life (18-20 until at 19 my own dental issues sparked my passion for dentistry) I began college. First at a community college where all my credits transferred to match my university goal Sept 2017 to Dec 2017 with 20 credits (ENG1, COM, PHIL,PSY,MTH,CHM). Sadly life happened in between( car accident involving my only parent and myself) so I ended up with a C (79.8) in an intro chm. After learning the game I realized I shouldn't have taken the final and should have attempted an incomplete but I knew no one to give such advice. I transferred to University in the spring but blinded by ambition I didn't realize life still hadn't finished playing out (As the spring semester went on I ended up overenrolled, bankrupt as in filed for bankruptcy, homeless both my parent and myself evicted). I took 27 hours including two university bios, a history class, anthropology, psychology, and general chemistry 1. The GPA remained my average 3.40. I realize in accelerating my education it affects GPA in that sense but after the summer I sit at 57 hours and I plan to do 20 in the fall and 12 in the spring to study for the DAT. Am I a failure? Is there hope for me as far as ever getting an interview and accepted. I feel very beat down at this half mark :( I need advice with what to truly do boost extra curriculars? (I was an assistant for 8 months in general and have begun a job at my dream dental college assisting as well)


I'm going to ask an obvious question: why dentistry?

It sounds to me like you actually need a plan and a lot of mentoring/support. Getting into any professional school involves a lot of hard work with courses, but you have to be motivated to pursue dentistry. Motivated enough to have sought out mentors who are dentists, science professors, prehealth advisors, and peers who can help cheer you on along with your family. You mention only some experiences at the end, but it doesn't really take a lot to be involved with extracurricular activities as long as you want to do so.

You've had a lot of troubles that have come your way. What you haven't told us is how you have overcome those setbacks and how that would make a difference in how you would take care of your patients and run a practice. At some point you will need to take responsibility for all of those things and make them part of who you are and who you will become in order to take a meaningful step to a health professional career.

Pre-dental first year gpa advice?

Hi guys! So I just finished my first year of college. I have a 2.8 GPA overall. I know it's bad, but the first semester I had a 2.644 and second semester I got a 2.97. My grades first semester were: Spanish, 4credits (A), Bio (4 credits, B-), Chem (4 credits, C), Precalc(4 credits, C-). Second semester (Bio B+), Chem B, Calc D+(ouch), Women in gender studies (B), English A. So as you can see, my grades besides math did improve, but i want to know if i should continue my pre-dental studies. next semester, i will be taking two spanish classes, psych, physiology, and orgo. Please give me advice for those. Also, if i can a 3.7. for the next 4 semester what would my overall gpa be, how about the next 6. i want to attend howard or meharry. I may retake calc just not at my school. Please help


Set up a meeting with your prehealth advisors on your campus because they would be able to answer your questions best (highest possible GPA, courses you have to take, alternate choices if you decide to opt to pursue another career path). You have to pay attention to being able to graduate with your preferred degree in addition to your prerequisites for dental school, so you have to know what you have to do to balance both of those concerns.

Do I Need To Retake Physics 1?

I took physics 1 this year, but was not sure if I was going to pass, so I ended up signing a credit/no-credit form for the class, which gave me a credit as the final grade. The credit translates to a grade of C in my case, but does not get calculated into my GPA. Do I need to retake physics 1 in order to get a letter grade for admission into dental school?


I am almost 99% sure this also holds for dental schools (please talk to your pre-health adviser to confirm), but for medical school the answer would be YES, you do need to retake the required pre-req course for a grade. One pass/fail or withdrawal is OK, but do your best, try to get at least a B+.

Do I need to retake my c- at a cc for a prerequisite class if I decide to do a postbacc/masters program before dental school?

So I have a c- in inorganic chem and I know that c- grades (especially for prerequisites) are not accepted by dental schools. However, if I choose to do a masters degree/postbacc such as the Master of Science in Medical Science (MSMS) at western university or another similar program, could I just apply with the c- in my undergrad with my updated postbac gpa?


In general, you must demonstrate you have passed your prerequisite courses, so yes, you probably will have to take that course again and pass. Work with your postbac advisors about this issue.

Pre-Dental Student

Hey guys,

I need some help. I attended Broome Community College my freshman year of college and got a 3.2 and transferred into Binghamton. My GPA restarted in Binghamton at a zero. I am going into my second at Binghamton University as a neuroscience major. My GPA is pretty shitty I went through a lot my first semester and I got a 1.59. I was able to bring that up second semester to a 2.2 and now I am determined to get all A and A-'s for the rest of my three years here. But unfortunately I think the highest my GPA could go with all A and A- is like a 3.0-3.2. I want to get into a decent dental school. I have started studying for my DAT exam and am aiming for a 20- 22 I also have experience shadowing a dentist and some extra curricular activities for my resume.

Will I get into any dental school at all? Should I do anything more to make myself stand out more as a student


I would never say "never" unless you decide not to pursue it. That said, you're going to have to work really hard and put the right priorities in order. Start by finding your university health professions advisor (prehealth advisor) and talk about your situation. You may have to have a longer-term plan than most other applicants, but anything you do to show you can handle challenging biomedical coursework, have a sincere and deep dedication to working in dentistry as a means to help others, and develop strong study and time management skills that will help you now and in the future... you should put in all your effort to make it happen. You don't need to be a dentist to be part of the industry, but you need to know why being a dentist overrides being a hygienist or other health care provider that might be able to pay you sooner without the massive debt of a four-year dental education.

Pre-dental path

Hi! I’m an incoming freshman in ECU and I’m going to a pre-dental pathway. I know I’m still a freshman and there is still a long way to go, but can someone give me any type of advice to be successful?


If you are at East Carolina University, the first thing I would do is talk to the admissions folks at the dental school there, then students, and then your prehealth advisors or predental club members. They'll definitely help you with the local opportunities when you are on campus. Otherwise, ADEA has the GoDental resource that you should be using faithfully.

Question about dental school application

Hi I am an US citizen but born and raised in Cuba. Im currently doing my Bachelors at FIU in Miami and wanted to know if Puerto Rico is a viable dental school for me since I am a bit confused about the applications and requirements for Puerto Rico Dental School. PS: I did my DAT once and got 18 science average. However, I dont have any dental classes because I come from a Spanish speaker country. I have a GPA of 3.74 and i have an associate in arts from Miami Dade College. My Spanish and English are fluent. I also have 80 volunteer hours in a children hospital and extensive shadowing. Choosing a dental school to apply is extensively exhausting and brain consuming. Any advice/help is highly appreciated. Thanks in advance!


You should contact the admissions staff at the dental school in Puerto Rico, or at least look up their profile in the ADEA Official Guide / Dental School Explorer. You may want to also check about their current state of resources for preclinic and clinic opportunities for students. The island infrastructure still seems to be a concern, and you want to be sure the School is in a good position to train you.

Studying for the DAT/In a weird place right now

Hi everyone! I am going to be starting my junior year this August. I want to start preparing for the DAT so I can apply to the June 2020 cycle. I have taken all the classes for my DAT besides organic chem, so I'd like to start preparing from now so I don't get stressed out with a time crunch.

I have maintained a good GPA my freshman and sophomore year and hope to continue doing that, my concern right now is doing well on my DAT as well as finding a research opportunity of some sort. I have about 80 shadowing hours currently, and would like to earn 200+.

I would love some advice on how I should study for the DAT and what books or system I should use to do so. I will have most of my summer 2019 off to study for it thoroughly.

Thanks a lot!


I would start even at this stage to consider taking a practice DAT and become familiar with the exam. Then I'd focus on passing my organic chemistry class so I'm confident I can do well on the organic chemistry section. As for preparing for the DAT now, see what your practice exam results tell you, and maybe consider some help with the PAT if that's not a problem. There's an entire forum section about preparing for the DAT that you can get advice from.

What are the chances of getting into dental school with these stats? 3.26Overall, 3.07BCP, 2.98 Science, 20DAT, 100+shadowing hrs

Played baseball for 2 years, but decided to start focusing on school. Upward trend from sophomore to end of junior year. From Bs and Cs to all As. Strong LOR.


In general your science performance needs some added detail from just your GPA, but you have to show you can consistently get high marks in your upper-level science classes and in a rigorous schedule. Your DAT and shadowing hours seem okay but not extraordinary to make you noticed outside of maybe in-state applicants. In general, you need to seek the advice of your health professions advisors on campus and some admissions officers to give you more guidance to move forward and prepare a solid application.

Should I retake the DAT? 19 AA 18 TS Any advice welcome!

Hey guys I am new to SDN and I took the DAT in January and I still don't know how I feel about my scores. I held off on applying this cycle so I will apply next cycle in case I want to retake the DAT. I have 50% of people saying I should retake and the others say I shouldn't. Please help! Here's a breakdown of my scores. I currently have a 3.75 GPA with around 3.6+ science GPA.

GC: 18 OC: 18 Bio: 19 RC: 22 QR: 20 PAT: 18


This will depend on the schools you are most attracted to that you feel you fit best with. That said, most schools advise applicants to set 20+ DAT scores as a goal, especially the major scores of AA, PAT, and SCI. You definitely have a solid enough GPA that suggests you could score in the 20's.

Should I do a masters to bolster my application?


As for some brief background info, I am currently a senior majoring in Public Health Science at UMD. I will be taking an extra semester to finish my courses and will be graduating Fall 2018. I have been in limbo for most of college unsure of what I really wanted to do and as a result, my grades as well as extracurriculars are a bit lackluster. I am sitting right above a 3.0 overall GPA and yet to take the DAT. I do have a lot of clinical experience as I've been working on and off during school breaks at a hometown dental office.

Given my current state, I've kind of accepted that I will have to take the non-traditional route to dental school. I'm strongly considering pursuing a masters and further work on boosting my application.

Is this a viable/realistic path or am I just wasting my time/money. I would greatly appreciate some guidance and suggestions!


It's not clear that you've taken prerequisites courses to help you prepare for the DAT or upper-level biomedical science classes that could help show you would be a strong candidate for a master's postbac program. As for your extracurriculars, some dental schools will value your commitment to serving the community, so that's an additional concern. I would connect with your undergraduate institution's prehealth advisor office to talk about your non-traditional route to dental school and things you need to show in a future application that you are truly dedicated to a dental professional career.

Pre Dental Help?

Hi all, I just graduated with chemical Engineer and my GPA is around 3.8/4.0. I would like to switch to Dentistry. However, I have some limitations

I don't have any experience with Biology at all. Morover, I have never had shadowed any where at dental office or any other places ralated to medical fields. In addtion, I have taken all my requirment science classes at community college not 4-year University.

I am planning to do master in Chemistry while working on DAT since I don't want any gap year on my resume. Do you guys think I am wasting my time on Master Degree or should I just work as a pharmacy technician/tutor while working on DAT ?

Thank you all !!


I think you've pointed out your glaring deficiencies, so you need to focus on them. Your priority should be to shadow at a dentist's office to know if this is really what you want to do for the rest of your life. You ultimately will need some biology coursework as some dental schools will require you to take microbiology, biochemistry, or physiology. Having a gap year or so in this case won't be a problem for you since you have to get your coursework in order so that you can take the DAT.

Deciding what dental schools to apply to

Is there a recommended number of "safety" and "reach" schools that pre-dental students should apply to?

Thanks so much!


In general, the average applicant applies to 10 schools. It depends on where you live to label any school a "safety" as some schools may give in-state applicants an advantage.

Above average GPA/Below average DAT - Chances of being emitted


I recently took my DAT and didn’t do as well as I was hoping. I will be applying to dental school this summer and I was just wondering what everyone thinks my chances of being admitted are. I have a 3.89 GPA and my DAT scores were: AA18/PAT19/TS17.  I have 400+ hours of dental experience and 300+ hours of volunteer experience. I also have been doing research dealing with oral healthcare in underserved populations. There aren’t any dental schools in my state so I will be an out-of-state applicant regardless of where I apply. The two things that make me most skeptical are my DAT score and being an out of state resident. 

My schools of consideration are: U of Minn U of Neb med center Creighton U of Colorado Midwestern (AZ) AT still (AZ) UNC chapel hill, LECOM Nova Southeastern Oregon Health and Science University U of Washington U of New England (Maine)

I appreciate any feedback!! Thanks!


Every school is going to review your application with different weights for GPA or DAT in context of your overall application. Some may be very skeptical of an applicant with such a low science DAT subscore (for example) even if your grades were fantastic; and others may actually be more likely to disregard the score if they like your transcript.

You should be able to determine whether your state has agreements with any dental schools so that you receive something similar to in-state consideration. Not all of them do or will, but it should be general knowledge (in the ADEA Official Guide).

Supporting Information' Section of ADEA AADSAS Application

I am filling out the ADEA AADSAS application which can be submitted as early as June 5th. In the 'Supporting Information' section there are several subsections to fill out. These include: Experiences, Achievements, Licenses, and Personal Statement. It is my understanding that these sections change throughout the years. My question is, what should be included in the Experiences subsection? It is written to list employment, internships, and volunteer experiences. What about academic enrichment programs? Where would this information fall? Is this a broad section open to interpretation as to what you deem important as an experience? Thank you!


The instructions describe the five different types of experiences you should list as Academic Enrichment, Dental Shadowing, Employment, Extracurricular, Research, and Volunteer. The descriptions are found there: .

Supporting Information' Section of ADEA AADSAS Application

I am filling out the ADEA AADSAS application which can be submitted as early as June 5th. In the 'Supporting Information' section there are several subsections to fill out. These include: Experiences, Achievements, Licenses, and Personal Statement. It is my understanding that these sections change throughout the years. My question is, what should be included in the Experiences subsection? It is written to list employment, internships, and volunteer experiences. What about academic enrichment programs? Where would this information fall? Is this a broad section open to interpretation as to what you deem important as an experience? Thank you!


The instructions describe the five different types of experiences you should list as Academic Enrichment, Dental Shadowing, Employment, Extracurricular, Research, and Volunteer. The descriptions are found there: .

Shadowing Hours

Hi guys! I am applying this cycle for dental school. I have really good dental volunteering hours. I also do research at my undergraduate school thru the College of Dentistry. DAT: 20 AA, 21 TS. Overall GPA: 3.4 Science GPA: 3.0

I recently started shadowing beginning of May. I am currently shadowing 2 dentists. But I only have racked up like 15 hours so far. Should I submit my app even if I do not have at least 50 hours of shadowing? I'm taking a gap year and just got hired to work as a dental assistant at a practice, which is why I did not shadow during my undergrad time.

Let me know your thoughts. THANK YOU


There's not much you can do since you've pretty much started off shadowing dentists. That said, you presumably will continue to add hours throughout the summer, and some programs may have you update your hours in their secondary applications later on. Your GPA's do seem a bit low, so you may be able to afford taking your time to submit (maybe not in early June but later in July when you have a few more hours to "document").

I also think that you may want to wait because you want a strong letter from your dentist (for some schools), and you would want to know about how many hours your dentist would feel comfortable with you working before submitting a strong letter. That will help you with a timeline to submit your application.

Taking all my prerequisites at CC

My first degree is Philosophy which I got from a foreign institution. But I am Registered Nurse now which I got from University in the States here. I did an Accelerated Bachelors in Nursing program. I work full time and married with a child. I am currently taking all my prerequisites at a community college and worried that it may affect admission. I took GC 1& 2 this past spring 8wks classes and made B's. It's been had juggling work, family and school and I worried I may not even make A's in my remaining classes. Do you think I still have a chance at getting in?


Depending on your life situation, you may want to talk to programs that are closest to you and your family and ask them this question. They should be able to advise you on taking upper-level coursework and doing well in those courses at a community college or four-year institution.

Social Anxiety and Dental School

Hi! So I'm a junior in college and will be applying to dental schools soon but I've been struggling a lot socially and just want to know if I'm on the right track still. I've wanted to be a dentist ever since I was first asked what I wanted to be when I grow up but over the years I've developed low confidence and struggle with talking to people. I know that communication skills have to be excellent to be a dentist which is why this worries me so much and was wondering if it's something I will develop or if I have to be born with it and if it needs to come naturally.

Thank you


Very few skills ever come naturally, and all skills never improve without practice. This is especially true of dentistry, and that's why there is so much focus in your preclinical labs and your clinic experience. But to this end, I hope you have had a chance to work with others socially. Small-group work is common in dental school and beyond, and your ability to convey confidence in yourself is key to establishing patient-doctor rapport and trust. I would hope that you have taken advantage of free (i.e., you paid for them) resources for your wellness and other psychological services on your campus. You may not have a clinical problem, but you might gain some insight or advice on how to work through it.

Which dental schools should I apply to?

I am a re applicant from last year and I have a oGPA: 3.42 and sGPA: 3.15, and a 19AA DAT. I am attending Midwestern's Master's program hoping to boost my GPA in August. I am retaking the DAT in hopes to increase my score. I have more shadowing opportunities than last year and more work experience and volunteering.

As far as my stats go what schools should I be prioritizing applying to? I am from Southern Californa and would love to stay here if possible but open to anywhere as long as its a school I have a chance of getting into.


Hopefully in your position, you have had a chance to connect with dental students at other schools, not to mention admissions staff at the schools where you seem to want to go to. You have a chance with the ADEA GoDental Virtual Fair (5/24/2018) where many admissions officers from around the country will be available online. But the predental resources in the ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools (the sections before the school profiles) should also help you come up with some questions to help you prioritize where you want to go.

What can I do to strengthen my dental school application?

Hello! In high school, I participated in a dual enrollment program with a community college. I have done all my pre-reqs with this community college including general chemistry and biology, with all As. (and graduated with an Associates) Not planning on attending a prestigious dental school due to financial reasons- the schools I am looking into accepts CC credits. With that being said, my plan is to graduate from university in 2 years (to save money), and then go to dental school after that.

Since I technically completed my first two years of college while in high school, I was wondering how my application can be strengthened since I was not able to be part of "college life" for 2 years? (ex. I was not able to join ASDA) What kinds of activities do you recommend in order to make the most of my two years at university since I technically use one to apply for dental school? Would I be able to include the activities I participated in during high school?

Thanks so much for any feedback you can provide! I sincerely appreciate it.


Activities won't matter as much as you could find strong support from professors and prehealth advisors to help you with your academic preparation and letters later on. Your peers at your college should be able to also give you insight of activities they commonly participate in, but without a strong support network, you're going to find it a bit more challenging to get a strong application out when you're ready.

AADSAS Transcript Entry and Program Materials for Schools Prerequisites HELP!!!

I entered all the pre-requisites for certain dental schools; however, in the program materials section on AADSAS, the section states incomplete and that I have not yet put in courses that fulfill prerequisites? What is the issue? I went back several times to see what I was missing, but I can't seem to find the problem! Help please!


I would connect with ADEA AADSAS with your questions directly to help you problem-solve. (They were online yesterday during the ADEA GoDental Virtual Fair day 5/23/2018.)

Pre Requisites done by Grad but not Apps

Hi, I am a junior about to be a senior in the fall. I started late on the pre dental track and will finish all requirements by graduation but not by the time of the application cycle early "deadline". I am taking my DAT soon and have everything else in line but like i said am missing a few pre reqs before applications are due. I plan on applying over the summer for the 2019 cycle. I will be finishing my biology requirements this coming Fall and in the Spring finishing Organic Chemistry 2 with the lab.

So, in all i am missing (3 hrs bio and 4 hours Ochem). I am wondering if this will affect my application in a drastic way / will it hinder being considered for acceptance?


There's nothing wrong with planning on an application for the next cycle. You're competing against applicants who will have everything in and will get selected before your file because you might be lacking prerequisites. Don't rush getting a strong application.

Would I be considered for an interview?

Hi! I recently took my DAT and scored 19 in sciences, however my AA was 17 due to Math and Reading since English is my second language. I have a 3. 98 GPA, Do you consider I should apply? I am thinking on retaking before this cycle deadline but still apply early. what would you recommend me?



If you have a chance to retake your DAT because you know you could have done better, I would consider it. As it stands I think your DAT scores don't put you in a group that may be highly desired in the early rounds of interviewing, but as long as you have a solid DAT result, you should still be a pretty strong candidate for consideration.

Dental Hygiene OR Nursing then apply to Dental School?

Heres my background:

I just graduated from undergrad as a Public Health major with hopes of going to dental school. After working as a dental assistant since my junior year in high school, I planned to take the classes needed to get into dental school.

Freshman year-

Fall Semester-

Gen Bio I with Lab: C Gen Chem I with Lab: D

Spring Semester

Gen Bio 2 with Lab: C

Summer 2015

retook Gen Chem I with Lab: C+

Sophomore Year ---Fall Sem Gen Chem 2 with Lab: C ---Spring Sem Organic Chem 1: F ---Summer 2016 Organic Chem 1: F ...again

So after a brutal, 2 years, I decided to stop taking sciences, continue on with my Public Health degree and reevalaute my career options. However, after a summer of interning at a community health center, my mind kept on going back to dentistry. Therefore, I decided that I will deal with my remaining pre-reqs after graduation.

So here I am, a fresh college graduate and I wholeheartedly and passionately still want to continue my dreams in becoming a dentist. Clearly, I still need to take Orgo 1 & 2 with labs and Physics 1 & 2 with labs. There has been a back and forth deciding if I should just close the door on dentistry, but I cannot stop thinking about it and many tears were shed.

I decided I should establish a career for myself then finish up my remaining pre-reqs.

Fortunately, $$ is not an issue for me on why I'm deciding to delay taking my remaining pre-reqs, but I want to establish a career first just in case I don't get into dental school.

With all of that being said, would matriculating into a dental hygiene program OR a nursing program for the next 2 years be a good route? Then once I finish these programs, I can finish up my pre-reqs and try my chances at dental school?


My own opinion is to take a deep look at your situation and your choices. There's no problem if you're trying to get into the dental profession, and getting a dental hygiene degree may be a great way to get their more quickly. Dentistry may be an option for you after a few years of working on the job but you're right that you have to take a serious effort retaking your prerequisites. But you're probably going to have to start again from scratch and really show some dramatic improvement (as in no more C's or worse) if you want to give yourself a chance.

I withdrew from Orgo the first time and received a C- the second time, can I get accepted into dental school?

Hi all! So here is my situation: I'm a junior at UF with a 3.1 Overall GPA wanting to apply to dental school after graduating (I'll be taking a gap year) and I'm really struggling with organic chemistry and Physics 2. The first time I took orgo, I withdrew because I failed the first 2 exams. The second time I took orgo, I still had a hard time grasping the material and passed right on the edge with a C-. I know that once you withdraw from a class, the second time you take it, it's good to receive an A but unfortunately, that didn't happen for me. With Physics 2, it was my first time taking the course and I failed it (D+). I'm planning on retaking it next Summer. Should I retake orgo in the future before applying to dental school? Would dental school still consider my application? Any advice would be great(: Thank you!!


I would presume you would ask these questions to admissions officers and perhaps other dental students. As it stands, if any admissions committee reviews your application, the difficulty you have had in required coursework is going to make a difference. I would ask your prehealth advisors at your institution for their insight about what you can do.

Masters or post-bacc better for sGPA 2.76 & AADSAS oGPA 3.0?

I recognize with massive clarity that I'm in a horrible situation, and I'd really appreciate some advice. I've finally mostly, gotten past the sad stage and now I just want to improve.

My first 2.5 years of uni were a disaster, I went through a pretty rough time due to major financing scares and family things that really threw me off my plans, and it led me into a rut. I didn't know many other peers that also wanted to apply to dental school, and for some reason it felt very difficult to find mentors or resources that would help me on my pre-dental track. Now that I'm finally finding resources or programs, I'm finding that I'm too late to apply to them or I'm no longer eligible due to various reasons.

But with my grades I was able to create an upwards trend, especially in my senior year (not that, that means much) for my biology degree. My senior year I got nearly all A's (& a couple Bs) that pushed my sub 3.0 to a 3.0. Technically my cumulative "transcript" gpa is a 3.24 but that's with the classes that I retook omitted from my GPA, whereas my oGPA (that the aadsas app would calculate) including those retaken classes (as in the 1st and 2nd attempt), is actually a 3.0, and my sGPA is a 2.76, while BCP is 2.5.

Since I graduated I've been working for a year at a dental focused lab full-time as a research assistant, and I'm about to take my DAT soon. I've volunteered ~200 hours so far and I've done a small course that teaches some hands on dental techniques. I was previously advised to take a masters, which I was going to apply for this year. However, recently, a couple or people advised that since my sGPA is so low, I should actually do a post-bacc instead, because apparently a masters doesn't mean much? I was wondering how valid that assumption is? However, since I was so focused on the masters option, all the post-bacc apps have literally just closed this past month, so I've pretty much missed my chance this year. Does it seem more beneficial to wait till next year to try for the post-bacc or is it worth it to continue on with my original plan to apply for a masters, since those apps open earlier around september?

I mainly would like to know why a post-bacc or masters would be better? I've contacted some admissions asking about undergrad gpa cutoffs and masters gpa considerations but I've gotten some mixed signals. I'm willing to spend the time, the debt, the years, but I also want to be efficient/smart about planning for it, so I look forward to any advice you have! If possible I was also wondering if anyone knows what the hard cutoffs are for undergrad GPAs that dental schools have? Thanks in advance!


Your advisors who have access to your transcript would be in a better position to advise you. Obviously you're acting a bit late if you're trying to find something for this fall semester. You would probably be in a better position to be admitted to a master's/graduate program for the next cycle after you focus on getting a very strong DAT score.

Started off my post-bacc poorly, will I be admitted into dental school?

I started a post bacc program a couple of years ago and unfortunately it has not gone well. My undergrad gpa was a 3.14 but currently my post bacc gpa is way below that. It’s now to the point where I’m currently on academic probation and I can start classes again this fall. My question is, if I start up again in the fall and retake the classes I did poorly in (received 2 Fs) and get nothing but A’s in all of my pre reqs, will dental schools consider me still? I received 2 Fs because I’m also working full time and I experienced some tragedies during those classes but I know I can do well in them. Is it worth me sticking it out at this school or just transferring to another school for a fresh start? I know I can ace the DAT as well, but I want to know if schools will even take me serious due to those F’s I received. I should also mentioned one of the classes I already retook and I only received a D, so I will have to take it again. Is it possible for me to be accepted even if I get my grades up to all A’s?!


If the reason why you are doing a postbac is to show you can handle more challenging coursework, then yes, C's or worse in postbac coursework is going to hurt any application unless there is really a good reason. Some schools may overlook the early problems, but you need to have some conversations with your advisors in your postbac program and admissions officers.

Help with applying/chance me

I am planning to apply to dental school and was wondering if my application will be competitive enough? I will be graduating from my university in a few weeks, and applying at the beginning of June (taking a gap year). I plan to be working in a lab and continuing my community service during my time off. I am also planning to apply very broadly. I am a VA resident. Thank you in advance!

-I am a white female -Major: Biology -GPA: 3.6 overall, 3.5 sGPA -DAT score: 20 AA, 19 TS, 19 PAT -about 150 hours of shadowing -about 50 hours of community service (I know its a little on the low side) -have had several leadership roles in clubs as an undergrad -involved in various clubs as an undergrad -did research for two years at my university


Your chances will always depend on where you are applying. In general your profile looks good but not great, but you may get a few interviews early on. You should have already networked with a number of admissions officers and current dental students to give you confidence and support.

Taking some basic math classes at a community college

So I currently am a freshman now going to be a sophomore at The University of Detroit Mercy and I have a question about dental school admissions. I plan to take 2 math classes this semester at a community college to catch up on my math because I a currently behind (intermediate algebra and trigonometry). I plan to take both in the summer at a community college but I have 2 questions. Will dental schools look down upon taking these two classes here and if I just get a C and do the bare minimum will dental school look at my grades from them as they don’t transfer to the school for my Gpa only the credits do. These will be my only 2 classes taken at a community college the rest will be taken at my university. Any advice and tips? My current GPA is a 3.79


You should check with admissions officers regarding your question about taking math classes at a community college. I suspect there are some that really don't care unless they are prerequisites. They will definitely care if you only decide to skate by with C's, given that you have a solid GPA.

How important is research for research schools like Harvard, UCLA, UCSF etc.

Hello, I am a junior planning to graduate this quarter. I have the option to stay an extra year and finish an independent research project, take more classes to potentially improve my GPA by 0.1 if I get all A's. And, work as a tutor. I can develop a potentially better relationship with my PI and other professors. Is this worth it, or would it be worthwhile to finish my studies and start working at a dental office for a full year? I am applying to Dental school next cycle, so next year. My goal is to get into Harvard or UCLA Dental. My current GPA is a 3.62 cum, and 3.4 BCP. I have average volunteering experiences. I have yet to take the DAT but my prognostic exam indicated a 22. Is the difference between 3.62 and 3.74 significant enough to warrant an extra year of study and time investment. Thank you!!!!!


It really depends on the schools where you are applying because some will focus more on your science/BCP GPA rather than your overall GPA. I'm not sure if it's significant to raise your overall GPA as much as it might be for your BCP/Science. I will say if your goal is to get to Harvard, then you better go for finishing off with a high overall GPA in general (above 3.70 perhaps).


I'm finding mixed answers in regards to skipping around on the PAT. I want to know if it's possible to jump to any question you want without hitting the skip button a bunch of times? On all my practices I start at hole punch (Question 46) go till the end, then jump back to question 1 and go till 45. This helps me tremendously in timing each section bc I can blaze through Hole Punch, Cubes, pattern Folding and have 38-40 minutes for Keyholes, TFE & angles (which I really need).


Your question may be best answered in the DAT forums since you're really asking about the nuts and bolts of the exam itself. It would help you having a practice test that can be administered online, and I think Kaplan may have a practice test they administer online (for marketing purposes?).

Question about have W on transcript

I am currently enrolled in a calculus based physics course, and I am doubting whether I can pass it or not. I want to withdraw and take an algebra based physics course, because I feel I will do significantly better (B+ to A). Do I need calculus based physics for dental school? How will a W grade look on my application?


Most dental schools are fine with algebra-based physics. That said, a withdraw grade on your transcript may raise a little concern, but you should check with admissions officers to know if they could understand your rationale. (Of course, the question that you'd have to ask is why you took the calculus-based physics class in the first place.)

Can I take all my pre-reqs at a CC?

I'm a third year undergrad at a four year university and I also attend a local community college. I'm doing a humanities degree at my four year and taking all of my dental school pre-reqs at community college. I spent my freshman year of college taking gen chem and bio at the four year and was getting really bad grades.(between 2.0-2.5) Ever since I started taking classes at community college I've been getting much better grades(between 3.6-4.0) and I've had more time to be involved with extracurriculars. My freshman year I only spent time studying and was not getting good grades. Going to community college has given me time to volunteer a lot, get published in research, make connections/do research for professors at a top dental school, attend dental conferences, and be much more involved with dentistry. I know that there's obviously people who are even more involved with me in extra stuff outside of academics and are getting straight A's in their prereqs that they take at a four-year. I know that some schools don't accept CC credits at all and that I'm making myself less competitive with my situation. However, are my chances of getting into dental school that do accept CC credits completely nonexistent because of this? Is it okay to tell dental schools that I wanted to have more time to involve myself with research and volunteering and that's why I didn't take my requirements at a four year? I'm also taking the DAT this summer and spending three months straight on that so hypothetically if I get a very competitive DAT score would that balance out my situation for pre-reqs? Thank you in advance and sorry for such a long post!


While you could probably take your prerequisites at a community college, the applicant pool is full of applicants who did all their prerequisites and upper-level biomedical classes at a four-year institution that your file may easily be overlooked unless you show you are able to handle a heavier, more rigorous course load at a four-year school. The chief concern for most dental schools is whether you can truly handle the course load that would be equivalent to at least 20-30 semester hours each semester (most undergraduate schedules are 12-15 semester hours in value). Some schools may accept a higher DAT score as an affirmation of your preparation for dental school but you will likely have to address an admissions committee's concerns on whether your GPA was inflated because your rigor wasn't as strong compared to other applicants they review.

pre dental academic enhancement post bacc program at southern California

Hello, I'm researching for an academic enhancement pre-dental post bacc program in southern California. I'm choosing between UCLA extension, USC open university, and UC Irvine open university. I would appreciate any advice/suggestion you can provide about these programs and how to make a decision. Also, I have read some negative reviews about UCLA extension program; students were complaining about not being helped well by the advisors to choose their classes. I would like to know if that has been the case so far about the program, and if so, is there any alternative way to get help for educational plan and find right classes in the program?


Probably the best information would come from the forums under postbac programs, but it's up to your preferences for learning style and supportive community that I think would be important. I cannot really comment regarding any specific programs and any challenges therein.

How can I strengthen my application??

So, as of now I am a sophomore in undergrad looking to apply to dental school.

I'm a volunteer EMT (I respond to calls when I am on break from school) and I've been doing this since the beginning of undergrad, so its safe to say I have 2000+ hours in this. (Volunteer/Clinical Experience)

I have 240 hours in the lab for research

I am practically bilingual in Spanish

I tutor in Biology classes and Composition classes

I'm in the process of arranging a shadowing deal with a dentist this summer

I will be a Resident Assistant next year (leadership)

What I am absolutely PETRIFIED about is my GPA. Right now, I sit at a 3.2 with a C+ in 1st semester gen chem (2nd semester B+) and a C+ in 1st semester Orgo (2nd semester TBD).

1st semester Freshman year --> 3.3 2nd semester Freshman year --> 3.7 1st semester sophomore year --> 2.6!

My GPA has been a struggle, but last semester was really rough!! So far, I am doing a lot better in my classes this semester, but I am scared that I am going to have a repeat of last semester!

And I'm wondering if I should apply to be a student phlebotomist not only for the summer job but increased clinical experience that is not related to volunteer work

Any advice is appreciated!!! Thank you!


Without a DAT score, any advice you get is only based on your GPA, and you should seek your prehealth advisor to confirm your suspicions that your GPA from your chemistry coursework is going to be an issue. It may be hard to accept but you probably will want to really focus on your coursework performance, especially with your upper-level biomedical classes. Thus you should be really careful about your involvement outside of those classes. Yes, you need dental shadowing experience, but you don't want to be too overloaded with extracurricular activities that it would divert your efforts from focusing on your coursework and your GPA. You should be networking with admissions officers to get their sense of your application profile compared to candidates they have accepted.

Fabrication academic dishonesty

My first semester at a 4 year university as a freshman i was caught for fabrication in a LCOM class(learning community). What will happen in terms of applying to dental school. And also if i transfer universities will this academic dishonesty incident be carried on with me at the transfer university? The fabrication incident is on my academic record.


You should be quite honest about your conviction no matter where you wind up graduating with your undergraduate degree. I don't know if your misconduct record will be transferred to your new institution, though I suspect it depends on the policies of the first institution whether they could transfer that information due to student privacy issues.

Retake Microbiology at University of Illinois at Chicago

Hi I am currently at Kankakee Community College with intentions to transfer to UIC after my two years. I passed Micro with with an A at KCC, but when i used the Transferology ( a website where you can see if your credits will transfer), it told me that my micro class will transfer but as a "analyzing the natural world", which is a general education requirement at UIC for natural sciences. So I kind of confused... does this mean my credits transfer but the school is not accepting it as microbiology course completed? Also I noticed the micro at KCC is only 4 credits, and at UIC is 5 credits. So my question is should I retake it at UIC? I heard rumors that dental schools prefer upper level division courses to done at 4 year institutions? So what do I do? I also plan to take Advanced microbiology once I transfer to UIC, but that requires general micro first...


In all likelihood, you're going to need to retake the class, especially if the class is not designated as being for science majors. (This is something academic advisors would have been able to tell you before you took the class, but it's usually clearly noted by the professor.) There are biology and microbiology courses designed for non-science, nursing, and allied health students which are not as detailed or in-depth compared to classes designed for science majors at many community colleges and universities. You can probably get a better explanation from the transfer advisor and department advisor at UIC.

i want to get into dental school as a foreigner . so i'm planning to transfer pre-dental school

i have a bachelor's degree in chemistry and pre-medical in korea i don't have a citizenship in u.s so i want to transfer to pre-dental school to get into dental school. i have some questions

1. i want to know the rate of competition to get into dental school from pre-dental course students.because i want to know how hard it is

2. what pre-dental school should i go to become a dental school student with better assurance (cc or university)

3. i want to know what pre-dental school have short course ( quarter or semester etc..)

4. i want to know the list of dental school which foreigner can apply for and i want to know the possibility to pass them

5. if i fail to get the high score in DAT ,can i take test over three times? ( i want to know how much DAT score do i need)

6. if i fail to get into the dental school, is it possible to apply for pharmacy school? let me know some figures of recordings of employment rate

7. After graduating from the dental school, And how much income is there and how life will spread

8. The total time and cost that you would expect to plan to study in the United States


A lot of your general questions can be covered on the ADEA GoDental website. You may want to inquire about the process to be admitted as a student in the United States, and you should choose a university that has strong prehealth/predental advising. For your later questions about income as a dentist, you may want to look at the American Dental Association website which probably has some basic information about careers and salary trends in dentistry, but note that you shouldn't take those estimates as gospel.

Can I take Statistics as Biology major and finish my math? I do not wish to take Calc 2 and I already passed Calc 1

I am applying this November to most of the UC's. I know that UCLA, UCB, and UCSD require Calc 1 and Calc 2, however I do not wish to take Calc 2. I do not want to take that intensive of a math course. I am far more interested in Stats and wish to take Stats next semester. Please tell me what schools will be okay with me having Calc 1 and Stats completed. Thank you.


I'm not sure if you're talking about completion of your degree or the admissions requirements for dental school. If you have no choice but to take Calc 2 instead of statistics to get your degree, there's really not an argument. As for dental school requirements, you should check what the schools you desire would say about it. I wouldn't suspect there would be much objection if you don't wind up taking a second-semester calculus class depending on the dental schools you're looking at.

What to do?

I'm in my 4th year at York University in Toronto. I goof'd up big time / suffered a union strike for 6+ weeks in my first year, and therefore have an abnormally low Science GPA (~2.7). Otherwise, my overall GPA upon graduation will be around 3.5. I think my chances of acceptance in Canada are non-existent, but I'm wondering if anyone can help me realize my chances in the USA? I have hundreds of hours of EC's and shadowing, reference letter from an O-chem prof + more to come, and a work-study position on campus under a different professor. I'll be writing the DAT this summer and hope/plan to score very highly. Can i do it?

All input and advice is highly appreciated. Thanks very much in advance.


It doesn't hurt to try, but I would connect with admissions officers at US institutions to get a sense of which schools would be more inclined to accepting non-US students and then their academic preferences among applicants.

Pharmacist becoming a Dentist

I've been thinking about trying to get into dental school for quite a while but I come from a unique background and was wondering if I could get some advice? I'm actually a practicing pharmacist in Australia however I'm a duel American and Australian citizen and would want to return to the US if I were to study dentistry. Pharmacy in Australia is also a bachelor degree with a lengthy post graduate licensing process not a doctoral degree like in America. I don't know if I'd have to do prerequisites at a community college or something because all my classes where uniquely tailored to pharmacy. Another thing is I only achieved a 3.1 GPA which I'm aware would be considered quite low for a dental school applicant coming from an American University. If anyone could help me out it would be much appreciated. Another thing I forgot to mention is that I was a commissioned officer in the Australian army as a pharmacist. I don't know if this would be considered favourable?


I would always suggest reaching out to admissions officers at the schools you are strongly interested in first. You would be presenting a unique situation that most faculty members may need more understanding before anyone can give you any specific advice, especially as you are transitioning from a different health professional background. You may have to do some prerequisites like physics, but we don't know for sure since we would have to see how your transcript would be evaluated on par with American curricula.

I need help with my first dental school interview

Dear friends, I'm having my first dental school interview with Touro on Feb 14th, and I really have no experience. I hope you would be kind to please help me with my mock interviews and share with me your experience. Thank you very much.


Good luck. I'm not sure if there are any entries regarding the interview Feedback (under resources here) for Touro, but you should practice with your local career services office about interview skills in general. They should help you with mock interviews.

What are my chances?

Hi, I don't know if this is a good spot to post this question so please let me know if i'm in the right spot. I am a City College student (Santa Barbara City College) and I have made a little boo-boo. I have a 3.18 GPA as an overall but I messed up my Science GPA to a lower than 2.7 GPA in my general bio (animal, plant, and cell) + my general chemistry (this is what ruined it). I now have difficult choice to make, I can switch my major and apply to a 4 year near me (UCSB) or I can go to a different UC with a bio major. I know I can do better since I had many issues while taking those classes (although I hate blaming it on that). Can you let me know what chances I have to get into a Dental School. I was looking into UCSF DDS and have kept contact with the admissions staff for now. I'm trying to get some sort of idea of what to do next. My dentist has agreed to help me out by letting me shadow him and writing a letter of rec. I haven't taken the DAT but I'm more than positive I can do fairly well on it. Please ask me anything else you need to know. I already have a lot of work in computer science and will be taking on Accounting in the meantime, but I have had a passion for dentistry since I was 11.


It's hard to say what direction would best position you for the challenges of dental education. I would say focus on the coursework that you are taken and that you give yourself a chance to really learn the material, not just to do well on the DAT. You do need to find strong mentors in your biomedical science classes to help you to that end.

Can a DDS/MD become a Physician?

So I'm not sure if the question above made much sense so let me explain a bit deeper. I am a sophomore at a university right now hoping to get into dental school-I want to in the near future become an OMFS. I heard that they can complete a six-year program that awards them a DDS/DMD and an MD. But I'm confused on the part that since I have an MD can I Specialize to become a general surgeon or neurosurgeon and keep my OMFS career on the side, Or do I just get an MD for the education part of it and to let my patients feel safer when I operate on them? I didn't really find any info that clarifies this.


You should make sure to ask this question to an oral surgeon who you ought to shadow; most oral surgeons need hospital credentials in order to be able to access anesthesia, sedation machinery and an appropriate operating room. (This is my general understanding, but an oral surgeon will give you more specific details and reasons.)

Dental Hygienist then Dentist?

Would it make sense to become a dental hygienist and work for a few years before going to dental school?

I want to be a dentist but dental school is very expensive. An alternative route would be to work as a dental hygienist for a few years then go to dental school.

I know going to straight to dental school would be quicker but becoming a hygienist first would mean more experience and more time to save.


I gave this answer to a similar question:

There are many students who start as dental hygienists who ultimately graduate from dental school, but usually they show mastery of biomedical coursework in their application for their most recent courses taken. You should talk with admissions staff at the schools you are thinking about applying to and students from those schools to get some insight.

Should I go to Dental School or PA School? Any input helps.

Hello there! I am currently having somewhat of an inner crisis trying to decide my future. I am about to graduate with my Bachelor's degree from a university and am trying to feel confident in my next step. I have been pre-dental throughout my college career, but have had some reservations about the work recently. I know it is rewarding, but my concern is that the mouth is such a tiny and meticulous place to work. I don't know if after years of bending over mouths and working in such confined spaces, I will become burnt out and hate my work. However, I do find it interesting and I enjoy many aspects of dentistry such as the autonomy, (typically) easy hours, stable income, and the ability to make an impact on community health. In one of my anatomy classes, I became fascinated by how the entire body works and met some pre-PA peers who got me thinking about changing my career path. This is due to less debt, less school time, less hassle in general, and the fact that the work goes beyond just the mouth. Yet, as a PA, I would probably work harder and longer hours with less pay. Just the truth. I have already taken the DAT and did very well, and I have a high GPA. I also have published research at my university's college of dentistry, and am a certified Emergency Medical Responder. I guess my question calls for any input you guys have (being personal experiences, etc.) about these careers. My biggest fear is burn out and loss of passion. I need passion to feel alive. Things that are most important to me career wise are definitely LIFESTYLE (free time, ability to travel, have a family/ be a mother) and compensation. I want to live comfortably. Thanks for any help!


You should continue to talk with and shadow professionals in both fields before you even think about applying. Only they will give you insight into the lifestyle that you would be interested in, but remember that your own life needs are going to change when you least expect it. In general, you can only be passionate about a career if you know you are in the best position to make the impact to help others that satisfies you.

Rider University post bacc

I have just completed my bachelors in psychology, and i am wondering I how should proceed regarding the necessary prerequisites for dental school. I only need to take the sciences and was wonder if a postbacc is a good decision?


You should check with the prehealth advisors and the postbac program directors about your situation to see if a postbac is needed. I would suspect that if you haven't had a lot of biomedical science courses, you should probably take additional classes to cover it, but I couldn't say whether you could just add them as undergraduate courses or take a more formal postbac curricular direction based on what you have written.

Undergraduate Major

I'm an undergraduate student interested in dental school. I'm having trouble deciding between a biology major or a chemistry major with a biochem emphasis. Since a chem major is a little harder, would that raise my chances of acceptance? Or since there are so many bio and chem majors that apply, does it really even matter?


There are definitely many biology and chemistry majors in the applicant pool, so you should do the major that best gets you strong letters of evaluation and opportunities to connect with your faculty.

Any Dentists care to answer some career interview questions?

I am a pre-dental student in university, and have an assignment to interview someone in the profession I want to be in, and I would really appreciate anyone willing to volunteer.

Firstly, I need your full name, place of business/address, email, and phone number. (I can almost 100% guarantee you will not be contacted by my instructor, and if you do not feel comfortable putting that out here you're more than welcomed to private message it to me, (I will not send/use your info for anything else either))

1. What made you want to become a dentist?

2. How much dedication do you need to stick with this profession?

3. Whats the most rewarding thing about your job?

4. What is a typical workday like?

5. How much does being a dentist interfere with family (in other words, is it as demanding as other jobs? Do you have to sacrifice family for your career during schooling/actually in the profession?)

6. If you could choose again, would you still pursue this career?

7. What is the worst part of your job?

8. (if this is too personal that is okay) How much did dental school cost, and what debt if any did you have?

9. How difficult is it to get the grades necessary to get into dental school?

10. What is the funniest thing hat has happened to you during your career?

Thanks to anyone who answers!!!


These are good questions to ask the dentists that you are connecting with to see if they have shadowing opportunities. Have you done that? Now, there are also plenty of other questions that should inspire you based on the answers you get, so make sure you note which dentists give you truly candid responses.

Will becoming a Dental hygienist after BS in biology better my chances of getting into dental school?

Low GPA for my undergrad degree in Biology, 2.68. Not that it matters, but I am a nontraditional student, who at the time was going through a divorce with two kids. I am currently a middle school science teacher. Is it possible to go to school for dental Hygiene after a BS in biology? If I do very well, and well on the DAT, do you think dental schools would be accepting of taking that route?


There are many students who start as dental hygienists who ultimately graduate from dental school, but usually they show mastery of biomedical coursework in their application for their most recent courses taken. You should talk with admissions staff at the schools you are thinking about applying to and students from those schools to get some insight.

Anyone who has prior military service and is applying for HPSP, what factors were taken into consideration or affected your application?

I served almost 10 years enlisted in the navy, what factors will be taken into consideration from my prior service when applying for HPSP? I have an honorable discharge and no record of disciplinary issues I'm just wondering if there is anything from my prior service that would affect my application (positive or negative).


I'm not sure if your prior service would hurt you in any application. This is something to talk with your recruiters since they would have a better idea of your assigned officer rank would be .

Are there any good masters programs for dental school in California?

I applied to Dental School this cycle and at this point it doesn't look like I am getting in. I just want to be prepared in case I dont get in. I am looking into Masters programs and pos-bacc however I am leaning towards the Masters so that at least I can get a degree out of it. Are there any other advantages in a post-bacc rather than a masters? Also, do you guys know of any Masters programs for Dental School in California? I am a resident and would love to stay in state for the program as well as for Dental School.

Other than that which programs do you think have the highest acceptance rates for Dental School? Do you think it is better to go to a school with a Dental School rather than one without?



I don't know if you have access to a prehealth advisor, but there is a general directory of postbac programs run through the AAMC . From that directory, choose the programs that list themselves as having a "special focus" for students that are interested in students pursuing other health professions. That gets you to six programs that you should look into.

Do Admissions Staff monitor SDN posts?

Wondering if my comments here on SDN might be read by admissions staff. I have made comments about a preferred school, for example, and I am afraid it might hurt my chances if another school read that and could, possibly pretty easily, figure out who I am. Maybe I'm being paranoid, but I sure wish I could go back and edit some of these forum posts.


Yes, many admissions officers will monitor posts on SDN.


Also, if you are concerned about something that you have posted, you can always go back and edit or delete that post by selecting the "Edit" or "Delete" buttons directly under your post.

Biomedical Sciences major vs. Biology

Im in my junior year, in biomedical sciences. This is my situation:

I am 75% done with my biomedical science degree. This is fine but when I compare my transcript to a biology degree I am 95% done with a bachelor degree. 

I feel like my gpa will be great with a biology degree compared to a biomedical science degree, but I have to take those classes anyways for dental school. I want to double major in psychology as well because I have coursework that completes 90% of that degree. I know people say dental schools don't mind what your major is as long as you meet requirements but what advice can you give that you believe will help me succeed.


Do well in upper-level biomedical science coursework, but otherwise what you major in is irrelevant.

Could I apply of DDS/PhD if I get denied from DDS at the sam school?

I was wondering If anyone knows how this works? I love dentistry and I love research. I have been told many times that once accepted into a school I can opt into the PhD if I still want to do it. My question is, if I applied to a school who already denied my DDS application can I apply again in the same cycle for the DDS/PhD program?


In general a DDS/PhD is even more selective than just the DDS, so chances are that you would not have a chance at acceptance to the DDS/PhD program if you were rejected for DDS alone.

Troubled past, getting accepted into dental school.

I was a troubled teenager; I dropped out of high school to work full time, and at one point I lived in my car and a tent on the beach. My future however is looking very bright. I'm a full time college student at ASU, 4.0 GPA, volunteer work, extracurriculars, and I plan to score very high on my DAT (I will not settle for anything less than a 23... come hell or high water).

     When I went back to school, I found my life's purpose. I love studying. I love research and academics. I love working hard to achieve my goals. My life has completely taken a 180.
     I feel that my past makes me stand out from the other dental school applicants. I feel that I have overcome great obstacles to get to where I'm going; and I have shown tremendous improvement and growth. 
   Is my past a liability? Should I keep my mouth shut and plead the 5th? Or should I speak up?


I would work with your prehealth and career advisors to help you talk about your troubled past. People do grow up and mature, and I think proof of being successful despite life challenges has potential of being a positive.

Applying for dental school

I applying for dental school, My application will be sent in by Aug 18, 2017 but I don't take my DAT until August 30. Will it be to late to apply for four or five dental schools during that time since It takes 2 to 3 weeks for your transcripts to be verified and it takes 2 to 3 weeks to receive my official DAT.


It depends on the schools' timelines on how they select and invite people to interview. It's probably on the later side of being "on time" but interviewing usually starts around Labor Day for most schools.

in the dental school explorer l don't see QR as a category itself How important is QR scores?

my DAT scores are between 18 and 20 for all categories except QR wich is 13 my gpa is 3.78 but i am hoping the school to see my five 5 years experience attending dental school in South America including clinical hours and my 5 years experience working as RN in a US hospital


Every dental school will consider the QR score in the application, but most will probably make a decision on much more than just a subscore of the DAT alone. I'm certain most would likely consider your clinical experience in reviewing your application.

Is there a possibility to get into a dental school?


I am writing this to get some advices. I have started my pre-dental path since 2008 with biology major at a community college and transfer to a 4-year university with biochem major. I also did master’s with biotech and finished it last year.

At a community college, overall gpa is 3.87.

Biology classes: general bio (A), organism bio (C), cell/molecular bio (A) Chemistry classes: general chem 1 (B), general chem 2 (A), Organic chem 1 (A), Organic chem 2 (A)

At a 4-year university, the GPA is 2.7, and the sGPA is around 2.3~2.4. In master’s program (biotech), the overall GPA is 3.8.

I have done shadowing and volunteering for 2 years. I never had a research experience at school, but I as a research scientist at a biotech company have an experience for 2 years, and I have gotten a FDA approval under my name on Class II medical device, which is a clinical chemistry reagent.

Will there be a chance that I can be accepted by average dental schools in U.S?


I hope you find someone in admissions or a health professions advisor at the school where you had gotten your master's degree to help you. In general I would always say there is a chance for any applicant who shows personal dedication, maturity, and enthusiasm for the profession of dentistry and its impact in the health care field. To that end I don't know what you have done to demonstrate those qualities in your question, but I hope you get a chance to explain it further when you talk to your advisors.

How should I start shadowing a dentist?

I am in my third year of undergrad, but have not shadowed a dentist as yet. How can I get an opportunity to start doing so , if my personal dentist already has students shadowing him?


Depending on the opportunities that are available from your home institution for shadowing, I would ask your dentist if he can refer you to a peer who might have availability for shadowing. Also, you can see if there are opportunities through local dental free clinics or the local dental society.

Is it okay to apply to dental school missing biochemistry and microbiology?


It is okay to apply to dental school without those classes, but you need to be aware that if you are accepted by a school that requires either or both classes before matriculating that you take those classes and do well during your application year. Now that said, there are a lot of applicants that will have taken either or both courses before applying so you have to be sure that your entire application is strong, including your academic history.

Should I retake the DAT?

Hi everyone, I just took the DAT last week and I don't know what to do in regards to retaking it. I have nobody to ask and I'm really scared I didn't do well. I was working full time while studying for the test and took it late June 2017. I earned a total science of 18 and average 18. These are my scores:

14 PAT, 17 QR, 18 Reading, 16 BIO, 17 CHEM, 23 ORGO, TS 18, AA 18

I'm really nervous about retaking it because if i repeat it, i cannot take it again until late September, and by that time I will be late already. I have a GPA of 3.8 and have volunteer hours done at a hospital and shadowed a dentist for over 150 hours. A lot of schools I looked into say they desire an 18 or above average, so is it really necessary in my case to retake it? I am just worried because since i am applying in this cycle (to begin class in the 2018 fall) I don't want to be late with applying since I would have to retake it in late September. I really don't want to bother anyone, but I just need advice since I don't know anyone to ask. I really appreciate your help and your advice. Please give me reasoning with your answer/opinion. Thanks in advance!


Most schools will desire 18's or higher on all elements of your DAT scores, which would include your PAT and all subscores (reading, biology, etc.). Some schools place more value in the DAT scores than others, so it's up to you to roll the dice and see if you get any interviews with the scores reported. My guess is that you would better serve yourself if you are confident you could reach consistent 20+'s across your report than to hold with what you have.

Where can I get my personal statement reviewed and edited?

I am currently working on my personal statement for my dental school application. Where can I go to get professional edits and critiques? I am no longer in school so I cannot go to my writing center for help.


Depending on how long it has been since you had been in school, your undergraduate career services office may also be able to assist you as an alumnus. Otherwise, you can probably scour the forums. You could also check the Writing Center for referrals.

DAT scores

I took my DAT a couple weeks ago and I got 19AA, 19 TS, and 18 PAT. I have a 3.9 GPA but im scared I wont get an interview because of my DAT scores. Is an average of 19 bad?


The most recent ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools should help get you an idea of the range of DAT scores that are accepted at most schools for AA, PAT, and SCI. Regardless, it's your entire application that truly makes an impact in the process and not just the GPA/DATs.

Chances of getting into dental school

I have a 19AA 19 TS and a 3.9 GPA. Do I have a chance of getting into dental school? Especially those in Florida as in state


Most dental schools like to look beyond the simple numbers when it comes to evaluating applicants, especially since choice of major, school, or educational path (if you took classes at multiple institutions) is not uniform for all applicants. It depends on the quality of your dental experiences, your specific interest and dedication to dentistry, and a proper understanding of the impact dentistry has to the patients you wish to serve. Hopefully your prehealth advisor on campus or one that you can access has given you some insight.

If I reveal that I am a victim of an assault in my personal statement, am I likely to be questioned about it in interviews?

The reference is in passing in the final paragraph of the statement and includes information to the effect that I was able to persevere. On the one hand, I am hoping it will help me stand out as an applicant, but I may get emotional if I am questioned about it as it occurred in the past year.


The usual rule is that anything you disclose in your application can be fair game in an open-file interview. It is up to you (along with any advisors helping you) to determine this. Remember that it's a committee of strangers who will be looking at your application, even if only one or two of them ultimately have a conversation with you on your application. My usual advice is to have you think if this is something that helps you connect with your patients or vice versa, or how would it help you establish better trust with your classmates.

Am I applying to Texas Dental schools too late?

I was just wondering if submitting my TMDSAS application for dental schools mid-July is too late? Because I'm taking my DAT at June 22nd and it won't be verified for another 2-3 weeks.


If the only thing missing in your application is your DAT scores, it's unlikely your application is going to be adversely affected.

Will taking all science prerequisites at a community college hurt my chances of getting into dental school?

I graduated from a 4-year university with a B.S. in psychology with a 3.75 GPA. I have just recently found an interest in dentistry and want to take all my science prerequisites at a community college. Is that going to be something that dental schools look down upon? Also, can I apply to a dental school before getting all the prerequisites done, as long as I complete them before matriculation? Or will that also be something that they look down upon?


You may want to check on each dental school; you may be in a situation where you have no choice but to take those courses at a community college, but some schools will explicitly say they will cap the total number of hours they would like to see or that CC coursework would be fine as long as upper-level biomedical coursework beyond the prerequisites is taken at a four-year institution. There are many postbac programs that only offer prerequisites for applicants who do not have prior in-depth coursework in biomedical science, so you may want to check those out as options.

24 AA DAT; 3.8 Science GPA Florida Student. Where is my best chance to get in?

I know there is difficulty that comes along with applying out of state. I was applying to BU, Tufts, Harvard, UPenn, Columbia, Maryland, UConn, UNC, UPitt, and UF. It's ideal to attend UF due to being in-state and having that tuition however, I'd like to have options if I do not get in. Also, am trying to apply to schools worth choosing over UF if I were to get in. The application process is expensive though and I'd like to cut my list down. Any advice?


I hope you talked with your advisors regarding your question. On metrics, you shouldn't have a problem with interviews, but you should probably determine which school is best for you and how you learn. Every school has a different culture and set of students who can help you. What is more important to you than just cost, since clearly UF won't likely beat any of the other schools you list without a significant scholarship (which there are no guarantees you would get). I think that you could cut your list down, but you need to know what your priorities are other than just the cost.

Summer program options

I was lucky enough to be accepted to two programs this summer but I am in a quandary about which one to attend. I was accepted to an 8 week program at a local hospital where I will shadow various health professionals, doing rotations from emergency medicine to surgery, attend grand rounds, attend lectures and have a mentor . The other program is a 10 day intense EMT program overseas , where I would become a licensed first responder and volunteer on an ambulance for 4 weeks. If I attend the overseas program, I can also take one semester of physics. I could do 5 weeks of the hospital program and then do the overseas program but I don't know how the hospital program will react to me leaving their program early. I know these programs seem more suited to medical school but I have already shadowed dentists and worked in a dental office so I wanted to add something to my experience.


Do whichever program best feeds your interests about what individuals in the health professions do. It really wouldn't matter one way or the other. You would have a better idea of any additional benefits one program may have over the other on you personally. Yes, both experiences do cater a bit more towards traditional medically-oriented prehealth students so it may not be a critical experience to many dental school faculty reviewing your application.

What should I do? Need advice

ok so I am really not sure what to do and would really appreciate some advice on what to do I took the dat in september and my scores are.. PAT: 18 QR: 17 RC: 17 BIO: 17 Gen Chem: 19 O Chem: 19 TS: 18 AA: 18

Need to know if i am better off applying as soon as the cycle starts or re-take my dat the second week of July (won't be able to re-take it earlier) then apply right before august

-So my overall gpa is 3.6 and science gpa is 3.45 -I am part of Sigma Alpha Lambda at my school (leadership & honors organization) and project coordinator at Jersey Cares Volunteering, so I have about 400+ hrs of volunteering -I am a manager at a restaurant (for 5 years) and have interned at a medical lab for 6 months, and work construction and landscaping in the summer -I was captain of my Basketball team -I have over 150 hours of shadowing (from 3 different dentists) -I have an associates degree and bachelors degree in Biology -I am applying broadly (15-20 schools)

I know the earlier you apply the better, so just wanted your opinions on if I am better of re-taking the dat and applying end of July or keep my current DAT and apply as soon as the cycle opens


Depending on the schools you are targetting, and what response you have gotten to date on interview invitations, you may want to consider retaking the DAT. I don't know how well you have done in your science coursework, but your science scores on the DAT may bring any great grades you have gotten into question.

What further steps should I take to get into dental school with a poor undergraduate GPA

I did very poorly for most of my undergraduate years( because of a health condition) but was able to pull myself around the last two years after getting help for it. In addition, because my health condition was serious enough, I was able to have specific grades removed from my transcript by the university. Overall I was able to graduate Biomedical Engineering with a 2.79 GPA and have started a masters in Neuroscience and am doing relatively well. If I (hypothetically) expect to graduate with an above 3.8 GPA in the masters program, get above a 21+ on the DAT and am able to get the required amount of shadowing and experience typical for a pre-dental students, where do you guys think I stand in terms of applying? I retook several of the science courses that caused the low GPA at a community college and was able to get A's and B's in them.

I know I am severly at a disadvantage in terms of undergraduate GPA but I am willing to work my butt off if there is even a slim chance that dental schools would be willing to consider the improvements my grades toward the end of undergraduate years as well as in the masters program.


Your next best step is networking with students and admissions staff at the schools you have the strongest interest in attending. Get an idea of how dental education is different from the education you have been accustomed to in graduate school (there is a real difference), and revive any shadowing in dental environments so you know what the work is like. Some schools will be more likely to focus on your more recent academic record, but all schools will want to know why you want to change course.

What should I do next ? What are my chances ?

Some basic info about me 1. International Student (Vietnamese) - F1 student Visa 2. Major - Biology 3. Just graduated (undergraduate degree) 4. Overall GPA 3.79 5. Science GPA 3.80 6. DAT (17AA - PA 20, QR 16, RC 13, BIO 19, GC 18, OC 19, TS 18). I KNOW IT'S REALLY LAME (4 weeks of medium study). Going to retake it in the end of July (2nd time) 7. Shadow hours ~ 130 8. Extracurricular activities, volunteer hours ~ 200 9. Research hours ~ 180 (both undergraduate & graduate research) 10. Work Experience - Teaching Assistance for Bio (4 semesters) 11. Applied last cycle - late applicant (early October), low DAT score --> didn't get in any school. Since I'm an international student, I have to _____ (below) to extend my immigration status. 1. Continue going to school (graduate or undergraduate). 2. Apply for work Something interesting about me 1. All of my relative are engineers 2. plan B is to switch major My questions are... 1. Should I work as an engineer ? (I have relatives that can hook me up without any experience, sounds impossible but possible. But, will it affect my application ???) 2. Should I continue as a master degree in General Biology? (Can buy me 2 extra years in the US, if I won't get in to Dent school, then what?) 3. Should I switch major into Engineering? (Pros - buy me 3 extra years, later can get a job & stay in the US. Cons - will this affect my application ?) All it boils down to 1. I really want to be in dental field but don't know what road is best to choose. 2. Don't want to choose the way that can jeopardize my hard work of the last 4 years Something I know little about 1. International students (like me) have very low acceptance rate -->What are my chances of getting in ?

I would take any advice/ opinion from any of SDNers that has been through this. Thank you


You'll have to check which dental schools would accept international students because there are a few that might consider your application (certainly retake your DAT). If you've just graduated, I don't know whether switching majors is going to really help you; indeed, engineering is a really difficult major and it could undermine what you have. It appears you have a very solid GPA and other experiences.

If you want to be in a dental field, then why not work in a dental/health environment? It is a challenge because of the nature of your visa, so if you were planning on remaining in the US, I hope you have arranged for that. As you know, having to move back to your home country during an application cycle is going to be a challenge if you were to be more successful and get interview invitations.

How do I become a dentist?

I am 18 years old and I just graduated high school. I really want to become a dentist and I really do not know how to get there or where to apply to. I keep looking for answers but no one really knows. I live in southern california. I understand I need a Bachelor's degree of 4 years then dental school of 4 years, the DAT exam and licensing. This really is my goal and I really need help getting there. My family struggled financially and I had to go to work instead of school to make ends meet.


ADEA has posted a web resource to answer some of your basic questions at . The American Dental Association also has a handful of resources as would ASDA. The California Dental Association also has a section on its website at .

DAT Prep

I am interested in taking the DAT in August before the Fall semester begins. I am working a lot this summer at an internship and my actual job so finding time to study is kinda hard. I have been researching different study methods students have used and am not sure exactly which to use. I already plan on taking I prep dentals course which begins in june. But, what are some other good books to use to study in the meantime. I have heard a lot about Kaplan, Princeton and Barrons. Also, am I giving myself enough time to study?


You're the best person to know how you are going to manage your time and plan taking the DAT, so it's hard given the information in your post to make any call. The advice I generally give to anyone is to make sure you've taken your biology and chemistry prerequisites before taking the exam, so usually plan on taking it a few months after you completed organic chemistry (at least). There is a forum that discusses test prep resources and study schedules for the DAT, so don't forget to rummage through there. However, I will say that you probably already know your best and most effective study method if you have done well on your exams in other courses, so it's a question of being disciplined enough to train for the exam. There should be suggestions on that forum of how to study, but I usually think that if you focus in an undistracted way (no internet) for two hours daily on the DAT, you can get a lot accomplished with a proper content plan.

GPA and Dental School

This is my second time applying to dental school. I am certain that the reason I didn't get in of because of my DAT scores and GPA. I am currently studying to retake the DAT for the third time (last chance) and did over 100 hrs of shadowing after I graduated college and worked for a year. I have really strong letters and great volunteering experiences and leadership roles combined with several pre-dental summer programs including SMDEP. After graduation I applied to the Baylor Post-baccc but didn't get accepted. My GPA is 2.97 so I'm not sure any masters programs would accept me to look more "competitive" for admissions.

Can somebody tell me how I can better my GPA or what I should do... For now I am focusing all my time in the DAT to get the highest score I can and maybe that can balance out with my GPA..

Thank you!


It's unfortunate you couldn't get into the Baylor postbac program, but there are plenty of other programs, so I hope you will be successful getting into one. That's pretty much the most effective way I would suggest you look into when it comes to raising your GPA. You could try other graduate coursework routes, but usually given that low of an initial GPA, it would be better if you found a program that could result in a master's degree after 1-2 years and apply after you have one year's worth of coursework recorded.

How much do dental schools care about quantitative reasoning DAT?

Hi, I am having a difficult time deciding on whether or not I should retake the DAT.

My scores:

RC:19 Quant:16 PAT:20 Bio:20 Gen Chem:19 O Chem:19 TS: 20 AA:19

I am not concerned about any area besides quantitative reasoning. My GPA is a 3.33, but I am only a sophomore, so I have a whole year to increase it. I have heard rumors about schools cut off scores being 17s in all sections, so I am worried. I am interested in the midwest schools like Ohio State, U of M, Penn State, University of Kentucky, University of Indiana, and University of Louisville. Please let me know if you think a 16 in quant will take away from me being a competitive applicant, or if you think I should retake the DAT.


You may need to check the ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools to see if there is a minimum requirement for the DAT subsections for your schools of interest. I don't think that the score by itself may be a deterrent but there are plenty of other students who haven't scored that low. I would certainly concern yourself more with your GPA and science coursework.

Would a 3 year gap year affect my dental school acceptance?

I graduated college with my BS Bio with a 3.5 GPA, cum laude honors, a bunch of extracurricular activities, a bunch of volunteer work (including dental events) in May 2016. I have been working at a general dental clinic ever since graduation. I've been trained how to handle all administration tasks - insurance, claims, aging reports - and I have been trained in the back with restorative, endo, oral surgery, implants, and ortho. I've been learning a lot about the dental field this past year. I have also been taking time to shadow other specialists.

After a series of unfortunate events with family, I may not be able to study well enough to take the DAT and finish with a high score for this application period. I only have one month to study and so far I've only finished half way through Chad's videos and about 8-9 chapters of Cliff's AP bio.

I'm considering not even taking the DAT this year to save myself from failing horribly and studying hard core for the next application period in 2018. Another thing I can do is turn in my application in June, and retake the DAT before 2017 applications close. I'm 23 YO, if that matters.

I'm a little bit stuck and I don't know which route is the best. Any advice from you all?


A three-year gap after your education won't be too much of a concern, but you do want to keep yourself relevant in dentistry and plan on perhaps taking some upper-level science classes or other skills to help you through. It's very challenging to go from working mostly full-time back to studying on an intense full-time basis so that may be the one issue you must be able to address. I would plan on taking your DAT as late as possible in your gap period since most schools will only consider a DAT score valid for 2-3 years.

University of Toronto Student applying to US dental schools

I am a student at the University of Toronto majoring in Biochemistry and Neuroscience and I will be done with my Honours BSc degree in two years. I would like to ask about my chances regarding applying to dental schools in the US. In terms of extracurricular activities, I have 120 hours of shadowing which includes two dentists in their private practices and also in a hospital. I am also a writer for the major newspaper at our university and I am part of several Dental groups/clubs. I have no research, however I plan to do more shadowing over the summer and volunteer work. I havent done the DAT yet. With those extracurricular activities and two majors and a cumulative GPA of 3.5-3.6, what are my chances at dental schools in the U.S ? and which dental schools should I consider applying to? Lastly, does which university I receive my undergraduate degree from (University of Toronto ) play a role when considering my application?

Thank you, any help or advice would be very appreciated.


Obviously your DAT results are going to be helpful, but there's really no way to solidly quantify anyone's chances of getting into dental school. The US programs do employ a holistic perspective in reviewing your metrics in context with other personal qualities and experiences that you disclose in your application.

One of the challenges that you might have is the perception of a "well-rounded" curricular experience as many schools are looking for students with a broad educational foundation, including coursework in arts, literature, history, and culture (though those are not requirements). The American university system employs a general education curriculum where these courses are required by all undergraduate students, but the Canadian university system does not. Consequently many Canadian applicants show very strong performance in rigorous science coursework, but lack a lot of background in sociology or business that may be seen in many American applicants.

The cost of education is also a significant issue; your ability to fund your education in the US is going to be a significant obstacle, so you need to research your funding possibilities as there are caps to how much you can request in a loan. You should seek some advice from Canadian students in US dental schools for more insight.

Should I pursue dental hygiene?

The newest posts I saw about dental hygiene and if it's worth it was from 2005 and even earlier. I just wanted to see if you think dental hygiene is worth it. I'm currently attending a 4-year university. My GPA isn't the best. Science GPA is 2.88 and overall is 3.175. I was planning on going to dental school, but I really don't see myself as a dentist in the future. I don't think I have the personality for it, and I just see myself as a hygienist. Also I don't want to be too much in debt. I thought long and hard about it and hygiene seems more like me. I'm just scared my 4-year degree is going to waste since hygiene just needs an AA. I'm also worried about the job market. What do you guys think? Are there other job careers that I should pursue?


ADEA GoDental is a website that should have a little more up-to-date information about a career in dental hygiene. I'd encourage you to go through the site and see if that option is something you would consider. Talk with your health professions advisors about this as an option.

SMDEP application

I am a pre dental student and have recently applied to the SMDEP program. Has anyone done this or have any knowledge/advice? Thanks!


Usually there is a forum under Pre-Medical that discusses the SMDEP/SHPEP program. Usually it involves a number of academic prep courses in science, math, social science, public health, and writing. Shadowing opportunities and talks from various health professionals are also part of the program, as are some insights about applying to schools.

what's the next step after NBDE I& II for international dentist?

I'm a female Egyptian dentist (with permanent residence ) graduate of 2004 done with NBDE I & II didn't have that much experience from my country and didn't practice at all in USA I have been in United States" California" for 5 years need to know what should I do next!! ,,do I have to volunteer as dental assistant first before starting the application process ?


ADEA CAAPID is the application service you need to use. Search for the applicant instructions. Good luck!


Hi, I started CC in fall 2012 (with some ESL classes since I was an international student) and graduated with associate of science degree ( 2 years ) in spring 2015 with GPA 3.62.

In Fall 2015, I was accepted to a good school in my state majoring in electrical and computer engineering. However, I withdrawn all my classes since I have had some family problems. I started going back to another university majoring in Chemical Engineering in Spring 2016. After Fall 2016, my GPA is 4.0 (38 credits). Does my withdrawn from a good school cause any harmful effect on my application?

I am planing to take some Bio classes ( bio 1, 2, bio chem, ochem 2, micro bio, genetics with some engineering classes) through 3 semester in 2017 , study for DAT test simultaneously. After DAT test i will continue my senior year for chemical engineering in 2018 and graduate in summer 2019. and Fall 2019 go to to dental school. I would like to go to Oklahoma University , University of Mississippi , or Roseman University of HealthScience College of Dental Medicine. Is that a good plan ?

Some student say that It's easier for applicants who have citizenship more than those who just a permanent resistant . Is that true?

Is there any different GPA requirement for engineering since chemical engineering major is slightly harder than other majors, and what GPA they require for engineering apply for dental school.?

Do I have to get minor degree in biology? Do i have to finish my chemical engineering degree?\



One should always seek advice from the admissions offices whenever possible before applying. As for your situation, I'm not sure if your undergraduate institution has a prehealth advising office, which would give you the best perspective. However, as an engineering major, it is possible that the advice you get will suggest taking a biomedical science postbac if you don't have a lot of science coursework ahead of time, and engineering is rather restrictive in getting you access to those classes. You also should realize there aren't different GPA expectations by major though some schools understand it to be more challenging than typical biomedical curricula at the undergraduate level.

My Dental School application scares me. Community college classes and took 7 years to graduate (1 year off and 1.5 years of PT community college). Any chance of success if I nail the DAT

I've taken a lot of pre reqs at CC and now have a a 3.33 overall GPA and 3.32 science GPA. The last one and a half years I have gotten a 3.90 GPA in my Major classes (neuroscience) and gotten valuable lab experience. I started off as a "wanderer" after I left the university for physical reasons. I've had problems recovering fully but recently "broke the glass ceiling" and have a 3.9 GPA for the last 3 semesters. Unfortunately, I took most of my science classes at CC part time because I was trying to recover, while working simultaneously. I ended up average there, with a 3.32 for CC classes (I know, sad :() Meditation and changing my diet really helped me recover from my illness but I don't think I should put that in my application. I'm taking the DAT in June, and using the same study habits I've acquired over the past year to hopefully break the 20 mark. Any hope for me? I'm also 26 and took off about a year, also taking part time classes at the CC for about a year and a half. Also, the amount of W's on my transcript scares me (10) but 6 were for one semester. I guess it would seem there are a lot of red flags, but really it took me a while to grow. I feel like I've matured a lot, and hope to ace the DAT.


It's too difficult to give you any specific chances with just what you have written, but I would be optimistic depending on where you are looking for your dental education. Make sure you talk with the admissions officers at the programs of strong interest to see if you might need to improve anything about your application. Sure, there will be concerns with your academic coursework, and whether you can handle much more challenging schedules of classes and labs compared to what you have before. It's best to talk with some of your target school admissions officers.

undergraduate program for dentistry

Currently, I am trying to choose an undergraduate program in university and I am planning to go to dental school at the University of Toronto after that. Which undergraduate programs are best to choose? I am currently thinking of chemistry, biology, biochemistry or kinesiology. I am not sure which one is the best and also if each program leads to a different path in dentistry. I haven't decided what I will be studying in dental school but I was thinking of oral surgery.


I can't speak for the faculty at U of T, but it seems the program favours those applicants with strong biomedical science backgrounds and research. So pick a program that you can succeed in those areas. If you are thinking of oral surgery, you should be aware, that's the toughest of all specialties, so you need to be sure you have a very rigorous course schedule AND you have a GPA above 3.70 on the undergrad side and probably be near the top of your class at dental school with research and fantastic mentors.

Is it better to withdraw from a class and get an A when you retake or stay and get a B?(not B- or B+, just B)

I'm a second year student at Duke University and right now I have all As. In my gen chem 2 class there is a large chance I will get a B. Would it be better to take the B or withdraw, retake the class next semester and get an A?


A "B" isn't so bad. I wouldn't withdraw and derail my scheduled coursework. I would ask my prehealth advisors for advice.

Should I apply to dental school with miniml extracurriculers?

Hello, I just transferred from a community college to a 4 year university as a Biology major. The work is somewhat overwhelming as a first semester transfer. However, I plan on getting my shadowing and extracurriculars done in these 2 semesters (of junior year). I know that almost every pre dental student has started during freshmen year and is almost done, however, I was in aware of this at the time. During my first two years of undergrad, I led a calculus study group for a semester and volunteered a bit at a non-profit organization, but I did not do much as a pre-dental school (although I shadowed my dentist cousin during two summer vacations). Friend and family have advised me to focus on my studies, maintain my 3.8 gpa, shadow a dentist, and apply. I don't know if I will be able to get accepted with almost no volunteer work. What is best for e to do at this point? Should I just make the most out of the pre dental society I recently joined, shadow, and apply. Is I common for pre dental students to complete all work needed during their junior year and apply the following summer before senior year? (Regarding the DAT, I will be taking it in winter break and I am confident can score around a 21, if not higher)

I would very much appreciate your help.

Sincerely, A confused pre-dental student


You probably need to be sure to contact admissions officers who can give you advice on your situation. Many schools really focus on the volunteer/extracurricular experience of applicants because of their mission to serve others. Other schools may focus more on the academic/research accomplishments of applicants. Certainly you need to be prepared to truly understand how other citizens have challenges in accessing health care and dentistry. Ask your prehealth advisors and peers for their advice.

Is it better to withdraw from a class and get an A when you retake or stay and get a B?(not B- or B+, just B)

I'm a second year student at Duke University and right now I have all As. In my gen chem 2 class there is a large chance I will get a B. Would it be better to take the B or withdraw, retake the class next semester and get an A?


A "B" isn't so bad. I wouldn't withdraw and derail my scheduled coursework. I would ask my prehealth advisors for advice.

Is there any hope left for this application cycle?

What schools do you think would give me the best look at? I finished an undergrad degree with GPAt 3.67 and GPAs of 3.53ish. I got a 20AA on the DAT, around 150 hours observation, nearly 50 hours of undergrad research, 1500 hours of patient interaction from working as a physical therapy technician, solid letters of recommendations, and good extra curricular activities with a few presidential roles. I am currently enrolled in a MBA program as I was told business classes will help strengthen an application over a gap year. I was planning on applying to my state school (Oklahoma) but I missed the deadline of 10/1 because my official DAT scores hadn't been uploaded in time. (sucks but it is my fault) Does anyone have any suggestions on which schools I can apply to and still be seriously considered this late in the cycle? I feel as if I'm a decent applicant but only to the right program.


This forum isn't appropriate to help you develop a shortlist, but most applicants in your situation (missed your in-state deadline) will look at other programs within reasonable proximity and private programs which provide the type of desired educational experience (more research or more clinic). You don't have much time left as many schools have deadlines approaching. Of course, if Oklahoma is your strongly preferred program, you may have to consider skipping the rest of this cycle to apply next year.

Cannot decide major

I started college couple months ago and I really want to be a dentist and I want to do good in DAT can someone tell any good majors that will get me into dental school and what classes to take. I am undecided on major and but pre-health. Right now I am taking 15 credits which includes calculus, Spanish, biology. Tell what to do for major and classes to take and how to start stduying for the dat using the material I already know?


Most traditional applicants will select a major reflecting biomedical science topics. Some will minor in a biomedical science topic while majoring in a non-science field. Since you have to do well in chemistry, organic chemistry, and biology (see the DAT testing content), you can't really avoid those classes in preparing for the DAT, but once you are done, other test prep resources can help you prepare for it.

DAT Official Scores

Hello all! I have recently taken my DAT and when I applied to take the exam the list of school designations popped up so I selected my desired destinations for my scores to be sent to. I emailed the schools immediately after my exam sending them my unofficial scores, but they told me to remember to send in my official scores through the ADA. My question is, do I need to go online and request my official scores again (which will cost me another 300 dollars)? Or was just selecting the schools on my DAT application enough? Thank you!


I would contact the ADA for clarity if it's not already mentioned in their guide for DAT examinees. I don't think you have to do more.

Need some advice about taking a class while studying for the DAT

As the title suggests, I have all of my required prerequisites completed. I decided to take Biochemistry this fall as a lot of schools recommend it, however, I am also studying for, and plan to take the DAT in late October. I am worried about giving too much time to the class and falling behind on studying for the DAT as I know it is a rather grueling process. I just wanted to hear honest feedback from everyone. Is it better to just focus on the DAT and maybe hold off on Biochemistry until the spring?


It doesn't really matter, depending on where you are in preparing your application. You probably know yourself better how much time you need to prepare for the DAT and how much you need to study for biochemistry. Ultimately if you are confident in your time management and priority management, you should be okay doing both. If you are not, it's fine as long as you do well in both. But you should take a hard look at your ability to handle challenging situations like this because they will be very often occurrences in professional school and beyond.

Selecting schools to receive score on my first, "practice" DAT

I plan to take the test later this month without having taking Org2, so I see this test as a dry-run type of thing. I hope to begin dental school in Fall of 2018, so I will have time to take the test again, most likely in January 2017 after I complete Org2.

I would prefer not to send scores at all, thinking it may hurt me if the results are poor. However, it seems I must select at least one school. Should I simply pick one I would never attend?


Good luck taking the exam, although we don't really recommend a "practice run" with a real DAT. Get it done once when you are completely ready. Make sure you reviewed the ADA's resources for the DAT, including the tutorial: .

If anything you should choose ADEA AADSAS, and that will send your scores to all the schools that you will apply to. Since you won't be applying until next year, you should against choose ADEA AADSAS on your second take.

Remember that both scores will be reported on the ADEA AADSAS application when you submit, and all the schools will see it. I don't remember if there is an option to leave your exam unscored once you have completed it (which one can do on the MCAT). It is arguable though that some admissions committee members will see both scores and begin to draw assumptions based on your first attempt instead of your second (though that's not common). Anecdotally, there are some admissions committee members (not necessarily entire committees) that will evaluate you by averaging all your attempts.

That said, I'm not sure picking a school you'd never attend for your first attempt will ever prevent that score from being revealed to schools you will eventually apply to. I am actually fairly sure it won't matter, and that all your schools you will eventually apply to will see all your attempts.

How can I improve my DAT score?

I took the DAT and got an AA of 17. I am crushed. I thought I'd do better. How can I prepare with questions for next time? I was using Kaplan book, free practice tests from boot camp and DATgenius, and just researchedidn't topics in my own. I'm so lost and disappointed in myself. How can I do better? The math, genchem, and orgo ruined me.


It's hard to know what your learning style is or how you manage your time to take these high-stakes exams. And it's hard to know what you got on the practice exams, including the ADA's sample DAT exam. If it sounds like your chemistry (general and organic) is a real issue, you need to see if you really know your subject matter well or you get too easily distracted by the incorrect choices on each question. If you have to get a tutor or a study group, that may be your best option since you may need someone more objective to help develop your strategy.

How to ask for an update on a letter of rec.

Hey guys, so I am still waiting on a letter of recommendation that had I requested from a professor over a month ago. Some of the schools that I have sent out the supplemental applications to are saying that my application is incomplete due to the lack of that last letter of rec. How should I go about asking my professor about the status of my letter? Or should I just sit tight? I am not quite sure what to do and I don't want to come off as pushy or rude. If you guys have any advice I would be more than grateful! Thanks!


There are some nice professional ways to courteously remind your evaluators to see if they have submitted their letter. You should just be sure to keep in mind how busy they may be. Early in the summer is challenging because you aren't the only one (in all likelihood) who has requested a letter, if your reference teaches large classes. I would make sure to send a nice note, and save enough to provide a thank-you gift after they have sent your letter.

Scores for ADA 2009 DAT practice vs how ill do on the real DAT 2016 (or anything in recent years)

Hello! Just took the ADA 2009 and now I'm really nervous, all conversations I've seen have been years old. I was wondering if my exam is in 10 days should I push it back if these were my scores for the ADA 2009 were, BIO/GC/OC/PAT/RC/QR 19/17/17/23/21/18

I know my NS and especially chemistry grades really need to improve. I was wondering how similar I should expect the 2016 DAT to be compared to these grades? Also the QR felt like it had very little word problems such as motion and algebra is that what I should expect on the 2016 DAT? Any last minute advice? I have 1 topscore exam left to do. Should I also do the ADA 2007? I've been reading mixed reviews. Thanks!


While there are subtle adjustments to exams from year to year, in general there has not been a total overhaul of the DAT in the same way the MCAT was in 2015. To that effect, the scores you got from the 2009 sample test are approximately reflective of how you might do on a current exam. Now there's usually some error that you have to figure in, but it should be within 1 point. I cannot answer much about the current DAT, but you should consult the ADA's section on the DAT exam.

I think every exam you take will have its own issues and problems and won't ever be "perfect" for you. It's up to you to decide on taking the exam on your schedule or not (and delaying any current application you have planned).

What are my chances of getting into dental school with a minor in consumption(misdemeanor)?

I'm a very hard working student and being a dentist is definitely what I want to pursue for my career. But I received a minor in consumption when I was 18. Will this affect my chances of being accepted into dental schools? If I have good grades, a good DAT score, and lots of hours of volunteering, will it be possible? Thanks


It's too hard to generalize for all admissions committees, but it depends on what the circumstances were in your violation and how it may be viewed by the faculty at each school. In general, I don't think it would matter so much provided you have not repeated your mistakes and will not do so.

Dental School GPA Year 2

So I'm just looking for some answers but if I had a a year with a sub 3.0 GPA second year with a 2.66, will that disqualify me in any way. I had a 3.38 GPA first year and with summer courses I'm at 3.1 overall with a BCP of 3.3. I know I still have 2 years ahead of me and I could bring it up, I am in a difficult program biomedical engineering but i still expect the overall to rise.


It's too challenging to guess what classes you took that resulted in a sub-3.0 GPA, but in all likelihood, you may want to consider a postbac route. Study hard in your engineering courses and do well, but you probably want to plan a postbac year or two.

What Are My Chances of Getting Accepted to Dental School

I started taking a bunch of business courses in a four year college (microeconomics, marketing, etc). I also took bio 1 and 2 there and got a B+ and an A respectively. After that I took chem 1 and got A. That coming summer I was gonna take chem 2 but they didn't have chem 2 in the summer. I had to wait until fall semester to take it. The issue was that I couldn't find a four year college in my area that had chem 2 in the fall, they all had it in the spring. My only option was to take it at a community college. I ended up getting an A. The next semester, which was spring, I got messed up with orgo 1. The problem was that I got messed up on the cycle and now my only choice again, for the same reason, was to take orgo 1 in a community college. I got a B+ in orgo 1. So I'm just nervous if these cc courses will mess me up now. The other issue is that I took my prereqs after I finished all my other courses so what ended up happening was that I basically took one course per semester regarding my prereqs because I didn't have anything left to take. So what do you think are my chances?

My GPA is 3.7 and I also work with children with disabilities. Does that help me, or should I maybe take more bio courses because right now I only plan on taking my prereqs and applying with a bachelors of liberal arts. I don't want to waste any more time than I have to reach my dream


While it's unfortunate that you were unable to take classes in your chemistry sequence, taking courses at community college won't matter too much as long as those credits transfer and you have approval from your chemistry department that you were allowed to take those classes elsewhere. There may be some schools though that won't accept your taking prerequisite classes at community colleges, so you need to check each school where you are applying regarding how each handles community college credit.

While your work with children with disabilities is noble, if that really affected the ability you had to take classes, then you need to explain or describe your situation clearly with your evaluators and in your personal essay. You should still consider taking more biology courses and to begin ramping up taking more courses simultaneously.

university of michigan psychology requirement

I took intro to psych for Pass/Fail in my undergraduate...

should I retake psych in order to meet michigans prerequisite? Is it okay for me to submit application before retaking them? I am debating / thinking if it's worth to retake the course because it will cost me some $$.

Thank you!


I would talk with the University of Michigan, but I think if it's a prerequisite, they would require an ABC grade and not P/F.

Dental College Requirement/Addmission

I want to go to University of South Florida or NOVA university. i'm currently taking genetics and cell biology but i think I will be getting D in both of them. I Checked UF's website and it says they no longer required Genetics. I was wondering what are the chances of getting accepted with those Two Ds.

 I want to know which classes and GPA, they look at most.

Thanks, Lost Student


While I cannot speak for any admissions committee, getting D's in biomedical science coursework will draw concerns from many individuals looking at your application. The obvious question will be "why" you got those grades, and how that fits the rest of your science coursework performance. The other concern is whether you would be able to graduate with your degree with those grades; although it is still technically not required for you to have a bachelor's degree, it may make a difference for other future opportunities that could be closed to you without that basic bachelor's degree.

Need guidance

I am about to start college and I am doing a bachelors degree in biology. I really want to become an orthodontist later on but I have a lot of questions. I know that to become an orthodontist you have to become a dentist first but I don't know how it all works. I also know that it is 4 years of dental school. Is dental school competitive ? Is it hard getting through dental school? What do you do in those 4 years ? After you become a dentist how can you go into orthodontics ? Also how much on average do orthodontists make ? Please please help and thank you so much


Have you asked your orthodonist (or someone who is one)? Have you gone to a dental school and asked faculty and residents in orthodontics? As for the financial questions you ask, check out which should have the information you seek.

Option of an online MS degree?

I am a pre-dental student who applied in this last cycle and did not get interviewed or accepted. I am living in a state that does not have their own dental schools, and there is also a limited number of MS programs that would be applicable. I am wondering how an online MS program from an accredited school (University of Nebraska, University of Florida....) would look to dental admissions?


You should survey many schools about this since many resist considering online coursework while others will understand your situation.

Average GPA in hard program, what are my chances?

I am a Canadian student at a University studying Bio-medical Engineering currently finishing up my second year. I did pretty good first year, getting about a 3.53 GPA, but in my first semester in second year I got a D and 2 C's in the engineering courses and in one of the biology courses I took. This semester I brought my GPA up a bit with a couple A's and I doubt I'll get any C's this semester. I think i'll be at about 3.2. Im just wondering as an international student, if i can bring it up next year along with this year if I have a good shot with a good DAT (I think I'll do the American one). I also have been volunteering at with a dentist and I have started a Pre-Dental club at my school. Also for the pre-requisite course I have about a 3.45GPA I got an 88 in Organic, it was really my engineering courses that brought me down.


I'm not sure about your chances for Canadian programs, but you would want to check with the US schools you feel most inclined to apply to about how they view your engineering coursework. Many admissions staff understand the difficult nature of engineering classes, but I don't know how they may sway faculty to view those engineering courses properly.

What is the best major for dental school?

I am currently in college preparing for a career in dentistry. I am debating between getting my bachelor's degree in biology, biochemistry, any science major, or dental hygiene. I do prefer dental hygiene because I would get good hands-on experience and I would have a good job to fall back on if I do not get accepted into dental school the first year I apply. However, the dental school I want to go to (Texas A&M School of Dentistry) says that the majority of students that have successfully been accepted have a degree in biological or biomedical sciences but they do say they do not require any specific major. After reading that, I was not sure what bachelor's degree I should prefer. Do you have any suggestions?


There is no specific degree or major that best suits you for dental school, but you do need a solid preparation in the biomedical sciences, which is why a majority of applicants do some major in that area (note what you wrote: majority, not most). However, many students also get accepted with social science degrees (anthropology, psychology, sociology), the humanities (art, music), business, history, or dental hygiene (I assure you); many are able to get a minor in a biomedical sciences but not all. There is also a significant number of people who come with a non-science bachelor's degree but do a postbac in the biomedical sciences.

So you should choose a major you know you can enjoy and succeed in getting strong learning skills and habits as well as a strong team of mentors and advisors. The foundation of knowledge that you draw from as a dentist requires a complete liberal arts education so don't hesitate to take a major in an area you are truly interested in.

Are questions repeated in the NBDE 1 tests?

I am studying for NBDE 1 to enter in June and iam already juggling several things at the same time. Some people told me that practicing the previous exams and remembered questions is enough to pass as the questions tend to be repeated. Is that true or am I destined to fail that way. Thank you very much


You'll probably fail if you are unable to prioritize what is important with passing your NBDE 1 in comparison to the other things you are juggling (depending on what they are and why). The NBDE 1 is a standardized exam, and while there may be some expected patterns, I would never expect one to repeat questions that you see in practice on the real test. Actually I would find that highly peculiar since that's not the way standardized exams should be administered.

Can I make it?

Hi, I am an international student who is studying chemical engineering in Canada. I have a GPA of 3.2. My dream is to be a dentist. But is my GPA too low? If I have a high DAT, do I have a chance to be accepted by some schools?? Thank you


Focusing on your grades, an engineering degree is difficult compared to traditional biomedical science majors. That said, while a high DAT will help you, you need to be sure that your application also emphasizes your personal characteristics that make you an outstanding dentist.

Drop General Chemistry II?

I want to apply to Dental school in a couple years and I am currently a sophomore. I am struggling to make an important decision regarding General Chemistry II. I have now received a 48 % on exam one and a 52% on exam 2. There are three exams worth 15% of my grade. There is one more exam that is supposed to be the easiest for 15%. Then there is the final that is worth 25%. I am already enrolled in Organic Chemistry 1 and 2 for the summer session. I really really don't want to withdrawal from this class and am planning to see a tutor twice a week for the rest of the semester. Do you guys think it is worth trying to get a C or above, or should I withdrawal now for a W on my transcript?

Please help. Thanks.


You know your situation best, but I would suggest doing the best you can to at least salvage the grade. i don't know if the withdrawal prevents you from taking organic chem at all. Unless you wind up retooling your study habits or getting a better idea with your difficulties or extenuating circumstances, you may be setting yourself up for more than just one bad grade or withdrawal.

How does postbac work for pre-dental students?

Hi. I was curious on how postbac programs work for predental students. I also wanted to know the application process and timeline on how this all pans out. Thank you in advance.


Obviously you need to ask each program for more details and specifics, but most postbac programs will focus on really presenting you upper-level science coursework in a focused curriculum similar to what you would experience in graduate or professional school. Many will have more access to tutoring to help you with your studies, including peer tutors; this is also similar to what you may experience in graduate or professional school. There may be a research thesis component, but that depends on your goals in the program you enroll in.

There are some postbac programs that help career-changers in taking/retaking prerequisite and upper-level courses as well. So make sure you ask questions to faculty and students in those programs.

Each program will have its own application process and deadline, but in general you should start applying as soon as you can in the winter/spring semester.

What looks worse to dental schools: a C or an R?

I took a sociology class last semester and I let my political views get in the way of it, which is really dumb and I obviously regret it now. I let how I felt about the class get in the way of the work I did, so I ended up getting a C. I was originally going to repeat it this semester but I would get an R replacing the C. The R wouldn't affect my GPA at all but it would be on my transcript. I really don't want to retake this class but if I have to, I will. I am also a freshman and I have A's in all my other classes. What looks worse to dental schools: a C or and R?


Your registrar probably has policies on how it counts "R" grades towards progress to a degree that seems to be similar to a "Pass" grade for no credit. ADEA AADSAS rules do not include calculating "Pass" grades in your application transcript, but it also will not replace your earlier grade. In effect, your C will count against you in your application GPA calculation. How each admissions committee will deal with the R grade depends, but basically it means you cannot get any credit by completely repeating a class for a A to help you raise your GPA calculation.

Since it is not a hard-core science, it's possible that many faculty on admissions committees will not value that outcome as much. But basically it appears you will gain no advantage in your GPA, and your C will remain a possible yellow flag.

You should ask your health professions advisor on campus to confirm the implications of your repeating the class and whether you should focus on other courses and being a bit more mature.

Chances of Getting into Dental School?

Hi. I am an undergrad student entering my second semester of Junior year. I have a cumulative GPA of 2.8. I had a term GPA of 3.5 for fall of 2015. I work 12 hours a week, tutor at an after school program, research with a professor, hold a leadership position in a student organization relation to global health equity, and have began shadowing a dentist. This past semester was my best semester and I was able to do that with all of these extra circulars mentioned above. The reason I am mentioning this is because I do not want to come across as someone who has too much on their plate. My grades from my freshman and sophomore year were not good which is why my GPA is greatly suffering. My question is: what are my chances of getting into dental school? If I continue achieving good grades until graduation and I score well on my DAT, do I have a shot? Also I would like to know what my options are. Thank you to anyone who takes time to respond. I highly appreciate it.


Congratulations on doing well in your coursework. It is not clear to specifically calculate your odds, but consistent performance in challenging upper-level science courses is viewed favorably. That said, you may still have to consider postbac coursework, but that will depend on how well you do in future coursework.

Can I get into Dental School?

If I have an overall 3.7 GPA and a science GPA of 3.45 do you think its possible I can get into dental school? I do undergrad research and have also won research grants and I'm getting my work published along with me being an RA for three years, SGA member, Ambassador, started a pre-dental society, and I am a greek member. I also work another job on top of that with a little over 20 hrs a week and I tutor people. I have a little over 200 shadowing hrs and tons of community service hours. I'm signed up to take the DAT in a few months if I can at least score a 20 would I have a possibility?


It is easy to think that the only reason anyone would get into dental school is solely due to metrics (GPA, DAT, shadowing). Dental school admissions processes are evolving to become more nuanced and holistic so that the context of an application becomes an important consideration. What courses constitute an overall GPA and a science GPA depends a lot of major chosen and school attended, as well as the rigors of the courses and available mentors and tutoring. It also depends on whether you qualify for state residency for a public program and what other specific qualities and attributes appeal to each school you are applying to. In short, in the absence of a full application with letters of evaluation, it is really challenging to answer this question. That is why your prehealth advisors and mentors play a critical role in your preparation.

What's the cost of applying to Dental School?

I know that I should budget for application fees and cost of travel for interviews. But are there any other major costs when applying? And what is a typical application fee amount?


Each school's supplemental application fee is listed in the ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools. You may also want to budget for travel costs such as food and lodging, for thank-you notes, for photography to submit your application photograph, and perhaps interview outfits.

Eligibility for a Indian dentist with Hepatitis b to study dds and practice in usa

Hi, I am a Indian dentist and I planned to do dds in usa .But I recently came to know that i was positive for hepatitis b .I found that there is some discrimination showed for the hepatitis b positive individuals to study and practice dentistry in usa.I want know information related to my situation .


Most dental schools will require that you have documentation on your Hepatitis B result and any medications you are taking to address the situation. Many schools will have immunization/health policies for current students and faculty available on request.

Should i take the DAT instead of taking Physics 101 and 102

Hello my question is should I focus and study the DAT instead of taking Physics 101 and 102 over the summer even if all I'm missing are my Physics requirement. I'm a graduating senior at UNC Chapel Hill. I have GPA of 3.169 in my undergrad year with a degree in Asian Studies. I have taken My science classes in community colleges as well as other four year institutes. My plan was to take the remaining classes at North Carolina State University which were Physics 102 &102 while studying for DAT. I plan on taking the DAT at the end of July so approximately two months of studying the DAT. Is this a good plan or should focus more on the DAT? The DAT does not test you on physics so wouldn't it be better to put the emphasis on the DAT instead of both.


I hope your prehealth advisors at UNC have addressed your question. They should have an idea of which specific physics courses satisfy admissions requirements for dental schools. You do have to take your DAT and focus to do well on the exam, but your advisors should help you determine if you are better served taking the DAT over taking physics. That said, if you were planning to submit an application, you could take physics during your application year and not be at a disadvantage, but of course you must have a DAT score to advance in the application process.

i have bad manual skills can i still continue dentistry

I'm in dental school this is my 2nd year academicallly I'm A student until we started doing labs i struggled a lot with the fillings and after almost a years passed i still can't get it right .I took my final lab exam and got a very bad grade . my left hand shakes a lot and I'm not very good with the right question is in my position can i be a good doctor or not because i don't just want to pass .


Your hand skills are critical to your ultimate success in a clinical practice. You would need to find a way to address your performance anxiety or other health causes to the issues you are presenting. Ask your student services office for assistance.

What are the best ways to study for the DAT?

Should I study on my own or use a prep course?


There is no magic bullet to study for AND DO WELL taking the DAT. It takes discipline/focus, self-assessment, and time to properly do well in any course, much less any standardized exam. If you are consistently excelling in your biomedical courses, you already have the major tools and content to do well on the DAT. What you need the most to study best for the DAT is a wealth of resources that can help you understand the material in the way you best learn (visually, orally, or textually). If you do not know your learning style, you will never know what way is the best way for you.

Most people find that having a study group has helped with doing better on the DAT than studying alone. If you are comfortable with studying with a highly productive group of peers on exams, you may want to seek a similar study group for the DAT. This may include online study groups that are typically formed through the Pre-Dental Forums.

Posters on the DAT forums have also posted self-study schedules and guides, as well as their critique of currently available resources, to help anyone studying for the DAT perform better on the exam.

Test preparation courses help those who need much more structure when presented with material, those who are a bit farther removed from the prerequisite content as undergraduates/career-changing postbaccalaureate students, or those who succeed better in "traditional "didactic environments with a teacher, as opposed to being able to self-motivate and study. Individuals who are financially strapped and think they may not be able to afford a test prep course need to ask the managers of the course whether he/she is eligible for significant tuition assistance for the course. Frequently the for-profit test prep companies will have a mechanism to provide such assistance with the completion of forms and submission of financial documentation. For undergraduates, predental clubs and prehealth advisors also may have discount codes to help with the cost as well.

There are also many free "booster" resources online in the form of videos, Twitter feeds, and free advice given by test prep companies and admissions consultants on their websites.

What are the major factors in dental school admissions?

Other than grades and DAT score, what should I be focused on?


I wrote a series of articles for SDN about it: . While originally oriented towards medical school admissions, it generally applies as well to dental school admissions.

What are specialty options for dentists?


Beyond "general dentistry", there are nine specialties recognized: dental public health endodontics, oral pathology oral radiology oral surgery orthodontics periodontics pedodontics and prosthodontics.

Each specialty has a professional society, whose websites can give you more information about what each does and opportunities for specialists in each respective field.

For more information, go to the ADEA GoDental website at .

What are the prerequisite courses necessary for dental school?

What courses will I need to take in order to apply?


The basic prerequisite courses for dental school are/include: 1 year of coursework in general biology (appropriate for biology majors), 1 year of general inorganic chemistry (appropriate for chemistry/science majors), 1 year of organic chemistry, 1 year of physics (algebra-based appropriate for science non-engineering majors), and 1 year of English composition. Each undergraduate institution will identify the courses that fulfill these prerequisites for entry to medical or dental school. What your major is does not matter, but evidence of a solid biomedical science foundation is necessary.

Many dental schools have additional prerequisites for entry to their specific programs. Aspiring pre-dental applicants should make sure to consult the admissions offices at each school of interest to determine the additional course prerequisites for entry. Some additional prerequisites include statistics, psychology, microbiology, anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, advanced molecular/cell biology, histology, and pharmacology. Preferred classes for highly desirable applicants include but are not limited to sociology, communications, microeconomics, art coursework involving significant manual dexterity, literature, history, and foreign languages/culture.

How much does it cost to apply to dental school?

What are the expenses I should budget for in order to apply to dental school? I know there are application fees and the cost of interview travel - are there any other costs I should be aware of?


The cost for applying to dental school is largely dependent on the applicant, his/her circumstances, and his/her aspirations.

Let's start with how much it costs to take the Dental Admissions Test. Registration for the test itself is approximately $300 (I'm estimating to accommodate for any changes in the fee structure from the American Dental Association), though you can petition for some financial assistance if you qualify for it. How much one spends on test preparation will vary from near nothing to a few thousand dollars. You have to pay this amount again if you have to retake the exam, and retakes are not eligible for financial assistance. So plan to take the exam once, and make it your absolutely best shot.

Then there is the preparation for dental school applications. The ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools is a must-resource for any applicant. While one can purchase a hard copy for $35-40, online e-books can be purchased at a fraction of the cost. Moreover, prehealth advising offices will often have recent copies of the guide (and possibly the most recent) available to advisees for free.

If an applicant is organized, maybe he/she will invest in some software to organize materials about each school. (You can do it the "old-fashioned way" and use manila folders or accordion files with index labels as well.) Each school that one is interested in likely has available information on a website or posted at the ADEA Predental Student Virtual Fair booth for their school. Such information can be easily downloaded and placed in an electronic (or physical) folder, as well as notes and thoughts about each program.

An interview suit is also a necessity, and enough time needs to be given to have a properly tailored business suit made. Luggage that can be easily transported by plane as a carry-on is also a good investment for those flying to interviews, though be mindful that some overhead bins may not be as accommodating when leaving or entering smaller non-hub airports. Food and lodging costs should also be considered, though many applicants have found ways to mitigate housing costs because of volunteer dental students, volunteer area dental school alumni, or volunteer undergraduate school alumni willing to house interviewed candidates.

The AADSAS Fee Assistance Program is also available for applicants who have significant financial difficulties. One must apply for one of the limited number of fee assistance waivers ADEA offers, and most of those waivers are usually distributed by the end of August. Individual dental schools may similarly waive their application fees if one receives a waiver, but many other schools may not.

Depending on your location, it is very easy to spend at minimum $2000 to up to $9000 for each application cycle attempt. The way this is usually financed is through personal savings or credit card. Be sure you can pay off your credit card balance in a timely manner, because you do not want any bad credit reports to begin affecting your longer-term prospects for favorable financial aid or small business loans to begin a practice. If anything, be absolutely sure that the return on the investment in your application is going to work in your favor by providing yourself the best possible presentation of your application when you apply.