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

If you have a question that is not answered here, please visit the SDN Confidential Consult forum to ask your question of our expert panel.


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: http://www.adea.org/uploadedFiles/GoDental/The_Application_to_Dental_School_ADEA_AADSAS/2018ADEAAADSASInstructions_4.2017.pdf .

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