Dental School Requirements: What’s a Good GPA?

Hey everyone! Ben Frederick here. I asked Kyle Smith (aka @askaDDSstudent) to put together some information on dental school requirements, specifically GPA. There’s a lot of great stuff in this article, so be sure to take a look. Required GPA for Dental School Admission One time. Only once, in the entire process of interviewing, attending 4 years of dental school, applying for associateships, and during my tenure as an associate dentist (almost 6 months as of writing this), have I been asked what my GPA was. The person who asked? A patient during my fourth year of dental school while discussing what my plan was after graduation. Many pre-dental students have asked me over the years what a “good” GPA is. My response is consistently something along the lines of “Your GPA isn’t everything.” A 4.0 is great, but any GPA above the school’s minimum requirements can get you accepted, as long as the rest of your application is competitive (See: -> Creating a Competitive Dental School Application) For those of you who are just dying to see some GPA stats, here are the basics:     *The statistics in this image were calculated from data found in the 2014 edition of the ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools. This publication is an amazing resource that I would definitely recommend to all serious applicants. It contains TONS of specific details and admissions statistics (including GPAs and DAT scores) from each of the US and Canadian dental schools. You can purchase your own digital copy for only $10! Put It In Perspective Now, I’m not discounting the benefits of a...
3 Email Templates for Asking for a Letter of Recommendation

3 Email Templates for Asking for a Letter of Recommendation

So by now you’ve read my earlier post, 5 Rules for Requesting a Letter of Recommendation via Email. If you follow the rules laid out there, you should have no problem getting your professors to agree to write you a letter of recommendation. But I know that some people want a little more help. Asking for a letter of recommendation can be intimidating. That’s why I’ve created a few sample emails for different scenarios.  All of them follow the 5 rules. Please share some of your successful email templates in the comments. One last thing before we get started. I wrote another article specifically for Premed students on my new blog Premed Revolution. Check it out here: Socially Awkward Premed Part 2 – Request a Letter of Recommendation Over Email.   1. The Standard This template is designed for classes in which you did fairly well and had at least minimal contact with the professor either by email, after class, or during office hours. Professor [Xavier],   My name is [Ben Frederick]. I took your [organic chemistry] course [last semester]. You may remember me [coming to your office hours after every test to go over some of my wrong answers.] [Organic chemistry] was a very challenging subject for me and I was proud of the [A-] I received in your class.   I know you are busy so I’ll get to the point. I am currently in the process of applying to [medical school] and I am trying to gather a few letters of recommendation.  Because I enjoyed [your class and teaching style so much], I decided to start...

5 Rules for Requesting a Letter of Recommendation via Email

When I was applying to medical school, asking for letters of recommendation gave me a big headache. Unfortunately, whether you are shooting for med school, dental school, PA school, or any other kind of health profession, requesting letters of recommendation is a necessary evil that you must endure. Hypothetical conversation: “Hi Professor X, um… my name is John. I was just wondering if possibly, maybe, you might be able to write me a letter of recommendation.  I’m applying to medical school and, um..  and they asked me to get a letter from some science professors. So do you think that maybe you could write me one?” That is a situation to avoid. Why Email? First of all, let’s face facts… you and I are awkward.  It’s almost a prerequisite for acceptance to medical school or any other health professions. Luckily for us awkward people, email has become ubiquitous and is now socially acceptable for something like asking for a letter of rec. You may have been advised to request letters in person or over the phone in order to make a more personal connection.  However, I like to create a more controlled environment in order to minimize the pain and awkwardness. Making first contact with your professors via email prevents you from screwing it up! Second of all, it lets your professor consider the request on his or her own time.  The last thing you want them to do is agree to write you a letter of rec because you put them on the spot and they just want you to go away. But why?  Isn’t the point of...
How to Write a Dental School Personal Statement

How to Write a Dental School Personal Statement

The personal statement is a very important aspect of the application process for dental school. It is a great opportunity to display facets of an applicant that cannot necessarily be seen in the rest of the AADSAS application. This is an opportunity that needs to be taken advantage of in order to help set oneself apart from other applicants. There is no official prompt for the dental school personal statement, but it is widely known that the essay should primarily address the question of “Why dentistry?” While there are many ways to go about answering this question, I believe that the applicant should rely heavily their unique experiences that have inspired them to pursue a career in dentistry and their distinctive attributes that will contribute to their future success in the field of dentistry. Here are some questions you should ask yourself when starting to write your personal statement: What have I observed while shadowing/volunteering/as a patient that has inspired me to pursue a dental career? What common qualities have I seen in successful dentists? How will I incorporate these qualities and ideals into my future career as a dentist? How have my experiences prepared me for a career focused on serving others/the community? The following is a list of some my Dos and Don’ts for personal statement writing: DO: Have an attention-getting introduction. Admissions committees/staff read HUNDREDS of personal statements over the course of the application process. It is important to be able to spark their interest from the start and hold their attention throughout the entirety of your personal statement. Be personal. Don’t be afraid to show...