Pre-Dental Q&A – 5/12/2020

Pre-Dental Q&A – 5/12/2020

Q: What are Harvard’s and other dental school’s policies as of now on pass/fail grading for the spring semester?

A: Harvard is pass/fail normally and will not be changing the grading system. For other schools, I would suggest reaching out to their ASDA leaders, who can provide the most up-to-date and accurate information.
If you’re asking about admissions during COVID, from the HSDM’s admission page:

We understand that many schools are offering students the option to take spring and summer 2020 courses for pass/fail credit, or have transitioned entirely to a pass/fail curriculum. HSDM will accept pass/fail credit for the spring and summer 2020 semesters, and remains committed to a holistic and careful review of every application during these uncertain times.

Q: I was wondering how much my application might be hurt if I use AP credit for my Calc requirement.

A: I don’t believe your application will be hurt using AP credit for your calculus requirement. I used AP credits for calc myself. I went to NYU as a biology major for undergrad, and I needed 2 semesters of math to graduate. I used my AP credit for one class/semester and took Biostatistics for the other. As long as your undergrad accepts the AP credit for calc, you should be okay.

Q: I just got accepted to _, _, and _ college but I don’t know which undergrad school will make me stand out the most among the other applicants when I apply to HSDM. Does going to a high-ranked undergrad school means there will be more possibility to get into good dental schools in general including HSDM?

A: No. Most (if not all) dental schools just require a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university. To have a strong application to dental schools, it’s not about where you go, it’s about what you do when you’re in school. Wherever you go, take advantage of the opportunities offered by your school. This can be research, internships, studying abroad, extracurriculars, volunteering, serving as a teaching assistant, taking classes outside of your comfort zone, earning a minor, attending conferences, working, etc. But, think quality over quantity. It is better to be deeply committed to a few activities that you are passionate about and excel in them than to be just peripherally involved in many activities. So, our best advice would be to choose an undergraduate institution or program that aligns with your interests and values and where you can see yourself succeeding.

Q: Is the school considering delaying when the application opens/when interviews are offered in response to so many DATs being rescheduled/cancelled?

A: The administration is still working on a DAT policy. One update HSDM will be making this admissions cycle in light of COVID-19 affecting applicants’ ability to take the DAT, is that we will consider unofficial DAT scores during the review process until official scores are verified and received through AADSAS. As far as admissions timelines, both ADEA AADSAS and HSDM are still considering different options and haven’t made any definitive changes past this yet. I suspect we will know more in the next couple of weeks so please feel free to check back in! We will also post any updates to our website: https://hsdm.harvard.edu/DMD-apply
– Lizzie

Q: Would the school look at our applications if DAT score is not up yet? As you know that our dates keep moving.

A: From the School Website:

Dental Admissions Test (DAT)
We understand that some applicants’ plans to take the DAT have been impacted by test rescheduling to allow for social distancing or the temporary closure of DAT test centers due to COVID-19. If you have been affected, please do not delay the submission of your application materials. We are in the process of gathering more information about DAT limitations and will provide any policy updates here by the end of May. In the meantime, we encourage applicants to reschedule DATs as soon as possible and to email HSDM Admissions your unofficial scores to expedite the review process. Please note that the Admissions Committee will require official DAT scores prior to releasing admissions decisions. Admissions understands that there are aspects of the admissions process that are out of students’ control this year.

Stay well and take care!
-Lizzie

Q: Could psychological stats be accepted for credit instead of bio stat?

A: Generally, if a class is close enough to the actual prerequisite in material and rigor, schools will be flexible in accepting it. BUT every school is different! To be sure, I would recommend you contact the admissions coordinators of each school you’re applying to with the official course description from your school to get their approval.
As for HSDM, we were told this should be accepted, though biostats is preferred

Visit our Pre-Dental Question Box for more and to submit your own questions See you next week!

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