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drakebell

CANADIAN DENTAL :What kind of masters degree will potentially aid my dentistry application?

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I really would love to get into dental school in Canada. American and Australian schools will give me a crazy amount of debt that I can't handle. 

Im writing my DAT this November so I cant give an update on stats. However, I know my gpa isn't super competitive.

I dont know if I should take more courses at the undergraduate level or complete work at a masters level. 

if I opt for a masters, which kind (course based/research based) and what topic would aid my application?

I know a few grad students have gotten acceptances at UofT 

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Consider that the time and money that you'll waste putting into a Canadian masters versus getting in first shot at it in an American school could trade off to not render the American option that much more. Two extra years of living and school costs for a Masters adds up - not to mention the time.  I'd seriously consider doing your homework about feasible American schools given that an uncompetitive undergrad gpa is still going to shoot you in the foot after having a masters in hand - it is not going to totally override that negative

 

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2 hours ago, bookworm32 said:

Consider that the time and money that you'll waste putting into a Canadian masters versus getting in first shot at it in an American school could trade off to not render the American option that much more. Two extra years of living and school costs for a Masters adds up - not to mention the time.  I'd seriously consider doing your homework about feasible American schools given that an uncompetitive undergrad gpa is still going to shoot you in the foot after having a masters in hand - it is not going to totally override that negative

 

"Saving" 2 years at an American school is probably more costly than doing a 2 year masters and then going to a Canadian school

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27 minutes ago, BROSCIENTIST said:

"Saving" 2 years at an American school is probably more costly than doing a 2 year masters and then going to a Canadian school

That's assuming one would get into the Canadian school even after the 2 year masters. Masters doesnt usually make a significant difference in most dent school admission processes. If you can afford the funds, go to the US and Australia asap and get the process going.

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This is the email that Schulich sent me 2 years ago:

As noted in the information presented at the school website, we do acknowledge the work required to gain graduate degrees in our admissions process, by assessing bonus points to the files of these applicants who have completed these degrees. (Applicants who are enrolled in graduate degrees at the time of application must complete those degrees by the end of the application cycle.) We do not, however, advise as to the type of graduate degree one takes. The individual should decide if taking this level of education is in his/her best interests as a basis for either a dental or non-dental future.

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I think a master's degree makes a huge difference. Didn't even get an interview to Western first round of apps (I applied during 4th year). My second round of Canadian apps, I got accepted to Western. My 3rd and 4th year marks were much better than my 1st/2nd, and I had a 2 year thesis-based master's degree. However that being said, if your marks are too low, it won't matter what postgraduate studies you pursue, and it also helped that Western takes your best 2 years.

In regards to financing the two options - I got accepted to an American school after 4th year, but I couldn't afford it at all. Two years of US school would have been 300K CDN+, including tuition, living, and the conversion rate, but not including interest on the loan. A two-year thesis based master's gives you a stipend and I also got a fellowship so I managed to come out relatively even. Because of that, I would choose the master's if finances were the only consideration. And you can only get a 275/300K CDN loan from the bank anyway.

On the other hand, think about the worst case scenario. What will you do after your master's if you don't get accepted to dent? Will your master's help you with getting a job? My supervisor was confident I could find a job relatively easily as an MSc, however I didn't see any obvious career moves (not interested in PhD/postdoc route) after I graduated from my MSc, so I was extremely relieved when I got my acceptance. It's always a risk, no matter what you decide.

I was also seriously looking at Australian schools, but that would have been about 500K+ for 4 years. I also got my acceptance before I started Australian applications.

From what I've seen/heard, the type of master's degree doesn't seem to matter (course vs thesis). But research will get you a stipend, and a completely different perspective/experience, while course-based master's sounded like a continuation of undergrad. Also keep in mind - I loved my master's, and I didn't pursue it purely as a way to boost my application. Otherwise 2 years is a long time, and it's tough to stay motivated.

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Thanks everyone for the responses. So my GPA best three years is a 3.8 (3.78 + 3.62 + 3.95) I wrote the November DAT and I don't think I did exceptional but hopefully scored at the least a 20 in every section. Still so confused as what to do...I'll probably be writing the DAT again considering a lot of difficulties were not related to lack of preparation on content but rather the fact i studied using online materials and no printable versions so IT GOT ME REALLY messed up for PAT and i struggled with timing.

I'm already in a gap year...I really want to pursue something next year, so I'm thinking masters...but definitely will keep in mind doing something that has career moves after.

 

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I know of students who were accepted in the past year at UofT with a ~3.7 GPA, and had a 2 year thesis-based research Master's. From what I know, UofT dent doesn't actually weigh the DAT components too heavily - so I would focus more on GPA-boosting (doing 5th year, doing a research based Master's, etc) instead of re-writing the DAT over and over. 

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Hi drakebell,

 

Western looks into diverse aspects of applicants. So try your best to get decent AB and PS before the end of this December.

Plus, your best two years of GPA is solid so you would get an interview if you got >20 in all the sections on Nov DAT you wrote recently.

(i.e., >80% best 2 years of GPA + >20 avg DAT + Decent AB, PS --> Interview from Schulich)

 

For UofT, cGPA after dropping of the worst year GPA must be >3.9. Otherwise, there is no chance to get an interview.

Doing a master's would give you ~+0.1 on top of your cGPA (they tend to prefer research-based ones but not these days).

 

Australian dental school could be doable because of a better exchange rate (it is still significantly more expensive though).

 

It is true that you should have backup plans, but you never know whether you would get into Canadian dental school in this admission cycle!

Try to apply to as many Canadian dental schools as possible (aiming for as least 4 schools out of 8 schools).

Good luck and I hope you get good news in the near future

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I wouldn't worry too much what type of masters degree you choose. Most Canadian dental schools don't look at that, and focus mostly on grades, grades, grades. Whatever masters degree you choose, make sure it is something you can perform well in and get a good grade. Choose a field you think you'll be good at.

As for the comment about going to the US instead, I would be careful about that...Tuition in the US is horrifying and is only increasing with time. The dollar conversion rate will kill you, and the living costs will also have a huge effect on your total debt when you're done. My dentist, who is also my family friend, told me several times to not dismiss the amount of debt I have as something negligible. As he always tells me, "the golden age of dentistry is over". You can still eventually pay off 400-500K of debt, but it's your choice. To me, that's a scary large amount of debt.

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I can't speak to whether a one year masters holds as much weight as a two year masters, but a one year masters allows you to keep applying to dental without missing an application cycle. 

I'm currently doing a one year masters (Master of Biomedical Science) at Guelph and I'm really enjoying it. I would totally recommend emailing profs associated with the program if you're looking for one year masters. There's a research project at the end (sort of akin to what a summer research project would be) and its super flexible as to what you can do it on. I'm actually able to put a dental spin on the program which I'm hoping will contribute to my marketability as a prospective dental student (my project involves isolating dental pulp stem cells from dog teeth and trying to get them to differentiate into nervous tissue [so hopefully in the future if the nerve of someone's tooth dies you can just regrow the nerve]).

Hope this helps!

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