As a predental
student, dental school “Decision Day” is the day solidifying all your hard work
and achieving the first step on the path to the dream you have been working
toward. Now it’s time to ask, “How do I navigate it?”
When making a
decision about which dental school to attend, it is important to weigh the pros
and cons of every school you are accepted to. Think about whether these schools
match what you are looking for in a dental school and how attending a specific
school will help you to grow as a student. Here are a few important questions to
consider and keep in mind when making your decision:
important to you?
a location within driving distance to your hometown important?
you want to live in the city?
you looking for a small class size?
early do you hope to have exposure to clinical skills?
you want to go to a pass/fail school, or a school with letter grades and a
you want to go to a school that also offers advanced dental education programs?
can be stressful, exciting and terrifying all at the same time, but there are
other ways to make it a little more efficient and stress-free. I suggest you do
additional research about each school. Think about where you can grow and learn
as much as possible. Become very familiar with the school’s website, as it has
a wealth of information about the D.M.D. or D.D.S. program and the school’s
mission, values and curriculum. Reach out to faculty with questions before
Decision Day. Connect with current dental students at schools you are
considering as primary choices and ask them about their experiences before
Decision Day. Tour the campus and clinical facilities again, if possible. Many
schools are now incorporating virtual tours within their recruitment resources
on their websites.
If you are
weighing offers between schools, do your research and self-reflection before
submitting your deposit to the school that is your first choice. Most
deposits are non-refundable, so it is important to be confident in your
decision when you submit your payment to secure your spot in the incoming class.
In addition to submitting the deposit, be sure to respond to your acceptance
email, convey your excitement to matriculate into the next class and thank the
school for the opportunity to continue your higher education with them.
Congratulations! You have now accepted your offer to
dental school and will be starting next summer or fall. Now, how do you decline
offers to other schools that may have accepted you as well? It is important to
keep the following in mind:
the other school(s) know via email that you will not be attending their program
as soon as you make your decision on where you are going.
the email to the individual who sent you the admissions letter, using Mr./Mrs./Dr.
them for the offer and opportunity to apply and interview at that school.
that you are appreciative of the acceptance to that school, but at this time,
you have decided to pursue your dental education at a different school.
them for their time.
decisive and clear with your choices.
These are some
tips I wish I knew while navigating my own Decision Day. In addition, the one
piece of advice I wish that I were given while I was waiting to hear from
dental schools: Relax and enjoy the process. I was so anxious about whether I
would get into dental school, and spent a lot of time worrying, when in
reality, I had done everything I could do at that point in time. I probably
would have benefitted from finding time to relax and engage in hobbies that
would have distracted me.
The day I
received the call in December 2015, congratulating me on my acceptance to the University
of New England College of Dental Medicine (UNE-CDM), I was shocked. I could not
believe that my dream had a chance of becoming a reality, and now it was up to
me to decide whether to accept the offer. I accepted the offer in a heartbeat
because I loved everything about the UNE-CDM—the small class size, the early
exposure to clinical skills, the close connections students had with faculty
and that I would be within driving distance of my family. I was confident in my
decision to place a deposit at the UNE-CDM, and currently, as a third-year
dental student, I have no regrets.
I wish the best
of luck to all of you receiving decisions from dental schools in the next couple
months. Know yourself, truly think about what school fits you and what school will
allow you to grow and succeed, and finally, be confident in the decision you