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UMKC PreDental Society: Getting into the programs for the schools of your choice: the application process given by Kathleen V. Kilway, Ph.D. on November 28, 2007 Department of Chemistry, University of Missouri – Kansas City
Purpose of This Talk • Getting into the program of your choice • Career Choices - how to know what you want to do • Preparation for your future career • Application Process
My background • Why me? • Undergraduate Advisor for Chemistry • Chair of the Recruiting Committee in the Department of Chemistry at UMKC • Ph.D. in Chemistry at UCSD
Your Career Choice • Finding your passion • Shadow a physician, dentist, nurse, . . . • Talk to an advisor, peers, other professionals in that field • Check on website or at the career center • Volunteer in a research lab (after organic chemistry or genetics) or at the appropriate setting
Your Career Choice • Must have some ability in the classes • Differences between graduate school and professional schools • Paid to go to graduate school with either graduate teaching or graduate research fellowships • Not paid to go to professional school but check for special scholarships at financial aid or scholarship office
Choosing your major • Professional schools • Pick a major from classes that you enjoy taking (BA or BS) • Should be flexible so that you can take required classes and perform well in them • May not correspond to what you think • Philosophy • Graduate School • Need a BS in that field
Application Process • Apply to several schools including safety school • Talk to alumni, peers, or professors about your choices • Look at their requirements for admission including the deadlines
Application Process - The package • Application - Different requirements for different Schools • May have different requirements • Personal statement - in English and use resources including Writing Center • The Admission Exam - practice and you may have to take it several times. Check dates. • GPA - is important, check to see if they replace classes in science GPA • Letters of recommendation
Application Process - The package (continued) • Objective Criteria • 3.0 Minimum GPA (3.4 or higher preferred) after completion of 90 hours of college credit • 16 minimum on DAT (17 or higher preferred) - take all parts of the exam seriously • One semester of general biology (with lab), anatomy (WL), cell biology (WL); one year of general chemistry (WL), organic chemistry (WL), physics (WL), and English composition • Reference http://dentistry.umkc.edu/bec_student/assets/pdf/SuggestedPredentalSchedule.pdf
Application Process - The package (continued) • Subjective Criteria • Investigation of Dentistry (five offices for 80-100 hours) • Social conscience and compassion (active/ongoing volunteering) • Personal character (maturity, self-reliance, and leadership) • Critical thinking/problem solving skills • Interpersonal communication skills • Time management skills • Reference http://dentistry.umkc.edu/bec_student/assets/pdf/SuggestedPredentalSchedule.pdf
Application Process - The package • Other things • Work/Volunteer in a laboratory setting • Do research if applicable • Try SI or be a UTA • Peer Tutor • Honors Program • Spend time in a different country
Letters of Recommendation • May need 3-5 letters • Request - in English, give time for response • Provide advising transcript, personal statement, resume, and any other information • Provide self-addressed, prestamped envelopes • Write a thank you note and keep them updated
Example of letter of recommendation form • Personal information and Program and due dates • Provide the following material: • Self-addressed, stamped envelopes for each letter • A personal statement • A copy (unofficial) of your transcript • A resume including education, awards/honors, work history • Any other material which might help with the recommendation • Please initial the following statements: • I waive the right to see this letter of recommendation. • I release my grades and GPA to be used in a favorable recommendation. • Sign and Date
Application • Follow directions • Good penmanship counts • Waive your right to read the letters of recommendation (very important) • Trust them. If not, do not ask • Professor, advisor, research or shadowed person
Resume • Start now if you have not already done so. • Include activities, awards, honors, work experience (including high school) • Any activities should not take away from your classes and performing well in them
Summary • It is not the rest of your life. • Enjoy the time that you have now. • Take the time to research what you want to do. • Also be reasonable with your expectations.
Acknowledgements • ACS Student Affiliates • UMKC Department of Chemistry • This will be on the website but could develop a checklist.