Becoming a Competitive Re-applicant
Being a successful re-applicant is possible, but it is certainly challenging. A re-applicant is not just competing against the rest of the applicants in the applicant pool but is also competing against his/her prior applications. It is incredibly important for re-applicants to show substantial improvement over prior applications. Some applicants who are wait listed in application cycle A and reapply for cycle B are not invited for an interview because very little, if anything, has improved on the new application. Many re-applicants benefit from taking a gap year between application cycles in order to establish enough evidence that they have improved in multiple areas of the application. For example, if pursuing a graduate degree, at least one year of coursework (approximately 18 semester hours) should be completed prior to re-applying.
(This is why we encourage all applicants to apply when their application is as strong as possible. It rarely ends well for an applicant who applies “just to see what happens” before he/she is competitive.)
Re-applicants should improve as many areas of the application as possible. Evaluate and identify the strengths and weaknesses of your application. Develop a plan that will maintain your strengths and improve all weaknesses. Use all of the information listed in Planning to Succeed as a guide.
This may mean:
- Demonstrating sustained interest in the field of dentistry
- Re-taking the DAT even if you had a strong score, especially if you think you can improve
- Earning a two-year master’s degree (with a thesis) in a core science area
- Increasing dental experience, community service, and research experience
- Obtaining new letters of evaluation
- Updating your personal statement
- All of the above