Preparation for Dental School
There is not a specific major that is required for admittance to dental school. With your advisor’s assistance you can design a program that meets the requirements to apply to a dental program while majoring in the discipline that most interests you. To be a competitive applicant, you should display excellent writing and speaking skills, possess analytic and synthetic thinking ability, and demonstrate your determination to become a professional in the field of dentistry.
While there is no specific requirement regarding your major, there are certain criteria that must be fulfilled for admittance to dental school. Many students choose to major in biology or chemistry since dental school admission requires that you have quite a few credit hours in these two disciplines. You will need to work with your academic advisor to examine your interests, your academic record, and dental school requirements to determine the best academic path for you. Regardless of your major, a minor in pre-professional health minor will pair you with an academic advisor that will help to ensure that you are on the right path to apply for dental school.
Most dental schools require:
- 8 hours Biology with lab (BIOL 1110/1111 & BIOL 1120/1121)
- 10 hours Physics (PHYS 2010/2011 & PHYS 2020/2021)
- 6 hours English (ENG 1010 & ENG 1020)
- 10 hours General Chemistry with lab (CHEM 1110/1111 & CHEM 1120/1121)
- 8 hours Organic Chemistry with lab (CHEM 3510/3511 & CHEM 3520/3521)
Early in your academic career you will need to research some of the dental schools you are interested in applying to in order to insure you will meet all their criteria for application process. Note that some dental schools do not accept online courses. By understanding early what each school requires, you will be prepared when it comes time to apply. Some basic factors common to all professional schools include:
- · Good undergraduate grades (overall GPA of 3.0 minimum)
- · Test scores (DAT)
- · True interest in profession as demonstrated by shadowing or volunteering in the field
- · Service-related experiences in people-oriented environments – long term service preferred to short bursts of unrelated service activities
- · Exceptional communication skills
- · Strong reference letters from professionals who know your character, as well as, your work ethic