SIUE Department of Biological Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Biological Sciences

 

Dental School Information (Concise Summary)


PREPARING FOR DENTAL SCHOOL
  • Although you should choose a major that interests you and in which you have some talent, most pre-dental students major in biology or chemistry.
  • No matter what you major in, you will need good grades in and a good understanding of biology, chemistry, physics and math.
  • Begin taking chemistry and biology in your freshman year if possible.
  • A grade point average of 3.3 or better and academic scores that average at least 18 and a PAT score of at least 18 on the DAT are important goals.
  • Minimum requirements for most dental schools are one year of biology, two years of chemistry, and one year of physics, with labs, and one year of English.
  • Courses in computer science applications, business and statistics are also valuable.
  • Make time to observe a dental practice while you are an undergraduate. Plan to spend a few hours a week in the practice for a summer or a semester.

THE DENTAL ADMISSIONS TEST (DAT)
  • The DAT covers biological sciences, general and organic chemistry, reading comprehension, quantitative reasoning, and perceptual ability.
  • Try to complete your chemistry and at least two years of biology before you attempt the DAT.
  • Obtain and study practice tests from the ADEA or other sources. It is particularly helpful to practice the PAT part of the test on a screen.
  • Apply for and take the DAT in the summer before your senior year (regular applicants)
  • You may repeat the DAT if you need to improve your scores, but must allow at least 90 days between attempts.

APPLYING TO DENTAL SCHOOLS
  • Students should plan to apply to dental schools the summer or fall before their senior year--earlier is better.
  • Students who apply to several schools should apply through AADSAS. Students who are applying only to the SIU SDM may apply directly.
  • The AADSAS application materials are available on-line. Applications for SIU SDM are available from the dental school.
  • Plan to spend a substantial amount of time on your application and especially on your personal statement.
  • Arrange for letters of evaluation to be sent to AADSAS or SIU SDM.
  • Evaluators should be professors (biology, chemistry, English) or others who know you well and can comment on your aptitude and preparation for dental school.
  • Dental schools will call you to schedule an interview if they are interested in your application.

THE BS/DMD COMBINED PROGRAM
  • The BS/DMD Combined Program is administered through the biology department at SIUE.
  • Freshmen students who matriculate at SIUE, who choose to major in Biology/Medical Science, and who have few or no transferred credits from other schools are eligible to be considered for the program.
  • After consideration of science teacher evaluations and grades achieved during the freshman year, the chief health professions advisor recommends students to the SIU SDM for acceptance into the program.
  • The SIU SDM notifies students who have been accepted into the program.
  • Students' performance during their sophomore year is similarly evaluated for continuation in the program.
  • If continued in the program, students apply to dental school and take the DAT no later than the fall of their junior year.
  • Students who have demonstrated continued excellence and maturity in their classes, as well as on the DAT, are accepted into dental school, at the discretion of the SIU SDM.
  • After successful completion of the first year of dental school, students earn a BS degree from SIUE, and at the end of four years of dental school, a DMD degree from SIU SDM.

More detailed information is available from the American Dental Education Association (web page: http://www.adea.org/) and on from your CAS Advisor.

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Published by: Department of Biological Sciences, SIUE
For information, email: Dr. David Duvernell, Chair
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Last updated July 29, 2012