Advice from Dr. DeClue for Predental Students

Dr. James DeClue gave a most useful presentation to the PreDental Association on November 17. He sent the following remarks by email after that meeting. All applicants to dental school should find his advice helpful.

"My thanks to all who attended the pre-dental meeting Wednesday, November 17. I hope you received a good overview of trends in dentistry; some of the challenges associated with getting through dental school and what SIU-SDM can offer you as a dental student. If you have any specific questions left unanswered or need advice concerning your individual application, feel free to either call with your question or arrange for a meeting with me. Remember, the selections process is a competitive one. The committee looks at the applicant‘s entire record including courses taken, grades, DAT scores, motivation, personal character, letters of recommendation, etc. Our previous entering class has an overall GPA of 3.3 and a science GPA of 3.2. Your chances for acceptance to dental school are much higher if you score a 17 or higher on the DAT for both academic average and perceptual. (Our entering class DAT averages are higher than this.) You should definitely retake the DAT if your overall academic score is below a 16 or your perceptual average is less than 15. Also, an individual DAT score below a 15 on any of the six separate sections of the DAT test is definitely not good. Most accepted students are Biology majors who have taken several additional science classes beyond the minimal requirements. However, other students are accepted with majors in business, engineering, religion, and almost anything else you can imagine. What will help you? Attend a good 4 year university (such as SIUE) for all of your classes; take full loads each semester and take the kinds of classes that will contribute to your success in dental school and beyond. Develop good study habits and time management skills because you will need these skills to succeed in dental school. Earn “B“ or better grades in your classes. Learn about dentistry so you are sure about your career choice. You should take at least two of the following courses: anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology and histology. Having studied these subjects as an undergrad will surely be helpful when you start dental school! If you are not making the grades or DAT scores normally required for acceptance to dental school, seek advice from your pre-professional advisor or faculty advisor. You may also want to contact the school Counseling services for assistance with study skills and time management or other issues you feel may be limiting your ability to achieve your goals. Also, when you apply to dental school, call and arrange to visit the school. Almost all dental schools will allow you to visit and talk with someone regarding your application (our Admissions office # is 618-474-7170). Best Wishes, Dr. DeClue"