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Mission of Mercy Dental Clinic

Why study Pre-Dental Studies in Biomedical Sciences at Marquette?

Pre-Dental Scholars Program

Pre-dent is not a major at Marquette. It is a statement of your intention to go to dental school someday. Students in our accelerated program receive their undergraduate degrees with conditional acceptance into Marquette's School of Dentistry, the only dental school in Wisconsin. Pre-dental scholars complete their undergraduate portion in three years, then take courses that count toward their bachelor's and dental degrees in the fourth year. Pre-dental scholars get both degrees in seven years.

What are the minimal admission requirements of dental schools?

Most dental schools require one year each of general chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, and physics. All courses must have laboratory components. At Marquette, these requirements are met by completing:

Other recommendations:

Admission committees of some schools require or recommend additional courses as well. You should consult Admission Requirements of U.S. and Canadian Dental School, published by the American Association of Dental Schools, for the specific requirements and recommended courses for each school. Please visit your advisor and ask to view their copy of the Admission Requirements of US and Canadian Dental School. If you are interested in a particular school, you should learn as much about that school as possible as early as you can.

What factors do dental schools consider when evaluating applicants?

Admission committees consider science grade point average (GPA), overall GPA, Dental Admission Test (DAT) scores, academic and personal recommendations, personal statements, and sometimes a personal interview. They are interested in candidates who have attained good academic records and who have actively investigated the dental profession.

What is the DAT?

The Dental Admission Test is a combined aptitude and achievement exam prepared by the American Dental Association. Information about the test and application may be obtained in the Office of Pre-Professional Studies.

The test is usually taken sixteen to seventeen months before the student hopes to begin dental school. It should be noted that while physics is required for dental school, physics is not covered on the DAT. Therefore, the test can be taken after the second semester of Organic Chemistry has been completed.

To prepare for the DAT, you should review the topics and skills the test measures. This is also an excellent way to evaluate your undergraduate course choices. The sections of the test include:

How important are my GPA and DAT scores for admission?

Academic criteria are very important. Most schools will look very closely at the overall GPA, science GPA and DAT scores. These factors, however, are not the only items considered in evaluating the admission potential of a candidate. Integrity, motivation and the candidate's suitability for the study of dentistry are also considered.

Do I need letters of recommendation?

Yes. Letters of recommendation, which indicate personal knowledge of your abilities in comparison to other students are extremely important. Most dental schools require at least three academic letters (usually one from a science professor, one from a non-science professor and a third from either science or non-science professor).

In addition, some schools also request one or two non-academic letters. The College of Health Sciences Pre-Health Professions Office provides a Letters of Recommendation Service.

Are extracurricular activities important?

Dental schools prefer students with interests and experiences beyond academics; however, such activities should not interfere with academic performance.

Is financial aid available?

Amounts and types of financial aid vary widely from school to school. You should investigate the costs of dental school during your undergraduate career, as well as the types of loans and scholarships typically available.

How can I learn more about a career in dentistry?

Observe dentists in your hometown or here in Milwaukee. Join the Pre-Dental Student Organization at Marquette. In addition, consider working or volunteering in a dental office.

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