Doctor of Dental Medicine Advising Plan

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Doctor of Dental Medicine Advising Plan
The ADA describes dentistry as a branch of science devoted to maintaining oral health. General dentists use latest techniques and equipment to examine the head, neck, and oral cavity to identify and diagnose oral conditions along with using specialized diagnostic to identify diseases of the teeth, gums, and supporting bones. Dentists also help restore and replace damaged teeth, perform corrective surgery, evaluate overall health of patient, and provide instructions on oral care and preventive measure. To become a dentist you must graduate from an accredited dental school. Typically dental school is a 4 year program after your bachelor’s degree. Currently there are 65 accredited dental schools within the U.S.
1st Year

  • Focus on academic coursework and how to be a successful college student.

  • Work on earning a strong GPA

  • Become involved in community service, volunteer, clubs and organization, and research.

  • Start shadowing a dentist in a field that interests you.

  • Work with your advisor and Pre-health advisor to plan courses and experiences that will help you prepare to apply to dental school

  • Begin your general chemistry and general biology sequence.

  • Research dental schools you may be interested in

  • Once your general chemistry and biology sequence are complete, register with the pre-health advisory committee.

2nd Year

  • Continue to focus on coursework and achieving a high GPA.

  • Continue to have clinical, volunteer, and shadowing experience within dentistry

  • Continue to be involved and look for leadership opportunities

  • Look for research opportunities on and off campus

  • Meet with the pre-health advisor and discuss schools you are looking to apply to

  • Prepare for the DAT and research prep courses opportunities

  • Read the instructions for the AADSAS application

3rd Year

  • Continue to maintain a strong GPA

  • Finish the majority of your science prerequisites

  • Work on your Personal statement and attend a personal statement writing workshop

  • Register for the DAT

  • Take the DAT

  • Meet with Pre-Health Advisory Committee (PAC)

  • Gather committee, faculty, and practitioner letter of recommendations.

  • Start applying to schools start June 1st.

  • Submit AADSAS and apply to dental schools early

  • Submit transcripts and letters of recommendation to AADSAS

4th Year

  • Prepare for interviews by participating in a mock interview

  • Continue to maintain a strong GPA

  • Prepare a “Plan B” in you are not accepted this year

  • Complete financial aid (FAFSA) by March 1st if accepted into a program

  • Pay seat deposition for the institution of your choice

  • Let the pre-health advisor know what schools you were admitted to and which school you will matriculate.

Doctor of Dental Medicine Advising Checklist

____1. RESEARCH the dental schools you are interested in. The first step in preparing for dental school is finding out programs that you are interested in. A good place to start is the American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS). The AADSAS provides you with information about several dentistry programs, their requirements, and their timelines.

____2. PREREQUISITES: each school has different timelines and prerequisites. Research each school carefully to make sure you have met all the requirements for the application



Biology with lab (12 quarter hours)

Physics with lab (12 quarter hours)

Genetics (4 quarter hours)

General Chemistry with lab (12 quarter hours)

Physiology (4 quarter hours

Histology (4 quarter hours)

Organic Chemistry with lab (12 quarter hours)

Biochemistry (4 quarter hours)

Cell Biology (4 quarter hours)

Anatomy (4 quarter hours)

English (9 quarter hours)

Molecular Biology (4 quarter hours)

Microbiology (4 quarter hours)

Psychology (4 quarter hours)

Immunology ( 4 quarter hours)

*This is a typical example of what a dental school may require – make sure you check each school for their specific requirements.
____3. SIGN UP for the Pre-Health Advisory Committee (once you have completed the General Chemistry/General Biology sequence). This will allow you to have another advisor that helps you in your junior/senior year prepare for the AADSAS application.
____4.GPA: The higher the GPA, the more competitive you will be. Plan on applying to at least 8-10 programs at minimum. The average GPA for Illinois programs is a 3.5. The higher your GPA the better chance of being admitted to a dental school.
____5.KNOW the applications start date and deadlines along with all prerequisites needed for each school you are interested in. The AADSAS opens early June.
____6.EXPERIENCE: Some dental programs require shadowing and health care hours. Check each school carefully for what their requirements are. Even if a school does not require hours it is vital that you get experience in the dental and health care field. Start early and get as much experience in dentistry, research, and health care as you can.
____7.BE INVOLVED: The more well-rounded your academic career the more competitive you will be. Be involved in activities such as research, community service, work, and extracurricular activities that are meaningful and unique.
____8. RECOMMENDATIONS: The majority of dental programs require a committee letter along with 2 or 3 other letters of recommendations. Therefore, line up 3-4 recommendations early on. The AADSAS will tell you which types of recommendation each school requires and accepts. If unsure contact the schools you are applying to directly to determine what types of references they prefer. Recommendations through AADSAS are electronic.
____9. DAT: Register for the DAT at least 3-4 months prior to taking the DAT and at least 3 months prior to the June 1st application opening. Please note in order to register you must have a DENTPIN: The average DAT score for schools dental schools in Illinois is a 19. However, the higher the DAT score the better chance of being accepted into a dental school.
____10. COMPOSE: Start to write your personal essay prior to the application in a word document. Each specific school may have a supplemental essay as well. Once you have completed your essay make sure you edit it carefully and have others edit it as well.
____11. REQUEST official transcripts to be sent to you to aid you in filling out the coursework one month prior to your application open date.
____12. APPLY/DOUBLE CHECK/SUBMIT: A lot of dental schools are on the AADSAS but not all of them. The earlier you apply the better. Some schools have rolling admission. Get all your application materials ready a month prior to the application open date, fill out the application, double/triple check for errors, and then submit.

Tips for Success:

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American Dental Association (ADA):

American Dental Education Association (ADEA):

American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS):

Dental Admissions Test (DAT):

Prometric’s Test Drive:

ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools:


Dental Program in the Area
Programs in Illinois

Midwestern University (6/1-1/1)

University of Illinois at Chicago (6/1-12/1)

Southern Illinois University

Programs in Indiana

Indiana University (6/1-11/1)

Programs in Iowa

University of Iowa (6/1-10/1)

Programs in Missouri

Missouri School of Dentistry and Oral Health (6/1-12/1)

University of Missouri – Kansas City (6/1-9/1)

Programs in Wisconsin

Marquette University (6/1-9/1)

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