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Pre-dental requirements: what do I need to know?

Hello! I'm really interested in pursuing a career in dentistry, and I was wondering if you guys could help me understand the pre-dental requirements. What courses and experiences should I focus on in high school and college to best prepare myself for dental school? Thanks!

6 months ago

Hi there! It's great that you have an interest in pursuing a career in dentistry. To prepare yourself for dental school, you should focus on both academic and extracurricular experiences that demonstrate your commitment, skills, and knowledge in the field. Here's a breakdown of what you should focus on in both high school and college:

High School:

1. Academics: Strong performance in science and math courses is crucial. Make sure to take advanced courses, such as AP Chemistry, AP Biology, and AP Calculus, if they are available at your school. These courses will provide a solid foundation for the coursework you will encounter in college.

2. Extracurriculars: Participate in science-oriented clubs, such as HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) or Science Olympiad. Volunteering at dental offices or participating in dental-related community service projects is also a great way to show your dedication to the field.

College:

1. Required courses: Most dental schools require the following courses as prerequisites: General Chemistry (with lab), Biology (with lab), Physics (with lab), Organic Chemistry (with lab), and Biochemistry. Some dental schools may also require or recommend additional coursework, such as Anatomy, Microbiology, or Cell Biology.

2. Recommended courses: In addition to the required courses, consider taking classes that will help you build strong communication and critical-thinking skills, such as Psychology, Sociology, or Public Speaking. These skills are essential for any healthcare professional.

3. DAT (Dental Admission Test): You will need to take the DAT during your undergraduate studies, usually by the end of your junior year or the beginning of your senior year. The DAT covers topics like Natural Sciences, Perceptual Ability, Reading Comprehension, and Quantitative Reasoning. Start preparing well in advance to ensure a strong score.

4. Extracurriculars: Join a pre-dental club on campus, become a member of a dental-related organization, or continue volunteering at dental clinics. Participate in dental research, if possible, to gain a deeper understanding of the field and strengthen your dental school application.

In summary, focus on developing a strong foundation in science and math, participate in dental-related extracurricular activities, and maintain a high GPA. In college, make sure to complete the required coursework for dental schools, take the DAT exam, and continue participating in dental-related activities. Good luck on your pre-dental journey!

6 months ago

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