Dentists help students

Depending on where you are in your college career will determine what you should have completed. It is important to keep in mind that the following lists are ideal situations, so you do not have to worry if you haven’t followed them 100%.

First year

  • See your advisor to plan out your courses so that you will have the courses you need completed in order to begin taking DAT practice exams after the end of your sophomore year
  • -In addition to core classes you should be incorporating your dental school pre-requisites (begin looking at the dental school pre-requisites; some schools have different requirements)
  • Continue your community involvement and keep a log of your events (including time, date and your responsibilities at the event)
  • Continue shadowing dentists (you will be required to submit a letter of recommendation from a practicing dentist, so establish continuity and a good relationship with at least one dentist)
  • Get involved on campus and seek leadership opportunities (there should be various pre-health organizations or maybe even a pre-dental group)
  • Start getting to know your professors, especially in your science courses. You will eventually need to request letters of recommendations so you want them to know you well enough to write a strong letter

Second year

  • Continue shadowing and community involvement
  • Jump into a leadership position if you haven’t already
  • Begin visiting dental schools and getting to know faculty; let your name be known

Third year

  • Begin seeking research opportunities (maybe with a professor that you want to write your letter of recommendation so that they can write about your research in your letter)
  • Continue shadowing and community involvement
  • Keep a heavy course load (18 hours or more if you are not heavily involved in other extracurricular activities)

Four year

  • If you have completed your dental-school prerequisites, focus on courses that will strengthen your dental school application (ex: immunology, histology, biochemistry II, business classes…)
  • Do not lighten up your course load because it is your senior year
  • Start the application process early (usually opens late May)
  • Be aware that some schools require a secondary application (Texas A&M College of Dentistry is one of them)
  • Request letters of recommendations as soon as you know what is required to give sufficient time for faculty and dentists to get them in on time
  • And as you should have throughout your college career, continued shadowing and community involvement

Texas application website: 

Things to know about dental school acceptances:

2016 College of Dentistry acceptance statistics:

  • A majority of dental students come in with at least a bachelor’s degree (usually chemistry, biology or a business degree). That does not mean you cannot obtain a degree in another area, but it will be to your advantage to focus in one of these three areas.


If you need some guidance in any of these areas:

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