Advisors: Manuel Campos, David Mitchell
A major in any discipline is acceptable for admission to dental schools, but most dental programs require a basic foundation of eight to 10 courses in chemistry, biology and physics. Dental schools base admission decisions on a student's college courses, grade point average, performance on the Dental Admission Test (taken in the junior year) and a personal interview.
Most dental schools require a minimum of BIOL 101, 201, CHEM 125, 250, 251, 255, 201 (1 credit), 202 (1 credit), 203 (1 credit), 205 (1 credit); 8 credits of physics; 8 credits of English (including 1 composition and writing course); a one semester biochemistry course; and 4 credits of mathematics. All dental school applicants are required to complete a dental admissions test (DAT) that covers these science courses as well as an understanding of perception and motor ability. Specific requirements, however, vary from school to school. As an example, the University of Minnesota Dental School requires that applicants complete Psychology 111 and document 30 hours shadowing a practicing dentist. Students considering a career in dentistry are urged to contact the pre-dental advisor early in their studies.
A few dental schools admit students after three years of undergraduate study. A three/one program is available at Saint Benedict's and Saint John's for students interested in this option. Students remain at the colleges for three years, during which time they complete all common curriculum requirements and all requirements for a natural science major except for four upper-division courses. Sufficient credits may then be transferred from the first year of dental school to complete the CSB/SJU degree requirements. Students contemplating a three/one program should consult early with the natural science chair.