Prerequisites to apply to dental school: Although there is slight

Prerequisites to apply to dental school: Although there is slight variation amongst schools on what they
require of their applicants this is the basis
8 credits General Biology (includes lab) 119:101, 119:102
8 Credits General Chemistry (Inorganic Chemistry) 160:161, 160:162
8 credits Organic Chemistry 160:307, 160:308
lab is Intro to Experimentation ( 1 credit) 160:171
Organic Chemistry lab ( 2 credits) 160:311
8 credits Physics 750:203, 750:204 (there is also Physics for Sciences and Extended General
Physics labs 1 and 2 750:205, 750:206
6 credits English (traditionally Expository Writing I and II (Research in the Disciplines-pick the
topic that interests you) 355:101, 355:201
Math- at least one semester Calculus: traditionally Calculus I and Calculus II –or- Calculus I and
Basic Stats for Research) 640:135, 640:136, 960:401
Some schools require Biochemistry
Many of the prerequisites correspond with the Biological Sciences major, but it is not requires that you
be a science major to be pre-dental.
Dean Frasca: Handed out a packet about majors (also be available at upcoming meetings)
Possible reasons you might not want to major in Bio:
Could include that this is your opportunity before dental school to take classes outside of the
sciences while in dental school most classes will be science intensive. Also, This could be a way
to differentiate yourself from the applicant pool. If you excel in something other than the
sciences, a non-science major can be a great way to keep you GPA up. This can also show that
you are a well rounded person and will diversify your schedule.
Explore your options in your first and second year:
You don’t want to take an elective in your senior year and discover that this is something that
you are interested in and could have been a possible choice as a major.
Watch add/drop deadlines as that are your opportunities to explore an drop a class if it turns
out to be the wrong choice.
Declaring a major:
You should do so during your second semester sophomore year. There could be a hold on your
registration if you delay this. You must contact SAS or SEBS advising centers if this is the case.
SAS: College Hall (D/C), BCC (Busch), Lucy Stone (Livingston), Milledoler (CAC)
SEBS: College Hall
-Some majors require that you fulfill requirements before you declare it as your major. This info
is included in the handout.
-credit intensive majors in SAS do no require a minor
-SAS Major/Minor fair in coming up!- talk to major advisors who will be available.
Contact info for some academic deans in SAS:
The Health Professions Office (HPO) recommends that you major in something you like, but
minor in Biology if your major happens not to be a science. This show you interest in the
sciences and give you the opportunity to take upper level science courses.
Health Professions Office (
-Located on both Busch (Nelson Labs A207) and Douglass (Chemistry Annex Building 217)
-Open a file with them! They will keep all your letters of recommendations that are sent in and
will write a committee letter as a letter of recommendation for dental schools based on an
autobiography that you write for them and an interview that they will have with you once you
are ready to apply.
-HPO interview: There is a minimum GPA requirement to be able to interview with the HPO. If
you have taken the DAT and got a 17, you overall GPA must be 3.25. If you did not take the DAT,
your GPA must be 3.4. They interview between March 15 and May 31
-their website will have a timeline of the steps you should be taking each year as an undergrad
-they also have information regarding the BA/DMD program offered through UMDNJ
-BA/DMD program ( : min GPA of 3.5 and must apply
after sophomore year. There are about 12 seats available. Basically you do your
undergraduate education at Rutgers for 3 years and during your senior year you finish
up undergrad while starting Dental School. You do not need to take Physics or Organic
Chemistry before applying.
These are important additions to your dental school application besides your GPA and DAT. If
you choose to do community service or volunteering, the important thing is to keep it
consistent. Do no choose many place and do a couple of hours everywhere, rather choose one
or two place and do all of your hours there. Consistency and frequency are key.
Do not let school suffer because you are spending too much time in extracurriculars, remember
your grade are the most important thing!
Remember to keep your summer busy. You can be asked about this later on in an interview.
This can be a great time to take classes or complete community service/ volunteer hours.
Also, an opportunity to teach is always a plus. This is a leadership role and shows that you have
good communication skills.
Employment- any job will suffice, just show that your are consistent; you have worked in one
place for years, not weeks.
Research is not necessary but many who have done it, recommend it. ARESTY has some great
research opportunities and can point in the right direction: ( )
Clinical Experience: Try to work/ volunteer/ shadow at a dental office.
Shadowing: Every school requires a different amount of hours to be able to apply. This ranges
from 20 at UMDNJ to 120 at BCU. The average is 20-60. Ideally, you should shadow general
dentists, since this is your immediate goal. Try to be chair-side! Dentists generally welcome you
since they like to see someone enthusiastic about their profession.
Middlesex County Dental Society has the Middlesex Count Dental Shadowing Program where
they pair you up with a dentist within your proximity in the Middlesex county area
Recommendation Letters:
These are vital to your application. This helps the dental school know more about you other
than the numbers they see on your application.
You need 5 letters: 3 faculty letters (2 of which are science) and 1 from your major. The 2
remaining letters should be from the dentist you shadowed and from one of your extracurricular
activities- either from your employer, research professor.
When you ask for a letter of recommendation you should provide the professor with an
addressed envelope from the HPO and a copy of your resume. Professors tend to notice faces
from the first 3 rows of class. You should take the opportunity to introduce yourself to the
professor. Try to stand out! Go to office hours, talk about common interests etc. Sometimes
people give the professors a heads up that they will be asking for a letter from them later on the
semester. This gives the professor the chance to monitor you and your performance in class.
You can also ask 2-3 weeks before the end of the semester. Remember to choose a class you
performed relatively well in (B and above) and a professor with whom you have built up a good
relationship through the semester. Also, you must follow up with the professor to make sure
everything has been sent in on time. Try to give the prof. the resume/ envelope in person! They
are doing this as a favor to you. Write a thank you letter when the letter is complete.
Recommendation: “ What every college student should know: How to find the best
teachers and learn from them” written by a Rutgers Prof and undergraduate
The HPO has a website where you can monitor your progress. This allows you to track
the letter or recommendations the HPO has in your file
( )
Kaplan offers 10% off their courses to RUPS members and 50% off for officers!
DAT format:
Survey of Natural Sciences – 90 Minutes
Biology – 40 Questions
General Chemistry – 30 questions
Organic Chemistry – 30 Questions
Perceptual Ability – 60 Minutes
Angle Discrimination – 15 Questions
Hole Punching – 15 Questions
Cubes – 15 Questions
Paper Folding – 15 Questions
Aperture Matching – 15 Questions
Orthographic Projections – 15 Questions
Break – 15 Minutes
Reading Comprehension – 50 Minutes
Three Passages – 50 Questions
Quantitative Reasoning – 45 Minutes
Applied Mathematics Problems:
Algebra, Trigonometry, Math Reasoning (word problems) – 40 Questions
The DAT is out of 30 possible points, and help your application if your GPS is not that high. To be
accepted, you need a 20 on your DAT but the average is 17-18.
Orgoman (who writes the DAT Destroyer) ( also offers prep classes
for the DAT- classes are in Staten Island and are about $75/ sessions. Each session is 3 hours
long. In the summer the class is twice a weeks.
You should take the DAT after you finish Organic Chemistry and ideally by August of your
applying year. You should be applying at the end of your junior year. It should not be taken
more than once although there is a limit of 3 times.
Stands for Associated American Dental Schools Application
This is the “General Application”: for dental schools
Here is a slideshow outlining the process:
550 US schools and 1 Canadian School participates
There is one standard form for all dental schools. Once you create an account, you are free to start you
application. There are several sections to the application:
Background Information: This is where they ask about whether you are involved in any
activities which require manual dexterity, whether you have any relatives who are dentists, and
other details such as disciplinary action, if you have applied to any other health profession, and
your fluency in languages.
Transcript/GPA: Must print out a transcript request form to be completed and sent directly
from the registrar’s office
DAT: They will ask about date you have taken or will take the exam and the scores on each.
This must also be backed by having you scores sent directly from the ADA
Professional Experience: -Scholarhsips, awards, honors, dental experience, research,
extracurriculars, community service, volunteering, work
Personal Statement: Basically “why do you want to be a dentist?” 4500 characters max (about
1 page)
Evaluations: Max of 4 individual letters or 1 committee letters (HPO) and one additional.
These can be submitted electronically or by mail.
You can monitor the status of everything they have received through their website and the progress in
completing the application
Supplemental Information: Individual schools might want extra information, fees,
forms/documents, etc. This information must be sent directly to each individual school (not
You application is considered complete once all information has been verified by AADSAS and they have
received your payment, official transcript, and you have submitted the application.
For the 2010 cycle the application fee was $217 for the first school and $68 for each additional school.
The number of schools you can apply to is unlimited
There is also a Fee Reduction Program through AADSAS which has its own application
Dental School Interviews:
This is your chance to make an impression with the admissions council. They will be looking at
everything including, your enthusiasm, composure, and professionalism. You should dress
professionally. You must go in feeling confident that you are a good candidate for their school.
Also, check out ( There is forum for each health profession, including
dentistry. You will find that some people will share some questions they might have been asked during
an actual interview at a particular school.
Traditionally it is expected that you be asked: “Why dentistry?” Offer a unique answer. Let them know
that you know what the field is about as well as you commitment and interest in becoming a dentist in
the near future.
Tip: research the school before you go into the interview because you might be asked “Why OUR
school?” versus any other dental school. You should visit the school before hand and you might want to
talk to some students.
“Why DMD versus MD?” is another commonly asked question. They want to know that dental school is
not just a back-up plan to medical school you are dedicated to this goal.
“Tell me about yourself” Know your application and make yourself seem interesting to the interviewer.
They have seen other applicants so make yourself stand out.
Other possible questions could include questions of ethics that you might come across. or where you
see the field going in 10 years.
“Do you have any questions?” You should have some questions planned t asked the interviewer about
the school and the program that you are applying to. Make this a conversation and make it clear that
you are genuine.
Lastly, Career Services ( has many resources that may be helpful.
They offer a mock interview where they will have a interview format set-up and will videotape the
session so that you may look back and see what there is that you make be able to improve on. They also
offer workshops on writing your CV/resume and writing your personal statement. Take advantage of
these resources!
Greg Sobol will also be coming to a future meeting to discuss other things the Career Services Office has
to offer.
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