University of Vermont

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Dentistry

Dental school programs are typically four years in length and award either a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD), which are equivalent degrees.  Following graduation and a licensing exam, dentists can begin general practice in many states, or they can pursue additonal training through a residency.

Most dentists provide oral health care in a private practice, while roughly 10% teach, conduct research, shape public policy or provide care in a government or public health setting.   Areas of practice include general dentistry; pediatric dentistry, endodontics (matter inside the tooth); oral and maxillofacial pathology, radiology or surgery; orthodontics, periodontics (gums), and prosthodontics. Read More

CHOICE OF MAJOR

Does UVM have a pre-dental major? Similar to most colleges and universities in the United States, UVM does not have a pre-dental major. You can be a pre-dental student preparing for dental school, while majoring in almost any subject area.

Should I major in science? Many dental school applicants major in one of the biological or physical sciences because they are interested in those disciplines, and the major requirements coincide with pre-dental requirements.  However, a science major is not, by any means, a prerequisite for dental school, and students are discouraged from majoring in science if they are doing so for the sole purpose of increasing their chances for admission. Dental schools are primarily concerned with the overall quality and scope of undergraduate work.  Choose a subject area that is consistent with your academic strengths and interests.

The selection of a major should also be made with alternative careers in mind. Follow your true interests and work toward a goal of achieving the academic standing necessary for admission to dental school, which is very competitive. It is practical and appropriate for students to consider short- or long-term contingency plans, and career alternatives. Explore more health career options.

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ACADEMIC PREPARATION

Required and Recommended Course Work

SUBJECT AREA SEMESTERS UVM COURSES

Biology

2 semesters with lab

Some programs also require

Microbiology

BIOL 1 & 2  OR

BCOR 11 & 12

MMG 101

 

Chemistry

2 semesters of inorganic chemistry with lab and
2 semesters of organic chemistry with lab

CHEM 31 & 32
(35 & 36 for majors)
CHEM 141 & 142
(143 &144 for majors)

Biochemistry

Most schools require or recommend 1 semester.  Some schools also require the lab.
Consult ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools.

BIOC 212

BIOC 205 & 206 if required for major

Physics

2 semesters with lab

 PHYS 11 with 21 (lab) &
 PHYS 12 with 22 (lab)

(51 & 152 for majors)

 

English

 

Requirements vary by school.  Many programs require 2 semesters of English. 
Consult ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools

Choose writing intensive courses, i.e. ENG 1, 6, 50, 57, etc.
Some TAP and Honors College Seminars may fulfill the requirement.

 

Math

Generally not required.  A few schools do require calculus, and some recommend statistics.
Consult ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools

MATH 19, 20
MATH 21, 22 (for majors or AP)
STAT 111
STAT 141
Statistics-heavy courses in other disciplines may be sufficient.

 

Behavioral Sciences

Some schools require 1 to 2 semesters of psychology.
Consult ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools

PSYC 1

 

Additional Biology Recommendations

Coursework in Cell Biology and Genetics are generally recommended.

BCOR 101, 103

 

Art

A course in sculpture or ceramics is recommended for developing manual dexterity.

ARTS 141

 

Recommendations for Advanced Placed Students

SUBJECT AREA SEMESTERS UVM COURSES

 

Biology

If you AP out of 1 or both biology courses, most schools expect at least 1 or 2 advanced biology courses.  Coursework in Genetics and Molecular & Cell Biology should help with DAT performance.

BCOR 101
BCOR 103

 

Chemistry

If you AP out of Introductory Chemistry, it is strongly recommended that you take General Chemistry prior to Organic Chemistry.

CHEM 35 & 36

Before electing to “AP out” of any of the above courses, consider carefully whether you have a strong foundational understanding for and competency in the subject area.  Remember, you will be tested on this material in your admission test. 

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TIMING

Plan ahead! Most people underestimate the time involved in this process, which should begin 18 months prior to the time you wish to begin your program. 

Should I apply at the end of my junior year? While the traditional approach was to apply at the end of junior year for a seamless transition from college to dental school, many applicants now apply after graduation, sometimes several years later. 

The average age of a first-year dental student is now about 24 years old. Students are encouraged to take the full four years of college to enhance their academic record, accommodate study abroad (optional), and develop the experiential background necessary for a highly competitive applicant pool. There are many timelines and profiles that can lead to a successful application.  Here are two:

Traditional or Early Timeframe

  • Candidates apply in the summer after their junior year
  • Admitted students enroll in dental school right after college

Academic Year

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Assess your motivation for a career in dentistry

x

x

x

 

Plan & complete required & recommended courses in consultation with academic advisor

x

x

x

 

Consult Pre Health Advisor

x

x

x

x

Test & inform career goals through shadowing

x

x

x

x

Develop relevant skills & qualities for dental school & practice through personally meaningful experiences  on and off campus

x

x

x

x

Be proactive and get to know your professors

x

x

x

 

Open a pre-health file at Career Services & participate in the Pre Health Advisory Committee Review

 

 

x

 

Study for and take the DAT

 

 

x

 

Research, visit, choose and apply to schools

 

 

x

 

Submit application through centralized application service
AADSAS

 

 

x

 

Prepare for and attend school interviews

 

 

 

x

 

Advantageous or Extended Timeline allows four years to prepare

  • Apply in the summer after senior year
  • Enroll in dental school after  “gap year”

Academic Year

Post Grad

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

Assess your motivation for a career in dentistry

x

x

x

x

 

Plan & complete required & recommended courses
In consultation with academic advisor

x

x

x

x

 

Consult Pre Health Advisor

x

x

x

x

x

Test & inform career goals through shadowing

x

x

x

x

x

Develop relevant skills & qualities for dental school & practice through personally meaningful activities on and off campus

x

x

x

x

x

Be proactive and get to know your professors

x

x

x

x

 

Open a pre-health file at Career Services and participate in the Pre Health Advisory Committee Review

 

 

 

x

 

Study for and take the DAT

 

 

x or

x

 

Research, visit, choose and apply to schools

 

 

 

x

 

Submit application through centralized application service
AADSAS

 

 

 

x

 

Prepare for and attend school interviews

 

 

 

 

x

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GET RELEVANT EXPERIENCE

Students are strongly encouraged to seek experiences that will allow them to test their career interests, and develop the skills and qualities necessary for successful application to dental school. Choose personally meaningful activities that will help you both develop and demonstrate the following: 

  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills
  • Service Orientation
  • Leadership
  • Cultural Competence
  • Critical thinking and analytical skills
  • Manual Dexterity

For example, Cultural Competence is the ability to interact effectively with people of different cultures from your own.  Some activities that would support development of that ability include:

  • Studying abroad
  • Volunteering with the Refugee Resettlement Program
  • Mentoring international or newly immigrated students
  • Volunteering or working abroad

Tip: There is a growing popularity among students to pursue healthcare experience abroad through health service programs.   Some of these programs are costly, and vary in quality and reputation.  Students are advised to research programs carefully and to avoid those that allow them to participate at a level exceeding their qualifications and training.  

Shadowing

Dental schools expect that applicants have engaged in shadowing to test and inform their interest.  Candidates are encouraged to shadow at least three dentists, two in general practice and at least one in a specialty ( i.e. pediatric, endodontics, periodontics, orthodontics, oral surgery).  Students initiate shadowing opportunities through their own personal network, or directly contacting local professionals.  Requesting an informational interview would be an appropriate first step in approaching a dentist without a referral.  Try contacting the Vermont (or your home state) Dental Society to locate dentists. 

You may want to contact the Community Health Centers of Burlington Dental Center or a similar clinic near home to broaden your professional exposure. 

Tip: A letter of recommendation from a dentist who knows you from shadowing or employment is an essential component to your application.

Local Service and Health Organizations

Dental schools expect to see some community service in an applicant’s background.  Check out the links below to get you thinking about just some of the many options available to you.  Don’t limit yourself to this list.

Tip: While supporting events and fundraisers are important and fun community contributions, professional schools like to see some depth of experience.  Consider making a regular weekly commitment over a sustained period of time.   

Research

Conducting an independent research project is an excellent way to develop and demonstrate applicable skills that will enhance your preparation and candidacy for dental school.  If you have a genuine interest in pursuing research experience, talk to your faculty or contact the Office of Undergraduate Research to learn about opportunities on campus.

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DAT – STANDARDIZED ADMISSION TEST FOR DENTAL SCHOOL

The Dental Admission Test is a five-hour, multiple-choice exam comprised of four sub-tests: Survey of Natural Sciences, Perceptual Ability Test, Reading Comprehension Test, and Quantitative Reasoning Test.
 
Read More…

Tips for Preparation and Timing:
Plan to complete your pre-requisite and recommended coursework prior to taking the DAT. Take the test as though you will only take it once, as all scores are reported and applicants are limited to 3 administrations.

*Plan to take the DAT no later than May in the year of application*

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COMMITTEE REVIEW AND APPLICATION PACKET

Dental School applicants are encouraged to participate in UVM’s Pre Health Advisory Committee Review process, which culminates with a formal letter to be included with their application.  Candidates must open a pre-health file in the Career Center office, and attend two formal interviews to participate in the review.  An application “kick-off” information session is held in November, and completed materials, as outlined in the Pre-Health Application Packet, are due at the very beginning of February in the year of application.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Status as a UVM degree-seeking student, alum or post bac certificate student*
  • Completion of 24 credits of relevant science coursework at UVM
  • GPA of 3.00 or higher
  • Science and math average (BCMP) of 3.00 or higher
  • At least 40 hours of dental shadowing, which must include general dentistry. Candidates are strongly encouraged to also shadow at least one specialist (i.e. endodontist, oral surgeon, periodonist, pediatric dentist).
  • If you are currently in the dental school application pool, you must complete the full cycle prior to participation. In other words, current applicants may not go through Committee Review.

Meeting these baseline requirements does not imply a competitive application. You will be evaluated on your academic record, the strength and quality of your recommendations, health-related experience, service orientation as evidenced by your record, perseverance through hardship if applicable, and areas of distinction beyond your academic record. You are strongly advised to develop a competitive candidacy prior to your evaluation.

To assess your readiness, read more here. You may also schedule a meeting with the pre health advisor to discuss your readiness and/or strategies to enhance your candidacy.

* Post-Bac Students should contact Jennifer Lian in Continuing Education for their advising and packet.

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DENTAL SCHOOL PROGRAMS AND APPLICATION SERVICE

Find Programs

Apply to Programs through the AADSAS Centralized Application Service

Timing: Completing the application is a lengthy and time-consuming process, so start early. You can begin working on your AADSAS application at the very beginning of June.  Submit your application as early in the cycle as possible, as many of the schools use rolling admissions.  If you can't apply until late summer or early fall, you are strongly encouraged to wait and apply the following year.

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SCHOOLS THAT HAVE ADMITTED OUR STUDENTS 2004-2014

 

  • Boston University
  • Howard University
  • Marquette University
  • New York University
  • SUNY Buffalo
  • Temple University
  • Tufts University
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Detroit
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
  • University of Michigan
  • University of New England
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Puerto Rico
  • West Virginia University

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JOIN THE PRE-DENTAL CLUB

The UVM Pre-Dental Society will be a great place to explore your interests, and interact with other students about preparation and application for dental school. Members will benefit from peer mentoring, participate in relevant community service activities, connect with dental residents in the area, and may tour dental schools. Whether you are set on the idea of a dental career, or are simply interested, come to a meeting and check it out.
Contact: Sonya Shafique or Colin Kwasnik

Last modified October 01 2014 04:01 PM