Dentists must complete four years of graduate level training at a dental school after receiving a bachelor's degree from an undergraduate insitution. Requirements for entry into dental schools include the DAT (Dental Aptitude Test) and having taken coursework that meeds a particular dental school's requirements. Arkansas has no dental school, but several schools will accept a certain number of students from Arkansas at tuition rates that are partially subsidized by the state of Arkansas. These institutions include Harvard University, Emorty University, University of Tennessee at Memphis, University of Missouri at Kansas City, Louisiana State University, University of Iowa, University of Louisville, Baylor University, and Loma Linda University. Most of our graduates who enroll in dental school attend the University of Tennessee Health Science Center at Memphis.
Look to the Future
Because admission requirements for dental schools vary from one dental school to another, students should contact the dental school(s) of their choice early in their Hendrix career. Most dental courses have a similar list of courses in the sciences and in English.
Community service, health care experiences, and leadership activities are essential. You need lots of experience working with people for people.
Some schools have a formal requirement, but all of the like to see that you have developed an experience-based understanding of the program.
Keep your academic record strong.
Few individuals get admitted with the minimal requirements, which usually includes a minimum GPA of 3.5. More often programs are looking for the most highly qualified students and therefore have higher expectations and standards, admitting students with qualifications and GPAs higher than the minimum requirements. When choosing your schools to apply to, check to make sure you meet or exceed the requirements.
Get to know some dentists, faculty and work/volunteer supervisors. All of these individuals can be a resource for you to obtain new and valuable opportunities. Always maintain a good rapport with these contacts as well. You never know when you will need a letter of recommendation, and you want ot make sure they can provide you with a great letter, not a mediocre one.
Stay up on current healthcare issues.
Read newspapers and reliable sources such as The New York Times, The Economist, USA Today, The Commonweath Fund website or The Kaiser Family Foundation. Also refer to the ADEA website for tips and insight on attending dental schools.
For information, contact Dr. Brenda Houck in the Biology Department.
Examples for Course Selection
The requirements listed below are examples. Requirements vary at different institutions.
English Composition—2 courses
Hendrix courses in writing and rhetoric
Hendrix Introduction to Literary Studies courses
Hendrix Advanced Studies in Literature courses may also
Writing Level II courses may also qualify
Biology—4 lab courses
150 Cell Biology (w/Lab)
BIOL 205/215 Human Anatomy and Physiology (w/Lab) I & II
BIOL 190 Botany (w/Lab), BIOL 220 Zoology
(w/Lab), or BIOL 250 Genetics (w/Lab)
Chemistry—5 lab courses
CHEM 110 General Chemistry I (w/Lab)
CHEM 120 General Chemistry II (w/Lab)
CHEM 240 Organic Chemistry I (w/Lab)
CHEM 250 Organic Chemistry II (w/Lab)
CHEM 330 Biological Chemistry (w/Lab)
Physics—2 lab courses
PHYS 210/220 General Physics I & II (w/Lab)
PHYS 230/240 General Physics I&2 (w/Lab) (Calculus-based)
PHYS 235/245 General Physics I&2 (Workshop)
Mathematics—up to 2 courses
MATH 130 Calculus I
MATH 215 Introductory Statistics or PSYC 290 Statistics
Psychology - 1 course
PSYC 110 Introduction to Psychology
PSYC 185 Sleep
PSYC 190 Social
Psychology in Film
PSYC 295 Research
Science Electives—2 courses
BIOL 340 Microbiology (w/Lab) recommended
BIOL 250 Genetics (w/Lab)
BIOL 355 Advanced Cell Biology (w/Lab)
BIOL 325 Cell & Molecular Neuroscience (w/Lab)
Courses in histology, molecular biology, or neurobiology