Pre-Professional Programs and Specialized Advising



Dentists must complete four years of graduate level training at a dental school after receiving a bachelor's degree from an undergraduate institution. Requirements for entry into dental schools include the DAT (Dental Aptitude Test) and having taken coursework that meets a particular dental school's requirements. Arkansas has no dental schools, but Arkansas residents can apply for financial assistance for attending certain dental school programs through grants offered by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.  These programs include the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN; Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN; Louisiana State University, New Orleans, LA; University of Louisville, Louisville, KY; University of Missouri, Kansas City, MO; University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK; Texas A&M System HSC, Dallas, TX; and the University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL.  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 programs have a similar list of required courses in the sciences and in English.

Get involved!
Community service, health care experiences, and leadership activities are essential.

Shadow Dentists.
Some schools have a formal requirement, but all of them like to see that you have developed an experience-based understanding of their 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.

Develop relationships.
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 to 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 TimesThe EconomistUSA TodayThe Commonweath Fund, and The Kaiser Family Foundation websites. Also refer to the ADEA website for tips and insight on attending dental schools.


For information, contact Andrea Duina in the Biology Department


Examples for Course Selection

The requirements listed below are examples. Requirements vary at different institutions.

English Composition—2 courses
Choose from:
Hendrix courses in writing and rhetoric
Hendrix Introduction to Literary Studies courses
Hendrix Advanced Studies in Literature courses may also qualify
Writing Level II courses may also qualify

Biology—4 lab courses
BIOL 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
Choose from:
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
Choose from:
PSYC 110 Introduction to Psychology
PSYC 185 Sleep & Dreaming
PSYC 190 Social Psychology in Film
PSYC 295 Research Methods (w/Lab)               

Science Electives—2 courses
BIOL 340 Microbiology (w/Lab) recommended

Choose from:
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