A graduate degree in dentistry is obtained by attending any U.S. dental school and earning either a dental medical doctor (DMD) degree or a doctor of dental surgery (DDS) degree. The type of degree varies by school, but both types of graduates are qualified to practice dentistry in the U.S. Admission to dental schools is extremely competitive, so it is important to make an individually appropriate and competitive academic plan.

Key factors considered by dental school selection committees include the following:

  • High grades in both science and non-science courses, showing an upward trend.
  • High scores on the Dental Admission Test (DAT).
  • A favorable letter of evaluation from the SPU PPHS Committee.
  • Dental clinic experience with a letter of recommendation from a dental professional.
  • Other support letters highlighting extracurricular, leadership, and service experiences.
  • A strong interview with the dental school admissions committee.

Appropriate majors for pre-dental students include Biochemistry and Physiology. Other majors may be suitable, but students may need supplemental courses at SPU or after graduating. Because coursework requirements vary from school to school, it is essential for students to become familiar with the specific prerequisites of the dental schools to which they intend to apply. Additional science courses that are often recommended or required include Anatomy, Cell Biology, Microbiology, and Physics.

Most pre-dental students apply for admission in the summer after their fourth year or later. Applicants with less than four years of undergraduate work are admitted to dental schools only on rare occasions.