The Professional School Advising (PSA) team offers a variety of tools to help you become a competitive dental school applicant. As you explore the dental field, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with a pre-dental advisor to discuss your goals and review your professional resume.
PSA also provides a free service whereby letters of evaluation for students and former students are collected (for medical and dental programs only). This service provides students with the assurance that proper materials are being submitted to the schools they have selected.
We also invite you to attend any of our pre-dental workshops, as they are designed to help you become a stronger applicant.
Thinking about Dental School?
The path to becoming a dentist is a long and rewarding one. Once a student determines that dentistry might be in their future, we recommend that you come in and make an appointment with a PSA advisor. The advisor will be able to pick you up where you are, whether you are a freshman, junior, or former student, and determine what path is best for you in your pursuit of dentistry.
Join a pre-dental student group on campus to learn more about dentistry. Groups bring in dentists to speak; students get to visit dental schools, etc.
Many applicants believe that dental schools want science majors or that certain programs prefer liberal arts, but honestly dental schools have no preference in what major you choose. They want you to choose a major that you enjoy and will do well in while completing the prerequisite course requirements. Texas A&M does not have a pre-dental academic track which is why you want to choose a major that leads to what you would select as an alternative career.
Schools are very interested in your interests, passions and motivations. So keep up with any hobbies you may have and find different ways to remain involved.
Please understand that if you have to work while in college, that your holding a job will be looked at positively.
Research Dental Schools
Texas A&M University
Baylor College of Dentistry
3302 Gaston Avenue
Dallas, Texas 75266-0677
University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston
7500 Cambridge St., Suite 4120
Houston, Texas 77054
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Dental Branch
7703 Floyd Curl Drive
San Antonio, Texas 78229-7702
Additional Research Resources:
American Dental Education Association
1400 K Street, NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005
Prepare to Apply
It is important for students to understand that the application process typically takes about two years. So, getting started and developing a timeline will help so that you can achieve your goals in a timely manner.
English - ENGL 104 & any literature or technical writing
Statistics - STAT 201, 211, 301, 302, 303, INFO 303 or SCMT 303, PSYC 203
Intro Biology w/ Labs - BIOL 111 & BIOL 112
Inorganic Chemistry w/ Labs - CHEM 101/111 & CHEM 102/112
Organic Chemistry w/ Labs - CHEM 227/237 & CHEM 228/238
Physics w/ Labs - PHYS 201 & 202 or 208 & 218
1 Upper-level Biology - (see Dental Handout or PSA advisor for list)
Microbiology - BIOL 351
- Biochemistry - BICH 410
If applying to out of state programs students will have to check their websites for more information on required courses. However, about 90% of out of state schools have the same prerequisites that the Texas schools have.
Students can gain experience by shadowing a dentist, volunteering in a clinic or practice, or working in the field. If looking for shadowing experience we encourage students to join the Pre-Dental Society or look back home and try to complete it while on winter, summer or spring break.
You will be required to have 2 letters of recommendation from professors you've had in class. So it's important that you get to know them and even more importantly, they need to get to know you. This is great way to work on your communication skills while still in school.
The Dental Admission Test
If you are a student on a 4-year schedule and wish to start dental school after graduation, then the spring of your junior year will most likely be when you will take your test. Most of the prerequisite courses will be required to take your DAT; however, there is no Physics on the test. The cost of taking the test is currently $385.
DAT scores are based on the number of correct responses; applicants are not penalized for guessing. DAT results are reported in terms of scale scores. These scale scores are neither raw scores (number correct) nor percentiles. Scores used in the testing program range from 1 to 30. There are no passing or failing scores; a scale score of 18 typically signifies average performance on a national basis.
The DAT is comprised exclusively of multiple choice items presented in the English language. Each section of the test is developed according to established test specifications. The DAT consists of these 4 areas:
- Survey of the Natural Sciences
- Perceptual Ability
- Reading Comprehension
- Quantitative Reasoning
The following table indicates the testing schedule for the DAT. You will have 4 hours and 15 minutes to complete the test. If you choose to take the optional break, the testing session will resume automatically after 15 minutes have passed.
DAT Testing Schedule
Optional Tutorial 15 minutes
Survey of Natural Sciences 90 minutes
Perceptual Ability Test 60 minutes
Scheduled Break (optional) 15 minutes
Reading Comprehension Test 60 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning Test 45 minutes
Optional Post Test Survey 15 minutes
You must report to the testing center at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment. See Test Specifications for an outline of the test.
PSA will hold Portal Workshops and students are required to attend this workshop to begin to prepare for the application process. These workshops are held in the fall semester and early spring prior to the summer in which they are going to apply. Once students attend this workshop they will be prepared to ask their evaluators for letters of evaluation as well as begin writing their essays.
We offer Application and Interview Workshops that will help students through the application process. To sign up for one visit our Workshops page and select the time and date that works best for you.