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Pre-dental Student Success

Students who have attended PSU for their pre-dental coursework are competitive nationally and have been accepted to dental schools throughout the country, including but not limited to the following:

  • Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry
  • Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health
  • Boston University School of Dental Medicine
  • Creighton University School of Dentistry
  • Loma Linda University School of Dentistry
  • Marquette University School of Dentistry
  • Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine
  • Roseman University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine - Utah campus
  • Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry
  • Tufts University School of Dental Medicine
  • University of the Pacific Dugoni School of Dentistry
  • University of Minnesota School of Dentistry
  • University of Southern California Ostrow School of Dentistry
  • University of Washington School of Dentistry
  • Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine

What Are Dental Schools Looking For In Candidates?

Dental schools seek candidates with high levels of scholastic achievement and intellectual potential, strong manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination, and the motivation and humanistic concern necessary for success as a dentist. These qualities are measured by evaluation of the application (which includes grades, list of activities with descriptions, and personal statement); letters of evaluation from both faculty and non-academic evaluators; Dental Admission Test (DAT) scores; and interview performance.

The profile of a competitive applicant might look like:

  • GPA: 3.6 or higher
  • DAT: 20 or higher
  • Strong Clinical Exposure (volunteering and/or shadowing and/or work in the field of dentistry)
  • Strong Extracurricular Activities (hobbies, recreational activities, student organizations)
  • Strong Non-Dentistry Community Service (volunteering outside of the dental field)
  • Strong Research Experience (paid or unpaid, bench or clinical)

A competitive applicant would also have strong:

  • Letters of Evaluation (see Health Sciences Advising Letter Service)
  • Interviewing Skills (see Career Center for mock interview)
  • Personal Statement (feedback on the personal statement can be sought at the Writing Center, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Advising Center, and Career Center)

Note: This is simply a composite of an applicant, guidelines do not guarantee acceptance.

Personal Qualities and Attributes

Candidates' personal qualities are important factors in selection decisions. Evidence of emotional maturity, character and integrity, self-discipline, concern with helping others, and leadership is sought through information obtained from the personal statement on applications, evaluations by academic and non-academic evaluators, and interviews. Academic evaluators are instructors who have taught the pre-dental student in a class. Non-academic evaluators are individuals such as work, volunteering, and research supervisors; dentists shadowed; and extracurricular/leadership activity advisers. Character references (letters from family members, friends, etc.) are not accepted. Many pre-dental students at PSU utilize the Health Sciences Advising Letter Service to facilitate the collection and provision of their letters to dental schools.