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  Pre-Dental Program

NEW! Early acceptance to dental school! Click for details!

If you are seeking a career in dentistry, you should plan to complete a four-year degree program. Most dental schools require one year each of general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics and biology. We recommend that your courses include genetics, anatomy, microbiology, physiology, biochemistry and calculus. The Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) is now computer-based testing and should be taken during the spring/summer of your junior year of college. The mean score of the DAT and the cumulative grade point average of those students who are accepted to dental school is approximately 19 and 3.5, respectively.

Interviews by, and recommendation letters from, the Health Science Recommendations Committee should be arranged for during the spring or fall semester of the junior or senior year respectively.


Dental Resource Links

  • American Dental Education Association website
  • Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS)
  • Dental Admission Test (DAT)

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William R. Law, Ph.D
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Tonia Rucker, Assistant to the Dean
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The majority of dentists begin general practice after graduation from dental school. Some choose to specialize in areas such as orthodontics, oral pathology, or pediatric dentistry. Others find employment opportunities outside of private practice. For example, dentists have careers in dental education, forensic dentistry, research and the dental product industry.

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Why choose GC for pre-dental?

To be accepted into one of the 54 dental programs in the United States, you will need a strong background in science. Goshen College can provide you with this academic foundation, as well as opportunities in a wide variety of other disciplines, as part of the liberal arts education at GC.

Academic excellence

Goshen College has an excellent record in preparing students to succeed in the sciences.

  • Goshen students who apply to post-graduate programs have a historically high rate of success. In the past 5 years, 92 percent of GC students who have applied to medical school have been accepted.
  • In a recent study by Franklin and Marshall College of over 500 undergraduate institutions, Goshen College ranked in the top 5% for its percentage of graduates who earned Ph.D.s in life sciences.
  • In a comparison to 70 undergraduate institutions in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, Goshen was #1 in the percentage of graduates who received Ph.D.s in the life sciences

Excellent facilities

The modern science building was recently renovated. Its comfortable and safe research labs are well-ventilated and well-equipped for basic research in the biochemical, genetic, cellular, molecular, vertebrate, aquatic and marine areas.

Opportunities to work closely with faculty

Students can interact personally with the science faculty in classes, labs and research activities.

  • The student-faculty ratio is 12:1, giving students the opportunity to work one-on-one with their professors.
  • Students have the opportunity to participate in various undergraduate research projects directed by faculty members.
  • Many students work with professors as lab assistants.

Opportunities to gain experience

Students may choose to pursue experience in Goshen-area clinics and have unique opportunities to gain international experience. Most Goshen College students spend a semester abroad in GC’s unique Study-Service Term (SST). Students who are interested in a health-related career are encouraged to spend their six-week period of service working in a health-related assignment. Students have the opportunity to work in hospitals, clinics and medical/dental missions in countries as far away as the Dominican Republic, Germany and the Ivory Coast.

Suggested plan of study

The following courses meet prerequisites for most dental schools.

  • Biology Core classes – Ecology & Evolution, Organismal Biology, Cell Biology & Genetics
  • General Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • General Physics

The following schedule represents one way to incorporate the required prerequisite classes into your plan of study. Keep in mind that not all classes listed may be required for every program and that you may need to add one or two additional courses that your program requires.

First Year

FallSpringMay Term
General Chemistry IGeneral Chemistry IICORE: Engaging the Bible
Ecology & Evolution (NW Perspective)Organismal Biology
CORE: Identity, Culture, & Community & Learning Comm.Cell Biology & Genetics
CORE: Academic Voice CORE: Seminar & Learning Comm

Second Year

FallSpringMay Term
Organic Chemistry IOrganic Chemistry IIStudy-Service Term**
Calculus IAdv. Mol. Genetics or Adv. Cell Bio.
D. Vert or Vert. Phys.CORE: Perspective
Foreign Language 101Foreign Language 102

Third Year

FallSpringMay Term
Physics IPhysics IICORE: Perspective
CORE: Global Issues SeminarCORE: Perspective
Junior Research SeminarElective

Many schools also require/recommend:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Calculus
  • Psychology
  • Computer Proficiency
  • Statistics
  • Developmental Vertebrate Biology
  • Vertebrate Physiology
  • Advanced Genetics

Each dental program has its own prerequisites for admission, so you will need to check the requirements of each program you are considering in advance to gain specific information. To find the specific requirements for each school, see the ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools, found in the science secretary’s office.

Applying to dental school

Most applications to dental schools are processed through the American Association of Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS). The service provides a universal application that is first sent to AADSAS and then is forwarded to participating schools that the applicant is interested in. If you are interested in a school that does not participate in this program, you will need to apply directly to its admissions office. Additional information,
such as letters of reference, may be requested after your application has been processed. Students are evaluated based on previous academic curriculum, undergraduate GPA and DAT scores. Students who meet expectations in these areas will be asked for an interview before a final admissions decision is made.

Most dental schools require a minimum GPA of 2.5-3.0 for acceptance. However, in most schools, the mean GPA for accepted students in 2001 was 3.2-3.3. Therefore, a GPA of at least 3.3 is preferable to remain competitive. All schools also require applicants to submit scores from the Dental Admissions Test (DAT).

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