Loyola University Maryland

Pre-Health Program


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Do I need to have a 4.0 GPA to get accepted to dental school?

No. The average GPA for admitted students to dental school is approximately 3.3.

I know that admissions committees look at volunteer experience. How much time should I spend doing volunteer work?

Quality is more important than quantity. You should commit at least 4-6 hours each week for the year prior to application. You should select at least one activity where you are making an impact and the work is making an impact on you.

What does it take to enter and succeed in dental school?

  • Motivation and intelligence
  • Well-rounded college education
  • Completion of college prerequisites for dental school entrance
  • Good academic performance
  • High grade point average
  • Timely and successful performance on the dental admission test
  • Evidence of motivation for the profession
  • Evidence of interest in service
  • Evidence of leadership
  • Strong letters of recommendation
  • Well written personal statement
  • Timely applications to dental schools
  • Good communication skills

Do I have to major in science to become a competitive candidate for dental school?

No. Pre-dental course work can fit into a non-science major with careful planning and advice from the pre-dental advisor and program faculty advisors.

Is Organic Chemistry a “weed out” course for pre-dental students?

Organic chemistry is a very challenging class that covers a lot of material, and so it is similar to the kinds of classes you will encounter in dental schools and that is why the admissions committee will look closely at these grades.

What are the steps to applying to dental school?

During your junior year, you will need to take the DAT, obtain strong letters of recommendation, write your personal essay and submit your primary application through the American Association for Dental Schools Application Service. Most students do this with the guidance of the Pre-Health Committee. After receiving your primary application, some schools may request a secondary application or an interview.

When do I take the dental school admission test?

The Dental Admission Test (DAT) examinations are offered year round. The admission test must be taken the year before the individual wants to begin attending dental school, typically in the junior year.

How do I select a dental school?

Applying to dental school is time consuming, expensive and the competition is intense. Do plenty of research and review the school’s admission information; some schools only accept in-state residents. Other points to consider include:

  • School Ranking/Reputation
  • Cost
  • Location
  • Safety
  • Curriculum - different schools emphasize different aspects of medicine. Some are geared toward research; others are more clinically-oriented, sometimes giving the students patient contact during the first or second year.

How many schools should I apply to?

Applying to graduate schools of the health professions is an expensive and time consuming process. The number of schools you apply to will depend on the quality of your application. For dental school, most students apply to 4 – 5 schools.