Wednesday March 10, 2010
The Competitive Applicant
Normally, your GPA, DAT scores, letters of recommendation and your dental school interview will be the most important factors in a school’s decision to admit you. Other considerations may be your interpersonal skills, extracurricular activities and evidence of manual dexterity. Some schools suggest that you take courses in psychology, interpersonal communication and art. The Ohio State University requires a minimum of 20 hours of observation in a general practice dental office.
Nationally, in 1998 the average new student entering dental school had a G.P.A. of 3.33, a DAT academic score of 18.2 and a PAT score of 17.2. Admission to dental school is competitive, so every applicant should have a backup plan. Consider some of the alternatives, such as graduate study in biotechnology or public health. Other possibilities include reapplying to dental school after retaking the DAT or taking additional course work to strengthen your science background and GPA. While it is possible to enter dental school without completing four years of undergraduate preparation, most schools prefer students with a bachelor’s degree.