BGSU provides an undergraduate program that meets the educational goals of students interested in dentistry.
Dependent upon backgrounds and interests there are countless ways students can prepare for dental school through BGSU’s pre-dentistry program. Dentistry schools in general expect students to have a bachelor’s degree before entering, although a few well-prepared students may be admitted after three years of undergraduate work.
Most dental schools require English, mathematics and a year each of biology, general and organic chemistry, and physics. Usually in the spring of the junior year, students must also complete the Dental College Admission Test. This test measures knowledge in physical and biological sciences, reading, perceptual ability and problem-solving skills.
Many students interested in dentistry also show interest in science. Common pre-dentistry majors include applied health science, biochemistry, biology, chemistry and microbiology. With careful planning, students have also majored in other areas and participated in study-abroad programs.
Dental schools accept students who major in any area as long as required courses are completed. However, basic science courses taught in the first two years of dental school require a strong foundation of biology and chemistry. Students who have completed more than the minimum background in at least one of those sciences tend to perform better and will probably attain higher scores on the science sections of the admission test.
Dental school applicants are expected to demonstrate a high level of competency in science, particularly those courses beyond the introductory level. Students also need good written and oral communication skills and should consider enrolling in the University Honors Program. Undergraduate research opportunities are also available to students.
In addition there should be evidence that the student can work well with others, manage time effectively and accept responsibility. Some students take advantage of opportunities to become acquainted with current dentists to gain insight into the field.
The biology and chemistry departments have faculty members who advise students interested in dentistry and other health care fields. These departments offer sizable faculties, most of the members of which are active in research. Juniors and seniors are encouraged to participate actively in this research, working on an individual basis with a faculty member on a project of common interest. There are also active undergraduate societies in biology, chemistry, pre-denistry and other pre-health professions which offer good opportunities to become acquainted with other students with similar interests.
Students who decide not to go to dental school or who are not admitted the first time they apply have a number of options. Some students have become so interested in the field in which they majored that they have earned an advanced degree and do research in that area. Others have decided to work at the bachelor’s level as a chemist, biochemist, microbiologist, etc. Still others have obtained teaching certificates or have pursued other health fields. Applicants who are not initially successful in obtaining admission to dental school are often able to strengthen credentials and reapply successfully.
Completing the requirements for high school graduation is necessary for admission to BGSU, but only finishing the minimum coursework will leave you unprepared for college. Consider taking four years of mathematics instead of the three that are required. Two, three or even four years of the same foreign language is excellent preparation for college. You will also benefit from competency in computer use. Courses that provide exposure to or training in the visual and performing arts are excellent choices.
BGSU's website for future students contains University highlights, admissions procedures, financial aid information and many department profiles. It can be accessed at www.bgsu.edu.
Bowling Green State University is a vibrant university that engages, challenges and prepares students for meaningful futures. At BGSU, students enjoy an education that integrates personal growth, academic excellence and an environment that expands their thinking and potential. A mid-size residential university, BGSU has an enrollment of approximately 20,000 and a full-time faculty of more than 900 on its main campus. More than 200 undergraduate majors and programs are offered as well as master's and doctoral level programs.
NOTE: Information in this guide is subject to change without notice. To learn more about the official program of study for Pre-Dentistry, please check the undergraduate catalog online at www.bgsu.edu/catalog/A_S/A_S20.html.