Dentistry emphasizes helping others to maintain their oral health, which is strongly linked to overall health. A degree in dentistry can be applied toward private practice either as a general dentist or a specialist, dental research, dental public policy, federal government, or academic dentistry. 

Dentists hold a DDS or DMD degree. Approximately 80% of all dentists practice general dentistry, and may work on adults and children. Specializations in dentistry include endodontics, orthodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery and many other sub-fields.

The American Dental Association website has information on Steps to Becoming a Dentist to help you learn more about the career field.

Prerequisites:  The academic requirements for admission to dental school include courses in biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, physics, English and statistics. The American Dental Education Association has a list of prerequisites for most dental schools, and dental education requirements for the dental schools in Texas are found at the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Services website. 

Major:  MSU students who are interested in going to dental school typically will pursue Biology Option C-3, Pre-Dentistry or Chemistry Option C, Biochemistry as their undergraduate major.

The Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Services (TMDSAS) oversees the application process for dental schools in Texas. Outside of Texas the American Dental Education Association application (ADEA) is used.

Admission to dental school requires the Dental Admission Test (DAT). The DAT tests general academic ability, comprehension of scientific information, and perceptual ability through four sections: Survey of Natural Sciences, Perceptual Ability, Reading Comprehension, Quantitative Reasoning. The DAT ranges from 1 to 30, with an average of 19 or 20 needed for acceptance to dental school.

The focus for Pre-Dentistry students needs to be on GPA, DAT scores, shadowing experience, volunteerism, and extracurricular activities. The average GPA for students matriculating into the Dental schools in Texas is between 3.6-3.7 out of 4.0. The average DAT score is 19.

MSU has a Health Professions Advisory Committee that assists students with letters of recommendation and mock interviews to prepare for dentalschool application.

The Dental Early Admissions Program (DEAP) is a partnership between Midwestern State University and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCA) Dental School. DEAP is a (3+4) program for early acceptance into dental school. By participating in DEAP a student may begin dental school at UTHSCA after their third year of college and credits earned during dental school are transferred back to MSU for the bachelor's degree.

Students interested in DEAP should contact Dr. Chris Hansen or the MCOSME academic advisor during their first semester to set up an appointment to discuss their candidacy.

Visit the DEAP homepage for a brochure, application and guidelines.