Pre-Dental Preparation and Requirements (2024)

Pre-Dental Preparation and Requirements (1)

Pre-Dental Preparation and Requirements (2)

Program Requirements

The Pre-Dental Advantage Program is only available to students entering college for the first time. Prospective students apply using our undergraduate application and select the pre-dental major.

To advance into the Pacific’s Doctor of Dental Surgery Program, admitted undergraduate pre-dental students must take courses in sequence at Pacific, maintain minimum GPAs and pass a formal interview for the Dugoni School of Dentistry (includes a writing sample). 

All applicants are encouraged, and admitted students are required, to carefully read and agree to the Technical Standards of the Dugoni School. It is also highly recommended that all applicants review theDental Board of California license requirements.

Apply Now for Pre-Dental Advantage Program

High School Preparation

Talk to dentists or shadow them at work to see if this profession is a good fit for you. The path toward a career in dentistry will require extensive dedication which you can deliver if you feel comfortable with your choice.

College courses are best taken in college after the high school experience has been completed. High school students may be interested in anticipating some college education, however, in order to facilitate their adjustment to college or to save money by satisfying college course requirements.

Advanced courses taken while in high school can sometimes interfere negatively with the college curriculum. The items below categorize courses by the type of interaction that they have with the curriculum of the Pre-Dental Advantage Program.

  • Green light classes. AP, IB or college courses taken in high school (early college) may be used to satisfy requirements of the general education portion (except science) of the Pre-Dental Advantage Program, as long as they can be transferred as equivalent to courses at Pacific that satisfy such requirements. This equivalence can be verified at the ROAR webpage. Courses in chemistry and biology may be a good preparation for college when they do not articulate with a Pacific course or when they articulate with Pacific courses that have code numbers lower than BIOL 51 for biology (ex: BIOL 41) or lower than CHEM 25 for chemistry (ex: CHEM23).
  • Yellow light classes. AP, IB or early college classes are acceptable for physics courses that articulate with PHYS 23, 25, 53 or 55 but it is recommended that physics be taken instead at Pacific.
  • Red light classes. AP, IB or early college classes cannot be used to reduce the number of chemistry and biology courses taken while in the Pre-Dental Advantage Program. If you complete a core biology or chemistry course before enrolling at Pacific, you will be required to take a more advanced course in those subjects at Pacific. If you have already taken or want to take these courses, you should inform your undergraduate admission counselor at Pacific and request the transfer of your courses to Pacific. This is necessary to avoid conflicts that could interfere with your registration and financial help. While we appreciate your interest in pursuing college-level courses prior to coming to Pacific, we strongly recommend that you avoid the core science courses, unless you want to replace them with more advanced chemistry and biology courses at Pacific.
  • Notice that other DDS programs may require physics, math or psychology to be taken at a four-year college.
  • Students interested in the 2+3 option need to satisfy three GE categories (other than science) with courses from work completed before starting at Pacific (AP, IB or Early College courses).

Other Pathways to the DDS Program

The Pre-Dental Advantage Program is only available to students entering college for the first time. Students transferring into Pacific, students in other majors who decide to pursue dentistry and freshman who are not admitted into the Pre-Dental Advantage Program can still prepare at Pacific and seek admission to the Dugoni School of Dentistry. Although this pathway does not include an interview guarantee, it allows students to take the same classes and participate in the same extracurricular activities as the students in the Pre-Dental Advantage Program.

Application Requirements for Dugoni School of Dentistry

  1. meet all course requirements for the pre-dental programs, including grade point average standards (3+3 and 4+3 pathways: 3.05 or above; 2+3 pathways: 3.70 or above)
  2. achieve scores of 18 or above in all categories on the Dental Admission Test (DAT) if in the 3+3 and 4+3 pathways; achieve an academic average score of 25 or above if in the 2+3 pathway
  3. successfully complete an interview at the School of Dentistry
  4. file a competitive and complete American Dental Education Association / AADSAS application by September 1
  5. submit the $75 application fee
  6. obtain at least three letters of evaluation from two science faculty and one from a dentist
  7. complete 40 hours of shadowing at a dental clinic

Learn more about admission to the Dugoni School of Dentistry

Pre-Dental Preparation and Requirements (2024)
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