Students entering one of the dentistry specialty fields are those interested in the overall health management of teeth and gums. Students need to explore the many options within and around this field and recognize that there is no actual "pre-dentistry" program or major, just suggested coursework to lead one toward a bachelor's degree which meets the requirements of a dental program. Students may choose any major as long as they complete prescribed prerequisites of their transfer institution to apply to a dentistry program. It is advised to choose a major that most closely aligns with ones interests such as biology or chemistry.
Prior to application to dental school, students must typically complete 90 credit hours but preference will be given to those who have completed a bachelor’s degree. The minimum cumulative and science (biology, chemistry and physics courses) GPA is 3.0. Students should be well-rounded, taking courses in both the sciences and the humanities. Pre-Dentistry students are encouraged to get as many “relevant life experiences”, job shadowing, and volunteer hours related to dentistry as possible (+200 hours). Patient care experience is required.
Pre-dentistry students will benefit from going above and beyond in their coursework. Strong relationships with faculty will be helpful in achieving this level of study. Students with volunteer/internship experience in their community within the dental environment will be at an advantage. Students with community college credits are often in the best position to enter dentistry school as they have acquired less debt during their undergraduate academic careers.
Students planning a career in dentistry should take classes in math and sciences which line up with the requirements of their desired four-year transfer institution. Other recommended electives include art (3-D drawing or sculpture), cell biology, histology, human anatomy, microbiology, genetics, immunology and statistics.
Those students completing the suggested curriculum requirements receive an Associate in Science degree and transfer to a four-year institution.
Bismarck State College has many cooperative, articulation, or transfer agreements with postsecondary institutions both inside and outside of the North Dakota University System. Some of these agreements are established to allow students to remain on campus as they complete their bachelor’s degree. In all cases, students seeking to transfer after completing a degree at BSC should consult the academic catalog of their destination college and work with their academic advisor to plan for this transition.
Students entering dentistry school are typically required to have a bachelor's degree. To be considered by a school of dentistry, a student must maintain a grade point average of “B” and place high on the Dental Admission Test. The application process (unless applying in Texas) is via the Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS).