Pre-Dentistry

The Pre-Dentistry program is one of HBU’s Health Professions Programs. It is designed to help prepare you to apply to dental schools. The state of Texas has three dental schools which have designated the following set of prerequisite courses. Students must take these courses before being qualified to apply for admissions: http://www.utsystem.edu/tmdsas/dental/education_Requirements.html.

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Selecting Majors
Please be aware that pre-dentistry is not a major. You should select a major based on your area of interest, but science majors are recommended in order to satisfy the prerequisite courses while you pursue your HBU degree. Biochemistry/Molecular Biology, Biology and Chemistry majors are especially compatible with the above designated courses and are recommended by the Health Professions Office.

Receive Advising
Dr. Susan Cook is the Director and Mrs. Cathy Capes is the Coordinator of the Health Professions Programs. We are available for advising and questions on selecting majors, extracurricular activities, leadership experience, community service and clinical experience by e-mail or by making an appointment. Please contact us at scook@hbu.edu or ccapes@hbu.edu.

Meet with other pre-dental students
HBU has a student group for all students interested in a career in dentistry. The Pre-Dental Society meets monthly and students will enjoy presentations from dentists, tour dental schools and participate in dental related community service projects. Please contact Dr. Rachel Hopp, faculty sponsor at rhopp@hbu.edu, for more information.

Receiving Letters of Evaluation for application to dental school
Entry into dental school is a competitive process. Successful students are encouraged to fulfill all course pre-requisites during their first 2 ½ years, take the DAT during their junior year, and apply to dental school during the summer after their junior year. Students must also acquire a letter(s) of evaluation as part of their application package. The letter(s) can be in either of two forms.

•The first form is the Composite Letter of Evaluation Package. This type is the one preferred by the professional schools. This package contains comments by the science faculty, advisors, and evaluations performed by the Applicant Evaluation Committee. In order to obtain this letter, an HBU student must:
 1. Complete 30 semester hours at HBU of which 16 are science courses.
2. Complete 13 of the 14 pre-requisites courses (46 hrs is the total required) listed in the table above. If 13 classes have not been completed, the student will be referred to the Medical Professions Advisory Committee, for evaluation and comments to be included in the Evaluation Package.
3. Register with the Health Professions Office (room S219) to indicate their intention to apply to medical/dental school. This registration should occur between January 15 and Mar 1 of the application year.
4. Attend a 30 minute scheduled interview with the Applicant Evaluation Committee during the spring semester prior to application. In addition to these requirements, students are highly encouraged to attend the series of three workshops designed to acquaint students with the on-line Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service, the format of a successful personal statement and the expectations of the medical school faculty at the interview.
  • The second form is the Individual Evaluation Letter Package. This type can be used in lieu of the Composite Package, if the student cannot attend the interview/ workshops or register in advance, as required above. This package consists of two individual recommendation letters from faculty members, a cover letter by the Health Professions Office and may also include a letter from a health care professional. To obtain this letter, a student must:
                   1. Complete 24 semester hours at HBU, of which 16 are science courses
2. Register with the Health Professions Office and turn in the two recommendation letters, obtained from professors in your major. We recommend that you include at least one science professor.

Our Successes
HBU alumni can be found in many dental schools across the county such as…
•The University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston
•The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Dental School
•Baylor College of Dentistry
•Tufts School of Dental Medicine
•Howard University
 
“HBU was the perfect environment for me to pursue my dream of becoming a dentist. I had passionate professors and Health Professions Program advisors who took the time to answer all my questions whether they were about schoolwork, dental applications, or dental school interviews. I had many opportunities on campus to grow as a leader through my involvement with the Pre-Dental Society, Alpha Epsilon Delta, and The Collegian and made lasting friendships in the process. The Christian environment helped me deepen my relationship with God, especially when my professors and advisors would tell my classmates and me that they were praying for us. I can list many other instances like this where the Health Professions Program advisers and my professors at HBU went above the call of duty to help me in my dream of becoming a dentist and I am grateful for their dedication.”
Brittany Tran, University of Texas, Dental Branch at Houston
 
How can I be a strong candidate for dental school?
There are many factors that determine whether a student is admitted to dental school. Here are some important things for you to know.

•Grade Point Average- The average GPA for students admitted to Texas dental schools in 2008 was 3.59. GPA’s are felt to reflect your ability to succeed in the classroom.
•Dental Admissions Test- The average DAT score for students admitted to Texas dental schools in 2008 was 18.7 for Academic Average and 18.8 for Perceptual Ability.
•Participate in Campus Activities. Dental schools will be interested in what you did during your undergraduate years inside and outside the classroom. In addition to being a member of our Pre-Dental Society, participate in Student Government, the yearbook, service organizations or any other area where you have an interest.
•Leadership experience. Dental schools will want to know about your leadership experience so become a chairman of an Pre-Dental Society committee, a Scout leader, a leader in your place of worship or your community.
•Clinical Experience. The dental schools prefer that you have some exposure to the dental field.  Begin to volunteer or work in a dental office or clinic.