Good grades are not the only criteria needed for dental school

October 16, 2014

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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Good grades are definitely important if you are planning on applying to dental school. But, they aren’t the only deciding factor. There are a number of other criteria that are just as important in securing admission to dental school. To give yourself the best chance of getting admission into the dental school of your choice, consider strengthening your application by spending some time on these few areas.  


A dentistry work experience student observing her mentor performing a routine procedure. Dentistry experience

 When it comes to admission into dental school, dentistry experience is the single most important criteria apart from your GPA and DAT scores. If you have some kind of experience in this field, it shows the admission committee that you are serious about getting into this field and that you are committed to this career path. This will give your application a major boost. The three best ways to get some dentistry experience are by volunteering, dentist shadowing and doing a dental placement in a developing country.  


Work experience

Any other form of work experience besides work in the dental field is also often considered because it shows what you have achieved as well as your ability to be able to support yourself financially through your education.


Coursework at school

It is important for the admissions committee to know how many courses you took and how intense your coursework was. This will show them how much you have already learnt as well as how much pressure you can handle without giving in. It will also help them tick the boxes as to whether you have completed all the prerequisite courses that are needed to gain admission to dentistry school.


Research experience

While it may not be compulsory for a student to have been part of a research project it does add to your application so do mention it. Doing any type of research shows that you are capable of working independently on higher-level studies. However, you should know your research work thoroughly because it is likely that you will be asked questions based on it during your interview.


Extracurricular activities

Even though these activities may not be connected to the dentistry field, they can show the admission committee a number of skills that you possess. Those who are very into team sports will show an ability to work well with others. Volunteer work shows your compassion towards others and your commitment to a cause and always counts for a lot. Any kind of activities where you have picked up certain skills will count towards your overall development as a person.


Scholarships and awards

Winning any kind of recognition or prize in any area shows your ability to excel in that area, whether it is academics, extracurricular activities or community involvement. Many dental schools even consider students for some kind of scholarship for excellence in areas other than dentistry.

It is important to have a well-rounded application when you apply to dental school. Admissions authorities want to know that as a student at their school you will be able to strike a balance between your studies, your work and your hobbies and passions.