Pre-Professional Track: Dentistry
North Park University’s pre-professional track for dentistry is a sequence of courses and advising that will give you a solid foundation for your applications to competitive dental schools around the country. The pre-dentistry track should accompany a major—most often biology or chemistry—where you’ll gain a foundation in life sciences and how the human body works.
Pre-dentistry students are advised by faculty in the Biology Department, often Dr. Jeff Nelson. Dr. Nelson is himself a North Park alum and received his MD from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1984. He’ll talk with you about your particular interests in dental health, and help you stay on track throughout your program at North Park. Because of small class sizes at North Park, Dr. Nelson and your other professors will get to know you, your professional goals and interests, and work with you one-on-one to find the best courses and experiences to help you reach those goals. You’ll have the opportunity to participate in DAT preparation sessions, and our Pre-Professional Committee—a group of faculty in the science departments—will work with you to make sure you are prepared for your applications and interviews for dental school.
Course Sequences and Activities
We recommend you take the following courses alongside your major and Core Curriculum requirements to prepare for dental schools and a career in healthcare. Some courses may also meet major/Core Curriculum requirements.
- Introduction to Human Anatomy
- Introduction to Cell Biology
- Introductory Chemistry I and II
Second and Third Year
Your pre-professional and major faculty advisors will help you choose the courses that are best for you, based on your major and your professional aspirations. In order to successfully take the DAT and gain admission to a dental school, you'll likely take coursework that includes:
- One year of physics
- One semester of biochemistry
- Two semesters of organic chemistry
Students typically take the DAT in the summer following the third year. Dental schools also typically look for internship and/or research experience on their applications. Your faculty advisors will work with you to find opportunities that fit into your schedule and align with your goals.
During the summer prior to fourth year, you should also complete the AADSAS (American Association of Dental Schools Application Service).
- Re-take the DAT if necessary
- Dental school applications and interviews
While on the pre-dentistry track, Sean Welander C’08 received advice on coursework, counseling in the application process, and letters of recommendation from faculty that ultimately paved the way for graduate studies at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry.
Read more about Sean's experience.