New Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 19, 2005
Good morning,

Glad I found these boards! My daughter, a HS sophomore is determined to go to dental school. We have read some sites, checked a few dental school websites and I am doing some of my own research to assist her and ensure that choices she(we) make are the most efficient. I figure that if this is what she really wants to do, then it really isn't too early to plan.

I'll say up front that this is HER goal, she has the desire, I am not pushing her towards any particular career, or maintaining a particular gpa, etc. She has to do the work, not me. In fact, I'm have a minor heart attack when thinking about tuitions etc.

Since she will likely enter the Running Start program next fall (Washington state resident, she may graduate high school and junior college the same weekend), the timeline to start looking at university/colleges is compressed. The good part of this, is that the college tuition is paid for by the district. Again, this is her call, if she wanted to stay 4 years in HS, then go to junior college, that is fine with me.

If she stays at the HS, she is planning on 4 years of science and 4 in math.

I have co-workers, one who's son is attending BU, one who's son is a dentist and a third, who's son is in the process of applying to dental schools. I still have to talk to the first two for additional information.

1. Does it really matter attending a small college that has a pre-dental or biology program, and says they have high acceptance rates at dental schools, or a state university and take the same curriculum. (I noted that quite a few of the smaller schools have golf teams, she is a varsity golfer at her HS, we are thinking it might provide an opportunity for some partial scholarship. (Of course this is dependent on acceptance and financial aid, no way could I afford tuition at a small college, without loans, if we had to pay full).

2. She has an opportunity to take a dental assisting program at the vocational program through the HS. This could provide a means for the shadowing/mentoring portion of admissions requirements, and a means for income while attending school. Thoughts?

3. Any other snippets of wisdom from those who have navigated through this, is appreciated.


10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 25, 2005
The two MOST important factors when applying to dental school is DAT score and GPA. So she can go whereever she really wants to for college as long as she does WELL in her classes. If she has a 3.5 GPA and 20 DAT she's pretty much guaranteed admission.
It sounds like she's a motivated student. High school really doesn't matter at all in the dental admission process. If she wants to finish her junior college quickly though she has to do well especially in science classes.
1 yr Bio
1 yr Gen Chem
1 yr Organic Chem
1 yr Physics
1 yr Math
1 yr English
She can major in anything! (doesn't HAVE to be science as long as she takes the above)

I think these are the general requirements. If she's not really a "science" person like me I'd recommend to start out slow and not take 2/3 sciences together the first semester. Then, she should take a DAT prep class too to help her study for the test after she's taken all of those requirements and she's getting ready to apply to schools.

Working for a dentist would be great experience for her too. She shouldn't stress however and remember to do the other things she enjoys too if it's golf or whatever else. If she's already a good student then you don't have much to worry about. Good luck!


15+ Year Member
Feb 2, 2002
Visit site
  1. Dentist
If she's still in high school, then there are still some options.

What scorpio said is very true - a high GPA & high DAT score will trump over which college you went to, small private, big public, doesn't matter.

But if you want to save some time and $$$ and she is determined and you and her are willing to do some research into colleges & dental schools, here's what I suggest.

There are many dental schools out there with combined 7-year programs - this is typically 3 years of undergrad followed by 4 years of dental school. This is a good option because it is basically a "guaranteed" acceptance into dental school given to you at the end of high school, provided you maintain a certain GPA while in college. You also save the time & expense of the 4th year in college. Schools that offer this program include Univ. of Pacific, BU, NYU, SUNY Buffalo, Tufts, Penn, UMKC, Case Western, UMDNJ and many others (there are the ones I can think of off the top of my head). Do a search on this forum, this topic has been discussed before. Actually, UMKC & Pacific have options where you can do the undergrad & dental school within 6 years total.

If you are worried about undergrad costs, then she should aim for top notch grades in high school and stellar SAT scores. Many of the 7-year programs are often affiliated with smaller colleges that offer tuition scholarship opportunities during undergrad. I know b/c I took this route - my undergraduate school, a small private school in NY, offered me a nearly full tuition scholarship for undergrad because of my high school grades. I attended a 7 year program between this undergrad school and my state dental school, SUNY Buffalo. I know SUNY Buffalo, UPenn, and UMDNJ's 7 year programs are affiliated with small undergrad schools.

Dental education is getting increasingly expensive as well. If you are worried about college costs, you may drop when you see the tuition at some private dental schools (like at BU where you co-worker's kid goes). So this may also be something to think about. Of course, there are also the students who get stellar grades in college and can get some type of tuition scholarship for dental school too. That too has been discussed on this board.

The best place to start would be to see if your state dental school offers such a program. Otherwise, look into the schools mentioned above and other schools out there that offer these combined programs for focused high school students like your daughter.

If your daughter, however, is intent on having the "full college experience" of attending a college for 4 years, she should be looking for a school where she will be happy but also be able to excel and earn a high GPA. Dental school admission is all about the GPA and DAT scores. The other things are important, like shadow a dentist, extracurriculars, volunteer, research, etc., but not nearly as important as GPA and DAT.

Good luck!
About the Ads


Cell A
10+ Year Member
May 8, 2004
Send your daughter to a state school. Don't waste your money on a private school because dental schools don't really care where you went to undergrad. It's not like law school, they're not big on brand names.

All that matters is the GPA and DAT score. Everything else is only factor after
you've met their academic standards.

I strongly suggest she do some shadowing and reserve all decisions until she's taken some of the pre-req classes. It easy to fall in love with the rewards of being a dentist. Easy hours, lots $$$. Looks like you already have. But its a long tough path, that should be taken one day at a time. My advice, start prepping your daughter for the SAT, then worry about the DAT.


Pulped out Moderator
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 4, 2004
Philadelphia, PA
I would also like to add that your daughter is free to major in any area, science or non-science, assuming that she doesn't do an accelerated, seven year program. A lot of pre-dental students apply with a degree in biology or a related field and having majored in something different is one way to both set a person a part from the 'pack' and also engage in an area of study that is of personal interest and betterment. Dental schools are not only interested in creating cultural diversity but intellectual diversity as well. I have a BA in Art History and at several interviews adcoms were really fascinated and pleased with studies and viewed my background as an asset. I wish you daughter the best of luck! In regards to cost, tuition, debt, etc., if your daughter does become a dentist then she will easily have the means to pay that debt off. :thumbup:


10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 27, 2004
  1. Pre-Dental
OH yeaaaaa High School...she doesn't need to worry much about actual Dental School just yet. She needs to just stay focused on her work right now and when she gets into college, tell her to work one step at a time. All that stuff you mentioned might end up being too much for one person to take on at one time.
dental assisting
junior college
graduating early

remember, she's a sophomore. She'll be fine if this is what she really wants to do. :oops:

You sound like a very concerned parent. Thats awesome. Stay supportive.


Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 1, 2004
  1. Resident [Any Field]
briansle said:
Send your daughter to a state school. Don't waste your money on a private school because dental schools don't really care where you went to undergrad. It's not like law school, they're not big on brand names.

I can't really agree with you there. Your undergraduate school is extremely important in shaping who you will be as a person. It shouldn't just be about getting in to dental school. That being said, schools do consider your undergraduate institution. A 3.5 from a top 10 program can be just as good if not better than a 4.0 from a mediocre school.

This is not to say that a state school cannot provide an excellent education. There are some fairly good schools. I just think that to dismiss a private school based on price is not wise. Best of luck to you and your daughter. Keep supporting her and allowing her to follow her heart.


Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 16, 2004
  1. Dentist
Case Western has a 6 yrs dental program from high school. It accepts 6-8 students per year and offers scholarships for the first 2 yrs. After that, it all depends on the GPA.
This thread is more than 15 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.
About the Ads