recommended ECs + pre-req completion

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10+ Year Member
Nov 1, 2009
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Hi all,

What kinds of ECs are recommended for dental school? How many hours of shadowing (and how many types of dentists and specialists) would you recommend to shadow? How much specific dentistry exposure/clinical experience does an admissions committee like to see? Can we count general healthcare setting volunteer work (like a hospital)?

Also, how important is it to have completed all the pre-requisites prior to submitting the application? For example, if you are missing one or two courses, will a school admit you before the completion of those classes?

Thank you for any/all info.

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I think 50 hours of shadowing should be fine and of course the more the better. I would shadow the general dentist for at least 20-30 hours in addition to any specialist you choose to shadow. As for hospital volunteering, that will help but should only be seen as supplemental to dental related volunteering. If there are public dental clinics in your area I would recommend checking to see if you can volunteer there. Also non-dental related ECs can help as well e.g. tutoring, coaching, etc

As long as you have the majority of pre-reqs done, and as long as you can finish up the required courses before matriculation, you don't have to worry about not having enough courses done. Hope that helps and welcome to the forum.