The academic and extracurricular experience at Westminster College, ranging from coursework to on- and off-campus service and experiential activities to international study and/or travel, contribute strongly to the appeal of the well-trained and well-rounded individuals who graduate from our school.
Students can choose different paths to dental school, but must be mindful of the core requirements for competitive applications, preparing for the Dental Admission Test (DAT), gaining appropriate experiences in the field and completing their respective majors. While it is possible for a pre-dental student to do virtually any academic major, working closely with both academic and health professions advisors is imperative to ensure completion of all requirements for professional schools and for their undergraduate degree. Most often, students in the pre-dental program major in Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, or Neuroscience since the curricula include most, if not all, required and recommended courses.
Students will typically apply to dental school between their junior and senior years, allowing for a direct transition following graduation, but some wait until after they graduate to apply in order to further their education and gain more relevant experience. Pre-Dental students may also be interested in one of our two Bachelor's Degree Plus Programs that guarantee qualified students acceptance to dental school.
The following courses are also strongly recommended:
Course requirements vary from one dental program to another, so it is the responsibility of the student to be aware of specifics regarding their schools of interest. Good planning and working closely with academic and health professions advisors are essential to maximize chances of success in the highly competitive dental school application environment.
This is a sample schedule for a Biology major preparing to take the DAT exam between their junior and senior year and matriculating to dental school following graduation. Please note that an individual student's schedule will vary based on the major selected and the schedule of course offerings. First-Year Program (FYP) courses, Intellectual Perspectives (IP) courses, the Cluster Course (CC), which are Westminster graduation requirements, are indicated in italics.
With the exception of the core requirements and courses strongly recommended ahead of the DAT exam, there is curricular flexibility within any chosen major and among the elective courses that are part of the liberal arts curriculum at Westminster College. It is, however, strongly suggested that students take both courses in Anatomy & Physiology (BIO 335/336) in order to be prepared for the dental school curriculum. Students planning to study abroad for a semester must also plan accordingly to meet all requirements and timelines. It is also advisable for students to budget time during the spring semester of their junior year to prepare for the DAT exam that will test knowledge in Biology, Organic Chemistry, General Chemistry as well as reading comprehension, perceptual ability and quantitative reasoning.
Please contact the Health Professions Advisor, Dr. Joshua Corrette-Bennett, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bachelor's Degree Plus Programs
At Westminster, Pre-Dental Program students may apply to one of two Bachelor's Degree Plus Programs. Both programs allow qualified students to apply to Westminster and Dental School as high school seniors. Our 3+4 Program with Case Western Reserve University allows you to spend three years at Westminster in a traditional liberal arts program, then four years at the Case Western University School of Dental Medicine in Cleveland, OH. Students accepted to this program can earn both a bachelor's degree and Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D) degrees in seven years instead of the typical eight.
Our 4+4 Program with the School of Dental Medicine at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) offers qualified students who complete the four-year Westminster degree to be directly admitted to the D.M.D. degree program in Bradenton, Florida.