General Dentist | Endodontist | Oral Surgeon | Orthodontist | Pediatric Dentist | Periodontist | Prosthodontist
Students preparing for a career in dentistry are classified as Pre-Dental. To qualify for dental school admission, students must take the necessary prerequisites for each school; a bachelor's degree is also expected and strongly preferred.
What do I need to become a dentist?
In order to become a dentist, an individual must earn a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree, DDS, or a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree, DMD. For specialized dental fields, a residency and additional training may be required, such as orthodontics. A residency is not required to practice as a general dentist.
Which major should I select at UNT for a pre-dental path?
Though students can select any major and apply to dental school, we strongly recommend majoring in a hard science. Texas A&M College of Dentistry, located in Dallas, Texas, recommends their applicants to have taken plenty of science coursework to be considered a competitive applicant.
Popular majors among pre-dental students at UNT:
- Bachelor of Arts in Biology, College of Science
- Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry, College of Science
- Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, College of Science
- Option III would be the best fit for pre-health students
What courses do I need for dental school?
Please refer to our Pre-Dental Packet for a list of Texas dental school prerequisites. To review prerequisites for dental programs outside of Texas, please refer to each individual school's website.
Timeline: When do I apply for dental school?
Students must apply to dental schools one year before entering a program. On the traditional four-year path, students will apply during the summer after their junior year of college, complete their bachelor's degree at the end of their senior year, and enter dental school the following fall semester.
This timeline will show you an example of the traditional four-year path to dental school.
Note: Each student's timeline is different. Your UNT academic advisor/counselor is committed to creating a plan that accomodates your individual goals and circumstances.
What makes a competitive application to dental school?
Admission to dental schools is very competitive and students should create a strategic plan well in advance. Below you will find typical categories of a competitive application. Please contact our advisors in the UNT Office of Health Professions to further explore each competitive characteristic and to create your pre-dental plan.
Call, click or come by for more information!
Office of Health Professions: 940-369-8606 | Hickory Hall, Room 256
|GPA||3.68 (TX avg. admitted)|
|DAT Perceptual||20.2 (TX avg. admitted)|
|DAT Academic Avg.||20.9 (TX avg. admitted)|
|Community Service||100+ Hours|
What is the DAT?
The DAT, Dental Admission Test, is the entrance exam that must be taken before applying to dental school. The score range for the DAT is 1 to 30. We strongly recommend that you not take the DAT until after most of your prerequisites are complete. For more information about the DAT, please visit the official ADA webpage.
How do I apply to dental school?
Dental schools in the United States use two application services to obtain your information:
Texas Medical & Dental Application Service, TMDSAS
Schools using TMDSAS:
Texas A&M College of Dentistry, Dallas, Texas
UT Health Science Center at Houston School of Dentistry, Houston, Texas
UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry, San Antonio, Texas
Associated American Dental Schools Application Service, AADSAS
Schools using AADSAS:
DDS and DMD programs outside of Texas
Does UNT offer an HPAC?
Yes! Our Office of Health Professions provides a Health Professions Advisory Committee service, HPAC. This committee produces a committee letter of recommendation that is strongly preferred by dental school admissions committees. A Committee Letter of Recommendation is one of the letters of recommendation included in a letter packet when applying to dental school, and is an evaluation of your competitiveness by a group of faculty members across the UNT campus.
As an HPAC applicant, the Office of Health Professions will also submit all of your letters of recommendation to your dental application services. These letters are included with the Committee Letter, also known as the Committee Packet. Once all letters of recommendation are received by our office, the Committee Packet will then be uploaded to the application services.
When to participate in HPAC
HPAC is offered each spring semester for those applying to dental school the following summer. Students will have 1 interview with our Assistant Dean, Todd Lang, and 1 interview with a faculty member on the committee. The committee then meets to discuss each applicant, and the feedback is used to write the Committee Letter of Recommendation.
Qualifications for HPAC
To participate in HPAC, you must meet the following qualifications:
- 3.2 Overall GPA
- 15 hours of UNT course credit
If you do not meet the minimum requirements, please schedule an appointment with our Senior Academic Counselor, Todd Lang, to discuss your individual situation.
How to send letters of recommendation
For those currently particpating in HPAC, below you will find a form that needs to be submitted to each reference from whom you are requesting a letter of recommendation. Your reference needs to submit the form and letter to Todd at Todd.Lang@unt.edu. CAUTION: Letters will only be accepted directly from your reference (mail or e-mail). If you choose to deliver the letter, it must be sealed in an evelope with the reference's initials or signature on the seal.
Letter of Evaluation Form
If your references are sending the letters by mail, please have them address the envelope accordingly:
Todd Lang, M.S.
University of North Texas
COS Student Advising
Hickory Hall, Rm. 256
1155 Union Circle, #311365
Denton, TX 76203
Are there any scholarships available to pre-dental students?
Yes! The following scholarship is specifically available to pre-dental students:
Dr. Charles and Mabel Saunders Pre-Dental Scholarship:
To qualify, a student must be a pre-dental student, must have 60 hours of pre-dental courses and must demonstrate academic excellence. This scholarship application is available February 1 through March 1 of each year. the scholarship is awarded the following fall or spring semester. For more information about this scholarship, please contact Todd Lang.
These are not the only scholarships available to students interested in going to dental school. General scholarships are also offered through each department and college across campus. Below you will find scholarship webpages for the popular majors listed above:
- Biology and Biochemistry Major Scholarships
If you do not see your major listed under the college listed above, please visit the scholarship website of the college that houses your major.
What pre-health student organizations and professional associations are there at UNT?
Alpha Epsilon Delta: https://unt.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/alphaepsilondelta
Pre-Health Minority Club (Alpha Delta): https://unt.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/alpha-delta-the-minority-pre-health-organization
Medically Dedicated Students: https://unt.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/medically-dedicated-students-organization
UNT’s Volunteer Organizations: http://studentaffairs.unt.edu/
Hearts for the Homeless: https://unt.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/hearts-for-the-homeless-dallas
UNT's Pre Dental Society: https://unt.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/pre-dental-society
Texas Dental Association: http://www.tda.org/
Americal Dental Education Association: http://www.adea.org/
Who can help me create a plan for this career path?
If you are a current student, please visit https://universityofnorthtexas.campus.eab.com/ to schedule an appointment.
For general questions email: HealthCareers@unt.edu
To view contact information for individual pre-health advisors, visit this site. On the left, under "Office of Health Professions Pre-Health Advising" you will find all of the pre-health advisors' emails.
Current students can join our canvas course to receive important announcements and view resources related to your pre-dental journey.
U.S. News & World Report (2018). Best Health Care Jobs. Retrieved from https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/rankings/best-healthcare-jobs