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Pre-Dental Program

Wisconsin Lutheran College offers a pre-dental program that provides the broad interdisciplinary training professionals need to adapt in the rapidly changing and growing field of dental medicine.

  • Pre-dental students may major in any academic specialty; however, most pre-dental students choose to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in biologybiochemistry, or chemistry, as these majors most closely align with the required pre-dental course work and provide the most complete preparation for the Dental Admission Test (DAT). Most dental schools require the submission of DAT scores for admission. The DAT is a computer-based multiple-choice exam that covers a wide range of biology, chemistry, perceptual ability, reading comprehension, and quantitative reasoning skills. In addition to DAT scores, many dental schools require a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA, although competitive programs may seek out applicants with 3.5 or higher GPAs.

    I was able to develop great hand skills in my lab work and independent research. The professors were so helpful in guiding me and letting me focus on dental issues for various projects. For example, I got to research the biofilm that causes periodontal disease in my microbiology course and the physiology of dental caries in my advanced physiology course.
    – Lauren (Montoure) Teske: 2009 Wisconsin Lutheran College Bachelor of Science in Biology graduate, Marquette University School of Dentistry graduate, Marquette University Master of Science with a Certificate in Orthodontics graduate, and award winning orthodontist.

    A Rewarding Career in Dentistry

    Dentistry is a rewarding and well-respected health profession that seeks to diagnose and treat disease and trauma associated with teeth and tissues of the mouth. Dentists may choose from general practice or from a variety of specialties. For example, orthodontists straighten teeth with braces or retainers, oral surgeons operate on teeth and jaws, and prosthodontists replace missing teeth with crowns or bridges.

    According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for dental services is expected to increase as the baby-boom generation advances in age. For this reason, the job outlook for dental professionals should be strong in the foreseeable future. In contrast to most other health professions, a majority of dentists own their own business or work with a few partners as associate dentists. Few career paths combine this level of autonomy with the potential for high income.

    A career in dentistry requires a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree from an accredited dental education program. Highly respected programs near WLC include the Marquette University School of Dentistry, the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, and the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Dentistry.

    Pre-Dental Curriculum

    Most dental schools require or recommend two semesters of general chemistry, two semesters of general biology, two semesters of organic chemistry with lab, a semester of biochemistry, two semesters of physics, two semesters of calculus, and additional coursework in anatomy and physiology, cell biology, microbiology, and genetics. Some programs recommend or may require additional coursework in business, English, and psychology.

    Pre-dental students at WLC will establish a curriculum plan and register for courses with the guidance of a personal advisor.