While there are many routes to dental school, there is one route that can help you discover talents you never knew you had, broaden your knowledge and help you stand out as an applicant. A foundation in science is necessary for dental school, along with specific prerequisites, but a science major is not. In fact, a different major such as business, philosophy or art can help you become the holistic applicant dental schools are looking for. The combination of science with art or philosophy has been known to enhance dental school applicants’ DAT scores in individual sections. Being a non-science major while taking the prerequisites of a dental school allows one to learn two different fields of study that can become a complimentary pair.
As a non-science major, I admit that the route I have chosen is not an easy one. In fact, I believe it may even be more difficult than the average predental path to dental school. Along with a 130-credit business degree at a liberal arts university, I must find a way to squeeze in 50 elective credits of rigorous science courses that meet each dental school’s requirements. Completing them all is a lot to handle, but it is not impossible.
For any predental uncertain about the idea of becoming a non-science major, there are a few steps that are key to surviving the non-science predental world:
First, explore the endless majors your university offers. Each university has a list of offered majors that vary, from economics to broadcast media to gender studies. It is essential to try taking classes with varying topics in order to expand your intellectual boundaries.
Second, create a detailed four-year plan that lays out your undergrad journey, including both sciences and non-sciences. For non-science majors, it is important to note that each dental school requires different courses. I addressed this issue by researching each dental school that I was interested in and found out which science courses they required. One resource I found especially helpful when researching schools was ADEA.org.
Finally, stay focused on your goal of getting into dental school. From personal experience, it has been easy at times to drift away from the sciences. Being a non-science major means that you spend fewer hours in the science department. To overcome this issue, stay active in the sciences by volunteering or through research projects. Staying active in the department will help create a positive relationship with your professors and could even remind you of the goal you are chasing and why.
From one predental to another, find a major that best suits you and stick with it.
~ Annalise Kress, Gonzaga University ’19