If you’re planning to apply to dental school for 2016 entry, winter break is a great time to start tackling some of the items on your “to do” list for the application. Here are a few steps to take:
- Research dental schools. The ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools is an excellent resource for information about dental schools and can be ordered through the American Dental Education Association site here. Make sure that you have either taken or are planning to take all the prerequisites required by the schools you’re interested in.
- Develop a list of people to ask for letters of recommendation. Find out if your school’s prehealth advising office provides a committee letter of recommendation or if you’ll need to obtain letters individually to be sent to the schools. Some schools require 3 letters of recommendation, others want 4. A good mix is two letters from professors, one from a dentist and a fourth letter from another professor, dentist, or someone else who has supervised you in a research, academic, professional, or volunteer setting (check with individual dental schools to for specific letter requirements).
- Start planning for the DAT. Determine when you’ll take the test and make sure that you have sufficient time to study in the weeks and months leading up to your test date.
- Gain more dental experience. If you’re going home for winter break and know a dentist near there, contact him or her to arrange to observe them in their practice. If you’re light on dental experience, set up shadowing or dental volunteer experiences for spring semester as well. In addition to gaining exposure to general dentistry, explore various dental specialties such as periodontics, endodontics, orthodontics or oral surgery. Aim to shadow or volunteer in a variety of different practice settings such as private practices and community dental clinics.
Need the help of an advisor experienced with dental school applications? Contact Dr. Eaton at (626) 768-2154 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a free 20-minute phone consultation.