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What is Dentistry?

Dentistry is the study, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases, disorders, and conditions of the oral cavity, commonly in the dentition but also the oral mucosa, and of adjacent and related structures and tissues. Although primarily associated with teeth among the general public, the field of dentistry or dental medicine is not limited to teeth but includes other aspects of the craniofacial complex including the temporomandibular joint and other supporting, muscular, lymphatic, nervous, vascular, and anatomical structures.

What is the pre-dental program?

Most dental schools require applicants to have a four-year college degree program. Each year a few students are accepted with only three years completed, but these are rare exceptions. Dental schools require specific pre-requisite courses to be completed with good grades, and successful applicants can demonstrate skills and knowledge developed outside of the classroom.

Our pre-dental program, part of the pre-health professional program, is structured to ensure that students obtain critical skills to achieve admission to dental school.

  • Academic rigor- Students receive expert guidance from an academic advisor for their major, and from the Pre-health advisor to ensure that courses required for dental school are taken. Our outstanding faculty ensure that the pre-requisite courses you take will provide you with the foundational knowledge needed for success in dental school, and a strong performance on the Dental Admissions Test (DAT).
  • Experiential learning- Experience in dental offices or clinics will help to ensure that you are making a good career choice. Dental school admissions look for evidence of such experience. Benedictine students are provided with myriad opportunities to shadow dentists, volunteer in clinics, or even get course credit for practical experiences.
  • Additional details: There are additional details to achieving admission to dental school that you can only get from experienced guidance. For example, encouragement to hone manual dexterity, the ability to use your hands in a skillful, coordinated way to grasp and manipulate objects and demonstrate small, precise movements. In order to perform dental procedures, a dentist must be able to work with precision on an extremely small scale. Additionally, superior eye-hand coordination is critical to ensuring the safety of patients and the integrity of the profession. The Dental Admission Test (DAT) contains a section that specifically tests this skill, and during on-campus interviews, most dental school admissions staff will ask you to discuss how you’ve developed your manual dexterity skills.
What should my major be?

While dental schools do not typically require a specific major, many students find our BS in Health Science, BS in Biology, or BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology to match well with the pre-requisite courses needed to gain entry. Other majors work as well, and we recommend finding one that suits your personal interests. At Benedictine, you will have an academic advisor for your major, and still be guided by a separate expert pre-health professions advisor to ensure that you are getting all pre-requisites and extracurricular activities you will need.

The Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) should be taken during the spring/summer of your junior year of college. Interviews by, and recommendation letters from, the Health Science Recommendations Committee should be arranged for during the spring or fall semester of the junior or senior year respectively.

Why Benedictine?

The Benedictine Benefit

Birck Hall of Science
Benedictine University has a tradition of excellence in science programs. The College of Science at Benedictine offers specialized advising for all students interested in a healthcare profession, regardless of their major. Our nationally-recognized faculty enjoy engaging students at all levels in investigative research in their laboratories, often presenting their work at national, professional conferences. Our students are active in the many student organizations on campus, athletics, and campus ministries, all of which contribute to a broadly fulfilling college experience.

Pre-Dental Fast Track Program with Lake Erie College of Medicine (LECOM)

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic MedicineLake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) provides high school seniors and Benedictine University  students opportunities for early acceptance into dental programs. For more information on qualifications and application processes please see our pages for High School and Undergraduate students or M.S. Integrative Physiology students.

Visit Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine's web site for more information.
Students can begin the application process with LECOM with an Early Acceptance Program Inquiry.

Guaranteed Interview with The College of Dental Medicine-Illinois (CDMI) at Midwestern University

The College of Dental Medicine-Illinois (CDMI) at Midwestern University has guaranteed interviews for BenU undergraduate and MSP graduate students. Under the provisions of the agreement, selected students who successfully complete the specified coursework at BenU will be granted an interview for acceptance at CDMI.  Click for more information on qualifications for Undergraduate and MSIP graduate students.

Visit Midwestern University’s College of Dental Medicine-Illinois website to learn more.

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William R. Law, Ph.D.
Dean of the College of Science

Tonia Rucker, Assistant to the Dean
Phone: (630) 829-6187
Fax: (630) 829-6186

Dean's Office Hours:
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Dean's Office Location:
Birck Hall Room 119