Tips on Applying to Dental School

Louisiana State University School of Dentistry pic
Louisiana State University School of Dentistry

Nick Rauber, DDS, graduated from the Louisiana State University School of Dentistry in 2007. Now, in between his professional practice and his involvement with the Swollfest Fishing Rodeo, Dr. Nicholas “Nick” Rauber mentors students in the university’s pre-dental society and helps them prepare for the dental school admissions process.

Although the dental school admissions process is highly competitive, there are steps that applicants can take to enhance their applications. Undergraduate students can begin by researching the prerequisites set forth by schools that interest them. In most cases, these prerequisites will include eight hours each of biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry, all with laboratory work, as well as eight hours of physics and English.

Students must also take the dental admissions test, or DAT, at least a year before applying. The test covers biology, organic chemistry, and general chemistry, as well as reading comprehension. Students also complete sections on spatial ability, logic, and quantitative thinking.

While strong grades and a strong DAT score can give a student an advantage, it is also important to create a meaningful personal statement. Such a statement communicates clearly who the applicant is as a person and what makes him or her unique, while focusing on what the student will bring to dental school and to the dental profession. This piece of writing combines with the applicant’s record of community and campus involvement to tell dental schools not only what kind of student the person is, but also what he or she values.