Dentistry

To print a copy of this information, click on this link: predentistry_curriculum_rev_8-2013.pdf 

The Major

The “predental curriculum” is just a list of courses that are required for admission to dental school. It is NOT an academic major, a minor, nor an emphasis area.

Dental schools do not require a particular major. Although most predental students choose an academic major in one of the sciences, other majors are acceptable including those in the humanities, social sciences, or business. Students should select the major in which they feel the most comfortable and in which they would like to work if they are not accepted into dental school.

Progress toward a Baccalaureate Degree

Course work toward a baccalaureate degree at Southern Miss must be planned so the student meets all the requirements for the preprofessional curriculum, a major, a minor if appropriate, the University General Education Curriculum, and the College core. At Southern Miss, a minimum of 124 hours is needed for most baccalaureate degrees, with 45 of these hours from courses at the 300-level or above.

Visit the American Dental Association (ADA) web page for more information about dental schools: http://www.ada.org/103.aspx

Requirements for Applicants

Dental schools have relatively similar minimal requirements for admission, typically:

  • completion of a series of specified courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics (BCPM); English composition
    • laboratory science courses intended for non-majors are not accepted by dental schools
  • completion of a baccalaureate degree:  consideration is given to exceptional students with 90 credit hours but a degree is preferred
  • a competitive overall GPA
  • a competitive GPA in science courses
  • competitive noncognitive attributes (honesty/integrity/ethics/values/leadership/motivation for dentistry, etc.)
  • competitive scores from the nationally administered Dental Admission Test (DAT), both overall and overall science scores
  • consideration is given to students who take at least 15 semester hours a semester at their primary institution

The following list of Required Courses meets only the minimal requirements for admission to the School of Dentistry (SoD) of the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) in Jackson.

Link to SoD UMMC admissions http://www.umc.edu/Education/Schools/Dentistry/Admissions_and_Student_Affairs(Dentistry)/Admissions_and_Student_Affairs.aspx

Strong preference is given to legal residents of Mississippi. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or have permanent immigrant status. 

Students must consult the specific admission requirements and application deadlines for the school(s) to which they plan to apply, including UMMC.

  • two semesters each of core science courses with laboratories (inorganic chemistry [general chemistry], organic chemistry, physics, biology)
  • two semesters of English composition,
  • two semesters of advanced biology and/or chemistry,
    • one course must be microbiology, or comparative anatomy, or biochemistry
  • two semesters of mathematics
    • students who qualify to enter calculus directly can satisfy the math requirement with a 3- or 4-hr calculus course; the other required math hours can be met by an approved elective math course
  • one semester of general, business, or scientific statistics

NOTE:  business statistics will not meet the Computer Competency requirement for majors in the College of Science and Technology, but may be taken as an elective.

Suggested Course Sequence & Strategies for Success

The suggested course sequence below is merely a guideline to complete the courses required for the UMMC Dentistry program in a timely manner. Courses to fulfill the major must be worked into the student’s schedule.

Students must consult the Southern Miss Undergraduate Bulletin, the Southern Miss Class Schedule Guide for each semester, and their academic advisor. During the last semester of the Sophomore year, students should develop a more detailed plan for the Junior and Senior years because many upper level courses in all majors are offered in specific semesters (Fall or Spring only) and/or on a rotating two-year cycle.

YEAR 1

Fall Spring 
BSC 110&L OR BSC 111&La4 hBSC 111&L OR BSC 110&La4 h 
CHE 106&Lb          4 hCHE 107&L4 h
MAT 101c3 hMAT 103c 3 h
ENG 101d3 hENG 102 3 h 
One other coursee3 hOne other coursee3 h

a, The order in which students take the introductory Biological Sciences (BSC) courses does not matter; BSC 110/L covers molecular and cellular topics whereas BSC 111/L covers ecology and organisms.

b, Students enrolling in CHE 106&L must have passed high school chemistry or passed CHE 100 at USM. CHE 100 is required when the student’s chemistry background is not adequate. Students enrolled in CHE 106/L will take a test about two weeks into the class to determine if they should remain in CHE 106/L. If they do not meet the minimum score, these students are strongly recommended to move to a CHE 100 class, which is offered at the same time as CHE 106.

c, Placement in mathematics (MAT) courses depends on the student’s ACT subscore.

Calculus is required for most majors in the College of Science and Technology (CoST), but is not required for dental school or for majors outside of CoST.

  • ACT mathematics subtest score 19 or below:  must take MAT 99 (Intermediate Algebra)
  • ACT mathematics subtest score 20 or above:  MAT 101 (College Algebra)
  • ACT mathematics subtest score 24 or above (or grade of C or better in College Algebra):  MAT 103 (Trigonometry). NOTE:  Trigonometry is a prerequisite for Physics I and predental students are advised to take MAT 103.
  • ACT mathematics subtest score 24 or above (or grade of C or better in Trigonometry): MAT 114 (Calculus for the Arts and Sciences)
  • ACT mathematics subtest score 26 or above:  MAT 167 (Calculus I)

Students directly entering Calculus (MAT 114 or MAT 167) can use this course to satisfy the UMMC math requirement, but must take an additional approved mathematics elective course.

d, Placement in English Composition courses depends on the student’s ACT English subscore.

  • ACT English subtest score 16 or below:  ENG 99E (Expanded Composition Studio) and ENG 100E (Composition I expanded)
  • ACT English subtest score 17-19:  ENG 100E (Composition I expanded)
  • ACT English subtest score 20 or above:  ENG 101 (Composition 1)

e, “Other” courses include those in the General Education Curriculum and in the major and/or minor as well as “recommended courses” and “approved electives”.

Strategy for Success

  • Students should focus on doing well in their academic studies, particularly the required science and math courses.
  • Students should become involved with extracurricular activities, including meaningful community service learning, volunteer activities, and leadership positions that will demonstrate effective interactions with diverse people and effective time management skills.

Students should maintain a record of the dates and total hours spent performing such activities. This will be needed when it comes time to apply to dental school.

  • Students should start getting some hands-on exposure to dentistry.

Students are strongly encouraged to complete the prerequisites for the Hatten Externship (BSC 392) during the first year. The Externship course is offered in the Fall semester, so students must fulfill the pre-requisites by the end of the preceding Summer semester.

Students may participate in the Externship twice. Since students typically apply to dental school at the end of the Junior year, participation in the Externship as Sophomores and Juniors is recommended.

Externship prerequisites are ENG 101, 102; BSC 110/L, 111/L; CHE 106/L, 107/L; [MAT 101, 103 OR one Calculus course]. Minimum GPA of 3.2 for USM GPA, degree GPA, and BCPM GPA.

  • Students may join AED (Alpha Epsilon Delta), the national Health Preprofessional Honor Society, as associate members at any time even if they do not fulfill the requirements for full membership (must be enrolled at Southern Miss for a minimum of three semesters and meet specific course and GPA requirements). Full members are inducted during the Spring semester.

Information and links to AED Full and Associate Member applications are available on the Southern Miss Preprofessional website: http://www.usm.edu/science-technology/alpha-epsilon-delta

YEAR 2

Fall Spring 
CHE 255&L 4 h CHE 256&L4 h 
PHY 111&L4 hPHY 112&L 4 h
    [ or PHY 201&L 5 h]   [ or PHY 202&L   5 h] 
2-3 other classese,f 7-9 hStatisticsg 3 h 
  2 other classese 6 h

e, “Other” courses include those in the General Education Curriculum and in the major and/or minor as well as “recommended courses” and “approved electives”.

f, Students are strongly encouraged to take the Hatten Externship course (BSC 392) in the Fall semester of the second year; the course can be repeated in the Fall of the third year. Prerequisites are ENG 101, 102; BSC 110/L, 111/L; CHE 106/L, 107/L; [MAT 101, 103 OR one Calculus course]. Minimum GPA of 3.2 for USM GPA, degree GPA, and BCPM GPA.

g, PSY 360 (Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences) is recommended, depending on student’s major; another statistics course may be recommended or required by a specific major. Many dental schools accept general, business, or scientific statistics.

Strategy for Success

  • Students continue to focus on doing well in their studies.
  • Students remain involved with meaningful community service learning, volunteer activities, and leadership positions.
  • Students continue to participate in hands on exposure to dentistry.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to participate in the Hatten Externship (BSC 392), which is offered each Fall. Students may participate in the Externship twice. Since students typically apply to dental school at the end of the Junior year, participation in the Externship as Sophomores and Juniors is recommended.
  • Students are typically inducted into AED, the national Health Preprofessional Honor Society, in the Spring semester of the Sophomore year, but may be inducted in Junior or Senior year (must be enrolled at Southern Miss for a minimum of three semesters and meet specific course and GPA requirements).

YEAR 3

Fall Spring  
Advanced science electiveh 3-4 h Advanced science electiveh 3-4 h 
Other coursesi 12-15 hOther coursesi, j 12-15 h

h, For UMMC dental school you must take either Microbiology (BSC 380/L), or Comparative Anatomy (BSC 361) or Survey of Biochemistry (CHE 420) or Biochemistry I (CHE 421) for one of the advanced science electives.  Depending upon which advanced science elective from above you take, the other advanced science electives include Cellular Biology (BSC 360), Comparative Anatomy (BSC 361), Genetics (BSC 370), Microbiology (BSC 380/L), Physiology [BSC 451 (Human Physiology), BSC 450 (Comparative Animal Physiology)], Immunology (BSC 486), Survey of Biochemistry (CHE 420), Biochemistry I (CHE 421), Biochemistry II (CHE 422), Biochemistry III (CHE 424), Analytical Chemistry (CHE 311/L), Analytical Biochemistry (CHE 423), Physical Chemistry (CHE 461/L, CHE 462/L), among others.

i, Although not required by the dental school, the following courses are highly recommended by the dental school and may depend upon major: foreign language, sociology (SOC 101), psychology (PSY 110), speech(CMS 111), humanities core courses(ENG 203, HIS 101, HIS 102), philosophy (PHI 151 or 171), embryology, histology, immunology (BSC 486/L), cell biology (BSC 360) and physiology (BSC 451 or 450).

Other recommended elective courses include:, computer science, economics, literature, and advanced English, fine arts, business, accounting, and selected advanced courses in mathematics, chemistry, physics, and biology.

j, Students may take BSC 399 (MCAT Preparation) during the Spring semester of the Junior year if they would like to review Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math in a formal class. Otherwise students need to prepare on their own before attempting the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) for the first time.

BSC 399 is offered in the Spring semester. Prerequisites include ENG 101, 102; BSC 110/L, 111/L; CHE 106/L, 107/L, 255/L, 256/L; PHY 111/L, 112/L; [MAT 101& MAT 103 OR one Calculus course] and one upper level BSC or CHE course. Minimum GPA of 3.4 for USM GPA, degree GPA, and BCPM GPA.

Strategy for Success

  • Students continue to focus on doing well in their studies.
  • Students remain involved with meaningful community service learning, volunteer activities, and leadership positions.
  • Students continue to participate in hands-on exposure to dentistry.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to participate in the Hatten Externship, which is offered in the Fall. Students may participate in the Externship twice. Since students typically apply to dental school at the end of the Junior year, participation in the Externship as Sophomores and Juniors is recommended.
  • Apply to dental school in the summer after the junior year.

YEAR 4

Fall Spring  
Classes to fulfill major, minor15-18 h Classes to fulfill major, minor15-18 h 

The application process must begin this year, if not done previously.

The Application Process

The application process usually begins during the junior year.

Students should learn about the Dental Admission Test (DAT), the online Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS) application process, and getting letters of evaluation.

Link to DAT: http://www.ada.org/dat.aspx

Link to AADSAS:  http://www.adea.org/dental_education_pathways/aadsas/pages/default.aspx

Students are strongly encouraged to take an online practice DAT before taking the DAT they will use on their application. There are a number of websites that have practice questions or practice tests; use Google to search for “practice DAT questions”.

UMMC applicants must show credit for at least 90 semester hours of acceptable courses.

Strong preference is given to students who will have completed all requirements for a baccalaureate degree prior to entering the School of Dentistry. Also consideration is given to students who take at least 15 semester hours per semester.

Junior Undergraduate Year

  • Fall and Spring:  begin DAT preparation (review content, take practice tests online)
  • Spring:  take first DAT
  • Spring:  request official transcripts and letters of evaluation from faculty; work on personal statement
  • July 1 after Junior Year:  earliest receipt date for complete AADSAS application (recommended)
  • Summer after Junior Year:  repeat DAT, if needed, after studying hard and taking additional practice tests

The Interview

Students are advised to practice their interview skills BEFORE attending their first interview.  The Dental School at UMMC uses the Multiple Mini-Interview (MMI) process for their interviews.  See information about the UMMC interview system used at the medical school that is similar to the dental school interviews at: http://www.umc.edu/education/schools/medicine/som_admissions/interviews.aspx

Preparation at USM for Interviews

For More Information about a Career in Healthcare, Contact the Preprofessional Office

The Healthcare Preprofessional Office is located in Bobby Chain Technology Building (TEC) Room 103.

Website:  http://www.usm.edu/science-technology/preprofessional

Phone number: 601.266.4741

Mailing address:

Healthcare Preprofessional Office
College of Science and Technology
118 College Dr., #5165
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001

Preprofessional Assistant:

Ms. L. Machell Haynes
601.266.4741
ladonna.haynes@usm.edu

Preprofessional Advisor:

Dr. Jeffrey Evans, Preprofessional Advisor
601.266.4883
jeffrey.evans@usm.edu