High School Preparation
Talk to dentists or shadow them at work to see if this profession is a good fit for you. The path toward a career in dentistry will require extensive dedication which you can deliver if you feel comfortable with your choice.
College courses are best taken in college after the high school experience has been completed. High school students may be interested in anticipating some college education, however, in order to facilitate their adjustment to college or to save money by satisfying college course requirements.
Advanced courses taken while in high school can sometimes interfere negatively with the college curriculum. The items below categorize courses by the type of interaction that they have with the curriculum of the Pre-Dental Advantage Program.
- Green light classes. AP, IB or college courses taken in high school (early college) may be used to satisfy requirements of the general education portion (except science) of the Pre-Dental Advantage Program, as long as they can be transferred as equivalent to courses at Pacific that satisfy such requirements. This equivalence can be verified at the ROAR webpage. Courses in chemistry and biology may be a good preparation for college when they do not articulate with a Pacific course or when they articulate with Pacific courses that have code numbers lower than BIOL 51 for biology (ex: BIOL 41) or lower than CHEM 25 for chemistry (ex: CHEM23).
- Yellow light classes. AP, IB or early college classes are acceptable for physics courses that articulate with PHYS 23, 25, 53 or 55 but it is recommended that physics be taken instead at Pacific.
- Red light classes. AP, IB or early college classes cannot be used to reduce the number of chemistry and biology courses taken while in the Pre-Dental Advantage Program. If you complete a core biology or chemistry course before enrolling at Pacific, you will be required to take a more advanced course in those subjects at Pacific. If you have already taken or want to take these courses, you should inform your undergraduate admission counselor at Pacific and request the transfer of your courses to Pacific. This is necessary to avoid conflicts that could interfere with your registration and financial help. While we appreciate your interest in pursuing college-level courses prior to coming to Pacific, we strongly recommend that you avoid the core science courses, unless you want to replace them with more advanced chemistry and biology courses at Pacific.
- Notice that other DDS programs may require physics, math or psychology to be taken at a four-year college.
- Students interested in the 2+3 option need to satisfy three GE categories (other than science) with courses from work completed before starting at Pacific (AP, IB or Early College courses).
The Pre-Dental Advantage Program is only available to students entering college for the first time. Prospective students apply using our undergraduate application and select the pre-dental major.
To advance into the Pacific’s Doctor of Dental Surgery Program, admitted undergraduate pre-dental students must take courses in sequence at Pacific, maintain minimum GPAs and pass a formal interview for the Dugoni School of Dentistry (includes a writing sample).
All applicants are encouraged, and admitted students are required, to carefully read and agree to the Technical Standards of the Dugoni School. It is also highly recommended that all applicants review the Dental Board of California license requirements.