Choosing a Dental School

Choosing a Dental School

Because dental school is a commitment of at least four years beyond a bachelor degree program, the selection of a school is something that requires a fair amount of consideration. Aspiring dentists should look at schools' admissions requirements and be sure that prerequisites have either been met or can be met before classes would begin. Students also should find out the clinical requirements a school has in place. Does the program have a clinical focus, and if so, where is clinical practice gained? Students should ask if the school has its own clinic or if students are rotated through outside clinics, and decide which would be most beneficial.

It is important to visit different schools and observe the atmosphere of campus and classes. Talking to students is a great way to get a feel for a school - one can find out if the dental program is competitive and cutthroat or more collaborative and supportive. It is also smart for students to ask about alumni and how successful they have been in their careers. If joining a professional dental fraternity is an important factor, one ought to ask about that during a visit as well. Students can also view the classroom, lab, and clinic facilities firsthand to be sure they are modern, and then gauge how comfortable the environment will be for at least four years.

Other important considerations include location, cost, and student/faculty ratio.

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