Pre-dentistry students participate in the Health Professions Advising Group (HPAG), which is designed for students interested in careers in a variety of health fields.
A rigorous preparation in the sciences, along with a strong liberal arts background and access to clinical experiences and research opportunities, will give you an edge in gaining admission to top-quality graduate programs across the country.
A license to practice dentistry is required in all 50 states following completion of a doctoral program in dentistry (obtaining a D.D.S.). Admission to dental schools is highly competitive; you should have at least a 3.3 grade point average, have spent considerable time shadowing a dental professional, have significant volunteer hours, positive letters of reference, and satisfactory to excellent scores on the DAT and perceptual ability tests.
Faculty advisors will work with you from your freshman year and every step of the way. They not only help you select appropriate coursework and extracurricular activities, but also work with you to prepare for admissions testing, draft personal statements and develop strategies for professional school interviews. You are encouraged to complete significant internships with healthcare professionals in their chosen fields. The Roanoke Valley is a medical hub for southwestern Virginia; Roanoke's rapidly growing medical community, including a new medical school and two major hospital systems, creates tremendous learning opportunities for you. You'll also have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of high-level research projects at Roanoke. Pre-dental students of all majors are eligible to participate in this pre-professional program.
From lobster research to dental school
Before Kayla Mullins '13 came to Roanoke, she knew she wanted to be a dentist. Little did she know just how well Roanoke, and her professors, would prepare her for her career aspiration.
Much of the material that she learned in Roanoke's science courses overlaps with her work at the West Virginia University School of Dentistry, where she is studying to earn a doctor of dental surgery. A research project she completed with Roanoke professor, Dr. Brooks Crozier, introduced her to new testing methods and prepared her for graduate school's fast-paced learning and independent coursework. "The professors, I believe, are one of the reasons RC has become such a well-known institution," Mullins said. "They will challenge you to learn in ways you haven't before, but they are also always there to lend a hand when things get difficult."
Understanding Research Leads Student to Embrace Dentistry
Cooper Tyree graduated from Roanoke College in 2015 with a major in biochemistry and a minor in Spanish, and is now studying at the VCU School of Dentistry in Richmond. During his time at RC, he was able to do an independent study on the microbiology and biochemistry of dental caries - or cavities. "I have always been interested in dentistry, and so figuring out what is actually happening in dental caries was a great way for me to explore that passion further," says Tyree. Tyree plans to finish dental school and then practice dentistry in Virginia/Carolina region.