Pre-Dent Timeline and Sample Resume


What to be doing while at St. Olaf

  • Take the proper classes (two semesters of general chemistry, two semesters of organic chemistry, pre-calculus and calculus, two semesters of biology, two semesters of English, two semesters of physics, possibly biochemistry, physiology, other biology electives, etc.)
  • Volunteer (Northfield Hospital, Health Finders, Northfield Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Center, etc.)
  • Acquire patient experience (The Union Gospel Mission, Children’s Dental Services, etc.)
  • Shadow dentists (60-100+ hours) and journal about experiences
  • Make connections with Professors at St. Olaf
  • Consider research at St. Olaf or the University of Minnesota
  • Consider joining the St. Olaf Pre-Health Club and the Pre-Health Club Honors Society
  • Join other clubs and groups of your personal interest
  • Work on personal statement
  • Practice interview skills through the Piper Center
  • Conduct research on the schools of your choice
  • Study for the DAT
  • Apply to school June before your senior year (if you plan to matriculate after graduation from St. Olaf)

St. Olaf Pre-Dental Timeline

Freshman Year:

  • Take two semesters of General Chemistry with lab (CHEM 125 and 126)
  • Take freshman writing (dental schools require two semesters of English)
  • Get involved on campus (clubs, organizations, athletics, music ensembles, etc.)
    • Consider volunteering (Northfield Long Term Care Center, Hospital, Center for Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, The Union Gospel Mission in St. Paul, Children’s Dental Services in Minneapolis, etc.)
    • Begin to develop relationships with professors at St. Olaf
    • Shadow dentists (60-100+ hours needed). Write down experiences and hours in journal. Be sure to shadow a variety of dentists and practices
    • Consider joining St. Olaf’s Pre-Health Club and the Pre-Health Honors Society
    • For any questions or help, get in contact with Dr. Kevin Crisp, St. Olaf’s pre-health advisor or Susan Kramer, the pre-health advisor in the Piper Center

Sophomore Year:

  • Take two semesters of General Biology with lab if not already taken freshman year (BIO 150 and BIO 227/BIO 233).
  • Take two semesters of Organic Chemistry with lab (CHEM 247 and 248)
  • Continue shadowing, developing relationships with professors, and volunteering
    • Begin researching dental schools of your interest. Be aware that some schools will require specific classes.
  • Maintain a good GPA (3.5-4.0)
  • Possibly take another English course
    • Consider attending the Dental Preparation Course at the University of Minnesota Dental School

Junior Year:

  • Take two semesters of Physics (PHYS 124 and 125). Physics is not on the DAT, but it is required for dental school
  • Prepare for the DAT starting in the fall or winter (information at
  • Start asking professors for letters of recommendation in the winter
  • Begin writing your personal statement in January
  • Take the DAT between April and June (for matriculation right after undergraduate)
  • HPC interviews in April
  • Apply to dental school as early as possible. The AADSAS application usually opens at the beginning of June
  • Practice your interview skills in the Piper Center

Senior Year:

  • Take one semester of Biochemistry (CHEM 379). No lab is needed
  • Practice interview skills in the Piper Center
  • Keep in contact with the schools to which you applied
  • Earliest interviews will be conducted at the beginning of September, and they will continue until the winter
  • Dental school admission decisions will be made between December and August
  • Maintain a good GPA (3.5-4.0)
  • If you gain admission on December 1st (the first day to hear back), you are required to maintain C’s or higher
  • Send thank you notes to evaluators and mentors
  • You did it!


For more information about the pre-dental timeline, visit the following websites:


  • Maintain a GPA between 3.5-4.0 and shoot for a DAT score of 19 or above
  • Involve yourself in activities or commitments that are unrelated to dentistry. It is advisable to be participating in things that make you happy and passionate (student government, choir, sports, etc.)
  • Dental students like to see well-rounded students, so spread your horizons, but do not spread yourself too thin.
  • Find some sort of niche that separates you from other applicants (interest in research, working with underserved populations, etc.)
  • A personal statement is NOT a list of accomplishments, rather it is somewhat of a story that demonstrates what you have done, who you are, and “why dentistry?”
  • Become close with as many professors as possible, because they are the people who will write letters of recommendation
  • Work closely with the Pre-Health advisor, Dr. Kevin Crisp and Susan Kramer, for any questions or support
  • Perfect your interview skills at the Piper Center. Many of the applicants have similar qualifications and numbers. What will separate you from everyone else is your ability to interview well. Admissions committees want students who are intelligent and hardworking; yet have social skills as well.
  • Demonstrate continuity in your volunteering. If you really enjoy volunteering at a certain place, stay there for an extended period of time (over the course of your four years)
  • Consider attending the Dental Preparation Course at the University of Minnesota Dental School
  • When researching schools, be aware that some institutions will require specific coursework.
  • Competitive applicants will take a combination of the following preferred electives: art (3-D drawing or sculpture), histology, anatomy, physiology, genetics, cell biology, immunology, and statistics.



Download this File:SAMPLE RESUME (1)