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Explore pre-dentistry at UW-Eau Claire

Take the next step to becoming a dentist at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. We offer a robust and rigorous curriculum, paired with unique learning opportunities, that will prepare you for a successful career in dentistry. 

If you’re passionate about improving people’s daily lives — and their smiles — dentistry may be a great fit. Dentists often work in private practices with a small team focused on improving an essential part of human health. There are a number of ways that dentists do this, including filling cavities, reviewing X-rays, removing damaged teeth and teaching patients about oral health.

Pre-dentistry is not a major at UW-Eau Claire, but rather a declaration of your intention to continue your education and enroll in dental school. A specific major is not required to get into dental school, but many UWEC pre-dentistry students choose to major in biology, chemistry, biology with a microbiology emphasis, or biochemistry and molecular biology. A popular minor for pre-professional health students is pre-professional health science, a program specifically developed to provide a framework for completing pre-professional school requirements.

Entry into dental school is based on your academic record, the results of the DAT (Dental Admissions Test) and other criteria set by particular programs. Certain skills and experiences are also usually favored when applying to dental school. For example, students are usually required to obtain direct experience in a dental/oral health office or clinic. Our exceptional faculty and career advisors are aware of dental school requirements and can help you make connections to ensure you gain the knowledge and experiences necessary for acceptance into graduate school.

Opportunities to confirm your passions

Biology major Steph Walters understands the importance of loving your smile. While studying in the Dominican Republic, Steph had the opportunity to create partials or bridges for individuals who wanted them. 

"Seeing the transition from before to after — their boost in confidence and self-love — was extremely eye-opening and it really solidified the fact that yes, I do want to be a dentist; yes, I want to pursue a career in this field of health care."

Hear more from Steph on how UW-Eau Claire has helped confirm her passions and has prepared her well for a career in dentistry. 

Why be pre-dentistry at UW-Eau Claire?

Exceptional support. While pursuing your major at UWEC, you'll have access to pre-dentistry advisors and peer advisors. These faculty and staff members, as well as current pre-dentistry students, can help you with planning out your semesters, finding your major, preparing for the DAT and securing field experience.

Study abroad opportunities. UWEC is known for its incredible study abroad opportunities — and pre-dentistry students are welcome to participate. An international experience can complement and enhance both your general program of study and your pre-health interests. Moreover, fluency in a language other than English and cross-cultural experience can enhance your application to a health professional school. 

Innovative facilities. UW-Eau Claire is one of only a few schools of its size with a career center dedicated to supporting pre-dentistry students. The William J. and Marian A. Klish Health Careers Center offers one-on-one pre-dentistry advising, opportunities to meet with professional school admissions representatives and workshops designed to build effective tools for career development and competitive applications.

Relevant student organizations. On-campus student organizations — like the Pre-Professional Health Club — connect students like you who are also interested in becoming a dentist. These extracurriculars are an excellent way to learn from guest speakers, engage in volunteer work and tour graduate programs in the region.

Quick facts

Pre-dentistry program details 
  • Offered: in person.
  • Campus: Eau Claire.
  • Students are able to choose a major and/or minor that best aligns with their career goals.
UWEC student organizations related to pre-dentistry
  • Pre-Professional Health Club.
  • Biology Club.
  • American Chemical Society-Student Affiliate (ACS-SA).
  • Women and Gender Minorities in STEM.

What's next after completing the pre-dentistry program?

After completing your undergraduate degree at UWEC, and earning a competitive Dental Admission Test (DAT) score, your next step toward becoming a dentist is earning either your doctor of dental surgery (D.D.S.) or doctor of medical dentistry (D.M.D.) degree. There are currently around 65 dental schools in the U.S. that offer these degrees. 

UW-Eau Claire's acceptance rate for students to dental schools is above the national average. More importantly, our students feel well-prepared for their professional school and do well once they're accepted. Many UWEC pre-dentistry students choose to enroll at Marquette School of Dentistry or the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry following graduation. 

What can I do with a D.D.S. or D.M.D.?

A degree in dentistry offers a variety of career paths and options. You may work as a general dentist or a specialist in a private practice, group practice or open your own practice. You may also choose to become a military dentist or pediatric dentist, or work in the areas of dental research, dental education or dental public policy.

Pre-dentistry curriculum

The pre-dentistry curriculum at UWEC will prepare you for the Dental Admission Test (DAT). This standardized exam is required for admission to dental school and is typically taken in the spring semester of the student's junior year. The exam consists of four parts: natural sciences (biology and chemistry), reading comprehension, quantitative reasoning (math) and perceptual ability. Our students have a strong history of performing well on this exam. 

What classes do pre-dentistry students take?

Students interested in a career in dentistry may focus on these topics during their undergraduate career:

Learn more about pre-dentistry in the UWEC course catalog.

Related programs at UW-Eau Claire

Programs that would best support a career in dentistry include:

Department information

Multiple departments support this program. Learn more about them!

Photo of student working in a biology lab

Biology

Phillips Science Hall 330
101 Roosevelt Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54701
Visit the Biology department website
Students work in a lab

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Phillips Science Hall 430
101 Roosevelt Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54701
Visit the Chemistry and Biochemistry department website

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