The right undergraduate preparation is an important stepping stone on the path to practicing dentistry as well as career paths across the natural sciences. Dental schools are seeking candidates with well-rounded backgrounds in science and mathematics and other academic areas such as English, humanities and social sciences.
This is where our pre-dentistry major steps in. In addition to a robust curriculum in general studies, students can begin to refine learning targets in areas relevant to dental theory and practice.
- What is Pre-Dentistry?
- What Can I Do with a Pre-Dentistry Degree?
- Is Majoring in Pre-Dentistry Worth It?
- Curriculum and Degree Requirements
- Admission Requirements
What is Pre-Dentistry?
Our pre-dentistry program lays the groundwork for more focused study in the dental field as well as other scientific disciplines. The pre-dental degree develops students in areas preferred by dental schools, including the natural sciences, social studies and humanities. Though our biology and chemistry major tracks have traditionally offered successful routes to dental school, undergraduate students can pursue a pre-dentistry major in any subject or academic area of interest as long as the required courses are completed.
What Can I Do with a Pre-Dentistry Degree?
The field of oral healthcare is diverse and rewarding. Whether you hope to pursue a role in general dentistry or a specialty in oral surgery, this career sector is expected to add 11,100 new jobs by 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Those pursuing dental studies have the flexibility to target multiple degree options and, ultimately, work in a variety of settings, including dental clinics, physicians' offices and outpatient care centers. This field can also be lucrative. According to the BLS, the average annual median salary for a Doctor of Dentistry is $163,220.
For students targeting careers in the natural sciences, a foundation built on a pre-dental education can launch roles at many levels of expertise and leadership. BLS reports the average annual median pay for a Natural Science Manager is $137,900. For chemists, the annual median salary is $79,760, and a faster-than-average growth rate of 6 percent. Career opportunities in both fields can include:
- Doctor of Dental Medicine
- Pediatric Dentist
- Family Dentist
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
- Laboratory Director
- Natural Sciences Manager
- Clinical Researcher
More importantly, serving in any of these fields can meaningfully impact and benefit the lives of others. In the dental field, oral and maxillofacial surgeons diagnose and treat diseases in the head and neck. Family dentists prevent and treat oral health issues for patients of all ages.
Chemists can contribute to the development of life-saving drugs through their research, while clinical researchers focus on the other side of this development, conducting clinical studies to determine the safety and efficacy of these drugs.
Is Majoring in Pre-Dentistry Worth It?
For those targeting a dental career, a pre-dental undergraduate focus can make the most of your undergraduate education. Here are just a few benefits of pursuing your pre-dentistry degree at University of the Cumberlands:
- Career preparation – The pre-dental degree program can position you more competitively when applying to dental school or for further study in areas such as biology or chemistry—ultimately preparing you to pursue one of many rewarding career paths in dentistry or within the natural sciences.
- Flexible career opportunities – You're not limited to a single career track with a pre-dental degree program. Through a broad academic focus, the program is designed to give you what you need to build skills and knowledge in dental studies and in biology, chemistry and other natural sciences, letting you decide how you focus your career interests.
- Personalized advising– Our advisors can prepare you specifically to apply for dental school, guiding you through application requirements, as well as helping you navigate your preparation for advancing to natural science degree programs.
Curriculum and Degree Requirements
If you’re preparing to pursue a career in dentistry, our pre-dental program offers traditionally successful routes through our biology or chemistry majors. Advisors are available in both pre-dental programs to help you plan the course of study that best fits your needs. Plus, they understand the entrance procedures and requirements of various post-baccalaureate programs.
Costs for programs of study at University of the Cumberlands are competitive and affordable. Click here to view tuition rates and fees.
In order to be considered for admission to this program, click here to view the undergraduate, on-campus admissions information.
Click here to view University of the Cumberlands' accreditation information.
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