Start your career in dentistry—and a lifetime of helping others—through our Pre-Dental program
- Available as
- Bachelor of Science
- 4 years
- Fort Wayne
Why Become a Dentist?
A career in dentistry is fulfilling, financially rewarding and full of opportunity. And this helping profession is also experiencing significant growth. U.S. News & World Report ranked dentist the #1 best healthcare job in the country — and it earned the #2 spot on the 100 Best Jobs in America list for 2020.
The path to earning a doctor of medicine in dentistry (DMD) or doctor of dental surgery (DDS) takes careful planning, and it starts with a solid foundation in science and math.
Best paying job in the United States
U.S News & World Report, 2020
National median salary for dentists
Best healthcare job
U.S News & World Report, 2020
Why Saint Francis for Your Pre-Dental Program?
At the University of Saint Francis, we ensure you know exactly what to study before dentistry school.
Designed around the skills, knowledge and professional competencies needed to earn your DMD or DDS, our pre-dental program offers a strong background in biology, chemistry, math and physics. And, with an educational mission rooted in the liberal arts and Franciscan values, Saint Francis also prepares you to become an ethical, compassionate healthcare leader.
“I was more prepared than most dental school classmates from huge, renowned Division 1 Universities. Studying in the Saint Francis cadaver lab really set the tone for my anatomical and physiological studies during the first part of dental school.”Blake Weil ’14, DMD Dentist, New Haven Dental Center
“The education I received from the University of Saint Francis did more than just prepare me for dental school. Its Franciscan values helped to foster my interest in having a career of service delivering dental care to our community’s most vulnerable patient populations. As a dentist in a federally qualified health center, I feel so privileged to get to daily live out those values that we learned about while in school at USF.”Tyler Kimmel, DDS, ’09 Chief Dental Officer at Neighborhood Health
Hands-On Learning: Internships and Community Service
When you become a dentist, you’ll be working closely — literally — with your patients. Your Saint Francis education will prepare you for this hands-on, patient-focused career, with opportunities like:
- Exploring anatomy and physiology in our Human Cadaver Lab, an experience most students don’t get at the undergraduate level
- Shadowing local dentists, dental surgeons and other dental professionals
- Interning in professional dentistry settings
- Traveling the U.S. and abroad through field studies and medical missions
- Conducting independent, faculty-mentored research
- Joining student groups such as the Chemistry Club and Pre-Professional Healthcare Honor Society
- Attending weekly science seminars with local professionals
Service-Learning with a Smile
Our pre-dental program students put Franciscan values into action as they volunteer with veterans and low-income residents through our partnership with Matthew 25 Dental Clinic in Fort Wayne.
Expert Instruction and Advising
With an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio at Saint Francis, you’ll get personalized attention in the classroom from caring professors. Our faculty and lab staff members are active research scientists, healthcare practitioners, clinicians, technicians, and administrators who bring up-to-date skills, knowledge, and patient experiences to the classroom.
You will also receive one-on-one dental/medical school advising to prepare for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and develop your admissions application materials. Your advisor will make sure your schedule aligns with what to study before dentistry school and help keep your academics on track along the way.
Dental and Medical School Acceptance
After completing the biology/pre-dentistry program, Saint Francis graduates pursue their doctor of dental medicine and other professional health programs, as well as master’s and Ph.D. programs in related areas at schools such as:
- Indiana University-Purdue University Indiana (DDS)
- University of Colorado Denver (MS in orthodontics/orthodontology)