For degree, see Choice of Majors, below.
The pre-dental advising track is designed for students who have
demonstrated an interest in dentistry-related fields. Students
declaring an interest in this concentration will be designated as
pre-professional and be tracked for progress throughout their
academic career at MSMC.
At the college, we prepare students for several pre-professional
programs which include medical, dental, veterinary, chiropractic,
Choice of Major. No dental school requires
a specific major of its applicants; however, they recognize the
importance of a strong foundation in the natural sciences which
includes biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics. The current
"pre-dental / pre-professional" curriculum offered at the college
follows the course requirements recommended by the American
Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) and is similar to that
offered by virtually all schools in the US.
- A year of freshman chemistry with laboratory
- A year of organic chemistry with laboratory
- A year of biology with laboratory
- A year of physics with laboratory
- A year of English
- A year of calculus or other advanced math classes, including
Although these course requirements can be met while pursuing any
area of study at the college, they are embedded in the biology
major. The Division of Natural Science is of the opinion that
completion of requirements for a BA in biology best prepares the
students for further studies in areas of their choosing. This is
supported by a recent report "Scientific Foundations for Future
Physicians" from the AAMC (Association of American Medical
Colleges) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), which
recommended that medical and premedical education evolve from a
static listing of courses to a dynamic set of competencies.
The competencies defined as the knowledge, skill, or attitude
that enables an individual to learn and perform in medical practice
include the ability to:
- Apply quantitative reasoning and appropriate mathematics to
describe or explain phenomena in the natural world.
- Demonstrate understanding of the process of scientific inquiry,
and explain how scientific knowledge is discovered and
- Demonstrate knowledge of basic physical principles and their
applications to the understanding of living systems.
- Demonstrate knowledge of basic principles of chemistry and some
of their applications to the understanding of living
systems. Demonstrate knowledge of how biomolecules contribute
to structure and function.
- Apply an understanding of the principles of how molecular and
cell assemblies, organs, and organisms develop structure and carry
- Explain how organisms sense and control their internal
environment and how they respond to external change.
- Demonstrate an understanding of how the organizing principle of
evolution by natural selection explains the diversity of life on
All the competencies defined above are addressed in the biology
Development of personal attributes
Academic and scientific accomplishments, while important, are
not sufficient for entry into professional programs. A critical
aspect is the development of physician–patient relationship. It is
expected that the incoming students be altruistic and dutiful.
Students are expected to be aware of community and public health
issues and understand that there are several complex,
non–biological causes that can result in poor health. While a
commitment to making evidence-based decisions is required, it is
also expected that the future professionals will make ethical
decisions, based on compassion, respect and integrity.
Pre-dentistry at The Mount
There are many advantages to being a pre-dental student at Mount
Saint Mary College:
Pre-professional advisor. A pre-dental advisor
is available for consultation about your progress towards
acceptance to dental school. Regular meetings of pre-professional
students, reminders about deadlines, formation of a
pre-professional committee for recommendations, and one-on-one
personal attention from our full-time faculty advisor are what you
can expect as a pre-dental student at MSMC.
A strong peer group. Science majors quickly
become a part of the science community at MSMC. Students who have
majors within the Division of Natural Science take their math and
science classes together and quickly form study groups, supporting
each other in their courses. This peer support is a great way to
make new friends with goals and attitudes similar to your own.
Peer tutoring. Science majors work together
toward a successful college career as upper-classmen serve as peer
tutors (as one-on-one or drop-in tutors, or as recitation leaders)
and all students have the opportunity to get help to support their
learning efforts. Not only will tutoring provide you with income,
but it will also help you to build your resume and strengthen your
Research. All full time faculty members have
PhD degrees in a variety of different fields and can offer you the
opportunity to develop a research project which will help you to
apply your coursework to real problems. A research project not only
will enhance your knowledge and ability to integrate your learning,
but it will impress graduate schools and future employers, giving
you an edge when you move on from your studies at MSMC.
Learning science as a process. Many of our
laboratory courses use inquiry-based collaborative learning to
introduce students to the process of science and give you an idea
of what scientific research is all about.
Mentoring. All science students are assigned a
full-time faculty advisor to help you explore career options, plan
your course schedule and follow your academic progress. New
freshmen are assigned a “science sibling” before coming to campus
so that they have the opportunity to ask questions of an
upperclassman student to student.
Opportunities outside of the classroom. You
could be a student representative at Division meetings, an officer
in the biology and chemistry honor societies, or participate with
the American Chemical Society student chapter on campus. Students
organize speakers, museum tours, hiking trips, campus activities
like faculty vs. student quiz bowl, and science night for
elementary school students. You'll get involved in things you
enjoy, while providing you more opportunities to meet new people,
interact with the faculty, and develop your leadership skills.
Students declaring an interest in this concentration will be
designated as Pre-dental / Pre-professional and will be tracked for
progress throughout their academic career. The advisory committee
will write a joint recommendation letter in support of a student’s
candidacy only if the student has met the criteria listed
- Maintain an overall GPA of 3.4 the first year and then an
average of 3.4 or better in science classes taken at the college,
with a minimum grade of B- in each of the required science
- Be an active participant in the “Pre-Professional Club”. This
would require an active participation in activities that
demonstrate a commitment to leadership, altruism and dutifulness in
the community. Students would be required to:
- Develop, organize and implement community activities such as
volunteering, talks and presentations
- Volunteer in both clinical and non clinical settings
- Be a mentor
- Attend a minimum of four club meetings per year
- Maintain a portfolio that documents both academic and non
academic activities. Students will be responsible for updating it
- Set up an advisory committee in their junior year.
- Meet with their academic advisor every semester to have a
continued dialog about meeting goals and expectations.
- Attend an orientation seminar during their first year at the
- Undertake an independent project / research here at the college
or at other institutions (optional but highly recommended).
- Take the appropriate graduate entrance exam, MCAT, DAT, GRE, in
the spring of their junior year.
- Complete the appropriate application to the graduate school of
choice in the summer of their junior year.
- Initiate an interview with the Pre-professional Advisory
Committee to discuss the application progress in the fall of their
- Inform the Pre-professional Advisory Committee of the
Where Mount students have interned
- Gateway to Dentistry Program, University of Medicine and
Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)
- Wadsworth Center, state health laboratory at Albany
- The Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Minority Student
Summer Research Opportunity
- University of Tennessee, Memphis Immunology Laboratory
- University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Microbiology
Dentistry is a profession comprised of primary health care
practitioners who evaluate, diagnose, prevent, and treat disease
disorders or conditions of the oral cavity, maxillofacial area, and
other associated structures and their effects on the human body.
There are two dental degrees: D.D.S, Doctor of Dental Surgery, and
D.M.D., Doctor of Dental Medicine. Dental schools decide to award
either degree, both of which indicate general dentistry because the
curriculum for each degree is the same.
Besides the general dentistry described above, there are a
number of specialty areas in dental practice:
Dental Public Health is the science of dental
practice relating to community rather than the individual. Dental
diseases are prevented and controlled through organized community
efforts, particularly through education.
Orthodontics is a dental specialty concerned
with growing or mature dentofacial structures. Through diagnosis,
interception, and treatment, movement of teeth can be accomplished
by the use of corrective appliances (braces).
Periodontics is the specialty of dentistry
related to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseased tissues
supporting and surrounding teeth (gums). Dentures are made to
maintain oral health, function, and esthetics.
Other specialties include: oral and maxillofacial surgery,
pediatric dentistry, and prosthodontics.
The projected 2004-2014 national employment outlook predicts a
25.8% increase in jobs for healthcare practitioners and those in