Predental Program

As is the case at colleges and universities, predentistry at the University of Mary Washington is not an academic major.  Rather, predentistry is a specialized pre-career program specifically designed to prepare students for dental school.  The program is comprised of specific course requirements, clinical requirements and elective activities students must complete as part of their overall undergraduate curriculum.  The program also features advising and recommendation services that provide students with the guidance and support needed for dental school application submission.

The University’s Premedical & Predental Program Advisor is Stephen Gallik, Ph. D., Professor of Biology.  Professor Gallik supervises the premedical & predental programs, monitors the academic progress of premedical & predental students and is available to UMW students seeking advice on issues concerning medical & dental school.  He also chairs the Premedical /  Predental Committee, a committee of qualified faculty charged with interviewing and evaluating premedical & predental students for the purpose of writing a committee-based recommendation for each student’s application.

You can reach Professor Gallik here:

Stephen Gallik, Ph. D.
331 Jepson Science Center
University of Mary Washington
1301 College Avenue
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Office Phone: 540-654-1419
email: sgallik@umw.edu

Degree-seeking UMW students interested in joining the UMW Predental Program must first create an account with this website.  Only students registered with this site are formally recognized as UMW predental students.  Registered students will receive important announcements from UMW’s premedical advisor via e-mail, and when logged in, registered students will have access to detailed program information.


 

The Predental Program has specific course requirements, clinical requirements and elective activities students must complete as part of their overall undergraduate curriculum.

Predental Course Requirements

The UMW predental course requirements are driven by the VCU School of Dentistry admissions requirements. These are:

  • Biology 121 & 122 (Biol Concepts I, II)  – or –  Biology 125 & 126  (Phage Hunters     I, II)
  • Chemistry 111 & 112 (General Chemistry I, II)
  • Chemistry 211 & 212 (Organic Chemistry I, II)
  • Physics  101 & 102  (Gen. Physics I, II)  – or-  Physics 105 & 106 (University Physics I, II)
  • Biochemistry I (Chem 317)

These courses may not be taken Pass/Fail, Credit/No Credit, or through a long-distance learning program.

Some dental schools might also require other courses, such as English and math.  Please check the websites of the dental schools in which you are interested for details about these additional course requirements.

In addition to the 8 credits of general biology listed above, other biology courses are highly recommended. The following is a list of recommended courses.

  • Cellular Biology (Biol 211)
  • General Genetics (Biol 341)
  • Microbiology (Biol 371)
  • Histology (Biol 331)
  • Anatomy of the Chordates (Biol 301) – or – Human Anatomy (Biol 384)*
  • Human Physiology (Biol 385)*
  • Developmental Biology (Biol 302)
  • Immunology

AP Credits and Community College Credits

Most dental schools prefer students to complete all required predental courses at a four-year undergraduate institution.  Generally, dental schools will accept AP credits and community college credits in fulfillment of these courses, provided UMW awarded you credits towards graduation (not just exemptions) and those credits appear on your transcript.  If you have questions regarding the acceptance of predental AP or community college credits by a specific dental school, you should check the school’s web site.

Predental Program Clinical Requirements:

A minimum of two semesters of clinical experience at a licensed dental practice and /or clinic.  We highly recommend three semesters or a total of 100 – 150 hours of work.  This experience must be the type that provides students with opportunities to observe dentists at work. The University has informal affiliations with Fredericksburg-area clinics to provide specific experiences to qualified UMW students.  We encourage students to find similar opportunities at home during the summer.  UMW predental students can find out more by logging into this site or by seeing the UMW Premedical Advisor.

Elective Activities:

Predental students are encouraged to engage in extracurricular activities.  While community service is always encouraged, a number of activities are very worthwhile:

  • Community service
  • Student government
  • Undergraduate research
  • Varsity sports
  • Club activities
  • Military service

Recommendation Services

Most medical schools and dental schools prefer a recommendation letter from the premedical / predental committee of an applying student’s undergraduate institution. The UMW Premedical Program provides comprehensive committee-based recommendations for those UMW Premedical Students that qualify. The recommendations are prepared by the Premedical / Predental Advisor in consultation with the UMW Premedical / Prerdental Committee, a committee of qualified faculty charged with interviewing and evaluating premedical & predental students for the purpose of writing a committee-based recommendation for each student’s application.