Pre-dental Scholars Program

The Pre-dental Scholars program is an accelerated program which allows students to receive conditional acceptance to Marquette’s School of Dentistry. The Pre-dental Scholars program allows students to reduce from eight years to seven the total time needed to complete bachelor’s and dental degrees. Pre-dental scholars enroll either in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences or College of Health Sciences and complete their undergraduate studies in three years. Students are awarded a bachelor’s degree upon successful completion of their first year in Marquette's School of Dentistry. For information, visit the Office of Admissions.

Admission to the Pre-dental Scholars Program

Admission to the Pre-dental Scholars program is offered to prospective first year students during the spring of their senior year in high school and to current Marquette students in the spring of their first year, depending on space availability. Admission guarantees the scholar a place in the Marquette University School of Dentistry, after completion of the third year of undergraduate studies (having earned at least 96-98 credits, depending on your undergraduate college requirements), student must meet the academic and behavioral standards of the program, and scores a 17 or higher in each of the eight sections of the Dental Aptitude Test (DAT), as determined by the Marquette Dental Admissions Committee. Any DAT result that includes a subsection score below a 17, is not acceptable and requires a retest. Students who wish to be considered for the Pre-dental Scholars program must complete the Pre-dental Scholars application. Selection to the program includes a formal, in-person interview conducted by the School of Dentistry Admissions Committee.

Undergraduate Curriculum

A typical bachelor’s degree consists of four parts: University Core of Common Studies (UCCS) requirements, college curriculum requirements, major requirements and electives. In the first three years of the Pre-dental Scholars program, students partially complete the major requirements and elective hours and finish all UCCS and college curriculum requirements. Courses taken in the fourth year (first year of dental school), count as requirements toward both the bachelor’s and dental degrees.

Approved Majors

Klingler College of Arts and Sciences: Biological Sciences or Physiological Sciences. The Pre-dental Scholars coordinator and faculty advisers are responsible for the academic advising of the pre-dental scholars. See the Typical Planners for course sequence information for pre-dental scholars within the biological sciences and physiological sciences major requirements.

College of Health Sciences: Biomedical Sciences. The associate dean is responsible for the academic advising of the pre-dental scholars. See the Typical Planners for course sequence information for pre-dental scholars within the biomedical sciences major requirements.

Academic Standards for the Pre-dental Scholars

Students maintain a place in the Pre-dental Scholars program by fulfilling the following requirements:

  • Earn a cumulative 3.500 grade point average at the end of each semester in the program.
  • Receive a grade of no less than a B or better in all science courses.
  • Complete a course load of 15-18 credit hours per semester.
  • Under no circumstances is a student in this program admitted to the School of Dentistry before completing six semesters of full-time course work at Marquette University.
  • AP course work in any science (BIOL or CHEM) does not satisfy prerequisite requirements.

Failure to meet the academic requirements in any semester results in the scholar being placed on probation beginning the following semester. Courses taken in the probationary semester must be approved in writing by the scholar's academic adviser. If, at the end of this probationary semester, the scholar has not achieved a 3.500 cumulative grade average and/or has received less than a B grade in any science course, they are withdrawn from the program. If the scholar has returned to the academic standards by the end of the probationary semester, they are returned to good standing in the program.

  1. During this probationary semester, the scholar must complete a 15-18 credit course load and may not withdraw from any course(s).
  2. A second probationary semester is not permitted and results in withdrawal from the program.
  3. Failure to meet the academic standards during the spring semester of the junior year results in withdrawal from the program and impacts admission to Marquette's School of Dentistry.

Appeals: An appeal to any decision must be made to the Pre-dental Scholars Committee in writing and should elaborate on any personal or medical circumstances that affect your academic performance. Any appeal related to grades or classroom performance, however, must be taken up with the faculty involved or through the use of his/her department’s grade appeal procedures.

University Probation: Behaviors and/or activities that lead to University Probation may result in removal from the program and impact admission to Marquette's School of Dentistry. Such activities include academic dishonesty or any activity deemed inappropriate, unethical or illegal.

Academic Dishonesty: Any activity deemed inappropriate, unethical or illegal, regardless of whether that behavior leads to University Probation, may result in removal from the program and impact admission to Marquette's School of Dentistry.

Course Work: All science courses must be taken at Marquette University during the regular academic year (fall and spring terms). Courses in other disciplines are not subject to the above restriction, but must be approved from your college adviser.

Dental Aptitude Test (DAT): The DAT may be taken as early as the spring semester of the sophomore year, but no later than the fall semester of the junior year. The Admissions Office in the School of Dentistry can provide you further information on the nature of this exam, as well as where and when the exam is administered. A Pre-dental Scholar is required to score a 17 or higher in each of the eight sections of the exam. Any DAT result that includes a subsection score below 17, is not acceptable and requires a retest.

Selection to and participation in the program assumes a seven-year commitment to Marquette, including both undergraduate and dental studies. Participants in “good standing” that apply to other programs risk losing their encumbered space in Marquette’s entering Dental class. Withdrawal from this program whether voluntary or otherwise, does not necessarily compromise your ability to apply to Marquette’s School of Dentistry through normal application procedures, providing that you are competitive with other applicants. Dismissal from the program as a result of academic or behavior issues does compromise your candidacy should you apply to Marquette’s School of Dentistry.

Grades/Graduation/Graduation Honors

The undergraduate colleges base their calculations for academic honors on all credits earned toward the bachelor’s degree, including all Dental School credits completed through the term in which the student satisfies all undergraduate degree requirements, including the minimum 120 or 128 credits needed for the degree.

Financial Aid

Since pre-dental scholars spend only three years as an undergraduate at Marquette, the financial aid and scholarships received are applicable only to the first three years at Marquette. After completion of the first three years or undergraduate degree, scholars must apply for financial aid and scholarships as an Independent Graduate/Professional student, rather than as an undergraduate.

Since the criteria for admission to the Pre-dental Scholars program match the criteria for many of the merit-based scholarships awarded by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, it is highly probable that scholars in the program also receive merit-based scholarships to Marquette University.

It is important to note that these scholarships, while renewable for up to eight semesters at the university, are only for undergraduate study. As a result, scholars are only able to apply these scholarships to the first three years at Marquette, because once classes begin in Marquette's School of Dentistry, scholars are no longer be considered undergraduates. The fourth year or earlier of the scholarship is forfeited.

Pre-dental Scholars would be eligible to apply in the third year for any Dental School financial aid and scholarships available to any student in the first year of Dental School.