Dental Careers

Thinking About Applying to Dental School?

1) Make sure you have a college advisor who is familiar with pre-dental requirements. Your advisor can help you with specific class requirements. A varied college experience is valued. Volunteerism and extracurricular activities count!

2) Prior to the actual application process, you should spend time in dental office(s) job shadowing. The more and different offices you visit, the better the experience.

3) During the second semester of your junior year (a full year before you plan on entering dental school) begin the application process to the dental schools you are interested in. You can begin the process through American Association of Dental Schools Application Services (AADSAS). If a particular dental school you are interested in does not participate in AADSAS, you should obtain application material directly from that school.

4) Before your final year of undergraduate study you should also prepare for taking the Dental Admission Test (DAT).

5) If you need any more information, the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) publishes a valuable guide for students interested in a career in dentistry.

6) If you are a North Dakota resident, you should also fill out a Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) (Professional Student Exchange Program (PSEP) application through the North Dakota University System. The NDUS address is: 10th Floor, State Capitol, 600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 215, Bismarck, N.D. 58505-0230. Their email address is: WICHE is a federal grant program for some states that do not have dental schools and wish to offer financial aid to reduce the impact of out-of-state tuition. North Dakota does participate, so there is significant money available to a selected group of incoming freshman dental students who qualify. These monies are given to those students for all four years of their dental education.

7) All of these applications and the DAT test must be completed by October of the year before anticipated enrollment.

8) The American Student Dental Association is also a reliable source of information and resources for individuals interested in pursuing a career in dentistry.

Thinking About a Dental Career in North Dakota?

North Dakota is a rural state with a population of 756,000 and open spaces to the tune of 69,000 square miles. It has four city areas of 48,000 to 120,000 people, two in the east (Fargo and Grand Forks) and two in the central (Bismarck and Minot) part of the state. It has five cities between 10,000 and 20,000 people, two in the east (Jamestown and West Fargo), one in the central (Mandan) and two in the west (Williston and Dickinson) part of the state. It has numerous towns between 3,000 and 8,000 people, also. The state has been prosperous due to our growing natural resources industry. The climate is definitely four seasons, with July average highs of 84 and January average highs of 19.

North Dakota offers some of the nation’s best hunting, fishing, camping and other outdoor recreational opportunities. It has numerous state parks and Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the western North Dakota Badlands area. Man made Lake Sakakawea is a reservoir of the Missouri River and is over 100 miles in length. The lush, green Red River Valley has some of the nations most productive farmland.

North Dakota students continually score above the national average in ACT and SAT scores. This coupled with the nation’s 46th lowest crime rate, makes North Dakota a great place to live and raise a family.

For potential new dentists, North Dakota offers several loan repayment programs that can pay back tuition in various amounts for up to five years while practicing in North Dakota.

Organized dentistry is very strong and active in North Dakota, with over 88 % of the state’s dentists belonging to the American Dental Association, NDDA and their local society. The national average is 73%. The dues is reduced for the new dental graduate for the first 4 years. The state’s annual meeting is held in mid-September and rotates between Fargo and Bismarck. The House of Delegates is held each year at the annual meeting. There is also a mid-winter meeting each year the third weekend of January. With these two major meetings and the activity within the local societies, continuing education opportunities abound within the state, most with nationally recognized speakers and clinicians. Members may attend these conferences and meetings for a vastly reduced fee.

We hope you consider North Dakota when making your plans for a future in dentistry. It’s a great place to live and, especially, a great place to practice dentistry! If you have any questions about dentistry in North Dakota, contact the NDDA central office at 701-223-8870 or