Can I Major In Business And Go To Dental School?

"I have wanted to go to dental school my whole life. It would be a dream come true for me, but I will be honest, I kind of would like a fall back plan in case that fails (it’s not entirely that I’m worried I won’t be accepted; I am more concerned about whether I will have the money to pay for it all). That’s why I kind of would like to major in business. It’s a nice general major that will give me a degree and act as sort of a backup plan if something should fall through. Only I need to know now of course whether that’s a good choice for my degree when it comes to actually applying for dental school. Would they rather I had something scientific under my belt, like biology or something? Will they look down on my business degree? I’d hate to actually damage my chances."

asked by Bill from Topeka, KS

There is no reason at all you shouldn’t major in business if you are aiming to go into dental school. Dentistry, like law or medicine, doesn’t have a “pre-” major. You cannot major in “pre-law” or in “pre-med,” and likewise, you cannot major in “pre-dentistry.” There is no such major. As such, you have a large degree of freedom when it comes to choosing a major which you will substitute in for “pre-dentistry.”

Why not major in a science? There is certainly nothing wrong with majoring in biology or something else which includes technical knowledge, but it’s important to remember that dentistry has many aspects to it, not just science.

If you become a dentist, you not only have to have great medical knowledge and expertise, but you also have to be good with working with people, and good at doing business as well. If you operate your own practice, for example, a business major could come in handy.

Another reason that a business major might actually play to your advantage is that the admissions boards to dentistry schools (and with law schools and medical schools) are often impressed when they see a student who has done something a bit different with his or her bachelor degree. It shows creativity, especially if you can put a good spin on it.

For example, you could say something like this to the admissions board:

“My lifelong dream is to become a dentist, and one thing I would really like to do is go into business for myself. That’s why I decided to major in business for my undergraduate degree. I wanted to build up a platform of expertise which will allow me to be able to effectively run my own business as a dentist.” By saying something like this, you show that you are thinking ahead and that you take your future career quite seriously.

This kind of attitude can really impress admissions boards. And it gives you the chance to major in the undergraduate field which interests you—and hopefully gives you some ideas on how you can combine your business and dental studies for professional success.

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