The Pre-Dental Advisory Committee consists of:

Dr. Jeff Padberg, Chair
Phone: 501-852-2342

Dr. Mita Puri
Phone: 501-852-1279

Dr. Tammy Haselkorn
Phone: 501-450-5849

Dr. Mick Yoder
Phone: 501-450-5929


UCA has a four -year pre-dental curriculum that is designed to thoroughly prepare our students for the rigorous demands of dental school. Our students are very competitive when applying for dental program admissions – UCA graduates have been admitted to dental programs across the United States. While pre-dental students can major in any field of study, we find that most of our successful applicants are Biology or Chemistry majors, have excelled in their coursework (GPA above 3.8), have gained extensive clinical experience with local dental professionals, and have performed well (20 or higher) on the Dental Admissions Test (DAT).  Pre-dental students must possess a bachelors degree before they enter dental school (some have graduate degrees).  Plan to earn your bachelors degree before starting dental school.

The Student Learning Outcomes for UCA’s pre-dental curriculum will allow you to plan and understand the academic path needed to be a successful applicant to dental school.   In general, it answers the common student question of “WHY” these classes are needed.

The American Dental Association requires all pre-dental students to take the Dental Admissions Test (DAT).  It is best to take the D.A.T. in your junior year, once you have taken most of your required science courses. This will give you time to retake it if necessary.  Successful applicants to dental schools typically have strong D.A.T. scores (19 or higher), so it is important that you prepare well. To be a competitive applicant for any dental school, your DAT score must be 19 or higher.

You will apply to dental school about one year (12-15 months) prior to the time you wish to begin. If you are pursuing a degree you will begin the process of application the spring semester of your junior year. At this time you will see your pre-dental advisor to obtain the forms and information necessary to prepare your pre-dental committee letter of recommendation. It is recommended that you not finish your application until you are satisfied with your D.A.T.scores. By the end of September it is probably too late to apply or to add new D.A.T.scores etc.

The UCA Pre-dental Committee provides committee letters for your dental school applications. To prepare for this process, you’ll need to request letters from UCA faculty that can comment on your academic acumen, and provide solid recommendations based on your performance in their courses and/or research laboratories. It’s also recommended that you prepare the personal statement for your applications so the committee can provide some feedback. These interviews typically take place at UCA in the first two weeks of April, so we ask that you complete this form (link below) by March 1st to be included in this year’s application cycle. If you have any questions about this please contact Dr. Padberg at

Request for Faculty Evaluations and Committee Interview

ARKANSAS RESIDENTS: Arkansas does not have a dental school; however, Arkansas residents have access to seven dental schools that have agreements with the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.  These schools have slots/seats for qualified Arkansas students (these students will then pay in-state tuition).  Make sure you look at the entrance requirements for each school because there may be differences.  These schools are:

University of Tennessee Health Science Center

Louisiana State University

Texas A&M

University of Missouri-Kansas City

University of Oklahoma Health Science Center

University of Louisville

Meharry Medical College

For additional information and details refer to the UCA Pre-dental Student Guidelines.