Undergraduate Program Phase

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Pre-Matriculation FAQ

When can I apply for the undergraduate (pre-matriculation) phase?
Plan to complete the application 2½ years before you aspire to enter dental school. For the traditional applicant, this is the sophomore year. The application window is only open Aug. 1-Feb. 15 each year.

What are these prerequisite courses for the pre-matriculation phase?
Applicants must complete 8 hours of General Biology with lab, 8 hours of General Chemistry with lab, and 6 hours of math including College Algebra and Trigonometry or 3 hours of Calculus. Additionally, students must complete either 8 hours of Organic Chemistry with lab or 8 hours of Physics with lab prior to acceptance in MRDSP.

What overall or BCPM GPA is required to be accepted into the program?
The minimum BCPM GPA is a 3.0. Competition for the 3-5 slots available in the pre-matriculation phase is very competitive, so better grades help make you a better candidate.

How many positions are available in the pre-matriculation program?
Three to five two-year participants are selected each year. The number of one-year participants is dependent on the vacant slots in the group preceding the initiates.

What are the advantages of being a two-year participant rather than one year?
Two-year participants receive free DAT prep including study materials and practice tests, access to four Dental Encounters events, and two years of dentist shadowing.

In addition to good grades, what else can I do to enhance my chances of being selected?
MRDSP seeks candidates with a demonstrated history of volunteerism (especially in a dental or medical setting), excellent time management skills, strong work ethic, leadership skills and initiative.

Can I be eligible for the pre-matriculation phase if I don't live in a small town?
MRDSP is designed for students who grew up in rural areas. Occasionally, urbanites have life stories that tie them to their rural roots. Examples would be recurrent summers spent with relatives in rural areas or extended mission trips. These cases are evaluated individually with consideration given to all other attributes.

What is Dental Encounters, and do the events aid in effectively exposing students to dentistry?

Dental Encounters is designed to introduce students to dentistry and give them a glimpse into life as a dental student. Lunches with current MRDSP dental scholars open a window for undergraduate students to learn what it is like to be a dental student. Skills are learned in the UMMC simulation labs.

Where do I find the application for the pre-matriculation phase?
Click here. Note that the application is only available Aug. 1-Feb. 15 each year.

Are there any recommended classes that I should take to better prepare me for the program?
Review the list of courses taken during the first two years of dental school. If your university offers any of those courses, consider taking them even though it may not be required for graduation. Remember, there's a difference in minimum course requirements for admission and adequate preparation to survive dental school!

If accepted into the pre-matriculation phase and I discover I don't want to practice general or pediatric dentistry in a rural area, can I get out of MRDSP?
During the pre-matriculation phase, a participant can request to be released from MRDSP for any reason by contacting the executive director.

What are the benefits of the program beside the $35,000 scholarship and free DAT prep?
It's an opportunity to earn a seat in dental school, meet some of your future classmates and learn the art of being a caring, compassionate rural dentist.

Who should I contact if I have questions during the application process?
Contact MRPSP executive director Dr. Wahnee Sherman or call (601) 815-9022.