Smiling is contagious. Smiling spreads joy. Dentists keep smiles healthy, impacting the world in a positive way. The pre-professional pre-dental program at Alvernia University allows students interested in dental school to take the fast track toward their goal through a special partnership.

Students who plan to apply to dental school after earning their undergraduate degrees at Alvernia typically choose biology, biochemistry or chemistry as their majors. Aspiring dentists can apply to the dental school of their choice, or they can use Alvernia’s guaranteed early acceptance program partnership.

Undergraduate Programs

Getting Started

Where You Can Get A Degree

The pre-dental program is available at the following Alvernia University campus:

Preparing for Dental School

Students interested in attending dental school should contact the Alvernia Pre-Professional Program Advisors as soon as possible upon enrollment at Alvernia. It is the responsibility of the student to research dental schools in which they are interested. Dental schools will have their own admission requirements, and students should take courses needed for those specific programs. The Alvernia Pre-Professional Program Advisors guide pre-dental students to choose the best major and courses, so they have the best chance for acceptance to dental schools.

Dental School Early Acceptance Program

Students who want to become dentists take the fast track toward their goal through a special partnership at Alvernia.

The nation’s largest medical college, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM), has partnered with Alvernia to offer guaranteed acceptance into LECOM’s graduate dentistry program. Alvernia students who meet all the academic requirements while earning their undergraduate degrees in Reading can earn their graduate dentistry degrees at the LECOM campus in Bradenton, Fla.

Through the LECOM Early Acceptance Program (EAP), students apply to the LECOM School of Dental Medicine while they are still in high school. Students who meet the requirements in high school are conditionally accepted into Alvernia University and the LECOM dental program simultaneously.

LECOM Admission Requirements
  • SAT score greater than or equal to 1170 (Math and Critical Reading) or ACT score greater than or equal to 26
  • High school GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA at Alvernia of 3.4 or higher and a science GPA of 3.2 or higher

Students already attending Alvernia must meet these criteria to enroll into the Early Acceptance Program.

4 + 4 Track

Students must enroll in the Early Acceptance Program by February 1 of their second year at Alvernia University. After completing four years at Alvernia and meeting GPA and other requirements, students enter LECOM the following July. LECOM graduates will receive a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree, and Alvernia will award the graduate with an appropriate bachelor’s degree.

Biology lab
Learn More
For more information about the pre-dental program, contact the Admissions Office (1-888-ALVERNIA or or reach out directly to:

Ondra Kielbasa, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology

Eric Recktenwald, Ph. D.
Associate Professor of Biology

Program Overview


During their first year, students should talk to the Alvernia Pre-Professional Program Advisors about their plan to apply to dental school. Faculty advisors help pre-dental students choose the courses they need for application to post-graduate programs.

Pre-dentistry students typically pursue an undergraduate degree in biology, biochemistry, or chemistry, but some dental schools accept students who study different majors. Students who plan to apply to a non-LECOM dental program should check with the dental programs to be sure they complete the required undergraduate coursework. Students who plan to apply to the LECOM program should major in biology or biochemistry.

Most dental schools require the following coursework for admission to a graduate program:

Chemistry: 2 Semesters

  • General Chemistry I
  • General Chemistry II

Organic Chemistry: 2 Semesters

  • Organic Chemistry I
  • Organic Chemistry II

Biology: 2 Semesters

  • Principles of Biology I
  • Principles of Biology II

Physics: 2 Semesters

  • Physics I
  • Physics II

Some dental schools require the following coursework for admission to a graduate program:

Math: 2 Semesters

  • Calculus I
  • Calculus II
  • Statistics

English: 2 Semesters

Anatomy and Physiology: 2 Semesters

  • A & P I
  • A & P II

Upper-Level Sciences

  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology
  • Microbiology

Students entering the program with 70+ transferable credits or an associate degree must complete 30/31 Liberal Arts Core credits.

A total of 123 credits with 3 credits in a human diversity course are required to complete a Bachelor’s degree. To adhere to Franciscan values, community service hours are also required. In addition, at least 30 credits at the 300/400 level must be taken at Alvernia University.

Program requirements are subject to change. Contact your admissions counselor for the most up-to-date information.

Pre-Professional Program Advisors

Ondra Kielbasa, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology

Eric Recktenwald, Ph. D.
Associate Professor of Biology

Office of Admissions
610.796.8269 | 1.888.ALVERNIA

Career Outlook

Dental professionals enjoy an independent career lifestyle and have skills they can use anywhere in the world. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of dentists is projected to grow 6 percent from 2021 to 2031, about the average for all occupations. The median annual wage in 2021 was $163,220.

Experiential Learning

Students participate with Science Department faculty to complete research projects that make them more competitive in their applications to professional schools.


With hundreds of community connections in Greater Reading and beyond, pre-professional students can complete internships in a variety of healthcare settings. Recently, pre-professional students have completed internships with:

  • Periohealth, Inc.
  • Boyertown Family Dental
  • Dr. Troy Heuer, DMD
  • Vermillion Dental Office

In addition, the Science Department offers a Trauma Surgery Internship in collaboration with Reading Hospital, providing firsthand experience for one student per semester.

Pre-Health Professions Club

The Pre-Health Professions Club provides a setting in which students working toward careers in health professions can share information, learn more about health professions, and develop friendships with students with similar interests. Past club activities include autopsy observations, health fairs, free health screening services and visits to local healthcare organizations.