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.


The Science Department at Alvernia provides oversight and guidance for students who are interested in pursuing healthcare careers such as medical, dental, pharmacy, and physician assistant. Most students who are planning to attend medical or professional school choose to major in the sciences (most often biology or biochemistry), since these majors allow them to meet the necessary prerequisite courses. It is possible to choose other majors, if desired, but additional coursework will be needed to meet the prerequisites.


Students have the opportunity to meet with a Pre-Health Professions Advisor starting in their first year, and they are encouraged to meet with the advisor regularly each year after that. These meetings help students to learn how to prepare for medical/professional school applications, and allow them to plan their time and experiences at Alvernia accordingly. Students can pursue early acceptance to medical, dental, or pharmacy school through Alvernia’s partnership with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.


The Science Department is also home to the Pre-Health Professions Club, which provides students with an opportunity to meet with others who have similar interests, learn about different health professions, participate in community service, and develop leadership skills.

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.

Application Instructions

Through a rolling admission process, prospective undergraduate students — including first-year, transfer, and international students — may apply via the Alvernia web portal or The Common Application. To learn more about how to complete your application, please visit our application page.

Financing Your Education

There are options to assist in financing your education and making the tuition affordable. Visit our Student Financial Services page for a detailed overview of the process, including a link to complete the FAFSA application, as well as more information about tuition, the tuition payment plan and the tuition deferment program we offer. Alvernia’s Title IV code for the FAFSA is 003233. The Office of Student Financial Services is available to help with any questions you may have. Call 610-796-8201 or email sfs@alvernia.edu.

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 admissions@alvernia.edu) or reach out directly to:

Ondra Kielbasa, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology
610-230-5701
Ondra.kielbasa@alvernia.edu


Brandi Burns, MMSPAS, PA-C
brandi.burns@alvernia.edu


Program Overview

Curriculum

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.

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
  • Internships: students have completed internships at a variety of sites, including hospitals, doctor’s offices, and healthcare clinics. One specific example includes the Trauma Surgery Internship that the Science Department offers in collaboration with Reading Hospital, providing firsthand experience for one student per semester.
  • Research: students participate with Science Department faculty to complete research projects that make them more competitive in their applications to professional schools.
  • Student Organization: the Pre-Health Professions Club provides an opportunity for students who are interested in the healthcare field to come together to support one another and collaborate on a variety of experiential learning events and service projects
Partnership With Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

With a growing demand of healthcare professionals, Alvernia and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) partnered to help prepare new doctors, dentists and pharmacists. This special Early Acceptance Program (EAP) with LECOM allows students to apply to LECOM medical, dental, or pharmacy school as early as their senior year of high school. Students who meet the requirements in high school are conditionally accepted into both Alvernia and LECOM’s program simultaneously.


Lake Erie College of Medicine (LECOM) is a private college with locations in Pennsylvania and Florida. Its main campus is located in Erie, PA, with additional locations at LECOM at Seton Hill, in Greensburg, PA and LECOM Bradenton, a branch campus in Florida. 

LECOM Early Acceptance Admission Requirements
  • SAT score greater than or equal to 1240 (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.

Dental Program Enrollment

4 + 4 Track: Students must enroll in the EAP by February 1of 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 (D.M.D.) degree and Alvernia will award the graduate with an appropriate bachelor degree.