According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, overall employment of dentists is projected to grow 19 percent between now and 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for dental services will increase as the population ages and as research continues to link oral health to overall health. Here in Orange County, there is a shortage of dentists, especially those specializing in pediatric dentistry. With statistics like these, Crean College has seen a major uptick in current and prospective students who are interested in dental careers. We decided to shine a light on one our aspiring dentists to see how he made the leap from Chapman to dental school.

Health Sciences senior Noah Barrett ’19 just gained acceptance into his top choice school: The University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine. As a Colorado native, Noah is more than pleased to be completing his education in his home state. We sat down with Noah recently to ask him how he accomplished his goal of getting into dental school. Here is what he had to say about his undergraduate journey:

CHBS: Is program advising as important as everyone says?

NB:  I worked closely with several of the Crean College faculty. However, Dr. Frisch was the most instrumental in providing me with guidance in my classes and advice for admittance into dental school; he also granted me the opportunity to work with him in undergraduate research.

CHBS: Were you “pre-dental” while you completed your undergraduate studies at CU?

NB: In the Health Sciences major, you have to choose an area of study, but since there wasn’t a “pre-dental” area of study available I chose the “pre-medical” area of study. The course requirements for medical and dental school are very similar, so I thought it would suit me well. I also worked closely with the pre-dental advisor Dr. Rowland-Goldsmith, who informed me of certain classes that were specific to the dental schools I was interested in.

CHBS: What internships, clubs, and organizations did you participate in while at CU and did they help prepare you for dental school admittance?

NB: I participated in a variety of different things, including organizations like the Pre-Dental Society and Chapman University Ice Hockey team as well as volunteering with the Lestonnac Free Clinic in Orange. I think all of these involvements prepared me for admittance to dental school because they showcased a bit about my personality and demonstrated various experiences in academics, leadership, and social skills. Overall, having these experiences made me a well-rounded applicant for dental school, which is incredibly important in addition to a strong GPA and test score.

CHBS: What advice do you have for current CU undergraduates who want to get into dental school?

NB: The best advice I could give to fellow Chapman undergrads looking to get into dental school (or any health professional school) would be to surround yourself with people who allow you to be your best and pursue your goals. College can be stressful in managing time and expectations for school, career aspirations, and a social life, so finding people who allow you to challenge your comfort zone and live the life you want to live is crucial. And don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice! I have many individuals to thank for helping me out in different ways throughout this process, and I am very grateful for the opportunities I was given at Chapman University. Take advantage of your time here, because it goes by fast!