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San Diego State University
Preprofessional Health Advising Office
Bridge at sunset


BIOLOGY 250B Schedule 20383


Monday 4:00 to 4:50 p.m., Room LS-134 (except where noted*)


      Thomas Arietta  

Barbara W. Huntington, Director
Preprofessional Health Advising Office
GMCS-323, Phone 594-6638

Prerequisites--An interest in dentistry as a career.

Course Purpose: This seminar course invites dental specialists to speak each spring to give you a realistic view of the dental profession. In addition, it provides students the opportunity to gain a head start on their dental school applications. If you have already taken this class for credit, you are welcome to visit and listen to the speakers on a space available basis. This class is run by students with the professor acting in the role of facilitator. There are specific requirements to pass the class, but your input and enthusiasm are vital to making it a strong learning experience for you and your classmates.

Learning Objectives:

As a result of this class, students will:

Course Required Text:

Huntington, Barbara and Masse, Linda, 2003. Writing About Me: A step by step guide to developing a powerful personal statement for your application to schools of medicine, dentistry, chiropractic, optometry, pharmacy, physician assistant, podiatry and veterinary medicine.

Recommended Texts:
ADEA (American Dental Education Association), Official Guide to Dental Schools-This is published annually--Verify you have the latest edition.

Medley, A. Sweaty Palms. 1992. Ten Speed Press.

Course Evaluation: Credit/No Credit based on:

1) Attendance (based on signing attendance sheet)

Since it is not polite to invite a speaker and then have few people attend class because of studying for another class or other non emergency matter,, ONLY ONE UNEXCUSED ABSENCE IS ACCEPTED. An unexcused absence must be made up by submitting a one-page paper on the topic that was missed no later than one week after the absence. Excused absences (illness, death in family) must be submitted in writing to Barbara Huntington.

2) Speaker Evaluations

Speaker evaluations will be posted on blackboard. Speaker evaluations will be counted as part of your final grade and must be uniquely yours.

3) Personal Statement

Write a personal statement for you dental school application. Start reading a completing Writing about Me as directed in the class schedule. During Spring Break, start brainstorming and writing the personal statement. The 2-3 page personal statement should be double-spaced, edited and stapled.

4) Ethics Paper: Complete paper

The choice of topics for the paper will be made available by the class coordinators by the second week of classes. Provide all sources and citations in APA format. There are three important dates for Topic and Thesis, list of three peer reviewed references (APA format) and the completed ethics paper.

5) Final Portfolio

The final portfolio will include an AADSAS application, a paragraph evaluation of your favorite speaker, and a page discussion of a dental specialty that interests you.


Health care professionals are held to high ethical standards. Please be aware of the school's policy on academic dishonesty requiring professors to report all cases of academic dishonesty.

Class Schedule

Due Date Assignment
January 28 Use Blackboard to email the class coordinators an e-mail stating your 1) name, 2) major 3) year you plan to enter dental school.
February 4
  • Turn in completed printed and stapled AADSAS application without your social security number.
  • Start brainstorming for your personal statement

February 11

Read and complete Chapters 1 and 2 in Writing About Me (Turn in the book with your name on it at the beginning of class)

Assignment due (Write 1/2 to 1 page) Title: Personal Statement Starter #1: What special attributes/skills/experiences/languages make you unique? (This will help you get started with the personal statement)

February 18

Read and complete Chapter 3 and 4 in Writing About Me

Assignment due (Write 1/2 to 1 page) Title: Personal Statement Starter #2: What pivotal experience(s) made you realize you wanted to pursue (or strengthened your desire to pursue) dentistry?

February 25

Read and complete Chapters 5 and 6 of Writing About Me

Assignment due (Write 1/2 to 1 page) Title: Personal Statement Starter #4: How did you test your desire to be a dentist? (Research? Volunteering? Clinical Work? Shadowing?...) Include any special intances where you felt inspired or enthusiastic about dentistry.

March 11

Submit Topic and Thesis for ethics paper

March 18

Bring rough draft of ethics paper to class

Submit 3 peer-reviewed sources/references for ethics paper

March 25

Ethics paper due

Submit a three to five page (double spaced, 12 pt.) essay on the topic you were assigned on the second class meeting. Be sure to provide citations for all ideas and quotes within the text with a list of references at the end. Regular and/or on-line peer-reviewed journals may be used. A minimum of three references must be used. Be sure to include references from both sides of the issue (not one side's viewpoint of the other side). Include at least one reference from an on-line source. Be sure to follow the guidelines for listing a web source.

Note: Refer to "Writing a Paper for the PPHA Office" and "Ethics in the Age of the Web


April 1

Spring Break

Work on your personal statement

April 8

Work on your personal statement

April 15

Personal Statement Due

April 29

Portfolio due.

May 6

Study for your finals

May 13

Mandatory Final (must sign in and pick up final portfolio) 4 pm in LS-134 followed by optional Dental Roundtable

Please retain copies of everything you turn in. Be sure your name is on each document.

Speaker Schedule:

January 28

Introduction to class by Class Coordinators

  • Go over syllabus
  • The Application Process (AADSAS): Introduction on how to set up the AADSAS online and what to fill out.
February 4
Tyler Johnson, DDS--Dental anesthesia

Mark A. Hunt, Sr. Vinmar Soluntions ( Predental laboratory instructor)

February 18

Norman (Skip) Sperber, DDS--Forensic Dentistry

February 25

Brian Quesnell, DDS--Endodontics

March 4*(Meet in Library) Sue Hollander, Science Reference Librarian
Meet in the library, LA-78.
March 11 Ian Vale Cruz, DMD, Seth Williams DDS, and a Navy Scholarship Recruiter--Navy Dentistry
March 18

Prerequisites and interview workshop.

March 25

Landon Libby, DDS, Loma Linda School of Denistry--Dental School

April 8

Presentation Day of Ethics Topics
Be prepared to present your topic to the class!

April 15

Eric Dixon, DDS--Pediatric Dentistry

April 22

Don Graham, DDS--Orthodontics

April 29 LCDR Cynthia Chinh--Periodontics

May 6

Jeff Gray, DDS--Sedation and Cosmetic Dentistry

May 14 Mandatory Final (Turn in review of class and speakers) 4 pm in LS-134 followed by optional Dental Roundtable
**Predental Club Meeting at 5 in Calpulli 4104.

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