Can I get into dental school if I went to community college?

YES. And I am living proof! I spent my first two years of college in the middle of a corn field. Literally. (I’m from a pretty rural area.)

If you are reading this then either you are really torn about choosing to go to community college before applying to dental school eventually, OR you have already made the choice to go to community college and you are wondering if you have shot yourself in the foot.

Let me tell you, you have not! Story-time.

I was that kid in high school who was like “I’m getting out of here--see ya!” But the price tag on out-of-state, four-year institutions straight out of high school was a real slap to the face. This led me to sort of a last-minute decision to go to the community college in my hometown because I was offered a scholarship opportunity I couldn’t refuse. And you know, it was two of the most interesting and transformative years of my life!

I gained a lot of wisdom in those two years and as I found out... admissions committees LOVE community college kids!

Here’s why:

1.) Students from community college are mature

I remember when I asked my pre-dental mentor who works in a pre-health career office coordinating their medical school admissions if I’d be okay since I went to community college. She just gave me a big smile and said that her favorite applicants were from community college because they tend to be more “mature” than their peers who had only known the alternative. She remarked that community college transfer students are usually more responsible about attending their classes and caring for their GPA too.

2.) It demonstrates financial responsibility

If you went to community college that means you probably haven’t been sucked into the expensive “college dream” like I was. You maybe still lived at home with your family, or with a significant other to save money. You paid a fraction of the price for the same college credits because you didn’t pay for all the “bells-and-whistles.” You maybe felt ready for college, but weren’t prepared to pay the 4-year-institution price while you figured it out.

You are grounded, down-to-earth and not afraid to take the road more-fiscally-responsibly-traveled.

3.) Community colleges are full of diverse people

Community colleges attract people from all walks of life. People who decided to go back to school once they matured and found direction in their life. People who made a decision to get their GED because high school wasn’t for them. People who have already had a career and maybe decided to take courses because they are lifelong learners. Or people like me who thought they were ready to leave the nest, before the reality of adulting set in.

Dental schools want to accept someone who is professional, and who gets along with a range of people of all ages and backgrounds including their peers, staff, faculty, and eventually their patients.

4.) Small pond, big fish!

My community college was pretty small. Because of that, I was able to really get to know all of my professors, the staff, and students. When it came time after my gap years after college to apply to dental school, those connections came in really handy! Two professors from my community college days ended up writing letters of recommendation for my dental school application!

Because my community college was so much smaller than a university, I was also able to participate in nearly as many groups and teams and theater productions as I wanted to and become really involved and take on leadership positions. I was also able to receive scholarships that I probably would have been passed over for at a school even 2x the size.


Community college offered me so many opportunities that I didn’t have the life experience to appreciate at the time. And as a bonus, I made lifelong friends with some of the most kind, hardworking, and honest people I have ever met.

So, have I answered your question? Attending community college actually turned out to be a strength in my application. And it will be in yours as well!

If you want to know specifically if your dream dental school will accept credits from your community college, feel free to call their admissions office and speak with them about it!

Did you go to community college and have plans for dental school? I want to hear about it! Write me a comment below or “contact me” in the sidebar!