St. Mary's College of Maryland
Photo of Austin Lyman

Major at SMCM: Spanish & Latin American Studies

Year of graduation from SMCM: 2010

Year of entrance to professional school: 2012

Professional school: Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry

Professional Field: Dentistry

Austin Lyman

How did St. Mary's prepare you for medical/professional school?

    -St. Mary’s provided the pre-requisite classes for applying to dental school as well as an intelligent and caring groups of professors to write letters of recommendation.

    -St. Mary's biology program is rigorous and prepared me by teaching me the language and techniques that are key to mastering the material later on.

    -A liberal arts education allowed me to pursue a non-traditional path toward dental school, and enabled me to blend   both my interests in Spanish and Latin America with Public Health and Dentistry.

Was there anything unique about the St. Mary's education that you feel made a difference in your career or your path toward your career?

Piloting the study abroad program in Argentina prepared me for living in Miami after SMCM, but more importantly, the experience gave me a platform to blend my academic and community outreach interests by conducting research on oral health among urban children in Buenos Aires, which was instrumental to my dental application and career path.

In comparison to your peers in your professional school program, do you feel that St. Mary's prepared you for the rigors of the program?
My preparation for dental school has been more developed through my Masters Program at Barry University, which is tailored to the courses for the first 2 years of medical or dental school. Still, the material and methods for learning Human Anatomy, which I learned from Dr. Crawford, enabled me to excel to the top percentile of my class in Head & Neck Gross Anatomy as well as not be as shocked by content and vocabulary in my Histology class.

If you could give one piece of advice to current St. Mary's pre-health students, what would it be?

-You need to research all of the dental schools out there, and know exactly what their admissions statistics, requirements, trends and deadlines are. Look at the trends of where they accept students. Use multiple resources:, Student Doctor network forums, call alumni at those schools, call the admissions at those schools, visit the schools for a tour.

Anything else you'd like to share?

-You need to at least study for 2 to 3 months solidly, 8 hrs a day, 5-6 days a week for the DAT. Don't RUSH IT. You really only have 3 attempts (in life) to take it; after that you can petition for a 4th try, but dental schools usually aren't interested unless you score absurdly high or had an extenuating circumstances to explain the previous attempts. It is better to lose money by not taking the DAT if you're ill-prepared than to take it, score poorly, and cripple your chances.

-DAT Scores never go away; they are not averaged; and they are updated one on-top-of-the other in your file.

-Don't let finances prevent you from doing your best at applying. Look at the cost for taking the DAT, the prep materials, the primary application to all of the schools, the secondary application fees, and hopefully the cost of flying to all of your interviews and eventually depositing at at least 1 school.

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