Students may earn a biology degree with a biomedical sciences concentration or a biochemistry degree to prepare for admission to a dental school.
Admissions committees review credentials such as academic qualifications, the results from the Dental Admissions Test (DAT), grade point average (GPA), letters of recommendation, personal interviews and dental office shadowing experiences. Admission requirements can vary from school to school.
Most dental schools require personal interviews with candidates to assess qualities such as desire to help people, self-confidence, ability to meet challenges, ability to get along with people and capacity to work independently. The personal interview also provides an opportunity to ask about the school.
Apply for admission at least a year in advance of the planned enrollment date. Most dental schools participate in the Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS). For a fee, students can subscribe to this service and complete a single application to apply to multiple dental schools. An online application to the schools participating in AADSAS is available on ADEA’s website.
Students should contact individual dental schools for specific prerequisite information.
The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) maintains a list of accredited dental education programs in the U.S. Required hours and courses will not apply to all dental schools/dental programs, but generally include:
- 8 hours Biology with lab (BIOL113/111 and BIOL123/121)
- 8 hours Physics (PHYS211/213 and PHYS221/221)
- 8 hours English (ENGL113 and ENGL123)
- 8 hours General Chemistry with lab (CHEM133/132 and CHEM143/142)
- 8 hours Organic Chemistry with lab (CHEM313/312 and CHEM323/322)