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Requirements/Recommendations for Admission to Dental School

Acceptance into dental schools is competitive. Specifics will vary from school to school so we encourage you to look up the schools you are interested in to determine the exact requirements. However, as a guide, the following are usually required of applicants:

  • Biology (with labs)
    2-4 semesters
  • General Chemistry (with labs)
    2 semesters (8 credit hours)
  • Organic Chemistry (with labs)
    2 semesters (8 credit hours)
  • Physics (with labs)
    1 semester (4 credit hours)

Beyond the basic introductory course listed, it is often suggested that you choose from among the following courses: comparative anatomy or upper level human anatomy, physiology, cellular biology, microbiology, histology, biochemistry, immunology, or other upper level biology courses. Administration/management/finance, psychology, communications, and studio art courses are also recommended by some schools.

Completion of a baccalaureate degree is strongly recommended (if not required) in most cases.

The Admissions Committee at most schools emphasizes the importance of the applicant's knowledge of and exposure to the dental profession. Many schools want all their applicants to spend time observing in dental settings. At UK, for example, "candidates must be able to document a minimum of 20 hours of clinical observation time. Talks with dentists or semi-annual visits to your dentist for routine care are not enough in gaining this in-depth knowledge".

In addition to these courses, applicants are expected to take the DAT (Dental Admission Test). For more information on the content of this test and how to apply for it, see the appropriate links.

The primary application to apply to most dental schools is provided by the Associated American Dental Schools Application Service – see appropriate link.