Before applying to dental school, you'll need to complete the necessary prerequisite courses for dental school during college. There are 5 major prerequisites you need to complete, and some dental schools require that the prerequisites be completed within a certain number of years before applying to dental school. In this article, we'll cover those prerequisites for dental school.
Dental School Prerequisite #1: General Chemistry
The first dental school prerequisite that is required is one full year of general chemistry lecture and lab. This is typically completed during freshman year. Some schools also call this “inorganic chemistry," although they are technically different courses. Make sure to choose the right general chemistry lecture series!
Dental School Prerequisite #2: Biology
The most well-known dental school prerequisite is the biology prerequisite. For the biology prerequisite, a full year of both lecture and lab courses are required. Beyond the introductory biology courses, most dental schools also require courses like Biochemistry and Physiology.
Dental School Prerequisite #3: Organic Chemistry
The most infamous dental school requirement is the organic chemistry prerequisite. One full year of organic chemistry lecture and lab are required, and most pre-dentals complete this requirement during their second year. Organic chemistry is also one of the three major science topics tested on the Dental Admissions Test (DAT).
Dental School Prerequisite #4: Physics
The next prerequisite you’ll need is one full year of physics, including both the lecture and lab component. There are typically a lot of physics courses to choose from at universities, but the non-calculus based introductory physics series is what is necessary for dental school. Most pre-dental students complete the physics prerequisites during their sophomore year.
Dental School Prerequisite #5: Math
For dental school, you will typically need one full year of math courses. These math courses can be divided into two or three courses depending on the specific dental school - two calculus or pre-calculus courses, and then one introductory statistics course, or the equivalent. Most students complete this requirement during their first year of college.
In summary, the main requirements for dental school prerequisites are a full year of all of the following courses: General chemistry with lab, introductory biology with lab, organic chemistry with lab, physics with lab, and math.
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About the Author: Andrew Ghadimi
Andrew has served as a member on the AADSAS Advisory Group and the National Pre-Dental Liaison for the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), the same organization that runs the dental school application, ADEA AADSAS. He also served as the California Pre-Dental Chair for the ADEA Council of Students, Residents, and Fellows. Ghadimi was accepted to some of the most competitive dental schools in the world, and matriculated at UCLA's School of Dentistry. He founded Predenting because of his passion for helping other pre-dentals get accepted into their dream dental schools, and his unique admissions knowledge and insider information from working with current and former admissions officers. He has helped 300+ pre-dentals on their journey to dental school over the past 4+ years.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to UCLA School of Dentistry, the American Dental Education Association, or any other organization.