Your Pre-Dental Planner
1. What should I major in?
While the practice of dentistry is grounded in scientific principals, there are no specific majors you must choose in order to be admitted to a graduate program. In fact, most admissions committees will give candidates with well-rounded transcripts more consideration than those more narrowly focused on science.
2. What classes are prerequisites for dental school admissions?
Though you don't have to major in anything specific, it is highly recommended that you obtain a solid foundation in the natural sciences.
All dental schools require the following courses:
- Biology with Lab
- Inorganic Chemistry with Lab
- Organic Chemistry with Lab
- Physics with Lab
- Most require that you take a semester of English (usually writing-based)
Some also require the courses below, while others simply suggest them as beneficial:
Most dental schools also note that the following courses can be advantageous:
- A Foreign Language
- Humanities or Social Science Courses
3. Who can help me plan my courses?
You should contact either your general advisor or a pre-dental/pre-health advisor to figure out when you should take the courses mentioned above. Most undergraduates take Biology and Inorganic Chemistry during their Freshman year, Organic Chemistry their Sophomore year, and Physics as Juniors. This order is the norm because Physics is not tested on the DAT, though it is required for dental school admission. Since the DAT is taken in the spring of junior year, it is not necessary to have finished physics at this point, but bio, inorganic, and organic chemistry must be completed.
Don't forget about general requirement classes. Getting them out of the way early will allow you to take more focused electives down the road. You don't want to be stuck in a Freshmen writing class the last semester of your Senior year when the rest of your pre-dental pals are boasting about their awesome "New Trends in Endodontics" class (ok, maybe not boasting, but they could like it a lot).