To become a dentist, you must gain admission to an accredited dental school in order to earn your DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry) degree. The pre-requisite courses for dental schools vary, so it is important to look closely at the programs to which you plan to apply. Observation hours are required for most programs, and they can help you further understand why you want to pursue dentistry as your career. Dentistry is a service-focused profession so be sure to participate in community service activities that you love starting early in your college career. Plan to study for and complete the DAT (Dental Admissions Test) in the spring of your junior year. The dental school common application (AADSAS) opens in June, so plan to submit your application early - by August of your senior year at the latest.

Course Plan

Pre-Dent Timeline


Courses required by MOST dental schools:

  • General Biology with Lab- 2 semesters
  • General Chemistry with Lab- 2 semesters
  • Organic Chemistry with Lab- 2 semesters
  • Biochemistry (no lab)
  • Physics with Lab- 2 semesters
  • Microbiology with Lab
  • Anatomy & Physiology with Lab- at least one semester

Additional recommended courses for dental school admissions:

  • Introduction to Psychology (no lab)
  • Statistics (100 level)
  • English course- writing
  • English course- literature
  • Arts courses that develop fine motor skills