Dental School Prerequisities

Dental schools usually require at least 90 semester hours (approximately three years) of college coursework before granting admission to their professional program. However, students are encouraged to earn their baccalaureate degrees before entering dental school and most dental school students have previously earned their bachelor’s degree.  You may major in whatever discipline you choose as long as you complete the dental school prerequisite coursework. 

In general, to be eligible for admittance into a U.S. dental school, you must complete the following:

  • 2 semesters of English composition
  • 2 semesters of organic chemistry with lab
  • 2 semesters of general biology with lab
  • 2 semesters of physics with lab
  • 2 semesters of inorganic chemistry with lab

 In addition, these courses are recommended to strengthen your preparation for dental school:

  • Genetics
  • Cellular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Statistics
  • Histology
  • Human Anatomy

Please be aware that CLEP and/or Advanced Placement (AP) hours are often ineligible for meeting a prerequisite requirement.  In addition, coursework requirements vary somewhat among dental schools.  For this reason, it is essential that you review the particular requirements of the schools at which you seek admission.  You may research individual school guidelines using the ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools (The Dimensions loan library includes several copies of this guide) or by visiting the ADEA website.