Pre-Dental Schools and Courses
A pre-dental undergraduate program provides you with an introduction to general health and anatomy. Get information on schools that offer pre-dental degree programs, and find out what courses are included.
What You Need To Know
In order to pursue a career in the field of dental work, it is necessary to find a four-year college or university that offers pre-dental programs in its undergraduate curriculum, such as Johns Hopkins University. Obtaining a B.A. or B.S. is what is required by all dentistry schools after graduating, and taking undergrad courses focusing on sciences such as chemistry and biology are typically preferred and included in pre-dental undergraduate programs.
|Schools||Any four year college or university that offers B.A or B.A. degrees, but schools with pre-dental programs are preferred (e.g., Johns Hopkins University, Towson University, and Marquette University).|
|Degrees||B.A. or B.S.|
|Courses||Organic chemistry, Biology, English, prep for DAT or Dental Admissions Test.|
What Are Pre-Dental Programs?
A pre-dental program is an undergraduate credit program that allows you to complete a bachelor's degree while receiving credit for a future, professional dental degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an American Dental Association (ADA)-accredited dental school accepts students when they hold all the necessary pre-dental requirements. While these requirements can be completed through a pre-dental program, they can also be completed in other types of undergraduate programs. Some dental schools will only require you to finish 2-3 years of undergraduate credits that cover your pre-dental requirements and general education courses (www.bls.gov).
What Kind of Schools Provide This Training?
All dental schools require you to complete credits from a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program in order to gain admittance. Within a 4-year B.A. or B.S. program, you can enroll in a pre-dental program that supplements the courses you take in your B.A. or B.S. major; for example, you might pursue a B.S. in Chemistry and also enroll in a pre-dental curriculum. Hence, you need to choose a college or university that offers 4-year programs with pre-dental courses. A 2-year associate's degree program cannot offer the necessary credits for applying to dental school.
Some colleges and universities that offer pre-dental programs include:
- Auburn University
- Eastern University
- Michigan State University
- Murray State University
- The Ohio State University
- Johns Hopkins University
- Towson University
- Marquette University
What Courses Are Usually Taken?
The specific courses that most pre-dental programs include are heavily science-based, though other subjects are also needed. Course topics usually include the following:
- Organic chemistry lab
- Chemistry lab
- Biology lab
Non-science coursework typically includes:
- English or English composition
- Introductory psychology
- Introductory sociology
How Does a Pre-Dental Program Help?
You do not have to declare a specific major to be accepted at most dental schools. However, dental school applications require you to hold credits in biology, chemistry and physics before enrollment. Some pre-dental programs require you to take the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) during your undergraduate years, and a pre-dental program will prepare you to take this exam.