Dental school prepares students for careers in general dentistry or can lead to further training in a dental subspecialty (e.g., endodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, dental public health). Students intending to apply to dental school should consult ADEAGoDental and Pre-Med@UVM for additional information and application support and
Dental schools vary in the specifics of their prerequisite course requirements and their acceptance of AP credit and community college coursework. For specific and up-to-date information, research individual schools, either on their websites, or by purchasing the ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools. Pay particular attention to all schools in the region closest to your legal residence.
We recommend that most, if not all, prerequisites be taken at UVM, or another four-year institution. If AP credit has been received for a prerequisite science course, we recommend using the credit to take the equivalent number of credits in higher level courses, as many schools require that, particularly for science courses. There is more flexibility regarding AP credit for English and calculus. Look carefully at the specific wording used at your schools of interest.
Completing the UVM courses listed below will fulfill recommendations and requirements for most dental schools.
At least two years of biology are recommended for pre-dental students. Most dental schools will specify which upper-level content areas are preferred areas of study.
Required by all: One year of general biology with lab, fulfilled via ONE of the following options, based on your College/major:
- Principles of Biology 1&2: BIOL 1400 & 1450
- OR: Exploring Biology 1&2: BCOR 1400 & 1450 (or a single semester, Accelerated Biology: BCOR 1425 for those so placed)
- OR: Human Cell Biology: BHSC 1340 & Principles of Biology 2: BIOL1450
Additional course content most frequently recommended by dental schools:
- Anatomy & Physiology 1&2: ANPS 1190 & 1200
- Molecular & Cell Biology: BCOR 2500 (with lab) OR BCOR 2505 (without lab)
- Microbiology & Infectious Disease: MMG 2010
- Genetics: BCOR 2300
- Immunology: MMG 3230
Chemistry & Biochemistry
One year of general chemistry with lab, one year of organic chemistry with lab, and one semester of biochemistry should be taken during college to fulfill requirements or strong recommendations at dental schools, regardless of whether AP chemistry credit was granted.
General (inorganic) Chemistry:
- General Chemistry 1&2: Chem 1400 & CHEM 1450 (this will be the sequence taken by MOST pre-dental students)
- OR: For some Chemistry/Biochemistry majors who take Organic Chemistry for Majors in their first year
- Exploring Chemistry 1&2: CHEM 1410 & CHEM 1460 (two 1 credit general chemistry labs) AND
- Intro Physical Chemistry: CHEM 2600 AND
- Inorganic Chemistry: CHEM 2400 OR Advanced Inorganic Chemistry: CHEM 3400 (based on Major requirements)
- Organic Chemistry 1&2: Chem 2580 & CHEM 2585
- OR: For some Chemistry/Biochemistry majors:
- Organic Chemistry for Majors 1 & 2: CHEM 1500 & 1550
- Fundamentals of Biochemistry: BIOC 3001
- OR: As required for biochemistry and chemistry majors:
- Biochemistry 1: BIOC 3005 (taken as part of a two-semester course which includes BIOC 3006)
The physics sequence (one year of general physics with lab) will be influenced by your major requirements. Those with strong physics backgrounds who have been granted AP Physics may choose to use that credit to take advanced level physics. Physical Chemistry can be considered upper-level physics for this purpose. Note that physics is not included on the Dental Admissions Test (DAT)
- Elementary Physics (algebra-based): PHYS 1400 & PHYS 1450
- Note: PHYS 1410 & 1460 -- 1 credit Problem Solving courses associated with Elementary Physics are not required for medical school and can be taken based on student comfort with content
- OR: Fundamentals of Physics (calculus-based): PHYS 1600 & PHYS 1650
- OR: Physics for Engineers: PHYS 1500 & PHYS 1550
- Because PHYS 1550 does not include a lab, those taking this course will want to make sure their curriculum includes a physics-oriented lab in at least one additional course.
One semester of calculus (any course) is required by some dental schools. AP credit may be acceptable (confirm on specific dental school admissions websites)
A statistics course should be taken by all applicants to dental school, fulfilled by:
- Basic Statistical methods: STAT 1410 (preferred over Elements of Statistics: STAT 1110)
- Note that some departments have a major-specific statistics course required for that degree (e.g., Statistics for Psych Sci: PSYS 2010; or Statistics for Engineering: STAT 2430), which are acceptable alternatives to STAT 1410
- A few research-oriented top-tier schools highly recommend Biostatistics, which can be fulfilled by
- Med Biostat & Epidemiology: STAT 3000
English & Writing-Intensive Courses
Two English/Writing-Intensive courses are required by most dental schools, one semester of which will be fulfilled by completing UVM’s WIL1 requirement. Students with AP English Lit & Comp credit should enroll in at least one English/writing intensive course during college.
Future dental school applicants are encouraged to explore a variety of non-science coursework, including in the humanities and social sciences, during their undergraduate years. A few dental schools have specific requirements and/or offer suggestions for additional coursework, e.g., art (fine, industrial, sculpture), public health, psychology, sociology, communications, ethics, pharmacology, foreign languages, business, and others. Consult the websites for schools of interest.