There are certain requirements you must meet in order to get into dental school. Here are the generalities for most school. But please realize that some schools may change their requirements slightly.
Required Science Classes for Dental School
- 8 hours Biology (+ lab)
- 8 hours Physics
- 8 hours English
- 8 hours General Chemistry (+ lab)
- 8 hours Organic Chemistry (+ lab)
You are expected to do well in all your science classes. Most schools set a minimum grade you must get in these classes. At the minimum you better get a C. But if you really want to get in, you better get A’s.
Along with meeting these required classes, there are often other classes that schools may require.
My school, San Antonio, required biochemistry. Harvard requires calculus and biochemistry. Louisville highly recommends anatomy and biochemistry but doesn’t require it. There are too many differences, I can’t list them all here.
Want to find out what your dream dental school requires, visit their website and check out their admission page. Here is a list of all the dental schools in the U.S. and Canada.
Most students that apply to dental school also complete a college undergraduate degree. Having a degree is not a requirement, but not having one means your grades and DAT scores must be even more competitive.
You do not have to get a science major to apply. In fact some students have commented that they felt more competitive by setting themselves apart with a different major. They mentioned that a different major made them stand out during interview time. But overall, just make sure you complete all the required classes.
You must also take the DAT to apply. Getting a good score on the DAT is very important so make sure you set apart some time to study for it. I used the whole summer and it worked out great for me. Also, realize that math is on the DAT so don’t forget to study up on math before the test.
Letters of Recommendation
You will need to have a certain number of letter of recommendations to get into dental school. Start picked professors right now to write these letters. Check out my article on dental letters of Recommendation for great techniques on how to get these letters.
Make a Plan
Getting into dental school requires a plan that spans over multiple years. Map it out now. Make sure you can answer all these questions.
- How are you going to get all your science classes finished?
- Which classes will you take during which semester?
- When are you going to take the DAT, will you have enough time to study?
- Who will write your letters of recommendation? Do you have a backup letter writer?
If you start planning now, then you won’t be freaking out later. Good luck!