In order to apply to dental school, there is no specific major you have to pursue however there are a series of pre-requisite courses that dental schools require. All schools require 4 main series of science courses, however, there are some schools that may require a science-specific course that the latter may not such as biochemistry or microbiology. The four main courses are Physics, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Biology. The Pros of majoring in a science-specific major is that the necessary courses for that major essentially plans out all the pre-requisite courses needed for dental school. However, as aforementioned you do not need to major in something science related. Many students have successfully been accepted to an ample amount of top tier schools with majors such as History, English, and even Anthropology. The benefits of majoring in such subjects is that the course load is less rigorous providing you with the ability to allocate more time towards your prerequisite science courses. The cons with such an approach is that the tools necessary to study multiple difficult course loads at once somewhat lacks. Nevertheless, students are successful when pursuing either approach so do whatever it is you believe is best for you!
Prerequisite Courses to Get Into Dental School
The series of pre-requisite courses that all schools require are as follows:
- 8 hours Biology with lab;
- 8 hours Physics;
- 8 hours English;
- 8 hours General Chemistry with lab;
- 8 hours Organic Chemistry with lab.
As the American Dental Association website categorizes these courses by way of hours, to put it in more relatable terms:
- 2 semesters/3 quarters Biology with lab;
- 2 semesters/3 quarters Physics;
- 2 semesters/3 quarters English;
- 2 semesters/3 quarters General Chemistry with lab;
- 2 semesters/3 quarters Organic Chemistry with lab
Some schools also require the miscellaneous courses listed below. To expand your options regarding where it is you may want to apply, it is recommended you try and take these courses, although it is not mandatory!
(* = courses you should definitely consider taking prior to applying if there is time within your schedule) The courses are as follows: * Math: 2 semesters/3 quarters; Calculus I; Calculus II; Statistics (can be in the field of psychology as well if the student is a psychology major) ; * Anatomy & Physiology; Upper Level Sciences such as Microbiology, * Biochemistry, and Genetics.
Again, you do not have to major in a science but completing the Predental science requirements is a must.