Schools and Colleges with Pre-Dental Programs: How to Choose

Pre-dental programs are not typically offered as majors or degrees unto themselves, but rather as pre-professional programs or advising tracks taken alongside a separate major. These programs usually are monitored by school counselors and are designed to help students meet necessary prerequisites for entrance into a U.S. dental school.

How to Select a Pre-Dental School

Aspiring dental students can prepare for dental school by participating in a pre-dental program offered by 4-year colleges and universities.

Consider the following when looking for a school with a pre-dental program:

  • Chose a school that has the required courses that will be accepted by dental schools, which generally include biology, chemistry and physics.
  • Find out if schools have a fast-track option, offering accelerated curriculum leading to a dental degree in two or three years instead of four.
  • Look for schools with related extracurricular opportunities such as internships and student groups.

Pre-Dental Program Overviews

Combination Pre-Dental and Dental Programs

These programs are available at some colleges and universities that offer D.D.S. programs at the graduate level. Students can earn both their bachelor's degree and D.D.S. in as little as five years. These programs are academically rigorous and typically include undergraduate courses in:

  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Organic chemistry

Pre-Dental Preparation Programs

These programs are designed to be completed alongside separate bachelor's degree programs. Students may have opportunities to get involved in a pre-dental club, gain dental healthcare experience and practice interviewing for dental school admissions. Coursework prepares students for the Dental Admission Test (DAT) and covers the same science areas as for the combination programs.

10 Schools with Pre-Dentistry Programs

College/University Institution Type
Boston University 4-year, Private
Clemson University 4-year, Public
Kent State University 4-year, Public
Lehigh University 4-year, Private
University of California-San Francisco 4-year, Public
University of Dayton 4-year, Private
University of Illinois at Chicago 4-year, Public
University of Nebraska-Lincoln 4-year, Public
University of the Southwest 4-year, Private
University of Utah 4-year, Public

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