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Schools that Offer Pre-Dentistry Programs in the U.S.

Pre-dentistry programs are not offered as bachelor's degrees, but are designed to be completed concurrently with students' official undergraduate major to prepare them for dental school admission. Students work closely with advisors to make sure they complete all required pre-dentistry coursework.

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How to Select a Pre-Dentistry School

Students interested in completing both their pre-dentistry and dental school educations as quickly as possible should search for schools that offer accelerated education options, such as 5-year or 6-year programs, which combine undergraduate studies with three years of professional dental training. These programs often lead directly from undergraduate programs to Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) programs.

Summary of Important Considerations

  • Availability of dental preparation programs
  • Academic advisement

Availability of Dental Preparation Programs

Students who wish to complete their dentistry education as a fluid process at one school will be interested in pre-dentistry programs offered at schools that also offer graduate programs. Some pre-dentistry programs are available through schools located in states where there are no dental schools. Students that want to obtain a separate bachelor's degree before continuing to dental school should seek preparation programs offered alongside non-dental majors.

Academic Advisement

The amount of advising and academic regulation involved in any given program will vary from school to school. Students who want a more heavily supervised pre-dentistry experience should research individual programs for the amount of specific requirements within the program, such as meetings with advisers.

Pre-Dentistry Program Overviews

Combination Pre-Dentistry and Dentistry Programs

These programs, offered through schools offering graduate dental programs, allows students to spend their first few years of undergraduate study preparing for dental school. Students with exceptional high school GPAs, in combination with ACT and SAT scores, may be able to move into graduate studies in as few as two years, but would not obtain a bachelor's degree. A 6-year program may afford students the opportunity to obtain a bachelor's degree in an unrelated area of study. Coursework for such programs covers topics such as:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics

Pre-Dentistry Preparation Programs

Pre-dentistry programs not offered in combination with graduate studies are not undergraduate majors that result in specific bachelor's degrees, but are instead offered alongside separate bachelor's degrees. Students work with advisors in order to prepare for dental school admission by taking the Dental Admission Test (DAT) maintaining a high GPA and taking prerequisite courses specific to most dental schools, including:

  • Organic chemistry
  • Anatomy
  • Physics
  • Biochemistry
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