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

Dec 06, 2019

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.

To prepare for dental school, students can earn a bachelor's degree while taking specific pre-dentistry coursework, or they can enroll in an accelerated bachelor's/Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) program. Therefore, there a wide range of undergraduate educational options for undergraduates who aspire to become dentists.

10 Schools with Pre-Dentistry Programs

These schools offer bachelor's degree programs with pre-dental advising or combined bachelor's/doctoral programs:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)*
Pacific Union College Angwin, CA 4-year, Private Bachelor's $30,060
University of St. Thomas Saint Paul, MN 4-year, Private Bachelor's $42,736
University of Maryland College Park, MD 4-year, Public Bachelor's $10,595 in-state, $35,216 out-of-state
University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND 4-year, Public Bachelor's $8,695 in-state, $20,759 out-of-state
University of the Pacific Stockton, CA 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Combined Bachelor's/Doctoral $48,164 (undergraduate)
Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's $12,960 in-state, $24,120 out-of-state
Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD 4-year, Private Bachelor's $53,740
Marquette University Milwaukee, WI 4-year, Private Bachelor's $41,870
Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA 4-year, Public Bachelor's $14,493 in-state, $35,834 out-of-state
Portland State University Portland, OR 4-year, Public Bachelor's $9,105 in-state, $27,437 out-of-state

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Consider the following when looking for pre-dentistry schools:

  • Students who are interested in pursuing 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.
  • 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.
  • If students are interested in pursuing a combination pre-dentistry and dentistry program, but want to ensure they earn a bachelor's in an unrelated area of study, a 6-year program is a good option.

Combination Pre-Dentistry and Dentistry Programs

These programs, offered through schools offering graduate dental programs, allow 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.

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 advisers 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.

Even though it is not usually possible to pursue an undergraduate major in pre-dentistry, aspiring dentists are advised to take specific courses while earning a bachelor's degree, and there are also dual degree bachelor's/doctoral options that lead directly into dental school.

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