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Pre-requisite course requirements vary widely by individual school. You should determine specific requirements for programs of choice using the American Dental Education Association Official Guide to Dental Schools.
The summary below is a list of the most common pre-dental requirements.
|Course||Amount||Required for Schools|
|Introductory Biology||2 lectures, 2 labs||Yes|
|General Chemistry||2 lectures, 2 labs||Yes|
|Organic Chemistry||2 lectures, 2 labs||Yes|
|General Physics||2 lectures, 2 labs||Yes|
|English / Writing Composition||2 courses||Some|
|Mathematics||1 - 2 courses||Some|
|Cell Biology||1 course||Some|
|Anatomy & Physiology||2 courses||Some|
|*Texas Residents: TX dental schools require 14 semester hours of biological science courses (not including biochemistry). Make sure you are familiar with the summary of TX school undergraduate course requirements outlined here by TMDSAS.|
Dependent upon your academic home at UVA (College or School), specific course options to fulfill these requirements vary.
Use the Pre-Health Pillars Candidacy Assessment to keep track of your progress.
Programs vary on whether they accept Advanced Placement (AP) credit as completion of a prerequisite requirement.
- You should complete lab courses for science coursework if UVA did not award lab credit for your AP science coursework.
- Many programs that accept AP credit require you to supplement that credit by completing an equal number of hours in the same discipline at the university level.
- Some students choose to retake science coursework they received AP credit for to prepare them for upper level coursework, as well as for entrance exams.
Provided you earn a C or better in your dual enrollment coursework, you can receive credit for the purpose of health professional program admission requirements. We encourage you to complete upper level coursework in the science disciplines to supplement your dual enrollment credit.
Getting involved in a student organization is a great way to network with peers who have similar interests, access resources such as programs, speakers, and shadowing opportunities, as well as gain leadership and teamwork skills. Whether you select an organization specifically related to dentistry or not, we encourage you to review these organizations and participate.
- Pre-Dental Society
- Operation Smile
- Global Medical Dental Brigades
- Madison House Medical Services: Dental Unit Volunteering
Find additional health-related UVA student organizations on the clinical opportunities page.
Engagement in the field of dentistry will not only help you continue to explore and confirm your interest in the profession, but also demonstrate a commitment to serving others. We encourage you to review the sampling of opportunities below, as well as self-initiate opportunities of your own!
- Charlottesville Free Clinic
- Virginia Dental Association Foundation Mission of Mercy
- Summer Health Professions Education Program
- Virginia Commonwealth University Academic Enrichment Program
- Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine Discover Dental School Summer Scholars Program
- Rutgers School of Dental Medicine Gateway to Dentistry
- UCLA Premedical/Predental Enrichment Program
Find additional health-related opportunities for engagement on the clinical opportunities page.
During the admission process, dental schools look for evidence of your psychomotor skills to perform the necessary dexterity tasks dentistry demands. Consider some of the following tasks or identify others to help you practice this important skill set:
- Sewing / needlepoint
- Learning to tie fishing knots
- Playing a musical instrument that requires extensive hand-eye coordination (i.e. piano, violin, guitar)
- Lab work that requires a steady hand and good hand-eye coordination