Dental schools typically issue one of two graduate professional degrees that allow a person to practice dentistry - the Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD). According to the American Dental Association, these degrees are equivalent in terms of the required preparation that a student receives. Individual Dental schools appear to perceive the two degrees a bit differently, but either one suffices in allowing a person to sit for the dental licensure exam. While only three years of undergraduate preparation are required for admission to Dental school, most schools preferentially admit students who have a Bachelor's degree. Students who desire to apply to Dental school should also consider dental observation time as many Dental schools require this for admission.
Courses for Dental School Preparation
Dental schools vary on the course requirements for admission. A variety of commonly recommended and required courses have been compiled for student reference. Provided the necessary required courses for admission are fulfilled, any Bachelor's program would be an acceptable choice. Two choices that include most of the required courses for admission to Dental school are the Bachelor of Science in Biology and the Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. (If majoring in Biology, a Chemistry minor should be strongly considered. If majoring in Chemistry, a Biology minor should be strongly considered.) To be certain that all required courses are completed in a timely fashion, a recommended schedule of courses has also been provided. Interested students should still consult the desired Dental school(s) for specific course requirements. See our Dental School Preparation Checklist.
Dental School Admissions Test
The Dental Admission Test (DAT) is required for admissions consideration to Dental schools.
Application for Dental School Admission
The Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS) is utilized by Dental schools throughout the nation for admissions application processing.