There is no universal set of requirements, but most programs require a core of prerequisite undergraduate courses that includes:
- two semesters of biology with lab
- two semesters of "inorganic" (general) chemistry with lab
- two semesters of organic chemistry with lab
- two semesters of physics with lab
- one semester of mathematics
- one or two semesters of literature or composition*
* (FYS and other writing-intensive courses can sometimes count, but policies vary from one institution to another)
Additionally, most dental schools suggest taking a few of the following courses:
|Suggested courses||Closest Wooster Equivalent|
|Microbiology||BIOL 335 Microbiology|
|Cell Biology||BIOL 305 Cell Physiology|
|Genetics||BIOL 306 Genes and Genomes|
|Biochemistry||BCMB 331 Principles of Biochemistry
BCMB 332 Biochemistry of Metabolism
|Comparative Anatomy||Not offered at Wooster, but available off-campus|
|Physiology||BIOL 304 Human Physiology|
Courses in the humanities and social sciences are also valuable. It is very important that you begin looking early at specific programs so that you can take their requirements into consideration as you plan your courses at Wooster.
These prerequisites should be completed by the end of your college career, but some institutions will give preference to applicants who complete them early. Students interested in dentistry are strongly encouraged to enroll in introductory level chemistry (CHEM 110 or 120) and biology (BIOL 200) during their first semester at Wooster. Frequent communication with your academic advisor, members of the Pre-Health Advising Committee, and Pre-Health Coordinator will be essential to make sure that you are on track with your courses.
The ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools contains valuable information on dental careers, application requirements, financing dental school, and profiles of every dental school in the United States. The first few chapters are usually available free of charge on the ADEA (American Dental Education Association) Web site. Copies of these books are available from the Chair of the Pre-Health Advising Committee and the Office of Career Services. You may wish to purchase a copy for your personal use.
Grade Point Average
Dental admissions will look for strong grades in the sciences. There is no GPA that will guarantee acceptance, but some guiding data is shown below:
|Average Science GPA (2004)||Average Overall GPA (2004)|
|Students Applying to Dentistry Programs (Nationally)||3.13||3.25|
|Students Admitted to at least one Dentistry Program (Nationally)||3.35||3.44|
*Source: Richard Weaver et al. J. Dent. Educ. 2005, 69 1064-1072.
The Seven-Year Dual Degree Predental/Dental Program at Wooster requires a minimum grade point average of 3.25 (both science coursework and overall).