Jump to main content


Want to become a Dentist (D.D.S. or D.M.D.)? Most students choose to major in biology or chemistry from UNC before going to dental school, but you can choose any undergraduate major.

Choosing a major outside of the sciences might extend the time it takes you to earn your degree as you'll also need to complete the graduation requirements for that major.

Contact Information

NHS Advising Center



Ross Hall, Room 1210

Suggested courses

Two semesters of each are usually required for most dental schools:

  • General biology with lab 
  • Introductory chemistry with lab 
  • Organic chemistry with lab 
  • Physics with lab 

Other recommended courses

Other schools may require additional courses, such as: 

  • Microbiology, lab not required 
  • General biochemistry, lab not required 
  • English composition 
  • Anatomy 
  • Physiology
  • Statistics

Illustration of footsteps


During your time here, you should do your best to stick to this timeline. It will help make sure you're ready for dental school.

  • First Year

    During your first year, it's important that you focus on your coursework and learn how to be a successful student. Knowing how to study and manage your time is critical and can help you earn a strong GPA. You should also:

    • Begin to work on prerequisite courses, especially both semesters of biology (BIO 110 and 111) and chemistry (CHEM 111 and 112)
    • Look into community service
    • Shadow a dentist in a field that interests you — either over breaks or during the summer
    • Research medical careers
    • Join the Pre-Dentistry Club student organization
    • Meet with your pre-health advisor
  • Sophomore Year

    You should continue doing as best you can in your courses to earn a strong GPA during your sophomore year, as well as continuing to look for community service and shadowing (or other clinical experience) opportunities. You should also:

    • Take CHEM 331 and 332 and PHYS 220 and 221 (or take physics during junior year)
    • Look for leadership and research opportunities
    • Meet with your pre-health advisor
    • Consider who to ask for recommendation letters
  • Junior Year

    During your junior year, you should still strive to earn a strong GPA as well as continuing your community service and shadowing (or other clinical experiences) and leadership activities. You should also:

    • Finish your science prerequisite courses and begin preparation for the Dental Admissions Test (DAT)
    • Take the DAT after finishing your science prerequisite courses 
    • Conduct research in your major
    • Obtain letters of recommendation
    • Work on your personal essay
    • Meet with you pre-health advisor
    • Fill out the AADSAS in May and submit it in June
    • Submit letters of recommendation
  • Senior Year

    You should maintain a strong GPA during your senior year. Continue your community service and shadowing (or other clinical experiences), leadership activities and research experiences. You should also:

    • Prepare for interviews
    • Meet with your pre-health advisor
    • Go to dental school interviews

How to apply to dental school

Start by completing the AADSAS application. This will then be sent to the dental schools of your choice.

Start by completing the American Association Dental School Application Service (AADSAS) application. This will then be sent to the dental schools of your choice.

We've outlined the general process below, but you can also learn more about the AADSAS admissions process.

  1. You will need to complete and submit your application and official transcripts. Each application includes a space for your personal essay, coursework history, list of activities, DAT score and the names of your recommenders.
  2. Once schools receive you application, you may receive secondary applications. These require more information and ask a series of short answer/essay questions. Once complete send to each school.
  3. After reviewing your application and letters of recommendation, dental schools may then invite you for interviews.
  4. From here, you will either be accepted, denied or placed on a waitlist for each school. The next choice is all yours!

General information about applicants

Students accepted to dental school typically have an overall GPA of 3.55, science GPA of 3.46 and an DAT score of 20.3.

American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine

Application cycles open mid-May and submissions open in early June.

Start Your AADSAS Application