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The field of dentistry continues to change with new technology and treatment options. Although many dentists work in private practice, a dental degree will also allow you to work in emergency rooms, teach at dental schools and conduct laboratory research. The field of dentistry involves disease detection and diagnosis, surgery, cosmetic improvement and public education.  Many dentists choose to specialize in one of these areas in their own practice.  If you are interested in a career in dentistry, the information provided below is a great place to get started.

  • Prerequisite Coursework

    The overall prerequisites for dental school are

    • Two semesters of general biology with lab: BIO 110 and BIO 111
    • Two semesters of introductory chemistry with lab: CHEM 111 and CHEM 112
    • Two semesters of organic chemistry with lab: CHEM 331 and CHEM 332
    • Two semesters of physics with lab: PHYS 229 and PHYS 221

    However, other schools may require additional courses. The University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine requires the following courses, in addition to those listed above

    • Microbiology, lab not required (3 credits) BIO 351
    • General Biochemistry, lab not required (3 credits) CHEM 381
    • English Composition (3 credits) SCI 291
  • Timeline

    Freshman Year

    • Focus on coursework
    • Learn to be a successful student
    • Learn how to study
    • Earn a strong GPA
    • Begin working on prerequisite courses, especially BIO 110 and 111 and CHEM 111 and 112
    • Begin community service
    • Shadow a dentist in a field that interests you
    • Research various medical careers

    Sophomore Year

    • Continue to focus on doing well in your courses
    • Maintain a strong GPA
    • Many predental students take CHEM 331 and CHEM 332 as well as PHYS 220 and PHYS 221 during their sophomore year although some will wait until the junior year to take the physics courses
    • Continue community service
    • Look for leadership opportunities
    • Start or continue clinical experience
    • Meet with the prehealth advisors
    • Look for research opportunities
    • Consider who to ask for letters of recommendation

    Junior Year

    • Maintain a strong GPA
    • Finish your science prerequisites
    • Continue community service
    • Continue clinical experience
    • Continue leadership activities
    • Conduct research in your major
    • Study for the DAT
    • Take the DAT – after you have finished the science prerequisites
    • Obtain letters of recommendation
    • Work on your personal essay
    • Meet with the prehealth advisors
      Fill out AADSAS 
    • Submit AADSAS in June or July
    • Submit letters of recommendation

    Senior Year

    • Maintain a strong GPA
    • Prepare for interviews
    • Continue community service, leadership activities and clinical experience
    • Continue research experience
    • Meet with the prehealth advisors
    • Go to dental school interviews
  • How to Apply

    The process of applying to dental school starts by filling out one application that will then be sent to the schools of your choice.  For dental programs, you will fill out the AADSAS application, which includes a space for your personal essay, your coursework history, your list of activities, your DAT score, and the names of your recommenders.  This application will open in May so that you can begin to fill it out and then you can submit the application in early June.  For more information on filling out the application go to "link to tutorial".

    Once the schools receive your application, some of them may send you secondary applications which require more information and ask a series of short answer/essay questions. You will need to fill these out and then send them to each school.

    After reviewing your secondary application and letters of recommendation, the schools will then invite students for interviews. This process typically begins and September and can last through February.  For more information on how to prepare for you interview go to our informational website and view our tutorial.

    After the interview process, students will either be accepted, denied or placed on a waitlist at each school.  From here each student then must decide where he or she will attend.

  • Statistics of Successful Applicants
    Data for 2016-2017 Cycle  
    Average Overall GPA of Accepted Students 3.55                
    Average Science GPA of Accepted Students 3.46
    Average DAT of Accepted Students 20.3
    Total Number of Applicants 12,058
    Total Number of Matriculants 6,100
  • Other Resources