Basic Dental School Requirements
The dental profession needs individuals from a variety of backgrounds with diverse interests and talents. While the philosophies and goals vary among the nation's dental schools, all recognize the importance of a broad education--one with a strong foundation in the sciences blended with the social sciences and the humanities.
A thorough understanding of the sciences basic to dentistry is necessary for the entering dental student. In order to achieve a minimum level of understanding, dental schools generally require the following:
- two semesters of biology with laboratories
- two semesters of general chemistry with laboratories
- two semesters of organic chemistry with laboratories
- one semester of general physics with laboratory
- two semestersof English with emphasis on communications
>Additional requirements approved by The University of Kentucky College of Dentistry:
- 1 semester of microbiology
- 1 semester of biochemistry
UK and U of L Dental Schools do not require a second semester of physics. Some dental schools have additional requirements beyond the courses listed above. Additional required or recommended courses may include biochemistry (BCH 401 G), genetics (BIO 304), cell biology (BIO315), immunology (BIO 494 G), microbiology (BIO 208 or 308), histology (BIO 542) and physiology (PGY 412G or BIO 350). It is important that you reference the Official Guide to Dental Schools and the specific dental school for admissions requirements
YEARLY SEQUENCE OF PRE-DENTAL REQUIREMENTS
CHE 105 General Chemistry I / CHE 111 General Chemistry Lab 1
CHE 107 General Chemistry II / CHE 113 General Chemistry Lab II
BIO 148 Principles of Biology 1 / BIO 155 Principles of Bio Lab I
BIO 152 Principles of Biology II may be taken the first or second year
UKCore Composition and Communication I and II
Mathematics as needed for major. Suggested: MA 123 or MA 137 or MA 113.
CHE 230 Organic Chemistry I / CHE 231 Organic Chemistry Lab 1
CHE 232 Organic Chemistry II / CHE 233 Organic Chemistry Lab II
Upper division BIO class with lab
PHY 211 General Physics I and PHY 213 General Physics II
PHY 231 General University Physics / PHY 241 General Univ. Physics Lab I
PHY 232 General University Physics II / PHY 242 General Univ. Physics Lab II
Choosing A Major
The American Dental Education Association states:
"Individuals pursing dental careers should take certain science courses. However, you do not have to be a science major to gain admissions to a dental school and successfully complete the program. . . . most dental students are science majors as undergraduates, but many major in fields not related to science."
The ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools
University of Kentucky students with a broad range of majors have been successful in the dental school admissions process.
Service Dental School Application Procedures
Students apply to dental school through Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS). This service is available to all students applying to dental schools participating in the application service. There are a few dental schools that do not participate in a centralized application you must apply to those schools directly. For up-to-date fee information and to learn more about AADSAS visit their website, http://www.adea.org
To complete the centralized application, you will need a copy of all your transcripts, a list of the schools to which you are applying, and a lot of time to organize and write your essay, and to type up the forms.
Dental Admissions Test (DAT)
The DAT is the required entrance exam for dental school. The DAT is conducted by the American Dental Association (ADA) and administered by computer on almost any day of the year at Prometric Testing Centers. The testing program is designed to measure general academic ability, comprehension of scientific information and perceptual ability. The examinations are comprised exclusively of multiple choice test items. Each edition of an examination is developed according to the examination outline.
There are four examinations included in the Dental Admission Testing Program. The entire program requires just over one half day for administration. The examinations included are: Survey of Natural Sciences (90 min), Perceptual Ability (60 min.), Reading Comprehension (60 min.), and Quantitative Reasoning (45 min.). Prometric requires at least a 48-hour advance notice for scheduling a test.
A current listing of Prometric Testing Centers can be found online at www.2test.com
The Prometric site in Lexington is located 2573 Richmond Rd., Suite 260, (859) 268-3338.
Where to Apply
Because state funded education is heavily taxpayer supported, public medical, dental and other professional schools give a high percentage of their slots to residents of their home state. Your best odds will be to apply with the public-supported schools of your state of residence. Kentuckians will want to apply to the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville dental schools. Dental school applicants whose official state of residence is elsewhere would apply to the public schools in that state. Use the Official Guide to Dental Schools, and information gained from web sites, to determine the instate/out-of-state admits, and the average GPA and DAT scores for students admitted to various schools. Consider location, programs, tuition, and where you think you will likely practice once you complete your education.
If required, essays are very important parts of your application to professional school. Take time to think carefully about who you are and what experiences have shaped your life. How have you come to this point of seeking a career in dentistry? The essays that you write should be so much "you" that no one else could have written any portion of them. Admissions officers want to learn more of who you are! In addition to careful attention to content, please be sure that your essay is error-free. Have someone proof your essay to ensure that spelling and grammar are correct.
In most cases, official copies of your transcript(s) need to be sent directly to centralized application, unless otherwise noted. Make sure to check the application instructions. Transcripts can be requested from the Registrar's Office. A transcript from each and every post-secondary school you have attended must be submitted. Besides your UK transcript, be sure to request official ones from any community college or 4-year institution where you attempted or earned credit, any college from which you earned credit while in high school, correspondence programs, summer programs, military education, etc. Some applications services provide a form that you complete and give to each registrar's office to attach to your transcript when they send it to AADSAS.
You will need personal copies of your transcripts for use in completing the academic portion of your application. Review them carefully to be certain that all coursework and grades are recorded accurately.
John Hurak (859) 218-0219
Beth Hanneman (859) 257-6576
Stuckert Career Center
408 Rose St.