Western Washington University · Bellingham, Washington
What is Pre-Dentistry?
Pre-dentistry is not a major. Rather, it is a prescribed program of study in math and science that is required for admission to dental school. Students should work closely with their academic advisors in their major and the pre-dental advisors to assure that GUR, major and Pre-Dental requirements are incorporated into their overall plan of study.
Dentistry is a challenging, dynamic and rewarding profession. Admission to professional schools of dentistry is competitive, so a Pre-Dental program should be planned with care and every effort made to maintain high scholarship. Early in their undergraduate program, Pre-Dental students should review schools they may be interested in to determine specific application requirements.
- Take Math Placement test and begin appropriate math sequence to complete Calculus I: MATH 124.
- Begin General chemistry series as soon as possible: CHEM 121, 122, 123.
- Begin general Biology series winter or spring quarter: BIOL 204, 205, 206.
- Work on GURs, including ENG 101.
- Begin pre-requisite and co-requisite courses for possible major.
- Meet with Pre-Healthcare Advisor to develop a plan of study.
- Continue through Organic Chemistry series: CHEM 351, 352, 353, 354, & 355 (or 356 for non-Chem majors).
- Begin Physics sequence fall quarter: PHYS 114, 115, 116 or 121, 122, 123 (depending upon major)
- Take a second English composition course: ENG 201 or 202.
- Declare or apply for major.
- Research careers and graduate schools.
- Prepare for the Dental Admission Test (DAT) to be taken the summer after junior year.
- Begin Biochemistry: CHEM 471, 472 or BIOL 471, 472 (or take these in senior year).
- Take Microbiology with lab: BIOL 345 and 346 (or BIOL 245).
- Take a third English composition course: ENG 301 or 302.
- Begin primary application to Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS).
- Draft personal statement.
- Request letters of recommendation from professors and professionals.
- Prepare for possible dental school interview with a mock interview (or do spring of junior year).
- Complete major, GUR, WP and other graduation requirements.
- Two quarters before graduation, meet with faculty advisor for major evaluation and apply for graduation.
Note: Advanced Placement is not generally recognized by professional schools as college-earned credit.
Students should join the pre-dental listserv by emailing Renee.Murray@wwu.edu with the following information: subject:
pre-dental listserv, last name, first name, student number.
Other Information about this Major:
The AADSAS application is available from either of these sources:
The American Dental Education Association
(202) 289-7201 www.adea.org
Information on the Dental Admission Test can be obtained from:
American Dental Association
Dental Admission Testing Program
(312) 440-2500 http://www.ada.org/dat.aspx
*DAT testing is arranged by application with ADA and Prometric Test Centers.
Information on the University of Washington School of Dentistry:
The websites listed above contain valuable and regularly updated information about the dental profession, dental schools and the dental application process. For example, the web sites of all ADEA dental schools are accessible from the ADEA site given above. Pre-dental students are encouraged to check these sites regularly.
Repeating Courses: is not viewed favorably by professional schools. An isolated case may be acceptable but may also require an explanation in application.
Declaring a Major: refer to the department of your chosen major for pre-requisites and GPA requirements for declaring.
Prerequisite courses for various dental schools may differ slightly; however, the following WWU courses are typical.
General Chemistry: CHEM 121*, 122, 123 (5, 5, 4)
General Biology: BIOL 204, 205, 206 (4, 5, 5)
General Physics: PHYS 114**, 115, 116 (5, 5, 5) or PHYS 121**, 122, 123 (5, 5, 5)
Organic Chemistry: CHEM 351, 352, 353, 354, & 355 [or 356 for non-Chemistry majors] (4, 4, 3, 3, 3, )
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology: CHEM 471, 472 (4, 4) or BIOL 471, 472 (4, 4)
Microbiology: BIOL 345, 346 (3, 2) or BIOL 245 (5)
English Composition and Writing: 1 year ENG 101(5) and select from 201, 202, 301, 302 (5, 5, 5, 5)
* Completion of MATH 114 or Math placement into MATH 115 or higher is a prerequisite for CHEM 121.
** MATH 115 is a prerequisite to PHYS 114; MATH 124 is a co-requisite to PHYS 121.
Note: At WWU, general chemistry (CHEM 121) is prerequisite to general biology. It is imperative that pre-dental students begin general chemistry as early in their program as possible.
The courses below satisfy GUR requirements and may also be used to fulfill major requirements.
BCOM: ENGL 202
LSCI: BIOL 204, 205, 206; CHEM 121, 122, 123; PHYS 115, 116 or 121, 122, 123
SCI: PHYS 114