Preprofessional Programs

Pre-Dentistry

Dentistry is one of today’s most flexible—and important—careers. As a dentist, you can be your own boss and set your own schedule, or you can work in a hospital, a public service agency, a research facility, or a school. You can specialize in one of nine dynamic fields. Whatever draws you to the field, you’ll be providing valuable service to society.

Will I need further study?
What should I major in?
What are the course requirements?
What about advising?
Where can I find additional information?

Will I need further study?
Yes, you’ll need to attend a school of dental medicine and earn a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree. Most students can earn their degrees in four years.

What should I major in?
As a pre-dental student you may choose any major, as long as you complete the prerequisite courses to apply to the professional programs.

What are the course requirements?
Some dental schools offer admission to students after three years of undergraduate work; however, we recommend you complete a full four-year bachelor’s program in the liberal arts, with significant work in the natural sciences. The vast majority of those admitted have at least a bachelor's degree. You should take the Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) at least one full year before you plan to enter dental school.

Most dental schools favor a selection of electives that will strengthen your science background, develop communication skills, and provide a solid background in the social sciences and humanities. Mandatory requirements vary from one school to another so students must check with the individual schools for specific details. Recommended courses include:

  • BIO 200, 201, 330, 430, 442
  • CHM 211, 212, 311, 312, 315
  • ENG 105, 106
  • PHY 111, 112 or 121, 122
  • PSY 210

What about advising?
Expert advising is an important part of the Patterson Center for the Health Professions. You will meet with one of our expert advisors to discuss your specific academic and professional interests. Your advisor will work with you throughout your Elmhurst career, clearing obstacles and giving expert guidance. Want to know more? See Advisors.

Where can I find additional information?
You can start by contacting us at Elmhurst’s Patterson Center for the Health Professions or check out these useful websites:

American Dental Association
Web Sites for Dental Students
Dental Internet Resources

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