The dental profession has many exciting career paths to explore from family practice to specialty fields such as orthodontics and oral and maxillofacial surgery. Some dentists also choose to do research and teach in dental schools.
Dental schools seek the same qualities as medical schools in their applicants: strong academic records, experience in clinical settings, a demonstrated commitment to service, and knowledge of the profession. In addition, successful applicants must demonstrate perceptual ability in solving two and three dimensional problems on the DAT exam.
Core Pre-Dental Course Requirements
- One year of biology with lab
- One year of general chemistry with lab
- One year of organic chemistry with lab
- One year of physics with lab
- One year of english (or writing intensive coursework)
Notes on Pre-Dental Course Requirements
- Science and Math: The additional courses required by some dental schools often include biochemistry and microbiology. Some dental schools require math, usually one semester of calculus and a few schools also require one semester of psychology. A listing of dental schools that require upper level science or math courses can be accessed at the Office of Health Professions Advising website. We strongly suggest that non-science major predental students take 1-2 upper level biology courses in addition to the core predental course requirements, specifically at least one course in biochemistry.
- AP/IB credits: Each dental school has its own policy about accepting AP/IB credits. In general, if you have AP/IB credit for an introductory science, the dental schools strongly prefer or require that you supplement those credits by taking upper level science courses with labs in the same discipline. It is important to take as many science courses at Haverford as the total number of required predental courses, i.e. if you place out of an introductory science course you need to take an upper level course with lab in the same scientific discipline.