Pre-Dentistry Studies

Pre-Dental, much like Pre-Med or Pre-Vet, isn’t a major in and of itself. It’s a track that leads to working in the dental industry, making it a pre-professional route. Dental work, in general, is to provide safe and effective care of people’s teeth and mouths. These specialized professionals are trained to diagnose and treat a variety of oral health issues. Dentistry can be studied at just about every level of education, from certificate to degree to medical doctorate.

All dental programs should be accredited by The Commission on Dental Accreditation, or CODA. 

Certificate Level

Becoming a dental assistant requires a 1-year degree program. Dental assistants typically perform work alongside a licensed dentist, otherwise referred to as chair-side assisting. They may also be required to greet patients, prepare exam rooms, and perform administrative work. 

To become certified, students must pass the Dental Assisting National Board’s (DANB) Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination. 

Associate Level

Typically a 2 to 3 year program, this track can lead to becoming a dental hygienist. Dental hygienists perform teeth cleanings, take x-rays, and administer sealants and fluoride treatments. Depending on the office, they may also take on administrative duties, such as maintaining patient records. 

A degree in dental hygiene will include courses on patient/pain management, anatomy and physiology, microbiology, dental anatomy, radiology, pharmacology for dental hygiene, and more. To officially become a Registered Dental Hygienist, graduates from an accredited program must pass the clinical exams administered by the American Dental Association (ADA) Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations. 

Careers for students with an Associate’s in Dental Hygiene: Dental Hygienist.

The average yearly salary for this career is $72, 910.

Baccalaureate

Degrees in dental work aren’t typically available at the bachelor’s level; instead, they typically lead to a medical doctorate (MD) to become a fully-licensed dentists. To increase their wages or marketability, some dental hygienists will complete a baccalaureate, but it isn’t required. 

Pre-dental students will often major in any of the biological and physiological sciences, which can help when taking the American Dental Association’s Dental Admissions Test (DAT) for admittance into an MD program. They provide exposure to laboratory work, biostatistics, microanatomy, genetics, cell biology, social behavior, and more. 

If the intention is to continue forward and obtain an MD, students typically must have a minimum of a 3.2 GPA and complete certain prerequisite courses before taking the ADA’s DAT, which include: 

  • Biology
  • General chemistry
  • Organic chemistry
  • Physics
  • Anatomy
  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Physiology
  • Math
  • English Composition

Doctorate Level

Dental school typically takes four years to complete, two in the classroom and two working in clinical settings. Upon graduation, to officially become a practicing dentists, graduates must take and pass the National Board Dental Examination. The NBDE is a two-part test, with both written and oral sections. 

Specialization within this field, such as in orthodontics, can add anywhere between 2 to 4 years of school and require a residency, as well as further testing. 

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Colleges

Boston University

Boston University is a private, non-profit university with a heavy emphasis on research. BU’s main location is right in its name—Boston, MA—but the university has flagship locations around the world, including in London, Sydney, and Washington, DC...

“…

The faculty is usually attentive and pretty entertaining. Most professors know exactly what they're talking about and provide insight into difficult fields with ease. I took the Core Curriculum and am learning much about history and philosophy. I...

” – Alex from Waco, TX
University of Maryland-College Park

Founded in 1856, the University of Maryland-College Park is a 4-year public research university in Maryland’s Capital Region and the flagship campus of the UMD system. UMD hosts 12 colleges and schools granting undergraduate degrees in 92 academic...

“…

At the University of Maryland, you learn so much more than just facts and truths from textbooks and lectures. While the classes are extremely informational, and the professors and T.A.s are all very knowledgeable on their subjects, the real learning...

” – Anonymous from PA
Clemson University

Clemson University is America’s second-largest university by student population and South Carolina’s land- and sea-grant institution. Clemson is home to seven colleges and schools offering bachelor’s degrees in more than 80 academic majors. For...

“…

Clemson University is a great school! The students are friendly and the professors are incredibly willing to work with you!

” – Victoria from Easley, SC
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT
University of Utah

The University of Utah is a public research instititution situated in Salt Lake City that offers more than 100 undergraduate majors. The U is home to three professional arts organizations to complement the College of Fine Arts, and even features a 3...

“…

I'm very impressed with the way the professors are so willing to help students. I have had several instances in classes where I have not understood the material given, and I'm pleased to say that I have felt totally comfortable in going to my...

” – Katie from Sandy, UT
Lehigh University

Founded by a local industrialist and philanthropist, Lehigh University is a 4-year private school in eastern Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. Lehigh is home to colleges of Business, Engineering, Arts & Sciences, Health, and Education granting...

“…

Even though I'm taking mostly prerequisite classes right now, they are more advanced than anything I'd taken in high school and the teaching styles of the professors are conducive to learning. The learning that occurs on campus isn't limited to...

” – Stacy from Hope Valley, RI
Ball State University

Originally founded as a teacher’s college, Ball State University is a public institution in eastern Indiana. Ball State is home to seven colleges conferring undergraduate degrees in more than 120 academic majors. Throughout the year, Ball State...

“…

The professors that I have had thus far are so great about giving you the facts that have to do with their class based upon the literature in the class in a manor that keeps you listening and holds your attention.

” – Rebecca from Kokomo, IN
University of New England

With campus situated a short distance from Saco Bay, The University of New England is a 4-year institution in coastal Maine and the largest private university in the state. UNE is home to colleges of Arts & Sciences, Dental Medicine, Pharmacy...

“…

Classes are usually small, even entry level courses. The small size allows for personalized attention from teachers and makes it easier to approach your professors for help. The required institutional courses allow for a more rounded education and...

” – Anna from Arlington, VA
Florida Southern College

With campus along the shore of Lake Hollingsworth, Florida Southern College is a 4-year private institution in Lakeland, Florida. Florida Southern confers bachelor’s degrees in over 70 academic programs. For students interested in history and...

“…

The staff of Florida Southern are so helpful and passionate about the students' endeavors, it's a breath of fresh air. Not only would you learn in the classroom, but there are so many other opportunities for students to grow and become active members...

” – Jasmine from Lakeland, FL
University of Dayton

Founded by Marianist priests in 1850, The University of Dayton is a Roman Catholic university and the second largest private school in Ohio. Dayton is home to schools of Law, Arts & Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering, and Education...

“…

Classes are hands on, and in my opinion, experience is the best teacher.

” – Jessica from Columbus, OH
Central Washington University

Originally founded in 1891 as the Washington State Normal School, Central Washington University is a 4-year public institution. Central Washington is home to six colleges and schools offering undergraduate degrees in over 135 academic majors as well...

“…

The professors here are really knowledgable, and I'm learning a lot in all of my classes. In University 101 (a class everyone is required to take), I'm learning a lot about the school and other classes they offer. Not only that, but I'm also learning...

” – Nikita from Saint Helens, OR
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Founded in 1869, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is the oldest university in the state and flagship of the NU system. Nebraska is home to nine colleges conferring undergraduate degrees. In addition to classroom facilities, the NU campus hosts The...

“…

The absolute only reason why I only put 4 stars is because as being a freshman I had to complete some general study classes that I felt was impractical for my major and felt I didn't benefit from. The classes designed for my major I would without a...

” – Alisha from Jackson , MO
Boise State University

Boise State is a Carnegie doctoral research university that is home to more than 26,000 students from every state and more than 60 foreign countries. Our metropolitan campus runs along the banks of the Boise River, just a quick walk from the heart of...

“…

Boise State lecture halls are smaller than those at most other public universities. Class sizes are small and this provides for a better learning environment where you can get to know your professors and feel more comfortable asking questions....

” – Brandie from Meridian, ID
Newberry College

Founded in 1856, Newberry College is a 4-year liberal arts college in South Carolina affiliated with the Lutheran Church. Newberry offers undergraduate degrees in over 30 academic majors. For musically inclined students, Newberry is home to nine...

“…

Newberry is over all the best decision that i have ever made. It has changed my life for the better and continues to do so. All of the people in Newberry are very kind and caring people that are easy to love.

” – Christopher from Rock Hill, SC
Cornerstone University

Cornerstone University is a private, Christ-centered institution established in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Life on campus is rooted in the college’s Cornerstone Virtue Project, which guides students in the exploration of virtue throughout chapel...

“…

I am a new Christian and I wanted to learn how to practice Christian views in a growing secular culture. In classes, I love that the teachers care about their students and integrate Christ into little lessons like grammar review. It makes class time...

” – Nicole from Rockford, MI
Snow College

Snow College is a public institution located in rural Ephraim, Utah. Snow is a community college that offers a variety of associate degrees and professional certifications as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Commercial Music and a Bachelor of...

“…

While at Snow College I learned so much! All the professors were willing to help me outside of class and had an environment inside of class set up in a way where students weren't afraid to speak up. Not only did I learn a lot about math, English...

” – Sorine from Grantsville, UT

South Plains College is a 2-year community college based in Levelland, Texas with satellite branches in Plainview and Lubbock. SPC awards professional and technical certifications as well as associate degrees. Popular fields of study include welding...

“…

This school encourages you to pursue your career goals. The teachers are very helpful. Small environment encourages students learn and get more face time with teachers.

” – Jaslyn from Lubbock, TX
Southern Wesleyan University

Southern Wesleyan University is a Christian liberal arts college in upstate South Carolina affiliated with the Wesleyan Church. SWU confers bachelor’s degrees in over 25 academic fields of study. Additionally, the university sponsors a 9-month...

“…

Southern Wesleyan is a fantastic college. The staff are excellent to work with. Everyone cares about the students.

” – Austin from Cowpens, SC

Palo Alto College is a public institution located in San Antonio, Texas, and is one of five community colleges serving the Greater San Antonio area. PAC offers a number of uncommon programs alongside its more traditional options, allowing its...

“…

This collge has high quality education at a very reasonable amount.
This college is welcoming and the staff will help if the students ask questions.
This college has great transfer programs and a variety of classes that will be needed for any...

” – Sandra from San Antonio TX

Mt Hood Community College is a public, 2-year institution located primarily in Gresham, Oregon, with a satellite location in Portland. The campus features a wide variety of facilities for students to visit, such as the Visual Arts Center Gallery, the...

“…

Some classes have challenged me, but in many others, I have to challenge myself to grow. In some of the introductory courses, it would not take much effort to receive an A in the class. Doing the minimum will hurt you in the long run though.

” – Bryan from Gresham, OR

Originally founded as a women’s college, Seton Hill University is a coeducational Catholic liberal arts college in western Pennsylvania. Seton Hill is home to five schools conferring undergrad degrees in over 80 academic majors. In addition, all...

“…

The student to teacher ratio is about 16:1. You will have more of an opportunity to have one on one learning experience. Also there are no teaching assistants or student teachers, they are all professionals.

” – Madeline from Hudson, OH
El Paso Community College

El Paso Community College is a 2-year community college based in El Paso, Texas. The school operates five campuses and offers courses throughout the El Paso and Hudspeth counties. EPCC has an open admissions policy and offers programs for...

“…

I have learned a lot of new and interesting things and I'm pretty sure I will still keep learning a lot more.

” – Nancy from El Paso

Holmes Community College is a public, 2-year institution established primarily in Goodman, Mississippi. Along with the main campus, the college maintains satellite facilities in Kosciusko, Webster, Grenada, and Ridgeland. HCC offers a wide variety of...

“…

I am learning a lot and all the things that will help me reach my goal.

” – Brianna from Canton, MS
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Founded in 1823 as the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, MCPHS University is a private school of healthcare programs in Boston and the second-oldest college of pharmacy in the nation. MCPHS is home to 12 schools of healthcare hosting over 100...

“…

This is a high-quality school with a rigorous program. The instructors push you hard, and there is a lot for you to learn. If you work hard, however, it will be worth it!

” – Marsha from Holden, MA
Northwest Vista College

Northwest Vista College is a 2-year community college that confers associate degrees and technical certifications. The school is part of the Alamo Colleges District and offers several Academic Workforce Programs through the Healthy & Biosciences...

“…

Taking courses at Northwest Vista College has been a pleasant experience for me so far. The staff have always been friendly and helpful. The tuition is inexpensive.

” – Me

Northeast Community College is a 2-year institution with four campuses in northeastern Nebraska conferring over 110 degrees and certificates. NCC’s Wind Energy program positions students to work in one of Nebraska’s fastest growing renewable energy...

“…

NECC was a great experience. The campus is smaller than most. The size of NECC is a plus when considering the amount of students in each class at a regular university. If you're concerned about $$, the cost was pretty resonable compared to other...

” – Brittany from Jackson, NE

Itawamba Community College is a public, 2-year institution established in the state of Mississippi, with three campuses in Fulton, Belden, and Tupelo. Classes at ICC are provided during daytime, evening, and on the weekends in order to suit any...

Casper College

Casper College is a public, 2-year institution established in the state of Wyoming. The college offers associate degrees and certificates across all subjects, as well as programs in continuing education, workforce training, and adult education...

“…

Casper College has provided me with the opportunity to further my education, develop my social skills, and become an overall well rounded student. The faculty that has assisted me in my endeavors has been more helpful than I ever could have imagined...

” – Katherine from Casper, WY
St Philip's College

St. Philip's College is a public community college located in San Antonio, Texas, with an open admissions policy. SPC is an HBCU and an Hispanic-Serving Institution, the only college to be federally recognized as such. They offer associate’s degrees...

“…

its amazing what i am learning here

” – Edna from San Antonio, TX
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College is a 2-year institution with an open admissions policy. The main campus located in Perkinston, MS, while several satellite campuses and academic centers operate throughout the state. Mississippi Gulf Coast...

“…

The class sizes are smaller so you can get a lot of one on one time with teacher. The atmosphere is more casual in the classroom than in high school, but the teachers still expect you to do your work, naturally. Most of the teachers have a dry sense...

” – Tiffany from Gulfport, MS

Originally established as the first agricultural high school for African Americans in Mississippi, Coahoma Community College is a 2-year Historically Black College. Academics at CCC are divided among 55 university transfer programs, eight Health...

Northeast Mississippi Community College is a public, 2-year institution established in Booneville, with satellite facilities located in New Albany and Corinth. NEMCC offers over 70 associate’s degree and certificate programs, with courses formats...

“…

College life is definitely an experience for a fresh out of high school student. It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and constant flow of activities. As long as you know how to balance your college experience with your more important school...

” – Micaela from Corinth, MS

Barton Community College is a public, 2-year institution established in Great Bend, Kansas, with satellite campuses in Fort Riley, Fort Leavenworth, and Grandview Plaza.  Barton offers over 70 academic and career programs, nearly half of which are...

“…

The teachers have a lot of information and are willing to help you succeed.

” – Janae from Great Bend, KS

Western Wyoming Community College is a 2-year community college located near the southwest corner of The Equality State. All of the buildings at WWCC’s campus are connected via indoor glass hallways, offering views of the school’s reproductions of...

“…

There is such a broad range of topics to study here. You will never be bored with your class selections

” – Michelle from Three Forks, MT

Dodge City Community College is a public, 2-year institution established on a 145-acre, suburban campus in Kansas. The college offers over 30 academic and vocational degree programs in a variety of fields, including Dietetics, Music, Agribusiness...

“…

Well your in Kansa for crying out lound!!!
If you in joy rodeo this is the school for you.
Basketball, Track & field and football these sports are good here too!!

” – Candace from Lauderhill, FL
Treasure Valley Community College

Treasure Valley Community College is a 2-year institution in with four eastern Oregon campuses as well as a facility in western Idaho. TVCC confers degrees and certificates in more than 80 subjects including programs in Helicopter and Fixed-Wing...

“…

Treasure Valley is a very helpful college, in regards to questions asked there is always some one very to help. Whether it be a student or faculty member. Personally, not knowing much about higher education before, the answered all my questions, even...

” – Lacey from Ontario, OR

Alpena Community College is a public, 2-year institution established on a rural, 700-acre campus in northern Michigan. ACC offers over 75 academic programs, awarding certificates, AA degrees, AAS degrees, and AS degrees, along with one BS degree...

“…

You wouldn't think that a community college would have the same quality education as a university, but this one really does. We have the same textbooks, follow the same fast-paced schedules, cover the same topics, and receive the same homework. Plus...

Eastern Wyoming College is a 2-year community college with two campuses covering a six county area. EWC is home to seven academic departments as well as the only programs in Veterinary Technology and Cosmetology in Wyoming. EWC also features a...

“…

I really enjoyed visiting campus. But I'm curious how good is there welding program?

” – Ashlee from Chadron, NE

The University of Holy Cross is a private, Christ-centered institution established in New Orleans,  Louisiana, alongside the Mississippi River. UOHC’s catalog of over 60 academic programs primarily feature health-related fields of study, such as...

“…

Holy Cross is an A school because it's small and private.All staff is willing to help the students anywaypossible.At Holy Cross you become family.

” – Alia from New Orleans, LA

Western Nebraska Community College is a 2-year institution with three campuses in the Nebraska panhandle. WNCC offers degrees and certificates in over 50 fields of study and its Agriculture Science and Applied Agriculture Technologies programs...

“…

There is easy accessibility to technology and professors. You will learn plenty; the best thing is whenever you don't understand something there will be someone available.

” – Edgar from Yuma, CO