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 vast array of courses offered here at Boston University are truly refreshing, and the professors are truly passionate about their courses. The emphasis placed by the professors and the really well structured classes are great. I find myself...

” – Michelle from Miami, FL
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...

“…

Located only a few miles outside of Washington D.C., and home to one of the best academic programs in the world, UMD has something for everyone. Many people don't think of Maryland as a prestigious university, however nothing could be further from...

” – Oleksiy from Gaithersburg, MD
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...

“…

Not only do I learn a lot of material from the textbooks and outstanding professors, but Clemson teaches you how to manage your new independent life. It also reaffirms your basic fundamentals in school and out side of the classroom. You will be book...

” – Lenise from Decatur, GA
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...

“…

In my experience at the University of Utah the professors at the University of Utah are all very great at aiding students learn the material and the college in general encourages the students to do their very best. There are many opportunities to...

” – Cason from Salt Lake City, 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...

“…

Lehigh's curriculum is challenging America's brightest minds and I consider myself proud and lucky to soon be apart of a student body that will achieving great things.

” – Haley from Northampton, PA
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 staff and employees of the campus are both kind and knowledgeable of their areas. The presentations I have seen from professors during orientation demonstrates how varied they are and creative in their ways of instruction.

” – Jared from Muncie, 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...

“…

The school has a program called the LAC which is the learning assistance center and it is of great help. The professors are always willing to make a meeting but for that extra boost to your grade the LAC is there for tutoring, paper editing and any...

” – Emily from Rockland, ME
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...

“…

Beautiful campus with a lot of trees and greenery. Classes are really centered around learning. It's all about community!

” – Dylan from Indiana
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 profs here are truly amazing and very understandable. They are very approachable and ready to help you study and learn. Also a wide variety of classes and foriegn languages you can choose from so make sure to keep an open mind!

” – Katherina from Tacoma, WA
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...

“…

Looking back at high school, I never really applied myself to learn as much as I could. Now being in college, its a whole new schooling system and it means a lot more when you are learning for something you are going to do for the rest of your life...

” – Brittany from Iowa City, IA
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...

“…

Prior to transferring to another school, I completed most of my undergraduate education here. I was enrolled in the criminal justice program and LOVED the professors! I learned so much more from them than I am at my current university. Be sure to...

” – Alanna from Lexington, KY
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
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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...

“…

Wow I can't tell you how much I learned at this school. To me it was hard work but I learned more than I ever did in all 4 yrs of high school in one semester

” – Alicia from Odonnell, 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...

“…

I rate Southern Wesleyan as a ten out of ten! This university is not perfect but the mistakes are made up for by the incredible community and God filled atmosphere on campus. Southern Wesleyan University quickly becomes your home away from home and...

” – Alex from Dallas, NC
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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
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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
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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...

“…

It is a great place to start. The educators are very knowledgable and I feel that I have gotten a lot out of the classes I have taken thus far.

” – Ashley from El Paso, TX
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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 pretty academic-smart, and this school has made me feel like I'm really learning. It is just a little community college, but the education quality is great. The staff really does care about your success both in and out of the classroom. The...

” – Jessica from Republic, MO
MCPHS University

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
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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 offers a ton of programs for people to choose from. It's great if you don't know what you want to do for sure yet. It's not a waste of money if you change your mind because it's very affordable.

” – Amanda from Norfolk, NE
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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...

“…

I have been attending since last spring and St. Philip's has overexceeded my expectations. The instructors are great and make themselves available for students. They offer some of the best degree programs for the medical field, which is my major.

” – DM 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 instructors are very nice and are always trying to help student reach their full potential. The classrooms are big and very clean. The students who attend here are very nice and friendly.

” – Cassey from Gauiter, MS
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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...

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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...

“…

NEMCC is a great place to start your college career. They offer a long list of majors and areas of study. Not only do they have plenty of two and four year programs, but it is very easy to transfer to a graduate school with most of your credit hours...

” – William from Iuka, MS
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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...

“…

I am having a great time meeting new people and playing baseball. I am learning to organize my time better to get my homework turned in on time. Barton is just the right size to transition into college from High School

” – Creighton` from Wichita, KS
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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
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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...

“…

i am learning a lot in classes like speech 111. it's kind of a tough class if you're really shy like i am but the teacher makes it fun because he makes up jokes and funny stories. this class is very important if you're going to be in any field of...

” – Leticia from Wilder, ID
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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...

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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
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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
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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