Required Courses for Dental School

with a grade of C or better

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8 credits general biology

Biology I: BSCI 170/171 (Formerly BSCI 105)
Biology II: BSCI 160/161 (formerly BSCI 106)

1-3 additional BSCI Courses*:
Genetics: BSCI 222
Microbiology: BSCI 223 or 283
Cell Bio: BSCI 330

Mammalian Physiology: BSCI 440


8 credits inorganic with lab +
8 credits organic with lab
3 credits biochemistry

Chemistry I: CHEM 131 & 132
(Or CHEM 135 & 136)
Org. Chem I: CHEM 231 & 232
Org. Chem II: CHEM 241 & 242
Chemistry II: CHEM 271 & 272
Biochemistry: BCHM 463 or 461


8 credits with lab

Physics I: PHYS 121, 131, 141, or 161/271***
Physics II: PHYS 122, 132, 142, or 260/261

3 credits**

College Algebra or

Calculus 120, 136, 0r 140 (formerly 220 or 130)
(varies among schools)

6 credits

Composition: ENGL 101
Advanced Composition: ENGL 390-398

6 credits

Examples of Pre-Health Liberal Arts Electives - Click Here!

*Microbiology is a requirement at several dental schools, especially in the Midwest.  Anatomy and Physiology I and II are also required at some dental schools, including Howard. Refer to the link to the prerequisites below and to the ADEA Guide.

** Dental schools, with few exceptions (eg. Harvard, BU) do not require calculus. However, proficiency in math and even calculus may improve performance in BCHM, which is a requirement.

***Engineering Majors are required to take the following: Math 141→ Physics 161 Physics 260 & 261 (Following Semester) 

Dental schools require two semesters of Physics with a lab. Students who have completed the first or the first two courses in the engineering sequence and decide to complete pre-med requirements have the following two options:

  1. Students who have completed PHYS 161, 260, and 261 can take PHYS 270/271 and complete that sequence, which would result in students completing more than minimally required by medical schools;

  2. Alternatively, students who complete PHYS 161 and either PHYS 142 or PHYS 260/261 can complete PHYS 271***, a one-credit introduction to lab for physics majors. ENGR majors should know that PHYS 142 is not acceptable for the major. 

    ***PLEASE NOTE: Students can just register for PHYS 271; no special permission required.  Students should contact that instructor coordinating all of the PHYS271 sections at the beginning of the semester to inform them that they are taking PHYS271 as a stand-alone course. The students should also send a message to, so that the Physics Department is aware of how many students are doing this.  The instructor will determine the grade for just the PHYS271 material.  

Strongly Recommended Courses

These courses are often taken some time during the first year of professional school. Challenge yourself early and get introduced to the subject matter. This may help make your transition into the first year of medical school easier. In addition, students tend to perform better on the DAT with some additional exposure to biology, beyond the minimum required by the dental schools. 

Calculus II or STAT (MATH 131, 221, 141, and any STAT required for your major will count- 

as STAT is an action course code and statistics can be from different disciplines.)

Microbiology (BSCI223 or 283)

Mammalian Physiology (BSCI440)