Pre-Dental Studies

Bellarmine University prepares students for application to professional schools in the various fields of medicine. The medical professions include: traditional medicine (also called allopathic medicine), osteopathic medicine, dental medicine, podiatric medicine, and veterinary medicine. Entrance requirements for admission into medical, dental, and veterinary schools are extremely competitive and favor students who are highly motivated, self-starting, and committed to achieving their professional objectives early in their college studies.

Pre-Dental Advisory Committee

All students interested in applying to Dental School must meet with the chair of the Pre-Dental Advisory Committee (PDAC) during their junior year to discuss pre-admission testing and application procedures for the schools they are interested in. The application process is different for each type of dental program. Each application service has its own submission dates and final deadlines that are detailed on their websites. The PDAC recommends that you complete and submit your online applications no later than mid-July unless special circumstances apply. Once your online application has been submitted, individual schools will send you detailed secondary or supplemental applications to complete and will ask for an official ‘committee letter of evaluation’.

The PDAC is responsible for writing the letters of evaluation required by the professional schools. Students will be asked to submit a portfolio of information to the PDAC for each program that needs a letter written. The PDAC generally requires 3-4 weeks to complete most evaluation letters once a completed portfolio has been received.

Students who think they might be interested in dentistry should speak to pre-dental advisors, science faculty, careers services, and the professionals in the dentistry fields. In addition, the various department clubs (Biology, BMB, Chemistry, MLS) often have special programs dedicated to medical and dental careers, admission processes, and other activities of interest. All students are encouraged to join and participate in these student organizations.

Entrance Requirements

Each dental school has its own specific entrance requirements including: prerequisite course work and GPA standards, pre-admission exams (DAT), experiences and familiarity with the career (via shadowing, volunteering, and employment), involvement and leadership in extracurricular activities, evidence of a commitment to community service, independent research, letters of evaluation, and formal application procedures with interviews. Students interested in pursuing dentistry should investigate the websites maintained by the professional organizations for current admission requirements.

Recommended Courses to be Completed

While dental schools place no restrictions upon a student’s choice of a major, it is recommended that the following science and math courses be completed by the end of the junior year (assuming a four year graduation path with application to dental school between the third and fourth year).

  • Biology 130 Principles of Biology (with lab)
  • Biology 231 Cell Biology (with lab)
  • Biology 240 Genetics (with lab)
  • Biology 314 Vertebrate Physiology (with lab)
  • Upper level science courses including (but not limited to): Biochemistry, Gross Anatomy, Histology, Microbiology, Immunology
  • Chemistry 103 General College Chemistry I (with lab)
  • Chemistry 104 General College Chemistry II (with lab)
  • Chemistry 205 Organic Chemistry I (with lab)
  • Chemistry 206 Organic Chemistry II (with lab)
  • BMB.301 Biochemistry I (with lab)
  • Math 117 Calculus I
  • Physics 201 General College Physics I (with lab)
  • Physics 202 General College Physics II (with lab)

Due to the sequential nature of these courses, it is important that all pre-dental students begin taking science classes during their first semester so they will be on track to apply to dental schools between their junior and senior years. It is recommended that a student considering dentistry make contact with one of the pre-dental advisors as soon as possible in order to incorporate the required science courses into their chosen major.


Caroline Doyle, Ph.D., (email)
Biology Department
Chair, Pre-Dental Advising Committee
Pasteur Hall 185