Pre-Dental Studies

Check off all the Dental School requirements with the Pre-Dental Program at Bellarmine!

Why choose Bellarmine for your Pre-Dentistry program?

The Pre-Dentistry track at Bellarmine allows students of any major to complete the pre-requisite requirements for application and admission to dental programs upon completion of their undergraduate degree. Students who choose the pre-dental track receive the advising they need to stay on track with plans for dental school, and the well-rounded liberal arts curriculum that prepares them to not only practice the mechanics of their skill, but the ability to think critically, problem solve, question, and communicate.

Program Highlights

The pre-dental track prepares students for application to professional schools in dentistry. Entrance requirements for admission into dental 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. You will want to start on this path early in your college career to be sure you meet the requirements. Our goal with this track is to advise and prepare you to have a competitive application to dental programs of your choosing by identifying the courses and experiences that will prepare you for the exams and meet the admission requirements of your chosen schools.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I major in to be a dentist?
We do not require you to choose a specific major for the pre-dental track, but most students choose to major in the natural sciences like biology, micro-biology, and chemistry because the required courses for most dental programs will be included in these majors. Should you choose a major outside of these traditional paths, we will work with you to be sure you complete the pre-requisite courses.

What are the Pre-Requisite courses for dental school?
This will vary by school and program and you will want to research what the specific dental schools you’d like to attend require, but for the pre-dentistry track we recommend completing the following courses by the end of junior 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)

What exams do I need to take to get into dental school?
Most students will be required to take the Dental Admission Test (DAT) in order to apply and be admitted to dental school.

Is there a minimum GPA I need to maintain to get into dental school?
This will vary by program; however, these schools are extremely competitive and look for students who are highly motivated, and committed to academic excellence, especially in the pre-requisite course work.

When do I apply to dental school?
The deadlines and application process will vary from school to school, but  preparation for application will start January of Junior year, with application submission occurring between junior and senior year for admission to dental school.

What are the requirements to get into dental school?
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.

Alumni Story

Kathryn Taylor

“I am so thankful for Bellarmine University and all the opportunities BU has given me. I am confident I would not be the person I am today without Bellarmine’s commitment to truth and knowledge and their dedication to each student. Through Bellarmine, I’ve gained an incredible education, confidence in myself and my abilities, and I certainly feel that I am prepared for the future! Thanks to Bellarmine’s rigorous coursework and dedication to my education, I am excited to say that I will be a member of the University of Louisville School of Dentistry’s class of 2023! ”

Kathryn H. Taylor

Discerning Your Goals

Students who think they might be interested in dentistry should speak to pre-dental advisors, science faculty, Career Development, 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 the PreDental Society. The PreDental Society is a student organization dedicated to discussing the ins and outs of applying, developing a network, and establishing avenues for shadowing and volunteering. The group matches students with upper-class mentors for serious conversations about the future, and of course fun!

Pre-Dental Student Support

We want you to succeed in your goals. All students interested in applying to Dental School must meet for advising with the chair of the Pre-Dental Advisory Committee (PDAC) at Bellarmine at the beginning of their sophomore 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.

Study Abroad

Bellarmine offers a wide variety of study abroad options around the globe. Learn what opportunities are available to you below.

Advisor

Caroline Doyle, Ph.D., (email)
Biology Department
Chair, Pre-Dental Advising Committee
Pasteur Hall 185
502.272.7603

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