I am currently a college freshman and I want to be a dentist. I am planning on doing the untraditional route and major in psychology and minor in art. I know there are prerequisite classes I must take and I made a 4-year plan to accommodate them all. However, are there any more classes I must take, such as microbiology, genetics, comparative vertebrate anatomy, multivariable calculus? I saw some schools recommended these classes. The problem is I don’t think I have time to take these classes and I’m not interested in majoring in biology. Will I be at a disadvantage when I apply to dental school if I don’t do many biology courses?
If you want to apply to Dental school, then you need to find out what are the required Pre-req courses you need to take to apply regardless of your major.
Students should contact individual dental schools for specific prerequisite information. Required courses generally include:
8 hours Biology with lab
8 hours Physics
8 hours English
8 hours General Chemistry with lab
8 hours Organic Chemistry with lab
Majoring in science is not a must, but completion of predental science requirements is necessary.
A college undergraduate degree is recommended in preparation for dental school. Most dental students have completed four years of college.
You will only be at a disadvantage if you do not take the required courses specific for each Dental school application.
If you apply to a school without completing their prerequisites, you likely won’t get in. Some of them are necessary for as foundation for further study (microbiology for example). Some are simply hurdles (mult-variable). As @Gumbymom said, it’s school dependent. Look at the requirements for a handful of schools and begin tailoring your coursework to those schools. If a school seems overly burdensome, skip it. Good luck.
Hi seojung99 –
Don’t be afraid to pursue the major you are most interested in. It will not hurt you, SO LONG AS you take the prereq’s for dental school, and do well in them. I went to dental school at a top university, and came in as a business major. But my GPA was solid in all the science courses, and I did very well on the DAT.
I don’t think schools are after just biology major types. I had classmates from all majors. The majority of my classmates were science (biochemistry, microbiology, etc.) or engineering majors. But there were some of us from other backgrounds. I had a wonderful classmate who was a music major – a terrific cellist. It will put you at somewhat of a disadvantage during pre-clinicial coursework. The clinics level the playing field to some degree, however. There’s almost no way to predict who will be talented in the clinical phase.
I was always told by science major classmates that being a business major was actually good preparation for owning a practice, and there is some truth to that. I would imagine having a psychology major would offer some definite advantages, as well, not just in school, but in practice.