Dentistry is devoted to maintaining the health of teeth, gums, and other hard and soft tissues of the mouth. Early detection of oral cancer and systemic conditions that manifest themselves through the mouth are necessary for the maintenance of general health. The dentist is a person dedicated to the highest standards of health through the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of all oral diseases and conditions.
Specific admission requirements vary per dental program. You should consult with schools of interest to determine their specific admission requirements. A list of generally accepted prerequisite courses for the University of Nebraska Medical Center's (UNMC) College of Dentistry and Creighton University School of Dentistry, with specific UNL courses that fulfill each requirement, is available by downloading the program checklist above.
Suggested academic preparation:
- A bachelor's degree is strongly recommended or required by many programs. In addition to the bachelor's degree, pre-dental students complete specific required prerequisites determined by the dental program to which they wish to apply.
- Competitive academic record- Most dental schools require a minimum of two or three years of undergraduate education (64-90 credit hours), but strong grades in academic course loads heavy in the sciences and the completion of a bachelor's degree can be advantageous.
- Major in anything- All UNL majors are great options.
We recommend you meet with an Explore Center advisor once a semester to ensure you are progressing with the correct academic coursework.
Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.)
There are 65 dental schools in the country. Dental programs take 4 years to complete. Virtually all programs prepare students to be general dental practitioners and to render comprehensive patient care. Educational emphasis is generally placed on scientific development; diagnostic skills and treatment planning; clinical treatment and technical performance; practice administration; and personal, professional and community responsibility. Curriculum and outcomes vary from school to school, so you should contact programs of interest directly to determine specific curriculum content.
Dental Admissions Test (DAT)
The Dental Admissions Test (DAT) is required. It is recommended that students complete 2 semesters of general biology, 2 semesters of general chemistry, 2 semesters of organic chemistry, and 1 semester of physiology before taking the DAT. It is also recommended that you take the DAT 13-15 months before your intended enrollment. DAT examinations are computer based and are coordinated by the Dental Admission Testing Program and administered at Prometric Test Centers.