Important general information

Students interested in the pre-dental advising track must complete the necessary prerequisites for dental school (a total minimum of 90 credit hours). Many students earn a baccalaureate degree before entering the program. Students interested in dental school should consult with a pre-health academic adviser to learn about requirements that are specific to the schools of dentistry to which they hope to apply.

Admission to and completion of the pre-dental advising track does not constitute admission to VCU’s School of Dentistry. Students must apply separately to the dental school of their choice at the appropriate time. Students with an interest in preparing for dental school should declare an academic major while also indicating a pre-dental advising track. Students do not earn a pre-dental degree. Students unsure of their academic majors initially should clarify their academic interests through regular conversations with their advisers. Pre-dental students are encouraged to major in fields of greatest interest to them.

Prerequisites for dental school

Students need to complete the prerequisite science courses before being eligible to start the dental program at the VCU School of Dentistry. Students are also required to complete the Dental Admission Test. The DAT is taken prior to students applying to dental school and results are weighed heavily in admissions decisions. Students preparing for the DAT are strongly advised to take courses to build competency in these areas prior to taking the exam. It is not necessary to have completed all prerequisite course work or to have taken the DAT prior to submitting your application to dental school. However, you must complete all prerequisite courses and take the DAT before entering VCU’s dental program.

Science and non-science courses required for dental school

General biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry and physics are required science prerequisites for admission to dental school.

English composition (Focused Inquiry I and II) and mathematics are non-science prerequisites required for dental school.

Other upper-level science courses in general microbiology, bacteriology, animal or vertebrate physiology, anatomy, genetics and cell biology are strongly recommended. If time permits and the courses are available, courses in immunology, embryology, or developmental biology and histology are highly recommended. Additionally, non-science courses in the behavioral sciences and those involving psychomotor skills are recommended.

Prerequisites for dental school

VCU courses
BIOL   151
BIOZ   151
Introduction to Biological Sciences I
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory I
4
BIOL   152
BIOZ   152
Introduction to Biological Sciences II
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory II
4
CHEM   101
CHEZ   101
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory I
4
CHEM   102
CHEZ   102
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory II
4
CHEM   301
CHEZ   301
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
5
CHEM   302
CHEZ   302
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
5
CHEM   403Biochemistry I3
MATH   151Precalculus Mathematics4
PHYS   201General Physics 14-5
or PHYS   207 University Physics I
PHYS   202General Physics 24-5
or PHYS   208 University Physics II
STAT   210Basic Practice of Statistics3
UNIV   111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IFocused Inquiry I3
UNIV   112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IIFocused Inquiry II3
Additional electives to total 90 credits38-40
Total Hours88-92
1

MATH   200 is a prerequisite for PHYS   207.

2

MATH   201 is a prerequisite for PHYS   208.

Sample curriculum outline

Freshman year
Fall semesterHours
BIOL   151
BIOZ   151
Introduction to Biological Sciences I
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory I
4
CHEM   101
CHEZ   101
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory I
4
MATH   151 Precalculus Mathematics 4
UNIV   111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry I Focused Inquiry I 3
 Term Hours: 15
Spring semester
BIOL   152
BIOZ   152
Introduction to Biological Sciences II
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory II
4
CHEM   102
CHEZ   102
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory II
4
STAT   210 Basic Practice of Statistics 3
UNIV   112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry II Focused Inquiry II 3
 Term Hours: 14
Sophomore year
Fall semester
CHEM   301
CHEZ   302
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
5
Electives or major requirements 11
 Term Hours: 16
Spring semester
CHEM   302
CHEZ   302
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
5
Electives or major requirements 10-11
 Term Hours: 15-16
Junior year
Fall semester
CHEM   403 Biochemistry I 3
PHYS   201
General Physics
or University Physics I
4-5
Electives or major requirements 8
 Term Hours: 15-16
Spring semester
PHYS   202
General Physics
or University Physics II
4-5
Electives or major requirements 11
 Term Hours: 15-16
 Total Hours: 90-93

Total minimum requirement (for admission to dental school) 90 credits