Pre-Dentistry

Students pursuing a career in dentistry should take special care to prepare.  While most dental schools require the completion of a four-year degree from an accredited institution, the pre-dental coursework requirements vary from school to school. Every dental school has unique requirements which may include coursework, laboratory, volunteer, and healthcare experiences. Each school determines their own list of required and recommended pre-dental coursework. Students are encouraged to review curriculum outlines for years 1 and 2 of the professional programs to which they intend to apply and are encouraged to enroll in coursework that provides foundational knowledge to support their success when planning electives to complete their academic plan. 

Pre-Professional Advising: Many students at UMKC are interested in career paths in healthcare. For students who plan to enter professional schools after finishing their undergraduate degree, we offer a variety of workshops, seminars, and pre-professional advising. Students are encouraged to select a major that matches their interests and provides the foundation necessary for success in their professional curriculum.

Students interested in preparing for a career in dentistry or other healthcare areas are encouraged to connect with a Pre-Professional Advisor early and often.  Pre-professional programs can be found in RooGroups. Students with a declared plan of Pre-Dentistry will find the Pre-Professional Health Advisor in their Success Network under “Your Connections” in UMKC Connect and can schedule appointments there.  All other students can contact Roo Advising at 816-235-1148 or rooadvising@umkc.edu for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Common Required Courses:

Common requirements for most dental schools include the courses listed below. UMKC Courses that will universally fulfill the requirements are listed along with alternative options.  It is the student's responsibility to ensure that any alternative options selected are acceptable for satisfaction of the requirements for the schools to which they intend to apply.

One Year of Biology:
BIOLOGY 108
108L
General Biology I
and General Biology I Laboratory
4
BIOLOGY 109
109L
General Biology II
and General Biology II Laboratory
4
Alternative courses may include (NOTE: most schoold require biology courses to be completed with a lab):
BIOLOGY 202Cell Biology3
BIOLOGY 206Genetics3
BIOLOGY 218Introductory Anatomy3
NURSE/HLSC 120Anatomy & Physiology I4
NURSE/HLSC 160Anatomy and Physiology II4
One Year of English:
ENGLISH 110
ENGLISH 225
Introduction to Academic Prose
and English II: Intermediate Academic Prose
6
Alternative courses may include:
English Composition I3
Any Writing Intensive (WI) Course3
Two Years of Chemistry (through Organic Chemistry):
NOTE: Most schools require chemistry courses to be completed with a lab.
CHEM 211
211L
General Chemistry I
and Experimental General Chemistry I
5
CHEM 212R
CHEM 212LR
General Chemistry II
and Experimental General Chemistry II
5
CHEM 321
321L
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
4
CHEM 322R
CHEM 322L
Organic Chemistry II
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
4
One Year of Physics:
PHYSICS 210
PHYSICS 220
General Physics I
and General Physics II
8
OR
PHYSICS 240
PHYSICS 250
Physics For Scientists and Engineers I
and Physics For Scientists and Engineers II
10

UMKC Dental School Specific Requirements:

Anatomy and Physiology (choose one of two options below):
BIOLOGY 218
218L
Introductory Anatomy
and Introductory Anatomy Laboratory
5
BIOLOGY 316
BIOLOGY 217L
Principles of Physiology
and Human Physiology Laboratory
4
OR
NURSE 120Anatomy & Physiology I4
NURSE 160Anatomy and Physiology II4
Cell Biology and Biochemistry:
BIOLOGY 202Cell Biology3
BIOLOGY 441Biochemistry3

Common Recommended Courses:

Students are encouraged to engage in academic or laboratory research opportunities as part of their preparation for dental school and related professions.  Early exposure to scientific inquiry demonstrates interest and involvement in the creation of knowledge, improves critical thinking, and assists with writing and communication skills.  Visit Undergraduate Research @ UMKC for more information.

The following courses are commonly recommended to students to ensure they have foundational knowledge in subjects that comprise curriculum in the first two years of the professional dental curriculum.

Science
BIOLOGY 206Genetics3
BIOLOGY 306From Bench to Bedside: Translational Research3
BIOLOGY 313Microbiology3
BIOLOGY 319Global Health: New and Emerging Infectious Diseases3
BIOLOGY 328Histology3
BIOLOGY 409Developmental Biology3
BIOLOGY 435Immunology3
HLSC 125Medical Terminology1
HLSC 410Epidemiology3
Social Sciences
ANTHRO 103Introduction To Cultural Anthropology3
HLSC 252Human Growth and Development3
HLSC 300Diversity in Health3
HLSC 404Introduction to Social Justice1
PBHL 158Public Health Principles3
PBHL 335Historical and Contemporary Issues in Public Health3
PBHL 358Environmental Public Health3
PSYCH 210General Psychology3
PSYCH 222Child Psychology3
PSYCH 433Psychological Disorders3
SOCIOL 201Introduction To Social Psychology3
Humanities
ART-HIST 110Introduction to the History of Art: Pyramids to Picasso3
COMM-ST 277Interpersonal Communication3
COMM-ST 344Organizational Communication3
ENGLISH 304WIProfessional and Technical Writing3
ENGLISH 306WIAdvanced Composition3
PHILOS 210Introduction to Philosophy3
PHILOS 221Contemporary Moral Issues3
PHILOS 321Ethics3
Statistics (choose one of the following):
BIOLOGY 304Biostatistics 13
CJC 303Introduction to Statistics in Sociology and Criminal Justice3
PSYCH 316Quantitative Methods In Psychology3
SOCIOL 363Introduction to Statistics in Sociology/Criminal Justice3
STAT 115Statistical Reasoning3
STAT 235Elementary Statistics3

Students can utilize PlanMyDegree to plan common admission course requirements

Students can learn more about preparing for a career in dentistry, including lists of U.S. and Canadian dental schools and their requirements through the American Dental Association (ADA) and American Dental Education Association (ADEA).

ADA: https://www.ada.org/en

ADEA: https://www.adea.org/godental

In addition to specific admission requirements, all dental schools require students to take the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) as part of a comprehensive admission process. Students can find more information about these exams, including subject components, scoring, and resources for preparation using the link below.  Students planning to take the DAT are encouraged to complete coursework in the subject components to ensure they have a foundational understanding of the material for successful completion of the exam. Students preparing for the DAT should consider applying for the Dental Scholars program.

DAT: https://www.ada.org/education/testing/exams/dental-admission-test-dat

Dental Scholars (STAHR): https://info.umkc.edu/stahr/scholars/dat-prep/

Students applying for professional schools of dentistry do so through a centralized application service.  Two such services are utilized for schools in the U.S. and Canada; the Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS) and the Texas Medical and Dental School Application Service (TMDSAS). Students can learn more about the centralized application services including requirements for personal statements, letters of evaluation, timelines and fee assistance programs through the links below.

AADSAS: https://www.adea.org/GoDental/Apply/

TMDSAS: https://www.tmdsas.com/

Students interested in applying to the Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) program through the UMKC School of Dentistry are encouraged to schedule a one-on-one meeting with an admissions advisor to meet to discuss the DDS program and tour the school.  Students can email dds@umkc.edu for assistance scheduling this appointment.  More information is available on their website including information about DDS Information Events, shadowing at the school, Dental Explorer’s Post, the DAT Prep Program and STAHR Scholars Dentistry Program.

UMKC School of Dentistry: https://dentistry.umkc.edu/