What to Major in to Be a Dentist

Do you dream of being a dentist? When you enter undergraduate school, it’s a good idea to major in something that will help you achieve that dream. However, there are a few different things to consider. Here’s what to major in to be a dentist.

A student wearing a graduation cap throwing confetti at the camera while she smiles.

What are Dental Schools Looking For?

Dental schools, above all else, are looking for individuals with a well-rounded education but based in the sciences. You should be focusing on high grades, a rigorous course load, and elective courses that will help you learn good practices for customer service and relations. However, it’s important to note that schools have accepted students of different majors ranging from sports administration to music!

Requirements for dental schools also vary. Generally, they want courses in biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics – all with attached labs. Other schools may require additional classes in upper-level sciences and English composition. You do not necessarily have to major in science at all but you do have to finish the prerequisites for the dental school you’re attending.

Aside from your education, dental schools are also looking for other things in a student. They can include

  • Work or volunteer work in a healthcare or dental setting
  • Dental workshops
  • Dental research activities
  • Pre-dental clubs
  • Advanced science courses
    • Although not necessarily required, they can be helpful in dental school

Enrolling in dental school is a lengthy process and requires interviews, tests, and more applications. Be sure to talk to your guidance counselor and dental school of choice for assistance.

Popular Undergraduate Majors for Dentistry

There are a number of different majors to choose from when it comes to dentistry. Which you choose may depend on your interests or specific goals within the field.

Biochemistry

With a focus on biology, calculus, chemistry, and physics, students aiming for this degree will have the sound foundation needed for the practical side of dentistry. It can also help dentists further understand advancements in the field, dental issues, and research.

Molecular Biology

As with biochemistry, molecular biology majors focus on the foundation needed for the field, but it also allows further dentists to learn more about the diseases and health conditions they will treat when they graduate.

Biomedical Engineering

For many students interested in dentistry and who major in biomedical engineering, they’re looking to explore a job in dentistry research, medicine, and similar careers. It’s perfect if you want to explore or even create technological advancements, but you can also become a dentist with this degree.

Pre-Dentistry

Some schools actually offer a pre-dentistry degree! Many of these schools even have a dental program for graduates, too. These courses will help you focus on the must-have classes that will set you up for success to become a dentist.

And Others

A few other popular majors you can choose from and aim for a career in dentistry include

What to Major in to Be a Dentist

Even if you’re halfway through a major in English and want to be a dentist, it is possible! Although the right majors definitely do help with your career and getting into dental school in the first place, schools are really looking to ensure you have a well-rounded education with the prerequisites they ask for.

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