The courses listed below will satisfy the basic requirements at many dental schools.

Note: Requirements and policies differ from school to school. Review individual schools' requirements in the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Official Guide to Dental School and on each schools' admissions web sites. However, for planning your coursework, we strongly recommend that you consult with your academic advisor and pre-health advisor as everyone's path to dental school will be different.



BIOL 101 + BIOL 102
or BIOL 121 + BIOL 123 & 200-Level Biology Lecture + BIOL124


BIOL 204
or BIOL 402
or CHEM 251

General Chemistry

CHEM 101 + CHEM 53 & CHEM 102 + CHEM 54

Organic Chemistry

CHEM 241 + CHEM 242 + CHEM 245
or CHEM 241 + CHEM 243 + CHEM 245


PHYS 101 + PHYS 102
or PHYS 150 + PHYS 151


1 ENGL/COML Course + Writing Seminar


Calculus (MATH 104 or 114)** + Statistics (e.g., STAT 111 or BIOL 446)

*Only some dental schools require Calculus and/or Statistics of applicants. So, it is important to check each inidividual dental schools' requirements.

**Students who receive AP credit for MATH 104 from the University (noted on the academic transcript) may be able to use it to fulfill dental school math/calculus requirements. Again, check each individual dental schools' requirements.

Scheduling: The majority of Penn applicants to dental school take time between graduation and matriculation. If you take that time, you will have more time to complete your required coursework and at a more reasonable pace.

Regardless of the timing of your application, we do not recommend taking several science courses in your freshman year to "get them out of the way." Starting out with introductory biology and math courses in your first semester keeps you on track, while giving you the opportunity to settle into your schedule and become familiar with the rigor of science courses at Penn. In our experience, taking too many science courses concurrently can result in a stressful and academically disappointing term.

Take pre-dental requirements before you apply: Usually dental schools expect you to take your required courses before you apply. If you intend to start dental school in the fall right after your senior year, you should complete your required courses by the end of your junior year. If you intend to take one gap year, you should aim to complete your required courses by graduation.

Summer courses: In general, it is advisable to take required pre-dental courses at Penn and during the academic year. Dental schools prefer to review your performance in the required courses while you are maintaining a full courseload. Also, the pace of summer courses is often accelerated and sometimes too fast-paced for optimal performance. However, if your schedule is very full and you feel a summer course is necessary, discuss your plans with a pre-health advisor.

AP Credit: Some dental schools do not accept AP credit. Even those that do accept AP credit usually prefer to see you take additional advanced course work in that academic area. The goal of using your AP credit is to help you move beyond the introductory course and to make sure that you do formal coursework in each science sequence. If you have specific questions about AP credit for coursework, please contact the appropriate academic department.

Grades: You should take all required courses for a letter grade, and you must earn at least a "C" in the course in order to fulfill the requirement. A "C-" or lower will not satisfy the pre-dental requirement according to dental schools. 

Non-science majors: You can successfully apply to dental school with any major and should choose the subject that most interests you.  If you pick a non-science major, it is advisable to take at least one advanced science course, above and beyond the basic requirements.

BCPM Courses: When you apply, ADEA calculates your BCPM GPA, which means any Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Math courses. The ADEA also calculates a BCP GPA. For guidelines as to what courses are included in your BCPM GPA, see the ADEA website.