Most dental schools in the United States and Canada require similar prerequisite coursework for admissions. The Dental Admissions Test (DAT), taken before application, also covers a broad range of topics. Pre-dental students should work with a PMHSC pre-dental advisor to include the courses that both meet prerequisite requirements and teach DAT content into their plan of work. The courses listed below do not constitute a major or minor. If you are looking for suggestions while choosing a major or minor, you might find this blog article, "Students: How do I pick a major?' or the Suggested Pre-Dental Minors document helpful.  

Full a full list of dental education programs (and program websites) in the US and Canada, please visit the American Dental Education Association website


Two courses of biology with lab and microbiology with lab. Additional upper level biology coursework strongly recommended*.

  • BIO 1500 and 1501 Basic Life Diversity 4 credits 
  • BIO 1510 and 1511 Basic Life Mechanisms 4 credits 
  • BIO 3250 and 3251 Molecular Mechanisms of Microbiology 5 credits OR 
  • BIO 2270 and 2271 Principles of Microbiology 5 credits  

*Many out of state dental programs require two semesters of Anatomy & Physiology. The sequence at WSU is BIO 2870 + BIO 3200. 


Two semesters of general chemistry with lab; two semesters or organic chemistry with lab 

  • CHM 1100 and 1130 General Chemistry 1 5 credits 
  • CHM 1140 and 1150 General Chemistry 2 5 credits 
  • CHM 1240 and 1250 Organic Chemistry 1 5 credits 
  • CHM 2220 and 2230 Organic Chemistry 2 5 credits 


One semester of biochemistry 

  • BIO 3100 Cellular Biochemistry 3 credits OR 
  • CHM 5600 Survey of Biochemistry 3 credits* 
  • CHM 6620 Metabolism 3 credits (biochemistry majors only) 

*Talk to a pre-dental advisor before registering. 


Two semesters of physics with lab 

  • PHY 2130 and 2131 Physics for the Life Sciences 1 5 credits 
  • PHY 2140 and 2141 Physics for the Life Sciences 2 5 credits 
  • Please note: PHY 2170/71 and PHY 2180/81 are also acceptable 

English (Composition)

Two semesters, only one literature course can count toward this requirement 

  • ENG 1020 Basic Composition 3 credits 
  • ENG 3010 Intermediate Writing 3 credits (many Intermediate Composition (ICN) courses will satisfy this requirement, but ENG 3010 is recommended) 


The PMHSC recommends math through pre-calculus to prepare students for the chemistry and physics courses that many dental schools require.  There is also a quantitative reasoning section on the DAT.  

Upper-Level Science Courses

Several dental schools indicate they want to see applicants who are successful in multiple upper-level (3000 and 4000+) courses during their third and fourth years. Non-plant-based courses such as comparative physiology, immunology, and histology are good options to consider including in fall and winter course planning. Speak with an advisor to discuss additional options. 

Additional Required and Recommended Coursework

In addition to the coursework outlined above, dental schools also like to see applicants with courses taken in areas such as sociology, psychology, business, public speaking, and art. Pre-dental students are encouraged to take some of these classes to fulfill their general education requirements where possible.  The University of Michigan, for example, requires psychology and sociology. 

Getting a pre-dental plan of work 

Pre-dental advisors will work with students and their assigned major advisors to design a plan of work that includes both the courses needed to apply to dental school and degree requirements.  Pre-dental students should see their major advisors first and attend a Pre-Dental Information Session BEFORE scheduling an appointment with a pre-dental advisor.  

Michigan Dental School Prerequisites at WSU

WSU does not have a dental education program, but many students still prepare to apply to dental school while earning their undergraduate degree. The PMHSC advisors keep an up-to-date list of which WSU courses best fulfill the prerequisite requirements at the two Michigan dental schools. It is best to work with a pre-dental advisor if you have questions about these courses.