Academic Preparation for Admission into Texas Dental Programs
There are three dental schools in Texas, all public institutions. Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in El Paso is developing the Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine. They are scheduled to open in Fall 2021. Career options include: general dentistry; dental public health; endodontics; oral & maxillofacial pathology, radiology, or surgery; orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics; pediatric dentistry; periodontics; and prosthodontics.
Most students find additional science coursework to be beneficial in performing well on the Dental Admission Test (DAT).
Dental Schools require no specific academic major, but do require:
- 14 hours biological sciences (may include courses listed below)
- 8 hours inorganic chemistry
- 8 hours organic chemistry
- 3 hours biochemistry
- 8 hours physics
- 3 hours statistics
- 6 hours English
- 4 hours microbiology
- 8 hours anatomy & physiology (strongly preferred)
All prerequisite courses must be designed for Science Majors. Dental Schools in other states may have a different slate of core requirements. Most dental colleges do not accept AP credit to meet admission requirements. Natural Science majors are efficient pathways to dental colleges. If you choose a major outside Biology, Biomedical Science, or Chemistry, you must include the basic science requirements for dental school along with satisfying requirements appropriate for your major. Any academic major is suitable and acceptable for dental school as long as the prerequisite coursework is complete. Other academic majors and minors can be used, but may require more coursework than the usual 120-hour baccalaureate.
Texas residents must apply to dental school through the Texas Medical & Dental Application Service. The application opens May 1. Early application is recommended. To apply out of state, students will apply through the American Dental Education Association's (ADEA) common application (AADSAS). The American Student Dental Association is another very helpful resource for applicants. Let ADEA's timeline is a good guide for preparation to apply to dental school.
Successful applicants are academically excellent and demonstrate passion for dentistry through shadowing, service, activities and experiences that will help prepare for a career in dentistry.