More than just a purveyor of sparking smiles, dentists transform lives by promoting oral health, preventing disease, boosting self-confidence and restoring functionality.

Dentists diagnose and treat a wide range of dental issues from cavities and gum disease to injuries and malformations.

In addition, dentists use their skills to enhance a patient's appearance and boost overall well-being through cosmetic procedures. They may also perform surgical procedures including implant placements and extractions to restore functionality and aesthetics.

Contact Health Professions Advising

Pre-Dentistry Advising Guide

While there is no "pre-dentistry major" at the College of Charleston, the following guide and consultation with your advisor can help prepare you for your application and potential admission to dental school.
  • Undergraduate Preparation/Prerequisites

    Each dental school establishes its own set of prerequisites. The following lists common prerequisite courses for admission into dental school. Make sure to check the websites of the dental programs that you are most interested in applying to for complete undergraduate requirements.

    • General Biology or Zoology with labs (8 semester hours)
    • General Chemistry with labs (8 semester hours)
    • Organic Chemistry with labs (8 semester hours)
    • General Physics with labs (8 semester hours)
    • Math (6 semester hours)
    • Statistics (3 semester hours)
    • English (6 semester hours)
    • Behavioral Science (Psychology, Sociology) (6 semester hours) 
    • Courses enhancing manual dexterity (sculpting, painting, drawing, etc.) are also encouraged
    View Catalog Course Descriptions
  • Dental Admissions Testing (DAT)

    The Dental Admission Test (DAT) is a standardized exam required by all U.S. dental schools. The test is designed to measure general academic ability, comprehension of scientific information and your ability to analyze and interpret visual information.

    The DAT consists of four multiple-choice sections.

    • Natural Sciences
    • Perceptual Ability
    • Reading Comprehension
    • Quantitative Reasoning
    Learn More on the DAT
  • Timeline

    First Year

    • Declare a major. Identify yourself as a pre-health profession student on the major declaration form.
    • Make an appointment/get to know your advisors. Discuss your academic gameplan. Check in regularly to discuss your academic progress.
    • Begin taking your basic science courses.
    • Get involved with volunteer and service opportunities (campus and community).
    • Explore opportunities to shadow a dentist.

    Sophomore Year

    • Continue with your sequence of courses.
    • Stay involved in extracurricular activities (shadowing, service, volunteer). Consider leadership positions in these groups.
    • Visit your professors during office hours (You will need letters of recommendation).
    • Visit Health Professions Advising to begin assessing competitiveness.
    • Identify the dentistry programs that you want to apply to. Develop your DAT preparation plan.

    Junior Year

    • Talk to your advisors about competitiveness.
    • Register, study and take the DAT (Don't miss the deadlines!). 
    • Identify five individuals to write your letters of recommendation (Fall). 
    • Complete and submit your application AADSAS (Associated American Dental Schools Application Service) (Summer). 
    • Continue engaging in activities.

    Senior Year

    • Meet with your advisor.
    • Get a degree audit and apply for graduation.
    • Ensure your Health Professions Committee Field is complete and all letters of evaluation have been submitted.
    • Respond promptly to requests for secondary applications. 
    • Send updated transcripts directly to the schools to which you applied (Spring). 
    • Wait to be contacted for interviews from dental schools. 
    • Explore sources for financial aid.
    • Discuss alternative plans with your advisor if necessary.
    • Finish your degree requirements and graduate.