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Pre-Dental Curriculum

The University of Kentucky College of Dentistry seeks applicants who are well-educated in the liberal arts and sciences. Individuals are encouraged to pursue baccalaureate studies that reflect their unique abilities and interests. However, it should be noted that a solid foundation in the biological and natural sciences is an integral part of any sound liberal arts and sciences education. The traditional pre-health professions curriculum, heavily focused on the sciences, should be pursued only if that is the student's desire.

The College is convinced that certain course work on the undergraduate level is necessary for quality performance in dental school.  Therefore, the following courses are required for matriculating students:

  • two semesters or three quarters of biology with laboratories;
  • two semesters or three quarters of general chemistry with laboratories;
  • two semesters or three quarters of organic chemistry with laboratories;
  • one semester or two quarters of general physics with laboratory;
  • two semesters or three quarters of English with emphasis on communications
  • one semester of microbiology
  • one semester of biochemistry


Prerequisite course work must be taken for a grade option, not pass-fail.  Applicants are encouraged to pursue a well-rounded curriculum including courses both in the sciences and the humanities.  Applicants are encouraged to take additional basic science courses.  Examples of courses that will be helpful include anatomy (human), biochemistry, cell biology, embryology, genetics, histology, immunology, molecular biology, and physiology (animal and/or human) but only after degree requirements have been completed.  An applicant’s curriculum will be enriched if it also includes courses in the social sciences, history, literature, economics, philosophy, and psychology.

Dental Admission Test (DAT)

Applicants should take the DAT in the spring of their junior year, or no later than early fall of their senior year.  Many applicants take the DAT twice, and the highest set of scores will be considered for application.  For information about the DAT, visit the American Dental Association.

Commitment to Service

Since a caring attitude is central to the practice of dentistry, applicants should demonstrate a commitment to service and a desire to help others. Applicants may wish to highlight volunteer and service activities. They are expected to gain exposure to the practice of dentistry throughout observation experiences. The College seeks to assemble a student body that includes individuals from a wide range of urban, rural, economic, and cultural backgrounds.

Letters of Evaluation

Applicants are required to submit at least three letters of evaluation from persons who can support their admission to dental school. The committee prefers letters written by faculty from an undergraduate institution, or other individuals who can share insights about the applicant's achievements, personal qualities, potential for success in a rigorous curriculum, and motivation for a career in dentistry.

Technical Aptitude

The University of Kentucky College of Dentistry will consider for admission any applicant who demonstrates the ability to perform or to learn to perform essential technical functions. Applicants are not required to disclose the nature of a disability, but someone with questions about these technical requirements is strongly encouraged to discuss the issue with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or the Assistant Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs. If appropriate, and upon the request of the applicant, student or faculty, reasonable accommodations for a disability will be provided.  View the College's Technical Standards policy.