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Major Requirements

Requirements for Medical, Dental and Veterinary School

Individual medical, dental and veterinary schools vary in their specific requirements. A good strategy is to take courses as an undergraduate that prepare for all contingencies, as well as courses that provide solid preparation for the standardized entrance exams for each profession.

Taking the time early in one’s career to investigate individual schools is also an excellent way to prepare. What follows are sample curricula for each degree program.

NOTE: You do NOT have to be a science major to apply to medical or dental school. 50% of the matriculants to medical school are non-science majors who have completed all the course requirements listed below.

Dental Schools (DMD degrees)

Requirements are similar to those above.

From the American Dental Association (ADA)…

“General biology, organic and inorganic chemistry, biochemistry and physics are recommended courses to take in college. Majoring in science is not a must, but completion of the pre-dental science requirements is necessary.”

Required Prerequisite Courses for the Boston University School of Dentistry:

Biology One-and-one-half years with lab (12 semester hours); suggested courses include basic biology, genetics, embryology, molecular biology, cell biology
Chemistry Two years with lab divided equally between general and organic chemistry courses (16 semester hours)
Physics One year with lab (8 semester hours)
English One year or the equivalent at the college level, even if the applicant received advanced placement credit or was exempted from English courses on entry into college
Mathematics One year (6 semester hours); a basic understanding of calculus is needed
Social Sciences and Humanities Three years (18 semester hours)

Overall Guidelines A Successful Application

For a successful application, you should strive for a minimum of:

  • GPA > 3.4
  • Several extracurricular activities at which you excel
  • Extensive volunteer work, laboratory research, internship and/or job related experience
  • Excellent reading and writing skills
  • Completion of specific course requirements for the schools to which you intend to apply (visit individual school websites)
  • A score of 30 on MCAT (medical college admissions tests), or equivalent DAT (dental) and GRE (veterinary school) scores. This will require test taking skill preparation, in addition to reviewing the facts for the physical science and biological science portions of the test.
  • Medical schools also require a letter of evaluation from the Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC) at each undergraduate institution. Please see the Guidelines for Obtaining a Health Professions Advisory Committee Letter by clicking here.