Academic Coursework and Prerequisite Experience

The School of Dentistry has established admissions criteria which permit flexibility in the choice of an undergraduate program, while maintaining an emphasis on strong scholastic achievement. Non-science as well as science majors are encouraged to apply. In addition, those individuals who are interested in changing their careers will receive careful consideration for admissions. Applicants should be able to show evidence that they have undertaken a challenging program in their respective disciplines, supplemented by a broad selection of courses in the social sciences, humanities and arts.  Applicants are expected to have knowledge and understanding of the nature of the profession acquired through observation of dental practice and by reading appropriate literature. Prior research experience is also desirable.

Experience in the development of fine manual dexterity is essential.  This does not mean just eye/hand coordination that is often acquired in sports activities.  Manual dexterity is gained by handling very small objects in a precise way.  Some examples are model building, knitting, cross stitch, pipetting and embroidery.

While the Committee on Dental Recruitment and Admissions strongly encourages applicants to earn a bachelor's degree prior to dental school matriculation, applicants who have successfully completed at least three academic years (90 credit hours) in an accredited university may be considered for admission. No more than 60 of the minimum required credits will be accepted from a community college or junior college. Furthermore, these credits must have been validated (i.e., accepted for transfer credit) by an accredited college of arts and sciences.

All applicants’ undergraduate curriculum must include, at a minimum, the following:

  • 8 Semester Hours of General Biology (including laboratories*)
  • 8 Semester Hours of Inorganic Chemistry or General Chemistry (including laboratories*)
  • 8 Semester Hours of Organic Chemistry (including laboratories*)
  • 8 Semester Hours of Physics (including laboratories*)
  • 3 Semester Hours of Biochemistry
  • 6 Semester Hours of English Composition

*Online Lab coursework is accepted with pre-approval by submitting a syllabus to the Office of Admissions. Pre-approval is not guaranteed

Most of your prerequisite coursework should be completed at the time of the application. More than two in-progress, or planned courses will prevent an interview invitation.

Since these courses best predict performance in the biological sciences of the dental curriculum, applicants are expected to undertake a challenging curriculum, to achieve superior grades and that prerequisite coursework be no older than 10 years. All admission requirements must be completed by June 30 of the desired year of matriculation. Applicants will not be admitted with unabsolved conditions or unabsolved failures. The Committee on Dental Recruitment and Admissions reserves the right to modify the prerequisites when additional courses are necessary to improve an applicant's preparation for dental school and all prerequisites must receive a passing grade of "C" or higher.  A "C-" will not be accepted.  Admission requirements are subject to change without prior notice.

Academic transcripts should NOT be sent directly to the University of Maryland, unless specifically requested by the Office of Admissions.