Admission criteria

Admission criteria

Pre-dental study

A minimum of three years of academic studies (90 semester hours or equivalent, including the prerequisite courses listed below) is required at an accredited U.S. or Canadian college or university. However, we recommend that students complete a four-year curriculum leading to a B.S. or B.A. degree. Students may also attend an accredited community college for a maximum of two years (60 semester hours or equivalent) followed by a minimum of two years (60 semester hours or equivalent) at an accredited four-year degree-granting institution. It is preferred that prerequiste courses be completed no more than five years prior to applying and all other courses be completed no more than 10 years before applying.

Specific course requirements

* A minimum grade of C must be earned to successfully fulfill prerequisite course requirements.

* These courses should also permit study in upper-level science courses at your institution.

Biology prerequisite (8 semester hours)

A minimum of eight semester hours of general biology or zoology is required, including lecture and laboratory courses for both semesters.

Chemistry prerequisite (16 semester hours)

A minimum of eight semester hours of general inorganic chemistry, including lecture and laboratory courses for both semesters, is required. A minimum of eight hours of organic chemistry, including lecture and laboratory courses for both semesters, is required.

Physics prerequisite (8 semester hours)

A minimum of eight semester hours of college or university physics, including lecture and laboratory courses for both semesters, is required.

Biochemistry (3 semester hours)

A minimum of three semester hours of biochemistry is required.

Strongly recommended courses

Courses in general microbiology, bacteriology, animal or vertebrate physiology, anatomy, genetics and cell biology are strongly recommended. If time permits and the courses are available, courses in immunology, embryology or developmental biology and histology are highly recommended. Additionally, non-science courses in the behavioral sciences and those involving psychomotor skills are recommended.

Additional criteria

Technical skills

In order to successfully complete the dental curriculum at VCU, students must meet nonacademic criteria for motor, sensory/observation, communication, cognitive and behavioral abilities, as listed in the School of Dentistry Technical Standards. Accordingly, applicants may be required to prove their proficiency in American English via standardized tests and interviews. An applicant may consider the option of postponing matriculation until such time that he/she can meet these requirements.

Dental Admission Test

Participation in the  of the American Dental Association is required. It is recommended that the test be taken the year before the intended matriculation year. Applicants are encouraged to take the examination more than one time, as the best set of scores is used as the official set. Information about the DAT can be obtained from the pre-health advising office of your undergraduate school or the American Dental Association website.