Applying to Dental School

Dentistry is a growing, diverse field of study and practice. Students who are interested in this path should plan on significant shadowing experiences. Sewanee has several dental internships available during the school year and summer, and students are encouraged to participate in dental outreach trips. Dental school admissions requirements can vary by school (so please visit dental school web pages and call their Admissions office), but in general include coursework in biology, chemistry (including required organic chemistry and highly recommended biochemistry), physics, math (a few schools), and English (art with sculpture is also frequently recommended). 

Students are required to take the DAT entrance exam. However, as this exam does not contain physics content, it is encouraged that students consider taking the exam shortly after completion of their mathematics, chemistry, and biology prerequisite coursework and after appropriate DAT preparation. Students will apply via a common application through ADEA.

Plan of Study

There are various pathways through the Sewanee curriculum to meet the academic requirements to apply to dental school. It is strongly recommended to complete CHEM 120 in your freshmen year. Additionally, it is recommended to complete BIOL 233 by the end of your sophomore year. These recommendations will allow you the most options to timely take upper level science courses required for dental school. Physics is usually, but not always, taken in the junior or senior year (and is not required for preparation for the DAT entrance exam). 

One year of Biology with Laboratory - 
Note that BIOL 133 and BIOL 233 are non-lab courses that are pre-requisites for upper level biology lab courses that are required or highly recommended.

BIOL 133 Introductory Molecular Biology and Genetics 
BIOL 233 Intermediate Cell and Molecular Biology 

Highly recommended BIOL laboratory courses that cover core competencies on DAT:

BIOL 243 Molecular Methods 
BIOL 270 Human Anatomy
BIOL 314 General and Human Physiology

Additional recommended BIOL courses that will enhance your core competencies in the biological sciences: 
(*Please note these courses are also offered without a lab, and courses without a lab will not count toward the requirement for most dental schools). 

  • BIOL 203: Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (Lab)
  • BIOL 275: Histology and Microanatomy (Lab)
  • BIOL 280: Molecular Genetics (Lab)
  • BIOL 289: Biotechnology*
  • BIOL 319: Cancer Cell Biology*
  • BIOL 328: Molecular Revolutions in Medicine*
  • BIOL 330: Immunology*
  • BIOL 333: Developmental Biology
  • BIOL 340: Microbiology
  • BIOL 389: Epigenetics* 
  • BIOL 316: Biochemistry of Metabolism and Molecular Biology (Please be aware that this course cannot count for more than one pre-dental requirement. Thus if you use this to satisfy your Biological Science requirement, you will have to take an additional chemistry course)

Two years/Four semesters of chemistry with laboratory
Note that some schools only require that you complete chemistry through organic regardless of semester hours, while others require the full two years.

Chemistry courses listed below are required by most dental schools and are highly recommended for DAT competencies: 
CHEM 120 General Chemistry (Lab) or CHEM 150 Advanced General Chemistry (Lab)
CHEM 201 Organic Chemistry I (Lab)
CHEM 202 Organic Chemistry II (Lab)

Additional inorganic chemistry courses that will satisfy the fourth semester of chemistry for most schools that require an additional course:
CHEM 210 Solution and Solid State Chemistry (Lab)
CHEM 308 Inorganic Chemistry (Lab)
CHEM 352 Thermodynamics and Kinetics (Lab)

One year of physics with laboratory
Either Physics 101 followed by Physics 102, or Physics 103 followed by Physics 104, will provide a full year of physics with laboratory.
PHYS 101/102: General Physics I & II
PHYS 103/104: Modern Mechanics & Electric and Magnetic Interactions

Mathematics and Statistics  
While these courses may not be required by most medical schools, they are highly recommended and are good background classes for required courses such as physics.
MATH 101/102 (placement required)
STAT  204

One year/Two semesters of English 
Many Sewanee students fulfill the English requirement with the following courses:

  • ENGL 101: Literature and Composition AND ENGL XXX OR
  • WRIT courses also are accepted by some schools (please check you school to verify)


Succeeding in the pre-health curriculum
The pre-health curriculum consists of a diverse array of coursework, much in the STEM fields. These courses are often extremely rigorous in order to provide students with the background skills and knowledge they need to succeed in health care fields. The Office of Medical and Health Programs (OMHP), partnering with the Sewanee Health Professions Society (SHPS), provides both leadership development opportunities for students interested in tutoring and one-on-one peer tutoring for students seeking tutoring. All peer tutors have not only succeeded in the courses in which they tutor, but they have also been shown to be good teachers and mentors.

For the academic year 2018-2019 the student leader of this program is Gil Horner.  If you have questions please refer them to Gil or Assistant Director Cynthia Gray.  

Those applying to be tutors need to fill out forms with Human Resources after being given approval from the Office of Medical and Health Programs. Time sheets also need turned in at a timely manner.

Those who have a tutor may be asked to evaluate their experience so we may provide the best mentorship and tutoring program for students. 

Apply to be a tutor.

Request a tutor.