As a pre-dental student, Carthage has numerous faculty/staff members to support your journey to professional school. Make sure you are working closely with your assigned faculty advisor to address any questions relating to your major or minor requirements. For questions regarding dental school requirements and preparation, please contact the science and pre-health career specialist in The Aspire Center.

See the pre-Dental timeline

These are the most common prerequisites for medical school programs. However, different schools may have different prerequisites on what classes you should take. Make sure to check your desired program’s website.

  • 2 Biology Courses (BIO 1110 and 1120)
  • 2 General Chemistry Courses with Labs (CHEM 1010, CHEM 1020)
  • 2 Organic Chemistry Courses with Labs (CHEM 2070, CHEM 2080)
  • 2 Physics Courses (PHY 2100 and 2110 or PHY 2200* and 2210*)
  • Biochemistry with Lab (CHEM 3010*)
  • Microbiology with Lab (BIO 3340*)
  • 2 semesters of Anatomy and Physiology with Lab (BIO 3300* and BIO 3310*)
  • 2 English courses (COR 1200 and another course)
  • 1 Statistics course

Other suggested Courses 

  • Upper-Level Science courses
    • Advanced Cell Biology (BIO 3500*)
    • Immunology (BIO 4300*)
    • Advanced Biochemistry (CHM 3020*)

*= prerequisites needed for a course

There is no requirement for a set undergraduate major before applying. It is important to work closely with your advisors to ensure you are meeting all prerequisites for dental school.
The amount of shadowing is usually around 100-150 hours; to be safe, try to aim for 125 or more. You should try to shadow at organizations that can show admissions teams you have a strong interest in and understanding of dentistry, which, for most students, means with a dentist or a dental specialist. You should also be volunteering as well — even if it isn’t required by a school, it can absolutely make admissions teams look favorably on your application.
You will need to take the DAT for admission into dental school. Preparing for the DAT largely depends on you and how you study. It is normal to study for the DAT over multiple months, and you should spread this out. However, to feel fully prepared and to make sure you give yourself the best possible chance to do well, the study process may take a full year. Taking into account all these factors, studying and preparing as early as you can is best. We recommend that you study intensively during the summer following your sophomore year. This exam will have everything but physics on it, meaning there is lots of information to cover, and you need to give yourself the best chance of recalling it all. Most people take the DAT during the winter or spring of their junior year or 1.5 years before they go to dental school.
You will need to submit a personal statement with your application. To help craft your personal statement, attend our Personal Statement Workshop, typically held in the fall semester. In order to receive a committee letter, you must complete the personal statement workshop.

At Carthage, we recommend our students receive a committee letter in addition to 2-3 individual letters of recommendation. A committee letter is a letter authored by a pre-health advising team. It offers evaluation and advocacy on your behalf by highlighting your background and accomplishments, contextualizing challenges, and outlining your overall preparation and motivation for pursuing a career in medicine. In order to receive a committee letter, you need to attend the information session, typically held in the winter of your junior year or the semester before you apply to medical school. The process will begin in the winter, and you will receive the letter at the end of May/ early June.

In addition to the committee letter, you will need 2-3 individual letters of recommendation for your application. You will need at least one of those letters from a science course professor and one from a dentist you have worked with or shadowed under. Ideally, you should ask for a letter of recommendation at least 2-3 months before your application deadline, although give as much time as possible. This way, they have adequate time to reflect upon their experience and write the best possible letter they can. If you are participating in an experiential role, it is suggested that you ask for a letter a month or two before the close of that experience.

While Carthage students usually apply to around 15-20 schools total of 14 months before they start dental school. There is a financial commitment associated with application fees, so you should only apply to schools you would genuinely consider attending.

Applications will be submitted through the AADAS platform. This opens in the summer, and if you plan on attending right after your undergraduate degree, you should apply in the summer of your junior year. It is recommended that you have all materials ready when the platform opens and submit them in June. Below is the list of application materials.

  • Personal statement
  • Shadowing hours 
  • Healthcare experience hours 
  • Volunteer hours
  • Committee letter 
  • DAT scores
  • Transcripts (official copy)

Preparing for professional school starts year one at Carthage, and we are here to help you each step of the way! We recommend that you reach out to your advising team as soon as possible regarding your plans so they can help you start preparing. Carthage also has many articulation agreements that can assist you in reaching your professional goals.

You should also join the Pre-Health Club at Carthage, which could help you foster connections with other pre-health students, understand your next steps, and deepen your experience with healthcare. Start building connections with professors now by getting involved and seeking out opportunities. It is highly recommended you start looking for experiential learning opportunities and get involved.