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Pre-Dental

Toward a career in dental medicine and oral healthcare

Dentist working on child's mouth next to mother

Why study pre-dental in the College of Science?

The College of Science at Oregon State University offers a wide variety of majors that will help you gain an excellent foundation in science and do well in prerequisite pre-dental courses. While not a major, the pre-dentistry track in the College will allow you to major in an area of interest and declare a pre-dental track early in your undergraduate studies. Students can choose from nine majors in the College that will help them develop a strong background in basic sciences with opportunities to work in our state-of-the-art research centers and facilities and conduct research.

More than 80% of our pre-dental students get admission to U.S. dental schools

Biology, chemistry, biohealth sciences, microbiology and biochemistry are some of the more common majors for our pre-dental students. The Biology and BioHealth Sciences majors have pre-dental options, however all majors in the college of science contain the majority of prerequisite coursework for dental school.

Prerequisite course requirements for dental school generally include a year each of General Chemistry, General Biology, General Physics and Organic Chemistry; OHSU also requires a year of Anatomy & Physiology and a course in Biochemistry. Students should research individual dental schools for specific prerequisite information. Pre-requisite as well as upper-level and core coursework in science will give you a strong foundation to succeed in the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) and beyond.

Research opportunities

Our pre-dental students can pursue research in a field that intrigues and interests them the most. Many of our pre-dental and pre-med students have conducted research on biomedical projects, environmental science, pharmacology and genetics in hundreds of labs across campus. Undergraduate research experiences help our students stand out while applying and interviewing for dentistry programs. Most of our premed students are involved in some kind of research, and they can get a Transcript Notation for their research or creative efforts.

Special pre-dental course and other resources

During winter quarter, OSU offers a helpful Pre-Dental Orientation Course, BHS 107, which features local dentists, field trips, admissions officers, and information about coursework, majors, finances, etc.

For those applying to dental school, there is an application seminar to assist with the application process usually offered in winter term.

Scholarships

The College of Science offers several pre-dental and pre-med scholarships as well as other scholarships for academic merit and financial need in a variety of majors. Awards such as the Chadburn Scholarship; the Corvallis Clinic J. Riley M.D. Health Occupations Science Scholarship; The Delta Dental of Oregon Scholarship; The Kenneth R. Johnson Pre-Dental Society Scholarship, and others are awarded to meritorious students in the College of Science.

Every year motivated students receive summer undergraduate research scholarships, called the SURE Award, that allows them to conduct 11 weeks of full-time research.

In 2019-20, more than 350 students received scholarships totaling $942,000.

“The first year of dental school was especially challenging. But I truly believe if it were not for the preparation we got at Oregon State we wouldn’t have been able to cope. I saw many of our classmates from big schools across the country struggle to keep up. As it turned out we did really well.”
Luisa Snyder (Biology ’09), Snyder Family Dentistry, Salem, Oregon. Luisa graduated from the dental program at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California.

Meet our students and alumni

Doctor of Dental Medicine Programs where our recent graduates have landed

  • Oregon Health and Science University
  • Indiana University, Bloomington
  • University of Washington
  • UCLA
  • Western University

Dental careers of our graduates

  • Dentists at Hillside Dental Care; Burlingame Dental Arts; Newberg Family Dental; Rogue Valley Dental; and other places
  • Pediatric dentistry resident at OHSU
  • Dental officer, U.S. Navy – Naval Health Clinic