Academic Planning for Dental School

Core Pre-Dental Courses

The courses listed below will satisfy the basic core requirements for most dental schools. Course requirements can vary by school. Consult the ADEA Go Dental Explorer as well as individual schools’ websites for specific requirements.

Biology: Two Semesters with Lab

  • Semester 1: BIOL 101 OR BIOL 121 and BIOL 123
  • Semester 2: BIOL 102 OR 200-Level Biology Lecture + BIOL 124

General Chemistry: Two Semesters with Lab

  • Semester 1: CHEM 101 and CHEM 53
  • Semester 2: CHEM 102 and CHEM 54

Physics: Two Semesters with Lab

  • Semester 1: PHYS 101 OR PHYS 150
  • Semester 2: PHYS 102 OR PHYS 151

Organic Chemistry: Two Semesters with Lab

  • Semester 1: CHEM 241
  • Semester 2: CHEM 242 OR CHEM 243
  • Semester 3: CHEM 245 (Lab)

Biochemistry: One Semester

  • Semester 1: BIOL 204 or BIOL 402 or CHEM 251

English & Writing: Two Semesters

  • Semester 1: Writing Seminar
  • Semester 2: Any ENGL or COML course

Math & Statistics: Two Semesters Each*

  • Semester 1: MATH 104** or higher
  • Semester 2: STAT 111, BIOL 446, or another statistics course

*Only some dental schools require Calculus and/or Statistics.

**Students who receive AP credit for MATH 104 from Penn (noted on the academic transcript) may be able to use it to fulfill dental school math/calculus requirements.

Summer courses: In general, it is advisable to take required pre-dental courses at Penn and during the academic year. Dental schools prefer to review your performance in the required courses while you are maintaining a full course load. Also, the pace of summer courses is often accelerated and sometimes too fast-paced for optimal performance. If you have questions, discuss your plans with a pre-health advisor.