Health Professions and Prelaw Center

Predental Coursework

Indiana University School of Dentistry

Although students of all majors and educational backgrounds are encouraged to apply for admittance to the IU School of Dentistry (IUSD), the faculty of IUSD acknowledges that a strong foundation in Biology and Chemistry is essential to meeting the rigors of the curriculum.  Therefore, the following minimum prerequisites must be completed before matriculation.

Course Requirements for Indiana University School of Dentistry for the DDS Degree

Effective for all 2018 matriculants


IU School of Dentistry Requirement


IU Bloomington Courses that can be used to fulfill the requirement

You may select from the courses below while obtaining the appropriate number of credit hours

Biological Sciences1

20 semester hours

20 credits. Course must include: ANAT-A 215 (5) and PHSL-P 215 (5) or P 214 (3); and BIOL-M 380 (3) or BIOL-L 321 (3); and BIOL-L 211(3) or BIOL-L 312 or CHEM-C 383 (3) or C 483 (3). A prereq for some of these courses includes BIOL-L 112 (4). 
12 semester hours
12 credits; you could select from: CHEM-C 117/127 (3/2), 341 (3), 342 (3), 343 (2), CHEM-N 330 (5) or CHEM-C 118 (5)
8 semester hours of lecture and lab
PHYS-P 201 and 202 OR 221 and 222

Social Sciences

3 semester hours

Any course from psychology or communication studies


3 semester hours

Any course; may include English composition, literature, philosophy, history, foreign language

1 Only biology courses intended for science majors as determined by the applicant's undergraduate institution will count toward this prerequisite. 

2 Students must complete the equivalent of 12 credit hours in chemistry.  The chart above lists some suggested courses from which students could select in fulfilling the 12 credit hours of required coursework.  Only chemistry courses intended for science majors, as determined by the applicant’s undergraduate institution, will count towards this prerequisite.  The following courses are required: general/inorganic chemistry (lecture and lab) and organic chemistry (lecture and lab); biochemistry is strongly recommended.


Most of the above prerequisites should be completed prior to submission of the AADSAS application, and all must be completed prior to matriculation.  A minimum of 90 credit hours of coursework must be completed by the time of matriculation.  An applicant with less than 60 hours at the time of submission will not be considered.

Advanced placement coursework or test credit may not be used toward fulfilling the above requirements, although it may count toward the minimum of 90 credit hours of coursework.  Please note that applicants are strongly encouraged to complete a baccalaureate degree.  Students are only very rarely admitted to dental school without having first completed a baccalaureate degree.

Applicants are encouraged to complete upper-level science courses at 4-year institutions (i.e. colleges or universities that grant Bachelor’s degrees). At least 30 semester hours must be completed at a four-year college.

Requirements for Other Dental Schools

Requirements vary for other dental schools, although common requirements are one year of biology, general/inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics. For specific requirements of other schools to which you expect to apply, consult the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Official Guide to Dental Schools (a copy is available in the Health Professions and Prelaw Center), or the individual school websites.


Additional recommended courses include Spanish, as well as art (ceramics, jewelry, three-dimensional design) or instrumental music (piano, violin, guitar, or other instruments) for building your manual dexterity skills.

Advising appointments at the Health Professions and Prelaw Center are focused on helping students prepare for admission to professional school.  You should periodically meet with your assigned advisor (either a University Division advisor or an advisor in the academic department that offers your major) to plan your schedule and discuss how to best work admission prerequisites into your undergraduate degree plan.  Your assigned advisor has expertise on the curricular requirements for your degree and is the best person for you to consult on most questions regarding your class schedule to make sure you are making good academic progress.