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Aspiring to become a dentist? USD provides specialized programs and recommended coursework meticulously designed to prepare you for dental school applications.

Your Path in Pre-Dentistry

If you aspire to pursue a career in dentistry, conscientious planning of your undergraduate program is essential to meet the prerequisites for admission to dental school. Dentists are responsible for examining, diagnosing, treating and managing diseases and disorders of the teeth, gums, jaw and mouth. Their role extends beyond treatment to encompass disease prevention and the restoration of oral structures.

While the University of South Dakota's pre-dentistry program is carefully structured to provide students with a curriculum that covers essential required courses, it is important for students to reach out to individual professional dental schools for specific requirements. Consulting with advisors is crucial to plan a course of study that aligns with the admission requirements of the student's dental school(s) of choice.

In general, dental schools typically mandate coursework in biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, physic and mathematics, emphasizing major-specific courses over general studies. Furthermore, dental schools commonly require a designated number of hours of lab experience across the science disciplines. Additional coursework in biochemistry, genetics, physiology and statistics is usually necessary, along with studies in English, humanities and social sciences. Guidance and advising play pivotal roles in any pre-professional path, so it's important to inform your academic advisor of your pursuit of dentistry.

Degrees & Offerings


  Vermillion Main Campus

Considering a future in dentistry? USD's pre-dentistry program is thoughtfully crafted to assist you in readiness for dental school applications. While you won't graduate with a degree explicitly labeled as pre-dentistry, you will earn a degree corresponding to your chosen major, complemented by a pre-professional curriculum that enriches your overall academic journey.

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Program Details




Pre-Dentistry FAQ

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Health Care Experts

The University of South Dakota stands as the pinnacle of health care education in the state, hosting South Dakota's only medical school. Renowned as the regional leader in health care education, USD provides comprehensive coursework across various health care disciplines. With an unmatched understanding of the health care landscape, we are dedicated to connecting students to the opportunities necessary to shape their path for the future.

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Incredible Research Opportunities

A unique aspect of your USD education is access to incredible undergraduate research opportunities. Through your academic department, you may have the opportunity to work in specialized research labs under the guidance of highly active faculty. You can also sharpen your writing skills by applying for undergraduate research grants at the university. By accessing high-quality research experiences as an undergraduate student, you can expand your education and set yourself apart in medical school applications.

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