Dentists diagnose and treat problems with teeth and tissues in the mouth, along and give advice and administer preventative care. They repair or remove tooth decay, fill cavities, examine x-rays, place protective plastic sealants on children's teeth, straighten teeth, and repair fractured teeth. They also perform corrective surgery on gums and supporting bones to treat gum diseases. Dentists extract teeth and make models and measurements for dentures to replace missing teeth. They also administer anesthetics and write prescriptions for antibiotics and other medications.

First Year Advisor

CSET Advising Center

Office: 125 Trafton Center
Phone: 507-389-1521

Faculty Advisory Team

Geoffrey Goellner, Ph.D. (for Biology majors)
Office: 345 Trafton South
Phone: 507-389-5873

Marie Pomijie, Ph.D. (for Chemistry and Biochemistry majors)
Office: 345 Ford Hall
Phone: 507-389-5917

Specific course requirements for admission to dental school vary among the different dental schools in the United States. To be eligible for admission at a particular dental school, students must fulfill the requirements of that school. Students are encouraged to keep themselves apprised of requirements for specific schools by consulting appropriate Websites.

The following list of courses is consistent with the courses required for admission to the University of Minnesota Dental school.


Refer to the current Undergraduate Bulletin for course descriptions.

  • English. ENG 101, CMST 100 and an additional 4 credits of writing intensive course work in English. (Students are encouraged to take ENG 271W and PHIL 222W as electives.)
  • Biology. BIOL 105, BIOL 106 - students are encouraged to take additional electives from the following list to enhance their knowledge in basic biology: BIOL 211, BIOL 220, BIOL 270, BIOL 316, BIOL 320, BIOL 330, BIOL 435, BIOL 475
  • Physics. PHYS 211, PHYS 212 or PHYS 221, PHYS 222
  • Chemistry. CHEM 201, CHEM 202, CHEM 332, CHEM 324, CHEM 325, CHEM 360. (Students are encouraged to take CHEM 305 as an elective.)
  • Mathematics. MATH 112 and MATH 113 or MATH 115
  • Psychology. PSYC 101

Although a minimum of 87 semester credits is required for admission to the D.D.S. program at the University of Minnesota, most students enrolled have completed four or more years of college. To receive a baccalaureate degree from Minnesota State Mankato, students must complete the requirements for general education, a major and possibly a minor. Dental schools look most favorably upon the academically well-rounded student who has a strong scholastic record and unique life experiences that engender a commitment to a career in dentistry. Students should pursue majors and minors in subjects of their own choosing, as dental schools accept applicants from all academic majors provided admission prerequisites are met. Majoring in one of the sciences - biology, biochemistry, chemistry, physics, etc., - has the advantage of incorporating many or all of the courses listed above. Furthermore, the technical language of dental school is derived primarily from the disciplines of biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and psychology. Sciences must include both lecture and laboratory instruction. Courses in biology, chemistry and physics may be considered outdated by dental schools if taken more than five years before the time of application. Elective courses should be selected to achieve as broad and liberal an education as possible. Students who plan to enter dental school must take the Dental Admission Test (DAT). Typically, students begin the application process to dental school during the summer following their junior year. For their application to be complete, they must report their DAT scores.

Consult the American Dental Education Association for more information on the DAT and the application process.