Dentists treat diseases and deformities of the teeth and other parts of the mouth. They strive to help a patient maintain overall oral health.  Some specialize in oral surgery, orthodontics or endodontics.

Dental schools in Tennessee: 

A book, Dental Admissions Requirements, is available in the Biology, Geology and Environmental Sciences Department and lists requirements for all dental schools in the United States and Canada.   Pre-dental students follow a program that is very similar to that of the pre-medical students.  


Basic requirements for dental school consist of:

  • 8 SH - Biology (BIOL 1110/1110L, 1120/1120L)
  • 8 SH - Advanced Biology, e.g. Comparative Anatomy, Microbiology, Genetics, Cell Biology, or Physiology
  • 8 SH - Inorganic Chemistry (CHEM 1110/1110L, 1120/1120L)
  • 8 SH - Organic Chemistry (CHEM 3010/3010L, 3020/3020L)
  • 3 SH - Biochemistry (CHEM 4510)
  • 8 SH - Physics (PHYS 1030/1030L, 1040/1040L)
  • 6 SH - English, Comp and Lit  e.g. (ENGL 1010, 1020)

A strong background in the biological and physical sciences is necessary for dental school. Course work in the humanities is also desirable.  Recommended courses include mathematics, language, economics, political science, etymology and social science courses.  Pre-dental students should take the Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) during the junior year, after serious preparation for the test.  The test covers basic biology, inorganic and organic chemistry. The Dental Admission Testing Program publishes sample testing materials as well as an online guide. The DAT has produced a tutorial that will help you become acquainted with the format of the test.  Order forms and payment information can be found online at the DAT website.

Dental School admission is based on undergraduate GPA, DAT, Interview. and observation or work in a General Dentist’s Office

Commercial DAT test preparation materials are available from these sources

  • ScholarWare offers computerized DAT study materials
  • Kaplan offers test preparation classes and self study materials
  • Princeton Review offers test preparation classes and self study materials


The DAT may be taken on line at the Sylvan Learning Center.  The center may be reached at (423) 894-8333 or WWW.EDUCATE.COM.  In order to take the test, a student may use the application that comes with the booklet or apply on line at  All testing is now done on line at Prometric Testing Centers, operated by Sylvan.

Undergraduate school grades and scores on the DAT are two very important criteria for admission to dental schools.  In addition, handwork and dental office experience are very valuable.  Dental schools are looking for individuals who are educationally well rounded, enjoy a wide variety of leisure-time activities and are able to handle themselves well in an interview.

Many dental schools are using the American Association of Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS).  

American Dental Education Association
1400 K Street, NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005
Tel: 202-289-7201