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Academic Requirements


Since course requirements vary by school, it is important to learn early on which courses are required for each dental school to which you intend to apply. 

Courses that are required by all accredited dental schools in the U.S. include:

General Biology (2 Semesters With Lab)

  • Prior to Fall 2018: Bio 101F and Bio 102S; or Bio 115F and a 200-level biology course

  • Beginning in Fall 2018: Bio 100 (several options, some offered in fall, others in spring) and a 200-level biology course (some offered in fall, denoted with an "F" after the course number, others in spring, denoted with an "S"). This only applies to those who have not previously taken Bio 101 and 102.

    Options for the 200-level bio lab course include: Bio 213S Marine Biology, Bio 221S Microbiology (offered every other spring semester), Bio 222S Survey of Human Anatomy, Bio 228F Invertebrate Biology, Bio 237F Ecology, Bio 248S Genes and Genomes, and Bio 280S Plant Function and Structure.
    Note that Bio 270S Biological Chemistry should not be taken to fulfill the general biology requirement as it is most typically taken to fulfill the general chemistry requirement (see below).

General Chemistry (2 semesters with Lab)
Organic Chemistry (2 semesters with Lab)

Dental schools have historically required a full year of general chemistry and a full year of Organic. Hamilton’s Chemistry Department’s introductory course is a one-semester course (120, or 125 with AP credit) and students must fulfill the year of general chemistry by taking either Chem 270 (Biological Chemistry) or Chem 265 (Inorganic and Materials).

In addition, most dental schools now also require Biochemistry. Note that Chem 270 (Biological Chemistry) may not fulfill a school’s biochemistry requirement if it is being “counted” toward the one year of general chemistry.

There are two options for fulfilling the chem and biochem requirements:

  • Principles of Chemistry (Chem 120F), Organic Chemistry I (Chem 190S), Organic Chemistry II (Chem 255F), Biological Chemistry (Chem 270S), and Biochemistry (Bio 346F)
  • Principles of Chemistry (Chem 120F), Organic Chemistry I (Chem 190S), Organic Chemistry II (Chem 255F), Inorganic Chemistry and Materials (Chem 265S), and Biological Chemistry (Chem 270S)

Note: If you do not elect to take general chemistry in the first semester of freshman year and would like to study abroad, it will not be possible to fulfill all the requirements for a chemistry or biochemistry concentration.

Physics (2 semesters with Lab)

Physics courses are sequential at Hamilton. There are various paths you can take to complete the physics requirement. The Physics Department offers two year-long sequences of introductory courses that differ only in the level of mathematics used in them: 100F and 105S are algebra-based while 200F and 205S are calculus-based.  Math 116 or equivalent is a prerequisite for the 200-205 sequence. You should choose the sequence that best reflects your mathematical comfort level, but keep in mind that calculus is the "natural language" of physics and you may gain a better appreciation of the science through a calculus-based class as opposed to an algebra-based one. Students with a 5 on AP Mechanics C should start with a more advanced physics course in consultation with the physics chair.

Recommended Additional Courses

Some dental schools require additional courses in English composition, mathematics (Calculus I & II or Statistics), and psychology as well as additional upper-level biology courses such as:

  • Genetics (Bio 248S), Microbiology (Bio 221S), Vertebrate Physiology (Bio 331F)

Many dental schools strongly encourage taking courses in the arts and social sciences.

Contact Information


Leslie Bell

Director of Health Professions Advising
315-859-4338 lbell@hamilton.edu
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