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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 with the class of 2022: 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").  Because many dental schools either require or recommend upper-level biology classes such as Anatomy, Microbiology, and/or Genetics, pre-dental students should plan to take more than one biology class that is at the 200-level or higher. In addition, 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 introductory course (Chem 120) is a one-semester course, so pre-dental 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 chemistry and biochemistry requirements:

  • Principles of Chemistry (Chem 120F), Organic Chemistry I (Chem 190S), Organic Chemistry II (Chem 255F), Biological Chemistry (Chem 270S), and Biochemistry (Bio 346F); or
  • 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 and there are various paths you can take to complete the physics requirement, depending on your mathematical preparation/comfort level. Options include:

  • Survey of Physics I (Phys 100F, algebra-based) + Physics II (Phys 205S, requires some calculus)
  • Physics I (Phys 200F, calculus-based) + Physics II (Phys 205S)*
  • The Mechanical Universe (Phys 190F, for first-years planning to major/minor in physics) + Waves and Fields (Phys 195S)

*Math 116 (Calculus II) or equivalent is a prerequisite for Phys200F but NOT for Phys 205S

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), or Vertebrate Physiology (Bio 331F). Many dental schools strongly encourage taking courses in the arts and social sciences. Check individual dental schools' websites for particular requirements.

Contact Information


Leslie Bell

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