Pre-Dental (BS)

Why Become a Dentist?

A career in dentistry is fulfilling, financially rewarding and full of opportunity. And this helping profession is also experiencing significant growth. U.S. News & World Report ranked dentist the #1 best healthcare job in the country — and it earned the #2 spot on the 100 Best Jobs in America list for 2020.

The path to earning a doctor of medicine in dentistry (DMD) or doctor of dental surgery (DDS) takes careful planning, and it starts with a solid foundation in science and math.

Why USF for Your Pre-Dental Program?

At the University of Saint Francis, we ensure you know exactly what to study before dentistry school.

Designed around the skills, knowledge and professional competencies needed to earn your DMD or DDS, our pre-dental program offers a strong background in biology, chemistry, math and physics. And, with an educational mission rooted in the liberal arts and Franciscan values, USF also prepares you to become an ethical, compassionate healthcare leader.

Inside Look: Meet Biology Students & Professors

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Career Outlook & Success


best paying job in the United States (U.S News & World Report, 2020)


National median salary for dentists (BLS, 2019)


best healthcare job (U.S News & World Report, 2020)

Hands-On Learning: Internships & Community Service

When you become a dentist, you’ll be working closely — literally — with your patients. Your USF education will prepare you for this hands-on, patient-focused career, with opportunities like:

  • Exploring anatomy and physiology in our Human Cadaver Lab, an experience most students don’t get at the undergraduate level
  • Shadowing local dentists, dental surgeons and other dental professionals
  • Interning in professional dentistry settings
  • Traveling the U.S. and abroad through field studies and medical missions
  • Conducting independent, faculty-mentored research
  • Joining student groups such as the Chemistry Club and Pre-Professional Healthcare Honor Society
  • Attending weekly science seminars with local professionals

Service-Learning with a Smile

Our pre-dental program students put Franciscan values into action as they volunteer with veterans and low-income residents through our partnership with Matthew 25 Dental Clinic in Fort Wayne.

I was more prepared than most dental school classmates from huge, renowned Division 1 universities. Studying in the USF cadaver lab really set the tone for my anatomical and physiological studies during the first part of dental school.

Blake Weil ’14, DMD

Expert Instruction & Advising

With an 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio at USF, you’ll get personalized attention in the classroom from caring professors. Our faculty and lab staff members are active research scientists, healthcare practitioners, clinicians, technicians and administrators who bring up-to-date skills, knowledge and patient experiences to the classroom.

You will also receive one-on-one dental/medical school advising to prepare for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and develop your admissions application materials. Your advisor will make sure your schedule aligns with what to study before dentistry school and help keep your academics on track along the way.

Dental & Medical School Acceptance

After completing the biology/pre-dentistry program, USF graduates pursue their doctor of dental medicine and other professional health programs, as well as master’s and Ph.D. programs in related areas at schools such as:

  • Indiana University-Purdue University Indiana (DDS)
  • University of Colorado Denver (MS in orthodontics/orthodontology)

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Academic Plan

An academic plan is a general blueprint showing how one might complete the degree, semester by semester. Get an idea on what each semester could look like.

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