Contrary to what many students assume, there is no "pre-dental" major. "Pre-dental" represents a pattern of courses required for admission to a school of dentistry. A prospective dental school student may choose almost any major they wish. However, all dental schools require students to complete specific science, math, and general education coursework prior to admission.

There are five (5) dental schools in California and admissions requirements vary and are very competitive: UC Los Angeles; UC San Francisco; University of Southern California; Loma Linda University; and University of the Pacific. High scholastic ability and manual dexterity are among the selection criteria for admission. Refer to the specific dental school catalog/bulletin and website for details regarding program and admissions requirements. Additional information on dental schools can be obtained from the American Dental Education Association website

Candidates selected for admission to dental schools have generally completed three or four years of a rigorous pre-dental program. Students are advised to make normal progress toward a bachelor's degree. No particular major is required as long as a minimum of preparation represented by the following composite of courses is included.



Recommended Lower-Division Preparation: BIO 3A, 3B; **CHEM 1A, 1B; 12A, 12B; ENG 1A, 1B; *PHYS (2A and 2B); or *PHYS (4A and 4B and 4C); PSYC 1; and, one (1) additional three-unit psychology course, and 12-15 additional units in *social sciences and/or *humanities.

*NOTE: The physics sequences and additional social sciences or humanities courses should be selected based on requirements for the major and general education pattern for the intended institution of transfer.

**NOTE: Students who have not completed a year of high school chemistry should enroll in Saddleback College's CHEM 3 prior to CHEM 1A. Also note that CHEM 3 and CHEM 1A assume knowledge of Algebra I and II in high school (MATH 253 or MATH 255 at Saddleback College), and that physics courses require either trigonometry or calculus as prerequisites.

Refer to the Saddleback College catalog for prerequisites and corequisites for all the science and math courses.


  • The selection of the physics sequence, social sciences and humanities, math courses, and other general education and major-related courses should be selected based on the major chosen, and the requirements of the intended transfer institution.
  • Contact each college/university that you are interested in. Ask them to send you information about their "Pre-Dental" program; selection criteria, GPA requirements, and other pertinent admissions information. Also, ask for information about their campus, services, housing, etc. Meet with college/university representatives when they visit Saddleback College.
  • Contact each school of dentistry in which you are interested. Acquire each dental school's admission requirements. Special attention should be paid to non-academic requirements, e.g. related experience, volunteerism, etc.
  • Visit each school to which you are considering transferring. Research careers related to your chosen major.
  • For additional transfer information, consult Saddleback College's Transfer Center.