Doctoral Degree in Dentistry

Students wanting to pursue a career in dentistry will need to earn a Doctor of Medical Dentistry (D.M.D.) or a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.). Students will apply to their desired doctoral programs one year before they hope to begin. After graduating from UAH, a typical dental school program takes four years to complete. Afterwards, students can choose to go to professional school to specialize in a specific area of dentistry, such as orthodontics, periodontics, etc.


Dental Schools in Alabama

Recommended Courses & GPA Requirements


At UAH, we can help you become a competitive applicant for your future professional school. These courses support required and suggested coursework for Alabama schools. The combination of courses are guidelines. Specific requirements may vary among schools.

Entrance Exam



The Dental Admissions Test (DAT) is the entrance exam required for admission to dentistry school. This test measures general academic ability and comprehension of:

  • Natural Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry)
  • Perceptual Ability
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Quantitative Reasoning

You will want to take as many of the required courses as possible before the test. Taking upper level classes may assist in developing problem solving and critical thinking skills.


One way to prepare for the DAT is to review the content of the exam and understand concepts and compare them with coursework. Preparation should include repeated practice DAT exams and assessment of personal strengths and weaknesses. Students should particularly familiarize themselves with the perceptual ability problems included on the DAT. UAH Pre-Health students can check out exam prep materials from the Pre-Health library to assist in their preparation for their exams.

Timing & Testing

The DAT is administered year round at various test centers. Take the exam when ready.

Plan ahead and apply early. Students must wait at least 90 days between testing dates.


Making an appointment with your Pre-Health Advisor is crucial before taking the MCAT.

Book an appointment

Outside the Classroom


Health Care Experiences

What better way to make sure you want to be in healthcare than by shadowing? Gain experience and possible references. Shadowing will go a long way in, not only making you a mature applicant, but making sure others see you as prepared.

Keep a Journal

Use a journal to record thoughts on your experiences. Activities come to life with reflection. Topics to consider writing about may include: Why one chose their profession, shadowing, or volunteering. This journal may be helpful when writing your personal statement.

Community Service and Volunteering

Working in healthcare means having a heart of service. This means wanting to give back to the community. Find something enjoyable and go forth!


Research experience can provide you with opportunities to work with faculty, learn skills beyond the classroom, use research methods, and engage in critical analysis. Research allows a better understanding between theory and practice using innovative and creative thinking.