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Admissions Requirements


Applicants must meet the requirements outlined below and present evidence that they have completed, or will complete within the specified timeframe, the minimum transferable prerequisite coursework.  Although all course requirements need not be completed at the time of application, they must be completed by the end of the spring session before the desired date of enrollment.

Academic Standing

All applicants must be in good academic standing (not on probation) at their current or last school attended.

Course Prerequisites

Completion of 139 quarter units or 93 semester units (exclusive of repeated and nontransferable courses) of college work at an accredited institution is a minimum requirement for admission to the UCSF School of Dentistry dental curriculum. A minimum of 30 quarter units or 20 semester units must be completed at an accredited four-year institution. These units must include the following subjects:

Minimum Unit RequirementsQuarter UnitsSemester Units
a. English

Two courses in English composition. (Note: ESL, Scientific, Professional, Technical and Creative Writing classes do not fulfill the English requirement)

b. Inorganic Chemistry with Laboratory A minimum of three quarters or two semesters of inorganic chemistry with laboratory.128
c. Organic chemistry with laboratory A minimum of two quarters or one semester of organic chemistry with laboratory.84
d. Biochemistry (Note: must be taken at a 4-year institution)43
e. Physics A minimum of three quarters or two semesters of physics with laboratory.128
f. Biological sciences One year of general biology or zoology with laboratory, designed for science majors. Vertebrate zoology is strongly recommended. (Anatomy, botany or elementary courses of a descriptive nature cannot be used to complete this requirement.)128
g. Psychology General psychology.43
h. Social sciences, humanities, or foreign language (in addition to requirements "a" and "g").1611
i. Additional electives to bring the total number of units to at least 139 quarter units or 93 semester units. (Recommended: embryology, comparative vertebrate anatomy, genetics, statistics)6342

You must earn at least a “C” grade in requirements “a” through “g’

It is to the applicant's advantage to complete the prerequisites before taking the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) and filing an application. It is required that all above prerequisite courses and units be completed by the end of the spring term of the year of intended enrollment. 

Advanced Placement (AP) Exams

While actual course work is preferred by our faculty, applicants may use AP Tests to partially fulfill the prerequisites. In order to have AP Tests applied towards the prerequisites, applicants must submit an official copy of their AP Test Score Report from Educational Testing Services (ETS). Using School Code 5482, you may contact ETS at to request that a copy of your score report be sent to our office.

AP credit may be applied in the following manner:

AP TestScoreFulfills (all units are quarter units)
General Chemistry3-5awards 8 units, one course (4 units) with lab still required
Biology3-5awards 8 units, one course (4 units) with lab still required
Physics B3-5awards 8 units, one course (4 units) with lab still required
Physics C, Mechanics3-5awards 4 units, two courses (8 units) with lab in electricity and magnetism still required
Physics C, Electricity and Magnetism3-5awards 4 units, two courses with lab in mechanics still required
Physics B & C3-5awards 8 units, one course (4units) with lab still required
English Language and Composition or English Literature and Composition3awards 4 units, fulfills first 1/2 of prerequisite
4-5awards 8 units, fulfills entire prerequisite
Psychology3-5awards 4 units, fulfills entire prerequisite
Humanities and Social Science (includes the following):3-5awards 4 units each towards social sciences, humanities or foreign language electives
Art History, European History, French, German Language, Government & Politics, Human Geography, Latin, Macro-Economics, Micro-Economics, Music Theory, Spanish, Studio Art, US History, World History


International Baccalaureate (IB) Exams:

Applicants may also use IB Exams to partially fulfill some prerequisites. In order to have IB Exams applied towards the prerequisites, applicants must have an official copy of their IB transcript sent directly to UCSF.  Information on requesting transcripts can be found at:

IB credit may be applied in the following manner: Scores of 5, 6 or 7 on Higher Level exams award 8 quarter units in the subject.  For chemistry, biology anD physics, students must still take at least one 4 quarter unit course with lab in the subject.

Due to a large number of applicants in our pool, we are not able to offer application counseling.  We advise prospective applicants to seek advice from a counselor or pre-health adviser at their undergraduate institution.

We also recommend that you attend one of our information sessions and other pre-dental days sponsored by our student clubs.  These can be found here