A JMU Pre-Dentistry minor sets you up for the future.

Approximately 80% of all dentists practice general dentistry, which means they treat all patients, adults and children, in many different treatment facilities and settings. Dental school graduates can choose to work in hospital emergency rooms, conduct laboratory research, teach future dentists or work with international health and relief organizations. To practice dentistry, a student must graduate from an accredited dental school with either the Doctor of Dental Surgery or Doctor of Dental Medicine degree. They must then pass a written licensure exam as well as a state or regional clinical exam. General dentists do not need additional training after dental school but some students do opt for a residency or advanced education program. All dental specialties require addition training— usually a two- to four-year residency.  Dental schools recognize the importance of a strong foundation in the natural sciences—biology, chemistry, physics—as well as behavioral sciences and statistics.

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No specific major required.


median annual income

– U.S. Bureau of Labor, 2023

Top-notch advising awaits you.

Our Pre-Professional Health Advising is here to help with questions about the minor in Pre-Dentistry.

The Pre-Dentistry program provides guidance on courses, experiential activities, and competencies for students that are preparing to be competitive applicants to Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) after completing their Bachelor's degree at James Madison University. The Pre-Dentistry program is a minor that students complete as part of their baccalaureate degree.

Declaring the Minor

Incoming first year and  transfer students can declare pre-dentistry without verification from PPH Advising. After initial enrollment, current students can request to declare the pre-dentistry minor through My Madison but will need approval for the request to be granted. If the student has completed fewer than 13 hours of biology, chemistry, physics or math (BCPM) credits, the request will be granted after verification of course work. If the student has completed 13 hours or more BCPM credits, the request will be granted if the cumulative GPA is 3.00 or greater and the BCPM GPA is 2.90 or greater.

Progressing in the Minor

Once students have completed 13 hours of biology, chemistry, physics and math (BCPM) coursework, they become subject to twice yearly review of their academic progress. Performance queries will be conducted after summer and fall semester grades are posted. If the review indicates successful progress (meeting the standard of a 3.00 cumulative GPA and a 2.90 BCPM GPA), they will be invited to formal advising activities. Topics include learning about different dental programs and discussing fulfillment of non-academic requirements and recommendations (shadowing, volunteering, research, leadership). Assuming continued progress, students planning for the applicant stage (typically spring of the junior or senior year) are invited to participate in application planning seminars.

Pre-dentistry students who fall below the standard of a 3.00 cumulative GPA and a 2.90 BCPM GPA are at high risk of not being admitted to a dental school. Targeted advising for these students focuses on strengthening academic skills as well as career exploration. If a student falls below the standard in a subsequent performance review, they will be administratively dropped from the pre-dentistry minor. This action will not impede a student from applying to dental schools, nor will it have an impact on a student's degree program as the pre-dentistry program is not a major.

Students who wish to re-enter the pre-dentistry program may do so as long as they meet the GPA standard (3.00 cumulative GPA and 2.90 BCPM GPA).

Additional Information

Pre-professional health advisory programs do not ensure that all prerequisites for admission to health professions schools are met. Students should inquire with schools of interest, including JMU, to confirm details of admission requirements.

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