DDS academic requirements

University prerequisites

Admission to the four-year DDS program requires the completion of a minimum of 60 credit hours of university study in a degree or degree-like program, including the folllowing required courses (by May 1 of the year of expected entry):

  • 6 credit hours: Introductory Biology, with laboratory
  • 6 credit hours: Introductory Chemistry, with laboratory
  • 6 credit hours: Introductory Physics, with laboratory
  • 6 credit hours: Organic Chemistry, with laboratory (an approved 3 credit hours of Bio-organic Chemistry may be substituted)
  • 3 credit hours: Introductory Biochemistry
  • 3 credit hours: Introductory Microbiology
  • 6 credit hours: Vertebrate Physiology
  • 6 credit hours: Writing course
  • 12 credit hours: chosen from humanity and/or social science courses

Course content

Completing the following prerequisite higher science courses prepares you for course work in the Dentistry curriculum. The content of each course is described to assist you in course selection to meet the entrance requirements:

Introductory Biochemistry (3 credit hours)

Course content should include:

  1. Introduction
    Selected basic concepts to include:
    - loci of cellular biochemical event
    - ionization and acid-base phenomena
    - thermodynamics
    - colloids
    - chelation
  2. Protein Structure and Function
  3. Enzymes and Co-enzymes
  4. Carbohydrate Structure and Function
  5. Lipid Structure and Function
  6. Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids
  7. Membranes
  8. Metabolism to Include Catabolism and Anabolism

Introductory Microbiology (3 credit hours)

Applicants must comprehend the concepts of microbiology and immunology.

The fundamentals of the genetics, growth, metabolism, and death of microbes must be understood.

Educational goals:

  1. Classify and describe the distribution of microorganisms.
  2. Describe and explain the biologic and biochemical principles related to the nutrition, growth, death, and metabolism of microorganisms.
  3. Identify and explain the action of various physical, chemical, and biologic agents on the vital processes of microorganisms.
  4. Apply the principles of aseptic technique and sterilization.
  5. Describe the role of the immune system in the prevention, causation, and resolution of disease.
  6. Describe and explain the systems that govern host-parasite interaction.
  7. Explain and compare mechanisms of the pathogenesis of infectious diseases.
  8. Recognize and differentiate the biologic, biochemical, pathologic, and clinical properties of important microorganisms.

Course content should include:

Bacterial Physiology

  1. Differentiate the properties and characteristics of eucaryotic and procaryotic cells.
  2. Describe the composition, structure, physiology and functions of the following:
    - bacterial chromosome
    - bacterial cytoplasm
    - cytoplasmic membrane
    - gram positive and gram negative cell walls
    - capsule
    - flagella
    - phili
    - endospore
    - lipoteichoic acids
    - peptidoglycans
    - lipopolysaccharides
  3. Describe the following:
    - anabolism
    - catabolism
    - fermentation
    - respiration
    - sporulation
    - germination
    - metabolic regulatory mechanisms
    - allosteric enzymes
    - gram reaction
    - binary fission
    - chemheterotrophs
  4. Discuss the phases of typical bacterial growth curve.
  5. Classify bacteria by their oxygen requirements and compare the mechanisms involved.
  6. Describe the actions, uses, advantages and disadvantages of the following antimicrobial agents:
    - alcohol
    - bis-phenois
    - peroxide
    - sodium hypochlorite
    - iodine
    - quaternary ammonium compounds
    - heavy metals
    - adelhydes
    - ethylene oxide
  7. Describe the tests used to evaluate the efficacy of antimicrobial agents.

Microbial Genetics

  1. Describe the structure and function of genes and chromosomes.
  2. Describe the components and metabolism of an operon.
  3. Describe how the following apply to microbial genetics:
    - transcription
    - translation
    - mutation
    - transition
    - transversion
    - genetic recombination
    - transformation
    - transduction
    - conjugation
    - protoplast fusion
    - plasmids
    - genetic engineering
  4. Describe how a viral genome can affect a host cell.

Vertebrate Physiology (6 credit hours)

Course content should include:

  1. Cell membrane: structure, function, transport, carriers and pumps, resting potential, action potentials, ionic channels and currents
  2. Skeletal muscle: overview, NMJ transmission, E-C coupling, contraction, motor units, force gradation, exercise
  3. Smooth muscle: cardiac, heart pump, cardiac output, cardiac cycle, structure, values and blood movement, electrical control
  4. Blood pressure: control, resistance, flow, abnormalities
  5. Function of cellular components of blood
  6. Kidney: function, handling of sodium and water, concentration/dilution
  7. Male/female reproduction
  8. Nervous system: basic nervous system, sensory, motor, paint, ANS
  9. Pulmonary function
  10. Metabolism, exercise, senescence

Approved course list

The following list of approved “higher science” course requirements from some universities in the Atlantic provinces is provided to assist you in selection of prerequisite courses. Please note that this list is not complete for all universities and recent changes may not be reflected. You may also refer to the course content outlines to determine courses (or combinations of courses) at various universities that will meet the prerequisite content expectations. For more information or clarification, please contact the Faculty of Dentistry.

Approved higher science courses





Acadia University
Chem. 2713
Biol. 2053
Biol. 2813 & 2823 OR 3173 & 3183
Cape Breton University Chem. 261 Biol. 145 Biol. 3203 + 3231
Dalhousie University
BIOC 2300
MICI 2100
PHYL 1010/1000 OR PHYL 2044 + PHYL 2041 OR
BIO 3078 + BIO 3079 OR PHYL 1400 (for Pharmacy students)
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Biochem. 2101
Biol. 3050
Biol. 3401 OR Med. 310A & B OR Biochem. 311A & 311B
Mount Allison University
Biochem. 2001
Biol. 3101,
Biol. 3111
Biol. 3201 & 3211
Mount Saint Vincent University
Chem. 3501
Micro. 2202
Biol. 2240 & 3310
Saint Francis Xavier University
Chem. 255
Biol. 315
Biol. 304 & 395 (265 & 295) OR 251 & 252
Saint Mary's University
Chem. 3451
Biol. 3398
Biol. 3004 + Biol. 3878
Université de Moncton
University of New Brunswick, Saint John
Biol. 3055 and either 3635 or 4775
University of New Brunswick, Fredericton
Biol. 2033
Biol. 2073
Biol. 3801/3908 and 2792
University of Prince Edward Island
Chem. 353
Biol. 206
Biol. 401 & 402

Other Classes:


  • Organic Chemistry: CHEM 2401 AND 2402 OR CHEM 2441

UNB, Fredericton

  • Organic Chemistry: Chem 2421/2416 and 2422/2857


  • Organic Chemistry: Chemistry 243


  • Organic Chemistry: Chem 2400 AND 2401 OR Chem 2440  

Acadia University

  • Writing Courses: English 1206, 1213, 1223; Political Science 1006, 1303, 1403, 1506; Philosophy 1000; Communication 1213 & 1223

Supplemental information

A supplemental application form confirming the successful completion of all prerequisite courses must be submitted as part of your application package.