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Health Careers

Health Career Options

Information specific to the following careers is compiled and maintained by Dr. Charles Ferguson as a resource to UC Denver students

Allopathic Medicine (M.D.)
Chiropractic (D.C.)
Dentistry (D.D.S.)

Pre-Dental Program (Dentistry Careers)

The UC Denver Pre-dental program helps a student prepare to apply for admission to dental school. Dental schools require three or four years of undergraduate work. The dental school usually lasts four years and results in a DDS degree. Each class at the University of Colorado School of Dentistry is limited to 34-36 students, with a preference given to Colorado residents.

General Academic Requirements

You must complete a minimum of 90 semester hours (with at least 30 semester hours of upper division work) before the time you enter the CU school of Dentistry. The following courses are required by CU. You should plan on completing the biology and chemistry courses by the end of your junior year so you will be prepared to take the DAT (Dental Admission Test) at that time. For the courses required by the other dental schools, consult the Admission Requirements of the U.S. and Canadian Dental Schools published each year by the American Association of Dental Schools.

    General Chemistry (Chem. 2031 and 2038, Chem. 2061 and 2068)

    Organic Chemistry (Chem. 3411 and 3418, Chem 3421 and 3428)

    General Biology (Biol. 2051 and 2071, Biol. 2061 and 2081)

    College Physics (Phys. 2010 and 2030, Phys. 2020 and 2040). Physics has a prerequisite of Math 1120, Trigonometry.

    Literature or Humanities. These should be courses involving reading and discussion, oral and written, of literature in English. these can include courses in English, Philosophy, History, etc.

    English Composition: One semester of English Composition is required.

The chances of being accepted without four years of undergraduate work, or a degree are low. Thus you should plan your academic program so that you can earn a BA degree. Your program must satisfy, simultaneously, three sets of requirements: (1) those set by the college, (2) those set by the department in which you are majoring, and (3) those set by the dental schools. This advising information deals with these latter requirements. You must meet the requirements in effect when you ENTER dental school. For the other requirements, consult the schedule of courses and your major department.

The class at CU which started the fall of 1996 had an average overall GPA of 3.37 and a science GPA of 3.30. The average DAT score was 17.5. The average ages was 25. For Colorado residents the acceptance rate was 1 out of 4 applicants. For all applicants it was 1 out of 26.

Applying to Dental School(s)

Application: the University of Colorado and most other schools of dentistry participate in the American Association of Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS). AADSAS application packets are available in April or May on the web.

Dental Admissions Test (DAT): the DAT is administered at any time during the year via computer testing.  You must register for this exam on the web and then you will take it locally at your discretion. 

Letters of Recommendation: All schools require letters of recommendation from faculty members. This means that you should make certain that the faculty members get to know you. If they do not know you, they will not be able to write a useful letter. Many, if not most schools prefer a committee letter over individual letters. the UCD Health Careers Committee will write a committee letter of recommendation/evaluation. For this letter, you will need to obtain recommendations from 3 faculty members you have had for classes at UCD. For details about the process, obtain an information packet in NC3014.

Experience: you should try to gain some experience in the field of dentistry. While it is often difficult to gain hands on experience, you should spend some time in the offices of two or three dentists to see what it is that they actually do with their time. You may be able to earn academic credit while gaining this experience; check with the Center for Internships and Cooperative Education at 556-2250.

U.S. Dental Schools:





District of Columbia















New Jersey

New York

North Carolina





South Carolina





West Virginia






Questions? Please email Dr. Charles Ferguson​


Dental Hygiene (B.S.)
Dental Hygiene Careers
Emergency Medical Technician Programs
Forensic Science Careers
Forensic Science - Criminalistics (M.S.)
Massage Therapy (C.M.T.)
Medical Assistant Programs
Medical Doctor - Alopathic Medicine
Medical Doctor - Osteopathic Medicine
Medical Technology
Naturopathic Medicine
Nursing Careers
Nursing (BSN and RN)
Nutrition (M.S., M.A.)
Occupational Therapy (O.T.)
Occupational Therapy Assistant Programs
Optometry (O.D.)
Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.)*
Paramedic Programs
Pharmaceutical Careers:
Physical Therapy (P.T.)
Physician Assistant (P.A.)
Podiatry (D.P.M.)
Public Health (M.A., M.S.)
Radiologic Technology Programs
Respiratory Therapy Technology
Surgical Technology
Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.)
Veterinary Technology/Asst.