Pre-Dentistry Program

Student in chair outside on laptop

Program Description 

The American Dental Association (ADA) describes careers in dentistry as competitive in salary with a wide variety of career opportunities, including working in hospitals, research laboratories, private practice, education, as well as international relief organizations. Acceptance to dental school requires a strong academic record supplemented with community service and dental experience.

Rockhurst University students from Kansas and Missouri qualify for the Reserved Admissions Program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of dentistry.

The Reserved Admissions Program for the Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at UMKC enables highly motivated Missouri and Kansas residents who are in their sophomore year of college to apply directly to the School of Dentistry for a reserved seat in a future dental class. Accepted students are able to participate in developmental opportunities with the Office of Student Programs throughout the remainder of their undergraduate years. Once candidates meet the full criteria they are allowed to bypass the traditional dental application process for admission.

Learning Outcomes 

Pre-dentistry students work closely with pre-health advisors to navigate the prerequisites and admission processes of the dental schools of interest. Program students typically major in a science, though it is not required. They will work on gaining the experience they need through volunteering, shadowing and other relevant experiences to help prepare them and gain valuable experiences.

As there is not one prescribed list of prerequisite coursework for dental schools, pre-dental students work closely with advisors to plan schedules to accommodate the different requirements. At Rockhurst, an active alumni medical network provides interested students with access to alumni in dental school, residency and early career to provide firsthand knowledge of the process of admissions and the challenges and rewards of how to become a dentist.

Course Map 

The Pre-Medical and Pre-Dental Programs

Pre-dental students work with their pre-health advisors to develop a course plan that prepares them for the dental schools of their choice. Typical prerequisite coursework includes:

  • General Biology (4 hours)
  • General Chemistry I and II (8 hours)
  • Organic Chemistry I and II (8 hours)
  • Biochemistry (3 hours)
  • Physics for the Life Sciences I and II (8 hours)
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II (8 hours)
  • Cell Biology (4 hours)
  • English Composition I and II (6 hours)

Prospective Students 

Current Students 


  • DDS Reserved Admission Program at UMKC
  • Rockhurst Pre-Dental Club
  • Alumni medical networks in Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri, as well as Omaha, Nebraska, to create shadowing opportunities
  • Pre-Health Blackboard page to announce upcoming opportunities for research, volunteering and shadowing 
  • Annual meetings with regional and local admissions representatives from professional health programs
  • Class sizes less than 48 and instructed by full-time faculty
  • Open-door access to professors
  • Personalized advising
  • Tutoring and supplemental instruction at no cost
  • In the past five years, 77% of students placed in health care professional programs
  • Kaplan Institutional Partnership with half-price DAT course


“The Rockhurst University dental advisors and the Rockhurst Pre-Dental Club have given me ample ability to achieve as a pre-dental student. My admission into dental school was streamlined thanks to the immense knowledge and help from not only my advisors but my fellow classmates! From students to faculty, it is incredibly evident how much everyone at Rockhurst wants me to succeed in dentistry.”

– Matt Wahle
Pre-Dental Club President
Rockhurst University Class of 2019