USC University of Southern California

Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC

Admission Requirements

Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) Program

Are you ready to apply to the Ostrow School of Dentistry’s Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) program? Applicants must meet the following criteria to be considered for admission:

All preparatory coursework must have been taken from an accredited college or university in the United States or Canada. No specific undergraduate major is required. We do not accept accelerated programs in the sciences. Contact the Office of Admissions for information about transferable courses and course equivalences.

A minimum of 60 semester units must be completed or in progress at the time of application. Prerequisite coursework must be completed before an applicant begins the DDS program. Coursework from a junior or community college is acceptable. However, preference is given to applicants who have taken prerequisites at a four-year college or university.

We strongly recommended that students take upper-division science courses (such as biochemistry, anatomy, histology, physiology) in addition to the required prerequisites.

Required prerequisites:

  • General biology and lab (1 year)
  • General physics and lab (1 year)
  • Inorganic/general chemistry and lab (1 year)
  • Organic chemistry and lab (1 year)
  • English composition (1 year**)
  • Philosophy, history or fine arts (1 year**)

One year is equal to two semesters or three quarters. All basic pre-dental required classes, with the exception of the philosophy, history, or fine arts requirement, must be sequential and represent a terminal course, such as 101a and 101b, or, on a quarter system, 101a, 101b, 101c.

**This requirement is waived if the applicant has received a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.

Two letters of recommendation are required from lecture-based science professors in biology, chemistry, or physics. Letters from research or lab-based professors will not meet the requirement; the letters must be written based on your performance in the lecture component of class. A committee letter may be substituted if your undergraduate institution offers this service.

Additionally, one letter of recommendation is required from a dentist.