How many years are dental school prerequisites valid for?

Aug 27, 2013
San Francisco, CA
Hi, I was wondering if there is a certain time period that dental school prerequisites are valid for. I graduated college in 2012 and I am not sure if it matters that I apply in 2015 or 2016.

Also, how long are DAT scores valid for? Could I take it this year and apply in 2 years for example?

Thanks so much for the help! :)


7+ Year Member
Sep 10, 2011
Dental Student
The DAT is valid for two years at some schools and three years at others. You would have to look at the schools you are interested in applying to if you want to be sure of their specific policy.
I'm sure Doc Toothache (a frequent poster here) has probably put together an awesome spreadsheet with those details somewhere and you might try a search.

The same is true for pre-reqs as I understand it. Most schools have no expiration policy, though they may often recommend no longer than 5 years. For example:

UCSF Dental School said:
How recent does my prerequisite course work need to be?
It is recommended that an applicant apply within 5 years of taking the science prerequisites. Although course work older than 5 years is still eligible to be submitted as part of the admissions process, it is to your advantage to retake all or part of this course work because the sciences change rapidly and the information you learned may be out of date. It is also assumed that upon entering dental school you will have a ready command of the basic sciences. Unless you have applied the material regularly since you took the courses, this is unlikely. Any applicant in this situation should do an honest self-assessment of their retention of the basic sciences and decide from that on which courses to retake.
Apr 1, 2012
I've been wondering the same thing as to what the 5 years pertains to. Is it 5 years from graduation for all undergraduate classes? Or if you take A&P freshman year and take 5 years to graduate, does that mean that those courses are no longer looked at positively if you have to apply a second time?