Prerequisites in Behavioral Sciences and Business Revisited a Decade Later: Ongoing Opportunities for Dental Education

Rebecca Beckler, Natalie Nuckolls, David Dunning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Ten years ago a study reported on the lack of prerequisites in behavioral sciences and business management for entry into dental college. The primary objective of this follow-up study was to assess the current status of similar prerequisite courses in both U.S. and Canadian dental schools. Materials and Methods: Required and recommended courses in behavioral sciences and in business in each North American dental school's official online publication were analyzed in December 2019. Admissions requirements were readily available in sixty-five of the sixty-eight U.S. dental schools and in all ten schools in Canada; three U.S. schools were contacted by phone to collect the information. Result: Only nine (13.2%) U.S. and four (40%) Canada schools required at least one behavioral sciences course; however, thirty-nine (57.3%) U.S. and six (60%) Canada schools recommended a behavioral sciences course, most often in psychology, sociology, or communication. Zero (0%) of the total seventy-eight dental schools required a course in business; however, eighteen (26.5%) U.S. and two (20%) Canada schools recommended a business course, most often economics. Conclusion: The authors strongly encourage the dental education community to again reconsider establishment of a minimum core of behavioral sciences and business courses as prerequisites in predoctoral dental education. Doing so will provide a much needed stronger foundation upon which to build upon in the curricula of dental schools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-7
Number of pages4
JournalDental Hypotheses
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021


  • Dental academic affairs
  • dental admissions
  • dental curriculum
  • dental education
  • dental matriculation
  • dental prerequisites
  • dental students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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