Associate of Science - Biology Specialization

Dentists deal with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of oral diseases and disorders, with primary emphasis on the health of teeth and gums.

TCC offers courses that cover the first 2 years of a typical 4-year college, as well as courses to develop skills needed for college-level courses. Most applicants to dental schools earn bachelor's degrees prior to entering dental school. Dental schools require applicants to satisfactorily complete a specified set of courses and to attain acceptable scores on the Dental Admission Test.

For example, see information about University of Washington School of Dentistry.

Dental schools do not give preference to any particular major, so it is not necessary to major in a science area. Rather, the major should be chosen to provide a career in the event the student is not accepted to dental school. Students considering a science major may wish to pursue an Associate of Science degree while at Tacoma Community College.

Degree Program

Associate of Science - Biology Specialization
Career Options


While in high school, students should pursue all available courses in mathematics, chemistry, biology, and physics. Post-high school, students may need to take pre-requisite courses. Students should also gain exposure to the dental profession through experience in a dental setting (dentist's office, clinic, etc.) and exploring dental literature.


Program Planning Notes

  • Students should meet with a Science advisor during their first quarter at TCC.
  • Students may also refer to the Associate of Science degree description located in the TCC course catalog or on the TCC website.
  • Most dental schools require a bachelor’s degree to be a competitive applicant. Dental schools do not give preference to any particular major. Thus the major should be considered as a basis for future career or graduate study if the student is not accepted to dental school.
  • Many courses are sequential, and a careful selection of classes each quarter is needed to complete the program without delay.
  • The accompanying schedule is one possible order of classes and is not the only method to complete the degree. Each student’s individual program will vary based on their level of preparation and intended major or university.
  • Some students may need to take additional prerequisite courses.
  • At least 5 credits applied to the degree must be chosen from the Multicultural course list.
  • The Humanities and Social Sciences courses must be chosen from the Humanities and Social Sciences distribution course lists.
  • Elective credits should be carefully selected in consultation with your advisor.
  • Phys&114/115/116 or 221/222/223 are strongly recommended as elective courses (UW-Seattle requires Physics). They are required by most dental schools and by some relevant transfer degrees.
  • No more than 3 PE activity credits may be applied to the degree.

Select no more than 5 credits from courses that are not listed under the Communication, Quantitative/Symbolic Reasoning, Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, or General Distribution Courses sections of the Approved Distribution Course List.

First Year
Fall Winter Spring

CHEM& 161

ENGL& 101

BIOL& 221

CHEM& 162

MATH& 151

BIOL& 222

CHEM& 163

MATH& 152

BIOL& 223

Second Year
Fall Winter Spring


CHEM& 261

MATH& 153 or MATH& 146

Social Sciences

CHEM& 262


Humanities or Social Sciences

CHEM& 263




Contact Us

Pattie Green, Faculty Advisor in Dentistry

Bldg. 15-238