How To Become A Forensic Odontologist

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree (4 Years)

Just as with aspiring dentists and physicians, students must prepare themselves in the best way possible for medical school by completing a premed program.

Due to the competitive nature of graduate medical programs, students should aim to maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher for the best chances of admission into their school of their choosing.

The preparation timeline below provides an example premed curriculum:

Grade LevelExample Courses
FreshmanHealth Care SystemsBiology I & LabBiology II & LabCalculus IChemistry I & LabChemistry II & LabPsychologyHumanities RequirementsElectives
SophomorePublic HealthAnatomy & Physiology I & LabAnatomy & Physiology II & LabStatisticsOrganic Chemistry I & LabOrganic Chemistry II & LabBasic Skills for HealthcareNutritionHumanities RequirementsElectives
JuniorHealthcare CommunicationHealthcare Professional WritingGenetics & Microbiology I & LabPhysics I & LabPhysics II & LabProblems in HealthcareHealthcare ResearchBiochemistry I & LabHumanities RequirementsElectives
SeniorHealth in the USHealth Education & PlanningHealthcare ManagementHealth PolicyCapstoneRemaining Requirements & Electives

2. Take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

To be admitted into medical school, candidates must first take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), a 7.5 hour, standardized, multiple choice exam used to assess the applicant’s knowledge of science, reasoning, communication, and writing skills.

SectionSection Breakdown
Biological & Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems59 multiple-choice questions95 minutesTests biology, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and biochemistry
Chemical & Physical Foundations of Biological Systems59 multiple-choice questions95 minutesTests biochemistry, biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics
Psychological, Social, & Biological Foundations of Behavior59 multiple-choice questions95 minutesTests introductory psychology, sociology, and biology
Critical Analysis & Reasoning Skills52 multiple-choice questions90 minutesTess reading comprehension, humanities, and social sciences

You can find study materials, MCAT registration, and your test scores on the MCAT website. If you are unsatisfied with your score on any of the aforementioned exams, you are free to retake them. Depending on the school, some will average your scores and others will simply take your most recent.

3. Earn a Medical Degree (4 Years)

All forensic odontologists are also dentists, meaning they must earn a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM) or Doctor of Dental Science (DDS) degree as a prerequisite to their forensic career.

Considerable extra training is also needed along with practical experience, typically earned alongside a seasoned forensic professional.

A list of accredited medical education programs is available through the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).

For more information and advice on successfully getting into medical school, you can check with the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Medical school consists of four years of studying the basics in science and participating in clinical “rotations.”

These are hands-on clinical experiences in real health care settings. In most med schools, the first two years are taken up with classroom studies before students are assigned to do rotations.

The current trend, however, finds a number of medical schools exposing students to early clinical experiences that continue throughout the four-year program.

Most medical schools base their curriculum on a system-based approach that focuses on one physiological system at a time, such as the respiratory system or the nervous system.

Still others may use a case-based curriculum that teaches about the human body’s normal functioning and disease processes by assigning students to following individual patient cases from start to finish.

Still other med schools use a combination of these approaches to educate their students.

The most common lines of coursework among medical schools consist of the following subjects:

  • Anatomy
  • Biochemistry
  • Ethics
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology
  • Psychology

During the last two years of schooling, students are required to obtain hands-on experience at hospitals and clinics, learning to diagnose and treat patients while working under the supervision of licensed physicians.

Upon completion of four years of med school, a student is awarded a medical degree, or M.D. Another popular trend is for schools to offer combination degree programs, such as MD/MPH, MD/PHD or MD/JD.

The AAMC’s website on Medical School Admission Requirements offers more information on this option. The preparation timeline below provides an example Doctor of Dental Medicine curriculum:

List Of Colleges For Forensic Science

# 1. Virginia Commonwealth University

College Choice Score: 100

Average Net Price: $20,544

Situated in Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is a public, research-driven educational institution and is one of the best forensic science colleges. It was established as a medical college, yet today offers more than 200 scholastic degree programs to its 31,000 students.

At Virginia Commonwealth University when you obtain a BS in Forensic Science you will investigate everything from microscopy to criminal procedure. This comprehensive program is housed in VCU’s well-known Department of Forensic Science and is fully accredited by FEPAC (the Forensic Science Educational Programs Accreditation Commission). You’ll even be given the chance to specialize in one of the three offered focus tracks such as:

  • Forensic Biology
  • Forensic Chemistry
  • Physical Evidence

Virginia Commonwealth University is classified as an educational institution with the “most noteworthy research activity” from Carnegie. Notwithstanding having about 30 well-ranked departments and colleges, VCU as a whole is nationally ranked by Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, etc.Visit School

#2. Pennsylvania State University

College Choice Score:

Average Net Price: $25,055

Pennsylvania State University is an immense research university with numerous campuses situated all through the state. About 100,000 students study at Pennsylvania State, on one of its numerous campuses or online. It is one of the country’s largest colleges.

At Penn State, you will gain hands-on experience when acquiring a BS in Forensic Science degree. This program places you in the laboratory and crime scene training facilities. You can get to the point of joining the Forensic Science Club. Some of the classes you’ll take at Penn State include:

  • Essential Practices of Forensic Science
  • Criminalistics
  • A Scientific Approach to Crime Scene Investigation
  • Laboratory in Crime Scene Investigation

Penn State is notable for its research activities in the fields of engineering, sociology computer science, psychology, and etc. Ranked 50th among all national universities, Penn State is additionally globally ranked, frequently landing among the top 100 best schools in the world. They are also ranked among the top 15 best forensic science colleges in the world.Visit School

#3. Texas A & M University

College Choice Score: 97.56

Average Net Price: $27,272

Texas A&M University (TAMU) is situated in College Station, Texas. It is a large, public university notable for its research across the STEM fields. TAMU is a land, sea, and space-grant school with about 70,000 enrolled students.

At TAMU you will investigate both the theoretical and practical applications of forensic science. Furthermore, you will gain a sturdy foundation in the principles of investigation. You can even specialize in pre-law forensic science. Some of the classes you’ll participate in while at TAMU include:

  • Forensic Implications of Inheritance
  • Forensic Soil Science
  • Biotechnology and Forensics
  • Latent Print Processing

As a result of TAMU’s research initiatives and ambitions, the institution sustains close associations with and is financed by, NASA, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, etc. U.S. News & World Report ranks TAMU 68th among all universities in the nation. Nevertheless, they are equally ranked among the best universities for forensic science in the world.Visit School

#4. Michigan State University

College Choice Score: 97.42

Average Net Price: $14,970

Michigan State University (MSU) is situated in the state’s capital, East Lansing. It is a public research university that was established as an agricultural school. Today, be that as it may, MSU offers more than 200 academic programs to its 50,000 students.

Despite the fact that it is not technically a forensic science degree, MSU’s Bachelors in Criminal Justice program permits you to specialize in forensics. You will gain proficiency in the patterns and causes of crime through a wide-based educational plan. Classes cover the following:

  • Introduction to Forensic Science
  • Criminology
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Methods of Research

The MSU campus is home to many eminent research facilities, labs, and centers. Considered a Public Ivy and a member of the Association of American Universities, MSU is a highly ranked educational institution. U.S. News & World Report consistently includes it among the top 100 best universities in the country. However, they are equally ranked among the best universities for forensic science in the world.Visit School

#5. George Mason University

College Choice Score: 97.41

Average Net Price: $18,032

George Mason University (Mason) has a few campuses all through Virginia. It is a large research college, the largest in the state, known for its programs in economics, law, business, computer science, etc. More than 34,000 students attend Mason.

George Mason’s College of Science offers a full BS in Forensic Science degree that gets students ready for a range of career options. Students take part in an educational plan that offers training demonstrations, CSI techniques, and laboratory methods. Graduates from Mason have proceeded on to become:

  • Forensic Anthropologists
  • Investigation Specialists
  • Private Lab Examiners
  • Forensic Photographers

This university is among the best forensic science colleges and is nationally ranked by Forbes and U.S. News & World Report. The campus is made up of renowned research centers. And the university keeps up close affiliations with NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Smithsonian Institute, and etc.