BDS Course Eligibility, Admission, Exam Fee

Looking for a promising dental career? Discover the BDS course, its curriculum, eligibility criteria, and career prospects. Pursue your dream of becoming a dentist today!

The Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) is a five-year undergraduate dental degree program that equips students with the knowledge and skills to become dentists. It is one of the most sought-after medical courses in many countries, including India.

The BDS course is demanding, both academically and clinically. You must be prepared to study hard and work long hours. The cost of dental education can be high. However, there are scholarships and financial aid options available to help students afford the cost of tuition and fees. It is important to choose a reputable dental school with a good track record of placing graduates in successful careers.

Here’s a brief overview of the BDS course:

Duration: 5 years, including a one-year mandatory internship.

Eligibility: Class 12th with Physics, Chemistry, and Biology subjects and a qualifying score in the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) or equivalent dental entrance exam.

Curriculum: The BDS curriculum covers a wide range of dental subjects, including anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, pathology, microbiology, orthodontics, prosthodontics, periodontology, oral surgery, and public health dentistry.

Clinical training: Students gain practical experience through clinical rotations in various dental departments during their internship year.

Career prospects: BDS graduates can work as dentists in government or private hospitals, clinics, or set up their own practice. They can also pursue specialization in various dental fields through postgraduate studies.

Some of the benefits of pursuing a BDS course include:

High demand for dentists: There is a growing demand for dentists worldwide, which means that BDS graduates have good job prospects.

Lucrative career: Dentists can earn a good salary, especially those who specialize or set up their own practice.

Job satisfaction: Dentistry is a rewarding career that allows you to help people improve their oral health and overall well-being.

Variety of career options: BDS graduates can choose to work in different settings, such as hospitals, clinics, research institutions, or academia.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in dentistry, the BDS course is a great option. It is a challenging but rewarding program that will prepare you for a successful career in this field.

Name of DegreeBachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS)
Types of CareersDental Technician, Prosthodontist, Dental Hygienist, Dental Consultant, Dentist
DurationFour years + 1-year Internship
Semester/ YearlySemester
Eligibility CriteriaShould have completed 10+2 in PCB from a recognised institute/board
Admission ProcessEntrance test followed by counseling by the authorities.
Fee₹ 1,00,000 to ₹ 10,00,000 per year
Top RecruitersGovernment hospitals, Dental Clinics, Pharmaceutical Companies, Dental Institutions, Dental Products Manufactures, Private Practice
Helpful ResourcesNEET:

BDS Course Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility criteria may vary slightly between different colleges and states. Always refer to the official guidelines of the college or university you are interested in. Here’s a summary of the BDS Course Eligibility Criteria:

Academic Requirements:

  • 10+2 or equivalent qualification:
    • Minimum 50% aggregate marks (40% for reserved categories)
    • Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and English as core subjects
  • NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test):
    • Mandatory for admission to BDS programs in India
    • Conducted annually at the national level

Age Requirement:

  • Must have completed 17 years of age on or before 31st December of the admission year

Physical Fitness:

  • Medically fit to pursue the course
  • No major physical or mental disabilities that would hinder dental practice

Additional Considerations:

  • Entrance Exam Scores: Admission to most colleges is based on merit in NEET.
  • College Preferences: Consider the reputation, facilities, faculty, and location of colleges when applying.
  • Fee Structure: BDS course fees can vary between colleges.

Remember, getting into a BDS program requires dedication, hard work, and proper preparation. Start early, focus on your studies, and follow the admission process diligently to achieve your dreams!

BDS Course Admission Process

The admission process for Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) courses in India is primarily governed by the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). Here’s a breakdown of the steps involved:

NEET Exam:

  • Register for NEET through the National Testing Agency (NTA) website.
  • Appear for the computer-based exam consisting of 200 multiple-choice questions (180 from Physics, Chemistry, and Biology and 20 from other subjects).
  • Aim for a score at or above the cut-off percentile set by the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) for BDS admissions.


  • Register for counselling through the MCC website.
  • Fill in your preferences for colleges and courses based on your NEET score and rank.
  • Attend counselling rounds and choose a college based on your rank and seat availability.

Document Verification:

  • Report to the allotted college for document verification and admission formalities.
  • Submit necessary documents like mark sheets, NEET scorecard, caste certificate (if applicable), etc.

Some states and private colleges might have additional eligibility criteria or conduct their own counselling rounds. It’s crucial to stay updated on the latest NEET and counselling schedules and guidelines. Seek guidance from career counselors or experienced individuals for a smooth admission process.

BDS Course Entrance Exams

In India, the main entrance exam for getting admission to a BDS course is the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). It is a single, national-level exam conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) once a year.

Some states, like Kerala, also have their own state-level medical entrance exams in addition to NEET. For example, in Kerala, the Kerala Engineering Agricultural Medical Entrance Test (KEAM) is conducted for admission to BDS courses in government and private colleges in the state.

To be eligible for NEET or KEAM, you must have passed your Class 12 or equivalent examination with Physics, Chemistry, and Biology (PCB) subjects. You must also have scored at least 50% marks in PCB (40% for SC/ST/OBC candidates).

The NEET exam is divided into three sections: Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. Each section has 45 questions, for a total of 135 questions. The exam is three hours long.

The KEAM exam is also divided into three sections: Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. Each section has 60 questions, for a total of 180 questions. The exam is three hours and 30 minutes long.

The cut-off marks for NEET and KEAM vary from year to year, depending on the number of candidates who take the exam and the number of seats available in BDS colleges. In 2023, the general cut-off mark for NEET was 540, while the cut-off mark for KEAM was 460.

If you are planning to take the NEET or KEAM exam, there are a number of resources available to help you prepare. The NTA website has a number of practice tests and study materials available for download. You can also find a number of coaching institutes that offer NEET and KEAM preparation courses.

BDS Course Fees Structure

The fee structure for a BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery) course in India can vary widely depending on several factors, including:

  1. Type of college: Government colleges generally have significantly lower fees than private colleges. Fees in deemed universities may fall somewhere in between.
  2. Location: Colleges in metropolitan cities tend to have higher fees than those in smaller towns or rural areas.
  3. College reputation: Top-ranked colleges typically have higher fees.
  4. Hostel and mess charges: These are additional expenses to consider if you plan to live on campus.

Here’s a general range of BDS course fees in India:

  • Government colleges: INR 1 lakh – INR 2 lakhs per year
  • Private colleges: INR 4 lakhs – INR 10 lakhs per year
  • Deemed universities: INR 3 lakhs – INR 6 lakhs per year

The total cost of the course will be the annual fee multiplied by the duration of the course (4 years), plus any additional charges for hostel, mess, books, etc. Some colleges may offer scholarships or financial aid to deserving students. You can find the specific fee structure for any particular college on their website.

BDS Future Scope and Career

A Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) degree opens doors to a wide range of promising career options in the field of dentistry. The future scope for BDS graduates looks bright, and here’s why:

Growing Demand:

  • Rising awareness about oral health and increasing disposable income are driving the demand for dental services.
  • Additionally, an aging population with higher dental needs contributes to the growing market.

Diversified Options:

BDS graduates can pursue various paths beyond traditional clinical practice. These include:

Specialization: Pursuing post-graduate studies in specialized fields like orthodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, endodontics, etc., offers lucrative and fulfilling careers.

Research and Academics: Joining research institutions or dental colleges as researchers or faculty opens doors to contributing to advancements in the field and educating future generations.

Public Health: Working in government healthcare settings or NGOs focusing on oral health promotion and disease prevention offers impactful career opportunities.

Entrepreneurship: Setting up their own dental clinics or partnering with existing ones allows dentists to build their own practice and shape their careers according to their vision.

Other avenues: Dental writing, consulting for dental product companies, medico-legal aspects in dentistry, and forensic odontology are some additional diverse options.

Career Prospects after BDS

After completing the BDS course, numerous career opportunities await dental graduates. Some of the popular career paths include:

  1. Clinical Practice: Many dentists choose to establish their own dental clinics or join existing dental practices, providing dental care to patients.
  2. Specializations: Post completing BDS, one can pursue various specializations in dentistry, such as Prosthodontics, Orthodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Periodontics, and Endodontics.
  3. Government Jobs: Dental professionals can also opt for government job opportunities, such as working in government hospitals, defense services, or public health departments.
  4. Teaching and Research: Graduates can explore teaching positions in dental colleges and engage in research to contribute to further advancements in the field.
  5. Dental Industry: Dental product companies, pharmaceutical firms, and research organizations offer job prospects in sales, marketing, and product development.

Technological Advancements:

The field of dentistry is constantly evolving with advancements in technology like digital X-rays, 3D printing, AI-powered diagnostics, and minimally invasive procedures. BDS graduates who adapt and embrace these advancements will have a competitive edge.

Global Opportunities:

BDS graduates are internationally recognized, opening doors for potential career paths abroad, expanding career scope and earning potential.

Challenges and Considerations:

While the future of BDS looks promising, it’s important to acknowledge challenges like competition, setting up practice, and managing finances. Continuously upskilling, building a strong network, and adapting to changing trends are crucial for success.

Overall, with its diverse career options, strong growth potential, and continuous advancements, a BDS degree offers a promising future for those passionate about oral health and serving others.

BDS Salary and Job Profiles

The salary and job profiles for BDS graduates can vary depending on several factors, including:

Location: Salaries for BDS graduates tend to be higher in developed countries and urban areas compared to rural areas. In India, for example, the average BDS salary ranges from INR 3 LPA to 9 LPA, with an average of INR 6.5 LPA. However, in countries like the US, the average salary for dentists can be over USD 100,000 per year.

Experience: Naturally, experienced BDS graduates with a proven track record can command higher salaries compared to fresh graduates.

Specialization: Some specializations within dentistry, such as orthodontics or oral surgery, can lead to higher salaries.

Employment sector: Salaries can also differ depending on the employment sector. For example, government jobs in India typically offer lower salaries than private practice, but they come with better job security and benefits.

Here are some common job profiles for BDS graduates and their approximate salary ranges in India:

  • Dentist: INR 3 LPA to 8 LPA
  • Dental surgeon: INR 4 LPA to 10 LPA
  • Public health dentist: INR 3 LPA to 6 LPA
  • Academician: INR 4 LPA to 8 LPA
  • Researcher: INR 4 LPA to 8 LPA
  • Dental hygienist: INR 2 LPA to 4 LPA
  • Dental assistant: INR 1.5 LPA to 3 LPA

Here are some other factors that can influence the salary and job opportunities for BDS graduates:

  • Communication skills: Strong communication skills are essential for dentists to build rapport with patients and explain procedures clearly.
  • Business acumen: If you plan to set up your own practice, good business skills will be essential for success.
  • Networking: Building relationships with other dental professionals can help you find job opportunities and referrals.

Overall, the job outlook for BDS graduates is generally positive. The demand for dentists is expected to grow in the coming years, especially in developing countries. However, it is important to keep in mind that the competition for jobs can be stiff, and it is important to have a strong academic record and develop relevant skills to be successful.

Difference Between BDS and MBBS

Both MBBS and BDS are popular choices for students aspiring to careers in the medical field, but they have distinct differences in focus, course duration, and career paths. Here’s a breakdown:


  • MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery): Focuses on the entire human body, encompassing various medical disciplines like anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, surgery, and internal medicine. MBBS graduates become doctors who diagnose and treat a wide range of medical conditions.
  • BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery): Primarily focuses on oral and dental health, including teeth, gums, and supporting structures. BDS graduates become dentists who diagnose and treat dental problems, perform oral surgeries, and provide preventive care.

Course Duration:

  • MBBS: Typically a 5.5-year program, including 4.5 years of academic study and 1 year of mandatory internship.
  • BDS: Usually a 5-year program, with 4 years of academics and 1 year of internship.


  • MBBS: Graduates can pursue various specializations like cardiology, neurology, oncology, gynecology, etc., after completing their internship.
  • BDS: Specializations include orthodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, prosthodontics, etc.

Career Paths:

  • MBBS: Doctors can work in hospitals, clinics, private practice, research, or public health. They have diverse career options and can choose to specialize in different fields.
  • BDS: Dentists can work in dental clinics, hospitals, private practice, or academia. They primarily focus on oral healthcare and related specialties.

Here’s a table summarizing the key differences:

FocusEntire human bodyOral and dental health
Course Duration5.5 years5 years
SpecializationsDiverse medical fieldsDental specialties
Career PathsHospitals, clinics, research, public healthDental clinics, hospitals, private practice, academia

Ultimately, the choice between MBBS and BDS depends on your individual interests, skills, and career aspirations. Consider your passion for a specific field, desired work environment, and long-term goals when making your decision.

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