James Cook University

Bachelor of Dental Surgery



University Location Townsville or Cairns, Queensland
City Population 194,000
Student Population 22,000
Int'l Student Population 6,640
Main Campus Townsville
Program Campus Cairns
Program Duration 5 years
Estimated Annual Tuition $71,960 AUD (2023 fees; subject to increase)
Semester Intake February
Next Available Intake 2025
Application Deadline August 30, 2024*
International Places 15 (80 total)


James Cook University Dental School offers the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) program, a five-year, undergraduate degree that will provide you with the knowledge and skills you require to become a competent practitioner of dentistry.

The dental program aims to promote improved oral health care delivery, particularly to people living in rural, remote and tropical regions of Australia, which can also be applied to those living in remote areas of Canada. The curriculum integrates the basic sciences with dental clinical sciences and preventative oral health strategies.

JCU Dental School is one of only three schools in Australia located outside a capital city. JCU’s dentistry establishment was funded by a grant of $52.5 million from the federal government and includes a new building on the Smithfield (Cairns) Campus of JCU with state-of-the-art facilities, including an 80-seat dental simulation laboratory, prosthodontics and science laboratories, and student home-group rooms.

The JCU BDS is ranked #1 in Australia for full-time employment outcomes; #1 in Australia for median graduate salary ($100.5k); #1 in Queensland for learning resources and student support (Good Universities Guide 2021).



The JCU Bachelor of Dental Surgery is a broad-based program including all aspects of dental practice but also has a special focus on issues of special concern to the northern Australian region, particularly those relating to tropical, rural and Indigenous practice.

As a dentistry student, you will have early exposure to clinical practice, with an increasing proportion of the course dedicated to clinical skills in the later years. The first three to four years of study are based on the Cairns campus, and the final year is devoted to developing your clinical skills during placements in public and private dental clinics across northern Queensland.


Admission Requirements

1. From high School
Minimum of 89+% from top Grade 12 subjects required. Grade 12 (or equivalent) English, chemistry, and math B (usually covering any of calculus, statistics, algebra, trigonometry, vectors, geometry) is required. Please reach out to [email protected] regarding the approved math prerequisite by province.

AB – Based on top 5 Grade 12 subjects
BC – Based on Language Arts 12 course (e.g., English 12; English 12 First Peoples, Communication 12, English Literature 12); and best 3 Grade 12 subjects with 4 credit points
ON – Based on top 6 Grade 12 subjects

2. With a partially or fully completed undergraduate degree
A high level of academic standard is required for entry. A minimum of 3.5/4 (approximately 80% or A-) cumulative average across all university studies is required. You need to have met the prerequisite subjects at least at the high school level (or equivalent) to meet the prerequisite requirements. You also must meet the prerequisite subject requirements at the high school level.

Admission Timeline

*Applications for the 2024 intake closed August 30, 2023. Applications will be assessed after the deadline and outcomes will likely be issued in September. You are encouraged to apply as early as possible. For information about the 2025 intake, please contact OzTREKK.


“…it’s easy to make friends”

like: small campus and most people come from different parts of Australia so it's easy to make friends; simulation clinics starting in first year.  Everything is combined in one subject, small campus - really little people doesn't feel like a university. Be ready for simulation clinics!

JCU Australia Kathryn W
Bachelor of Dental Surgery
James Cook University, 2023

“Hands-on simulation clinic from day 1”

Small campus that's not too busy (what I like) It can get really hot :) Hands-on simulation clinic from day 1

JCU Australia Dominique K
Bachelor of Dental Surgery
James Cook University, 2022

“I enjoy studying dentistry because it is something that I have always wanted to do”

I like university simply because I am taking a degree that I always wanted to take. Being able to go and learn new things every day is what I really enjoy about university. I am enjoying my program. I enjoy studying dentistry because it is something that I have always wanted to do. I also find the course material quite interesting.

JCU Australia Brandon K
Bachelor of Dental Surgery
James Cook University, 2019

“Dentistry students get access to home groups inside the dental building 24/7”

Yes, there's many fun events going on all the time to enjoy and also quiet areas to study! Dentistry students get access to home groups inside the dental building 24/7 and we can study there whenever, also there's a fridge and microwave available which is very helpful!! Overall, amazing facilities as well. [The program is] very hands on and I am learning heaps!

JCU Australia Ibadat S
Bachelor of Dental Surgery
James Cook University, 2019

“Wish I did this sooner. ”

Excellent amount of clinical time! It is great! Wish I did this sooner.

JCU Australia Brock M
James Cook University, 2018