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BDS to MBBS Bridge Course – Courses, Eligibility, Admission

Written by  Piyush Bhartiya, MBA

Published on Sun, December 29, 2019 2:00 PM   Updated on Sat, July 15, 2023 8:04 PM   17 mins read

The most pursued medical science courses include Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) and Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS). The candidate needs to appear for the National Entrance cum Eligibility Test, commonly abbreviated as the NEET Exam. Both the courses are undergraduate level, but there are some differences between the two. The basic difference lies in the duration and curriculum of the respective courses.

While the BDS program is of 4.5 years, the MBBS course runs for 5.5 years, including the internship period. On the whole, the Medical Council of India is responsible for the regulation of the MBBS program, while the BDS program is regulated by the Dental Council of India.

Source: Dr. Vaibhav H Tiwari: Dental Surgeon

Each year, thousands of students give the entrance test while only a few make it to the government institutions. However, there are private institutions providing the same course but with a higher tuition fee.  

Check Out: Top Colleges to pursue MBBS in India

What is a Bridge Course?

Bridge courses can be considered as supplementary knowledge that can be provided to students to impart basic knowledge in them about the advanced subjects that will be taught to them in the upcoming future. 

The completion time of a bridge course can vary from institution to institution but generally, a bridge course lasts from 6 months and up to a year.For example, if a student has completed his graduation inEngineering with Computer Science specialization and wants to pursue post-graduation in Information Sciences, a bridge course may be taught to him so that he can have the basic knowledge of the course that will be taught to him. This will make sure the student does not have to study the entire undergraduate course of Information Sciences currently saving all of the student’s time, energy and money.

Check Out: Short Term Courses after MBBS

BDS to MBBS Bridge Course

A BDS to MBBS Bridge course has been recently recommended by the Dental Council of India. The objective of the three-year program is two-fold. The first objective that gets fulfilled through this bridge course is that it will benefit the BDS graduates looking for full-time employment opportunities.

The second objective is since it is an innovative program, it will provide an opportunity for the Dental Aspirants to take up a different career path after completing the degree program.

Thus the program has a huge potential helpful in filling the lacuna which is created by the low penetration of skilled professionals in medical sciences currently in India. 

  1. Ear, Nose, and Throat
  2. Pediatrics
  3. Forensic medicine including toxicology
  4. Gynecology
  5. General medicine
  6. General surgery
  7. Anesthesiology
  8. Introduction to Humanities and community medicine
  9. Biochemistry
  10. Radiotherapy
  11. Ophthalmology
  12. Psychiatry

BDS to MBBS Bridge Course Latest News 2022

It is a well-known fact that studying BDS is always the second choice for almost all students who wish to enter the medical field. Not only this, our country has always had a shortage of medical professionals considering our ever-growing population but the stagnant number of medical seats. One can also not ignore the fact that there an acute want of medical staff in the rural areas of our country.

One of the many such issues is also the lack of employment opportunities for BDS students after they complete their education. With India currently facing these three major problems in the medical sector, MCI (Medical Council of India) and DCI (Dental Council of India) have decided to collaboratively come up with a 3-year course for BDS students to make a straight shift to MBBS once they clear an entrance exam in their 3rd year. 

This bridge course has also been approved by NITI Aayog and is now running for all the students who want to make to cross the bridge between BDS and MBBS. This recent development will prove to be a huge advancement in the medical field of India. Since the plan was brought to notice in 2019 and with that we entered the pandemic period in 2020, the curriculum and other guidelines are yet to be finalized and announced. The program is running through on some basic guidelines and objectives for the current to make this important shift.

Bridge Course for BDS Latest News 2022

BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery) is the most pursued course in the medical field by science students after MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery). But one cannot deny the fact that although it is one of the most taken up courses, it is mostly the second choice of students who want to become general physicians. The two courses also offer very different fields of expertise owing to the fact they specialize in distinct parts of the body.

Keeping this issue in mind the recently approved Bridge Course is available for 3rd year BDS students who wish to switch between the courses. An entrance exam is required to be cleared to make this shift. So, for those who get stuck in the finances of BDS or don’t wish to drop a year and hence are unable to make it to an MBBS College after 12th, doors have opened up for you to realise this dream of yours.

This three-year program has been set up on the basis of two objectives; to provide a different career path for BDS graduates that will fit their initial interest and to open new employment opportunities considering the downfall in the number of jobs available for BDS students.

This program has thus opened up avenues for medical professionals in the fields that always complained of shortage and hence were a reason for downfall in the health sector of our country. This course will also curb one of the most serious problems that our country till date, the lack of medical facilities in the rural areas, considering the fact that the course has a compulsory medical practice time of 3 years in the countryside.

Top Universities Offering BDS

A BDS degree is more of a prerequisite for applying to a bridge programme like a BDS to MBBS programme. We’ve assembled a list of some of the most prestigious international medical schools that offer Bachelor of Dental Science programmes:

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Planning to Study in UK get a shortlist of best universities according to your profile for studying in UK

BDS Bridge Course

BDS to MBBS Bridge is a course having a distinct approach. It allows the graduates in Dental Sciences to practice in the role of general physicians in organizations, hospitals, clinics, etc.

After the successful completion of the course, the graduates need to spend a minimum of three years working in rural areas.

The full list of the BDS Bridge Course is listed in bullet points below –

  1. Histology, Bio-Chemistry, Physiology, and Anatomy.
  2. Physiology, Micro-biology
  3. Pharmacology
  4. Neurology, Pediatrics
  5. General Surgery, Otorhinolaryngology (ENT), Cardiology, Emergency Medicine

Check Out: How to Study MBBS Abroad? (Fee, Best Destinations and Prerequisites Checklist)


The BDS-MBBS Bridge course has been recently approved by NITI Aayog as a way to upskill the professionals in the medical field. So if you are a Dentistry student and wish to switch to general medicine and surgery this is the course to take up in recent times in case you are eligible.

Eligibility criteria for Bridge Course from BDS to MBBS:

  1. You must clear the entrance exam in your 3rd year of BDS.
  2. You must have a good cumulative score in the BDS program.
  3. A combination of the two may be considered in certain cases where two students have the same marks.

Curriculum for the course

The curriculum for this course is yet to be finalized by the Ministry of Health and MCI but is in action on the basis of general guidelines. The curriculum will also be defined so as to not put in any specializations that will be hard for a BDS student to cope up with. The entrance exam for the same will have the syllabus relevant to MBBS but not alien to BDS students.

Following developments have been considered for the BDS to MBBS Bridge Course:

  1. Currently only public and government universities will offer this course but with revisions in the future private universities will also be given permission.
  2. The course will be for a period of 3 years from the 3rd year of the BDS program.
  3. The course will have a curriculum similar to MBBS but will differ in terms of difficulty levels considering the switch.


While a lot of bridge courses were present for BDS students in the past through IGNOU to switch careers from dentistry considering the constant lack of jobs in the sector, one progress that was still to be made was the switching option between BDS to MBBS, one that’ll prove to be a huge advancement in the history of medical education in India.

Gone will be the times when a student had to either drop for years to get into a Medical College or pay striking amounts of tuition fee to private institutes. Gone will be the times when a student had to study half-heartedly for a program they didn’t want to study for life. Gone will be the times when a student had to think twice before reapplying for NEET; once already admitted in a Dental College.

Because now you can easily make a switch from Dentistry to Medicine and Surgery lest you fit in the eligibility criteria of the newly introduced Bridge Program.

How do you ensure that you will be able to switch from BDS to MBBS?

Here are a few tips that will give you the confidence that you can take up this Bridge course from BDS to MBBS;

  1. Make sure to attain extremely good marks in all your semesters while you are in your dental college. Since a cumulative total is considered for your entrance a good scorecard is of high importance.
  2. Start preparing for your entrance test well before in time because this chance will only be available once and there is no going back in time.
  3. Study the subjects you think will coincide with the MBBS course in depth.
  4. Keep yourself aware of the dates of the application so that you don’t miss out on the opportunity.

What is a BDS to MBBS Bridge Course?

The proposal is to start a BDS to MBBS ‘Bridge’ Course, with the MCI, DCI, and Ministry of Health reviewing the curriculum for the same. The proposal may help in allowing the dentist to practice just as the general physicians.

Efforts are being made in the country to improve the education system of the country. This is the most recent development when it comes to improving the education system further by providing the best medical education in the country. Although the full curriculum has still not been released or finalized, here are some aspects which might be covered later on by the Bridge Course, as and when it is released.

  1. Dental Council of India has proposed that the bridge course pst BDS will run for three years. 
  2. The students can secure admissions either by cracking the common entrance test or according to the cumulative score secured during their BDS.
  3. It may happen that the admission criteria consider scores from the entrance as well as the cumulative score of BDS. 
  4. The curriculum, examination scheme, method to evaluate, registration, and degrees – all these are the criteria which will be the same as recommended for MBBS.

Check Out: Bridge Courses

BDS to MBBS Bridge Course Eligibility Criteria

The BDS-MBBS Bridge program is for the students from the Dental Background who want to switch and enter the medical field working as a physician.

The admission process is yet to be finalized by the Dental Council of India. The Dental Council of India has proposed a process for the aspirants from the BDS program who want to become practitioners or physicians.

The course is expected to increase the number of professionals and thus has the potential to fill the lacuna in the medical field in the country. The DCI along with the MCI and Ministry of Health is expected to regulate the admission criteria as well as the curriculum.

  1. The applicant will have to give an entrance exam
  2. Candidates’ cumulative scores in the BDS program will be considered.
  3. The admissions may be granted by considering both the above criteria. 
  4. Even though the curriculum has still not been framed, the possibility of the course following the same syllabus and certain modifications with it will be followed. 

Check Out: BAMS- Bachelor Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery

How to get admission in Bridge Course after BDS?

Bachelor of Dental Sciences who wish to pursue the bridge course to become general physicians have to make sure that their final cumulative score is high.

They also need to prepare for the entrance test, which may include a syllabus from both BDS, as well as the MBBS program. Sample papers from different entrance tests can be practiced in order to be eligible for cracking the exam.

It is expected that the syllabus of the entrance test would be such that the ones who wish to apply for the course don’t have to face an alien syllabus. The subjects that may be a part of the Bridge Course include Paediatrics, Forensic medicine including toxicology, Gynaecology, General medicine, General surgery, etc.

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BDS to MBBS Bridge course in India

The Medical Council of India (DCI) along with the Dental Council of India (MCI) recently announced their decision to review Bachelor of Dental Surgery to Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery Bridge Course in India.

The curriculum in this regard is being reviewed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare along with both the councils. The basic idea behind this is to make sure that the lacuna in the medical field and physicians working in the country are filled.

Let us consider the following bullet points highlighting a little about the BDS-MBBS Bridge Course

  1. Public Universities will be starting with the course.
  2. Later on, the private universities will also be allowed to provide the option of a Bridge Course.
  3. The course is expected to be three years in duration after the completion of BDS.
  4. The syllabus is expected to be similar to that of MBBS, however, there might be certain changes.
  5. The Bridge Course is expected to increase the number of professionals in the medical field.

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BDS to MBBS Bridge Course Duration

A BDS to MBBS Bridge course was recently recommended by the Dental Council of India. The basic idea behind such a course is to increase the number of practicing professionals in order to fill the lacuna in the medical situation of the country.

The course is also expected to benefit the BDS graduates in taking up or looking got full-time job opportunities in all the areas where currently the MBBS Graduates are given an opportunity. 

  1. One objective is to increase the scope for the BDS Graduates who are or have been aspirants of MBBS.
  2. The other objective is that it will help build an innovative program providing opportunities equally for all the BDS and MBBS Aspirants.
  3. The third objective that it is expected to fulfill is filling the gap in medical education and thus the lack of medical professionals.
  4. There will be options available in public universities first, post which private universities will also get an option to provide the bridge course.
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Is there any bridge course from BDS to MBBS?

Ans. Yes, there is a bridge course from BDS to MBBS, Public Universities are starting with the course. Public Universities will also be allowed to provide the option of a Bridge Course. After completion of BDS, this bridge is expected to be three years in duration.

What is the best option after BDS?

Ans. Best graduate courses after BDS:
1. Master of Dental Surgery in Public Health Dentistry.
2. Master of Dental Surgery in Oral Medicine.
3. Doctor of Philosophy in Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry.
4. Doctor of Philosophy in Periodontics.
5. MBA in Public Health.
6. MBA in Hospital Management.

What is the salary of BDS?

Ans. At the initial stage, the salary after BDS can be 30,000 per month.
After getting some experience in this field, the candidate may earn a salary of 4 to 6 lakh per annum. “Dental field offers rewarding job opportunities to BDS aspirants.”

How does a bridging course work?

Ans. Bridging courses are basically short-term learning programs designed to help high school students enter higher education institutions. This course can range from six months to one year. These courses are also created to prepare students for the pace and standard of tertiary education.

What is a bridge course for MBBS?

Ans. The bridge course for MBBS is BDS, this if for the students from the Dental Background who want to switch and enter the medical field working as a physician.

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About the Author & Expert


Piyush Bhartiya

Author • MBA • 20 Years

Piyush values education and has studied from the top institutes of IIT Roorkee, IIM Bangalore, KTH Sweden and Tsinghua University in China. Post completing his MBA, he has worked with the world's # 1 consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group and focused on building sales and marketing verticals for top MNCs and Indian business houses.

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