The first thing to do if you are planning to apply to dental school is to read every word on the American Dental Education Association “Go Dental” site!

The second thing to do is to meet the Health Professions Dental School Advisor.

The process of applying to dental school is much like that of applying to medical school. You need similar coursework, and the application process is very similar. Below you will find the differences between the two processes. Please read the section on medicine for information on the similarities.

Dental schools are also very competitive. The courses required (which may vary for particular programs) are laid out below. As is the case for students applying to medical school you will need to have not only a competitive GPA and test scores but you are expected to have shadowed one or more dentists and have relevant clinical experience, as well as demonstrate a commitment to service. Please read the introductory sections of this handbook.


Most students apply to dental school in the summer between their third and undergraduate fourth years. It does not matter what major you choose; only that you complete the prerequisite courses.

In order to be competitive for admission after three years, a student would want to follow this plan:


year 1

Spring year 1 Fall

year 2

Spring year 2 Fall year 3 Spring year 3 Summer

Year 3

Fall year 4 Spring

Year 4

CHM 111/L


MTH 111?

CHM 122/L


BIO 114/L

CHM 223/L


BIO 213/L

CHM 280/L


BIO 214/L

PHY 113/L



PHY 114/L


Prepare for DAT

Apply to dental school Complete divisionals and major Complete divisionals and major


Although dental school require only two semesters of biology, the Biology Department has a four course introductory sequence, three semesters of which must be taken in order to cover all of the material covered on the DAT exam. The fourth semester, BIO 113, should be taken only if you are planning to be a biology major, or would like to use it as an elective course. It can also be used to complete a biology minor (16 hours), however, other courses may be substituted for completion of the minor as well.



Remember to first read the ADEA’s “Go Dental site”!

As the time to apply approaches, visit the American Dental Association Pre-dental Student Virtual Fair. It offers a free online opportunity to communicate directly with dental school admissions officers about the admissions process.

You will want to begin the process of application to dental school about 18 months before you plan to matriculate, in the middle of your third or fourth year.

Early in the fall semester of you third year, you will want to meet with the Health Professions Committee Dental School Advisor. This is to ensure that you understand the process, and also gives the advisor an opportunity to get to know you better, so that he or she can speak for you when the Health Professions Committee Letter is written.

By February 15th  of your third year, you will want to request three letters of recommendation, fill out and submit the required waiver forms, and initiate the Health Professions Committee application (see sections on “Health Professions Committee Application”  “The Committee Letter” and “The Personal Statement”). The Health Professions Committee application must be submitted by April 30th.

All US dental school participate in the ADEA (American Dental Education Association) AADASAS (Associated American Dental School Application Service) centralized application service. The letters of recommendation can be submitted to the Health Professions Committee, which will forward them to the AADASAS, along with a statement from the committee on the level of confidence at which they can support your application to dental school.

During the spring, research dental schools, and establish which ones you will apply to.  Work on your personal statement. Attend the spring workshop offered by the Health Professions Committee and the OPCD on how to write an admissions essay/personal statement.

In late spring to early summer, you will take the DAT (Dental Admission Test). It is a computer-based test which can be taken at almost any time at testing centers throughout the country. You can find information on the DAT at the American Dental Association site:


Complete the ADEA AADAS application early. The verification process can take up to six weeks!

Dentistry application timeline








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