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Dental School Application Information & FAQ
 

Application Advice
Dental Application Info & FAQ
DAT Information & FAQ
Secondary Application Info
Dentistry as a Career
Life in Dental School
Dental School Interview
Dental School Statistics
Paying For Dental School
Dental Licensing Exam Information
NBDE Part I Information
NBDE Part II Information


What is the Dental School application process like?

Most dental schools use a central application service known as the Associated American Dental Schools Application Service or AADSAS. From their website you will need to set up an account and fill out the many categories of information including your personal information, the classes you have taken, the class you plan to take, an essay, and others. You will also need to send official copies of your transcripts to AADSAS which they will use to calculate your GPA. You then need to select which schools you wish to apply to. When you have completed all the information, you will then submit your dental school application and pay the fee which is based on the number of schools you are applying too. After you submit, it takes anywhere for 4 to 8 weeks for your selected schools to receive your AADSAS application.

Once the individual schools receive your application, if they consider you a competitive applicant you will receive notification from that school that your application is under review and some will request a secondary application with another series of questions specific for that individual school. In addition most will request a second application fee. Some schools also want you to send in a photograph and/or a copy of your official transcripts. Youll need to check with each individual school for exactly what they need. The list of school specific materials you need to send directly to each school is available on the AADSAS website.

Following the secondary application, most schools request an interview of applicants they are interested in. You will need to travel to those schools that request an interview. Typically, interviews are scheduled from October through March.

The first date schools are allowed to accept students is December first, but acceptances will be sent out through May. Students not accepted will either be rejected or put on a wait list for any spots that may open up.


When can I apply to Dental School?

The AADSAS dental application service usually opens up applications during the middle of May for entrance into dental school the for the fall over a year out. This sounds really early to apply, but you need to APPLY EARLY. I cannot stress that enough. The application deadline at many schools may not be until January or February, but in reality many schools have all of their seats filled by then for the following fall. The dental school application process is long, so the sooner you get it in the better. Most schools go on a rolling admissions basis, so the earlier you apply the better chance of acceptance you have. You don't need to apply in May, but you should do your best to get your application submitted at least by the end of July, but if you can, apply earlier. According to the ADEA, the date at which 50% of the applications had been submitted to the AADSAS for the 2006 cycle was mid-August.

If for some reason you did not decide to apply until later in the cycle, you may still get in. It just means that your application will be reviewed later so by the time you interview and your application is considered there may be fewer spots open. If its November or December and you are just now applying to dental schools, get your application in ASAP! You still have a shot, especially if you have great stats, but you need to get your application submitted. Otherwise, get your application ready for the next cycle and make some plans for the next year.


What is required for admission into Dental School?

Most dental schools require applicants to have 2 semesters of each of the following courses:

Biology
Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
Physics

In addition, individual schools may have additional requirements like a semester of Biochemistry, 2 semesters of Calculus based math, or social science requirements. You'll have to check with individual dental schools for their specific requirements.

You are also required to take the Dental Admissions Test or DAT.


What is the minimum GPA and DAT score to be admitted into Dental School?

There are no set minimums for dental schools as a whole, but each school may have its own cut off. In general, admissions chances for students with GPAs below 3.0 and DATs below a score of 16 are extremely limited. To have a reasonable shot at entrance into dental school, an undergraduate should shoot for at least a 3.3 GPA and a DAT score of at least 18, while a GPA of 3.5 or above and DAT score above 20 will give you excellent chance of being accepted, depending on the school of course. The current average GPA and DAT score for all schools is a 3.5 and 19 respectively.

The Dental School Statistics page gives a break down of statistics for 2006 entering dental students. The number of applicants to dental school page shows how the dental school application rate has changed over the last decade. You can also find additional information at www.predents.com.

Also check out the DAT Information and FAQ section of this website to find more info on the DAT.


Do I need a Bachelor's degree to get into Dental School?

No, but it is very difficult to get in without one. Exceptional undergraduate students who have completed the entrance requirements may sometimes be admitted into certain dental school after 3 years of college, however, the vast majority of dental students have a Bachelors degree and some even have master's degrees or PhDs.


Do I have to complete all of the requirements before I can apply?

No, you just need to complete the requirements before starting dental school, so if you are planning to still take some of the requirements during the coming school year, you have the opportunity to mark this down in your dental school application. Not having completed all of the requirements before applying to dental school should not hurt your chances as long as you indicate on your AADSAS application the courses you are planning to take.


I'm still waiting on letters of recommendations - can I send in my dental school application without them?

Yes. Submit your application as soon as everything else is ready and do not wait for letters of recommendation to be sent to AADSAS. AADSAS will sent your LORs out to your schools when ever they are received, so do not worry about them being sent at the same time as the rest of your application. Also, many schools will allow you to send your LORs directly to the school rather than through AADSAS which will mean they get there a lot quicker. Check with each individual dental school to see if you can do this.


Are there any good resources to provide me with more information on the dental application process and dental school in general?

Yes, I would recommend the Student Doctor Network Dental Forums and Predents.com for more information on dental school and the application process. I also recommend the below books, especially the ADEA's Official Guide to Dental Schools:




What am I supposed to put down for this question about manual dexterity on the AADSAS application?

Did you take any art classes in college (painting, drawing, pottery,...)? Do you build models or make necklaces? Do you tie fishing flies? Do you play the piano or guitar? Can you type really fast? Are you a master at thumb wrestling? Any of these (except thumb wrestling) would be acceptable to be included in your application in regards to manual dexterity. Also, if you are planning on taking a class or learning any of these things in the next several months that might help you improve your manual dexterity, it would be worth mentioning in this section of the application.


Do dental schools take older applicants who have worked for several years after college and people who majored in subjects other than the sciences?

Of course! The average first year dental student is about 24 or 25, meaning that there are quite a few students who took at least a year or two off before deciding on dental school. Having a few years (or many years) of work experience can be a strong positive for your application because it gives you some added maturity and a different perspective than a your typical 22 year old biology major. Yes, most students come straight out of undergrad and from science backgrounds, but dental schools accept students of all backgrounds as long as you have completed all of the requirements for admission. Dental schools like people with diverse backgrounds, so the more and different experiences you have had are beneficial to your application


How much do extracurriculars count in my dental school application?

There isn't a definitive answer to this question, but if you don't have any extracurricular activities it will hurt your application, while if you have a lot, it will help. Most dental schools strongly recommend applicants to have at least some dental shadowing experience. Other schools look very very favorably on volunteer and community service. Whatever you do, don't leave this section blank on your application. Dental schools like applicants who are involved in activities outside of the classroom and library. Put down anything and everything you are involved in. If you were very involved in school organizations or you were a dedicated college athlete, this will certainly give you an edge over other applicants who may have better acedemic stats, but nothing else of note on their application.


What is the topic of the dental school application essay and what should I write?

The essay is a personal statement discussing your interest in dentistry. Do your best not to write your essay as an "I'm interested in Dentistry because..." paper, but instead write your essay by telling a story. Your essay needs to highlight your interest in dentistry, any relevant experiences you have and major accomplishments you've made, and also should demonstrate your writing and communication ability. Take your time and have several people review your essay before submitting it. If you need some extra help with writing your essay, try one of these books:


Application Advice
Dental Application Info & FAQ
DAT Information & FAQ
Secondary Application Info
Dentistry as a Career
Life in Dental School
Dental School Interview
Dental School Statistics
Paying For Dental School
Dental Licensing Exam Information
NBDE Part I Information
NBDE Part II Information






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