Apply for admission at least a year in advance of your planned enrollment date. Most dental schools participate in the Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS). For a fee, students can subscribe to this service and complete a single application to apply to multiple dental schools. ADEA Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (ADEA AADSAS) is available at the beginning of June. Application deadlines vary by school, but most dental schools are on a rolling admissions process, meaning that the sooner they have your completed application, the more likely it will be to be reviewed earlier and considered earlier.
Admissions committees review credentials such as academic qualifications, the results from the Dental Admissions Test (DAT), grade point average (GPA), letters of recommendation, personal interviews and dental office shadowing experiences. Admission requirements vary from school to school.
Most dental schools require personal interviews with candidates to assess qualities such as desire to help people, self-confidence, ability to meet challenges, ability to get along with people and capacity to work independently. The personal interview also provides an opportunity for the applicant to ask about the school.
Dental Admissions Test (DAT)
The DAT is a standardized examination designed to assist dental school admission committees in assessing applicants' academic preparation, achievement in science, perceptual abilities and written communication skills and in predicting which applicants will perform adequately in a rigorous dental school curriculum. For more information about the DAT, visit ADA: American Dental Association: Dental Admissions Test.
The Dental Admissions Test (DAT) consists of four sections.
- Survey of Natural Sciences (90 minutes)
- Perceptual Ability Test (60 minutes)
- Reading Comprehension Test (60 minutes)
- Quantitative Reasoning Test (45 minutes)
The average DAT score and scores for those accepted to medical school differ every year and vary by institution. The standard scores received in DAT range between 1 and 30. For Survey of Natural Science separate sub-scores are reported for 3 subsections along with a total score. Separate scores are reported for Quantitative Reasoning Test, Reading Comprehension Test and Perceptual Ability Test as well. An Academic Average score is reported in the score report, which is the total score in DAT excluding the PAT score.
Dental schools vary in how they weigh the DAT score and the separate sub-scores. Please refer to individual schools’ admissions data for more information regarding enrollee DAT scores.