Applying to Dental School

Applying to Dental School

As healthcare increasingly aspires to a holistic approach, oral health has become recognized as integral to individual well-being. Not surprisingly, there is extensive overlap in the training of future dentists and physicians. This begins in the predental years when the curriculum is identical to that for premedicine. Along with mastery of science and life science, future dentists must demonstrate strong interpersonal skills, fine motor dexterity, and a keen aesthetic sense.

Coursework

To satisfy the requirements of most dental schools and to be eligible for support of the GS Premedical Committee, predental students should complete the following coursework:

  • 2 semesters of math beyond precalculus (usually calculus and statistics)
  • 2 semesters of physics (with labs)
  • 2 semesters of general chemistry (with lab)
  • 2 semesters of organic chemistry (with lab)
  • 2 semesters of biology (with lab)

Some dental schools may have additional requirements (e.g., biochemistry or anatomy). To check for specific requirements by individual school, please refer to the ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools.

Practical Experience

A successful dental school applicant must demonstrate, through work and extracurricular experiences, commitment towards pursuing a career as a healthcare provider. Therefore, prospective applicants should seek out dentistry-related clinical experiences; however, since these can be difficult to find, some dental schools are receptive to applicants who have volunteered in a hospital and have also shadowed a dentist.

Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS)

The Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS) is the centralized application service for most U.S. dental schools. You can access the application by visiting the AADSAS website.

Standardized Tests

Prospective applicants to U.S. dental schools must take the DAT (Dental Admissions Test), a standardized test covering natural sciences, perceptual ability, reading comprehension, and quantitative reason. Information about the DAT is available on the American Dental Association (ADA) website.

Committee Letter

The GS Premedical Office writes committee letters for those predents who have met the eligibility requirements.

Helpful Resources

America Dental Education Association
American Student Dental Association
Explore Health Careers
International Federation of Dental Educators and Associations