Harvard Dental School Requirements

The Harvard School of Dental Medicine is one of 66 dental schools in the United States of America. Its requirements for admission are categorized here in the priority of what an applicant must submit to be considered:


  1. Pre-requisite courses
  2. Minimum number of years of undergraduate study required
  3. GPA


  1. Dentistry Admission Test (DAT)
  2. Dental Shadowing
  3. Letter of References
  4. Personal Essay
  5. Interview

Harvard Dental School Requirements: Prerequisite Courses

All students applying to Harvard Dental School must have completed at least a minimum of 4 academic years of undergraduate study. They must include the following courses: 

Prerequisite CourseRequiredLab RequiredCredits*
General Chemistry8
Organic Chemistry8
*A semester credit hour is an academic unit earned for fifteen 50-minute sessions of classroom instruction with a normal expectation of two hours of outside study for each class session. Typically, a three-semester credit hour course meets three 50-minute sessions per week for fifteen weeks for a total of 45 sessions. For more information about how long a semester/quarter is click here.
**Mathematical Skills/Computational Science literacy is essential for a career in the health sciences. This requirement may be fulfilled by two semesters of calculus or one semester of calculus and one semester of statistics (preferably biostatistics).

HSDM Requirements: GPA Calculation and Requirements

Minimum Overall GPA to ApplyAverage Overall GPA of accepted applicantsLowest Overall GPA AdmittedAverage Science GPA of accepted applicantsLowest Science GPA Admitted

All university courses taken are used in the calculation of the admission GPA.

HSDM will accept pass/fail credit for the following semesters: spring 2020, summer 2020, fall 2020, spring 2021, summer 2021.

HSDM accepts community college coursework and Advanced Placement (AP) credits. However, they strongly recommend that students complete this work, particularly science prerequisites, in an institution offering a four-year program.

HSDM Requirements: Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) and Shadowing

DAT and Shadowing Overview:

Dental Shadowing HoursDAT RequiredCAD DAT AcceptedDAT Scores Considered
Read BelowHighest Score

The Harvard Dental School strongly recommends that applicants participate in dental shadowing. The exact number of hours that they recommend is not stated. However, we recommend at the very least that students participate in 100 hours of dental shadowing.

HSDM DAT Admission Score Statistics:

Mean Academic Average ScoreMinimum AA Score Given AdmissionMean Perceptual Ability TestMinimum PAT Score Given AdmissionMean Total ScienceMinimum Total Science Score Given Admission

Dental Aptitude Test: The DAT must be taken within 3 years of the application deadline. All sections including the Survey of Natural Sciences (SNS), Perceptual Ability Test (PAT), Reading Comprehension Test (RCT), and Quantitative Reasoning (QR) will be used by the admission team.

Students looking to test their knowledge in preparation for the DAT can click on this link to access our free practice tests for both the Canadian DAT and American DAT

Harvard School of Dental Medicine: Letter of References

All applicants to the HSDM are required to provide letters of reference through the AADSAS.

HSDM requires three individual letters of evaluation or one letter from a Pre-Health Committee. If students opt to use three individual letters they should be from faculty members who can speak to an applicant’s academic abilities and potential for success in the program and field. At least two of these letters must be from professors in the sciences. Additionally, students may choose to submit a fourth letter of evaluation.

AADSAS Personal Essays

The HSDM will take into account the AADSAS personal essay you submit to the ADEA. Your personal statement is a one-page essay (not to exceed 4,500 characters, including spaces, carriages, numbers, letters, etc.) that gives dental schools a clear picture of who you are and, most importantly, why you want to pursue a career in dentistry. For more information on the personal essay click on the link above.

Harvard Dental School Requirements: Interview

MandatoryBy InvitationNumber of Applicants InvitedEntering Class Size

Shortlisted candidates will be required to partake in two interviews with the Harvard School of Dental Medicine admissions team. These interviews will provide the candidate with the opportunity to articulate their knowledge and experience, suitability for the program, and potential contribution to the field of dentistry.

Additionally, candidates who interview will receive a supplemental application to complete.

If you are looking for interview practice check out our posts on both MMI Practice Questions and Standard Interview Practice Questions.

HSDM Offers of Admission Decision:

While factors such as academic achievement in college, performance on the DAT, and letters of evaluation are important, equally important are the personal qualities of motivation, adaptability in changing or challenging circumstances, integrity, respect, and a passion for patient care.

The Admissions Committee also considers the student’s familiarity with the dental profession, extracurricular interests and activities, leadership potential, and career goals.

Requirements for other Dental Schools in America:

If you would like an in-depth analysis of the dental school requirements for other dental schools in the United States of America click on this link.

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