Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry Requirements

The Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC program is one of 66 dental programs in the United States of America. The Herman Ostrow dental school requirements 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

USC Dental School Requirements: Prerequisite Courses

All students applying to Herman Ostrow Dental School must have completed at least a minimum of 2 academic years of undergraduate study (60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours). They must include the following courses: 

Prerequisite CourseRequiredLab RequiredCredits (Semester/Quarter)
General Chemistry8/10
Organic Chemistry8/10
English✓**X 8/10
Philosophy, History, or Fine Arts✓**X 8/10
*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.
** English, Philosophy, History, and Fine Arts requirements will be dropped if applicants have a bachelor degree prior to starting dental school

USC Dental School 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.

The Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry states that coursework from a junior or community college is acceptable, though preference is given to applicants who have taken prerequisites at a four-year college or university. We strongly recommend that you take upper-division science courses (such as biochemistry, anatomy, histology, physiology) in addition to the required prerequisites.

No information has been released about the acceptance of pass or fail credits.

Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry Requirements: Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) and Shadowing

DAT and Shadowing Overview:

Dental Shadowing HoursDAT RequiredCAD DAT AcceptedDAT Scores Considered
10-20Most Recent

10-20 Hours of Dental Shadowing are recommended but not required for acceptance to the program.

USC Dental School 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. If an applicant has completed the DAT more than once in the 3-year window the most recent score will be used when calculations are made.

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

Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry: Letter of References

All applicants to the USC dental school are required to provide three letters of recommendation.

Two letters must be from a science-based professor in biology, chemistry or physics. Letters must reflect your performance in the lecture component of the class. A committee letter may be substituted if your undergraduate institution offers this service.

The final letter must be from a dentist.

AADSAS Personal Essays

The Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry may 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.

Herman Ostrow Dental School Interview:

MandatoryBy InvitationNumber of Applicants InvitedEntering Class Size

Shortlisted candidates will be required to partake in an interview with the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC admissions team. The interview process for the USC dental school is unknown. If you are looking for interview practice check out our posts on both MMI Practice Questions and Standard Interview Practice Questions.

Herman Ostrow Dental School Offers of Admission Decision:

Herman Ostrow dental school offers for admission will be based upon a mix of academic achievement, DAT scores, AADSAS essay, reference letters, and results of the interview process. 

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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