This is the most comprehensive and accurate information that can be found on the internet regarding the admission requirements and statistics for each of the 66 dental schools in America. Every year 25% of applications to dental schools are rejected because not all the requirements are met.
The admission requirements are similar between the different dental schools and are categorized here in the priority of what an applicant must submit to be considered:
- Minimum number of years of undergraduate study required
- Pre-requisite courses
- Dentistry Admission Test (DAT)
- Dental Shadowing
- Letter of References
- Personal Essay
Each dental school in America has different requirements within each of the above categories.
This blog post compares and contrasts the dental school admission requirements for all 66 dental schools in America in one place to help you determine which school is the best fit for you. It will also help guide your undergraduate studies by helping you to figure out which courses you should be taking.
Those interested in seeing the dental school requirements for Canadian Universities click on this link.
If you would like an in-depth analysis of the dental school requirements for a specific dental school in America such as detailed information about the prerequisite courses, Minimum GPA and DAT statistics, and interview information click on the links below:
Requirements for Dental Schools in America: Prerequisite Courses
In the US, dental school applicants must have completed between 3-4 years of undergraduate study by the proposed year of entry into their programs. During those years, applicants must also meet certain prerequisite course requirements which vary in both the course selection and study length.
In general, you will find a combination of the following courses required for admission.
- Chemistry, general/inorganic
- Chemistry, organic
- Cell biology
- Molecular biology/genetics
Most dental schools will have Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Physics as requirements for entry. The other courses vary dependent on the school. Prospective students should click on the links above to check the exact requirements for the dental school they wish to apply to.
Requirements for Dental Schools in the USA: Undergraduate and GPA Requirements
The average GPA for all accepted applicants to American dental schools is Science GPA (3.51) and Total GPA (3.59). See the table below for individual university admission statistics.
If you’re looking for tricks to improve your undergraduate grades check out our post on the top study habits to get maximum grades in minimum time!
Requirements for Dental Schools in America: DAT Requirements
The Dental Admission Test is a standardized test that is taken by all prospective dental students. For more information on the DAT format and questions check out this article. The average DAT scores for all accepted applicants to American dental schools are AA(20.72) and PAT(20.5). See the table below for individual university admission statistics.
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.
Requirements for Dental Schools in the USA: Shadowing
Most Dental Schools will either recommend or require that applicants have a certain number of hours shadowing a dentist/dentists to get an idea of what the field is like. In general, we recommend that competitive applicants have at least 100 hours of shadowing when applying.
Please note, that many Universities have become lenient in shadowing requirements due to Covid. For more detailed information about the shadowing hours required click on an individual universities link at the top of the page.
Requirements for Dental Schools in the USA: Personal Essays
As a part of your application dental schools 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.
Requirements for Dental Schools in the USA: Letter of Reference
As a part of your application dental schools may take into account the AADSAS reference you submit to the ADEA. The exact type of reference required by the dental school can vary. In general, the letter of reference may be from:
- Pre-Health Committee
- Professors in the sciences
- Lab Supervisors
- Non-Science Faculty members
- Work Supervisors
- Community Service Supervisors
Requirements for Dental Schools in the USA: Supplementary Application
Some dental schools have their own supplementary application as a part of their application process. The additional questions vary from university to university but all aim at determining the applicant’s character.
Requirements for Dental Schools in the USA: Interview
Most dental schools in America will require an interview in their admission process, which is granted to the most qualified applicants. There are two main types of interviews, multi-mini interviews and traditional interviews. If you are looking for practice interview questions check our posts on both MMI Practice Questions and Standard Interview Practice Questions here.
Please check the individual links for each University for more information about the interview process.
Requirements for Dental Schools in America: Final Admission Decisions
Every dental school weighs each section of your application differently when making the final admission decisions. This will play a large role in your application process and should be taken into consideration. All this information can be found above in any of the links listed for the university you are interested in.
In-Depth Look at the Requirements for Each Dental School in Canada:
If you would like an in-depth view of the dental school requirements for a specific dental school in Canada, including average admitted GPA and DAT scores as well as detailed information about the interview, autobiographical sketch, and admissions weighting statistics, click on the links below:
- University of Toronto (UofT) Dental School Requirements
- University of Western Ontario (UWO) Dental School Requirements
- University of Alberta Dental (UofA) School Requirements
- University of Manitoba (UofM) Dental School Requirements
- University of British Columbia (UBC) Dental School Requirements
- University of Saskatchewan (UofS) Dental School Requirements
- Université Laval Dental School Requirements
- McGill University Dental School Requirements
- Université de Montréal (UdeM) Dental School Requirements
- Dalhousie (Dal) University Dental School Requirements
What GPA do you need for admission to dental schools in America?
The lowest GPA admitted to a dental school in America ranges 2.64-3.69 depending on which school. To get in with a low GPA the other aspects of the application must be exceptional. A competitive GPA for admission, which is the average GPA of admitted students, is between 3.24-3.89 depending on the school.
How many students apply to dental school each year in the USA?
In 2020 there were approximately 100,000 applicants to all dental schools in the USA combined for 6,000 spots.
Is dental or medical school harder?
Both medical and dental schools are very competitive to get into. From the perspective of admission rates, medical school is harder to be admitted to than dental school. There are more medical schools than there are dental schools, but there are far more applicants to medical schools than there are to dental schools.
Is it hard to get into dental school in the US?
Dental schools in America are extremely competitive. Successful applicants must meet a significant number of requirements before even being considered including prerequisite courses, GPA requirements, DAT and CASPer testing, as well as interviews and personal statements.
What is the minimum GPA for dental school in the US?
The lowest GPA admitted to a dental school in the US ranges 2.64-3.69 depending on which school. However, competitive applicants receive GPAs between 3.24-3.89 depending on the school.
How many years does it take to be a dentist?
Most dental schools in the USA are 4 years in length.
What is the easiest Dental School to get into in America?
In terms of raw numbers, the University of Mississippi has the highest acceptance rate of all dental schools in America at approximately 20%. You can use the table above to see the easiest dental schools to get into for your state.