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Roadmap to Dental School Application

Roadmap to Dental School Application


Congratulations! You've chosen to become a dentist , which is  ranked as the 2nd Best Job overall in the US, according to the 2018 U.S. News Best Jobs Report.  

You will be joining a community of healthcare professionals that care about their community’s oral health and general well-being. It’s truly a rewarding career that will offer your many opportunities to grow a as a professional and as an individual.

Now that you have made this choice, it’s important that you prepare for getting into a dental school that suits your needs best.

Now, it's time to prepare for dental school , and preparation is the key.

Dental schools are extremely demanding academically, and the applicant pool is more competitive than ever. So, it is never too early to start preparing.


Consider the facts:

vert-bar-green20x370.jpgDental schools are extremely competitive.

The top schools in the nation accept only about 2 to 5% of applications, for a limited number of slots. And, the number of applications are on the rise every year.

According to the ADA, the rate of dental school applications between 2000 and 2014 grew at a faster rate (51.1%) than either applicants to medical schools (33.2%) or law schools. What makes this even more impressive is that during the same time, the number of dental schools in the US grew (from 56 in 2004 to 65 in 2014), and dental school curriculums became more innovative.



vert-bar-green20x370.jpgThe applicant pool is stronger than ever.

Academically, dental school applicants are as strong as they’ve ever been, based on average scores of the Dental Admission Test (DAT) and grade point average (GPA) of incoming classes. For instance, UIC’s DMD Class of 2021 has an average DAT score of 20, and GPA of 3.5.




Your Roadmap (Checklist) to Preparing for Dental School

Here is a checklist you can use as a roadmap on your journey to dental school.


#1. Learn about the profession.

WHEN: As Early as Possible, Continue Until Application

  • Shadow a dentist in your areas of interest to learn how a dental practice is managed. If you don't have a personal connection with a dentist, try searching online for local dentists, or try a dentist directory such as ADA’s Find a Dentist.

  • Meet other students interested in dentistry. Join a local pre-dental club if offered.

  • Research the profession using the ADEA website or industry websites such as DentistryIQ.

  • Explore a profession as a dental specialist beyond general dentistry.

dental office team



#2. Work on the academics / extracurriculars.

WHEN: Early College Years 

  • Enjoy your undergraduate years and earn good grades.

  • Take on extracurricular activities, such as research or community-based learning that would improve your application.

  • Complete required pre-dental coursework, such as  Chemistry, Biological Science, Physics and English.

  • Early in college, visit your pre-health advising office at least once per semester to obtain guidance.  Check in with your advisor throughout college to review course work, and progress in meeting requirements.

  • Establish a relationship with your professors; you will have to request letters of recommendation from them when you are ready to apply.

  • Complete the DAT (Dental Admissions Test), after completing pre-requisite coursework and upper level science courses such as Microbiology, Cell Biology, Anatomy, and Biochemistry.




#3. Review schools.

WHEN: Later College Years / Post College


Request DMD tour



#4. Complete the application.

WHEN: Fourth Year of College / Post College

  • Submit the AADSAS application as soon as possible following the opening date.

  • Request your transcripts and review them for discrepancies.

  • Gather letters of recommendation, including one from a dentist that you have shadowed.

  • Keep good notes on the schools that you have applied to for easy reference. 


#5. Ace the interview.

WHEN: As Early As Possible 


By following these steps, you'll be ready and competitive for dental school, and ready to start your career in dentistry!




Prepare for application to dental school.

Begin your journey into an outstanding career in dentistry today!

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