What are Dental School Requirements?

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  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 06 February 2019
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Applying to dental school can be both exciting and nerve-wrecking. Each dental school has its own requirement for admission into its program. It is important to contact each school on an individual basis to determine the specific dental school requirements. Dental school requirements can vary in many ways, such as the number of letters of recommendation, the essay requirements, and the class requirements. However, there are some commonalities, such as filling out an application, taking a standardized test, and completing select courses.

In the United States, applying to dental school has been made slightly easier because of a central application service, the American Dental Education Association’s American Association of Dental Schools Application Service. The service is open to any student wishing to apply to any dental schools that are participants of the program. The process of applying is made easier through the service because there is only one standard application form to fill out.

One of the most tedious dental school requirements is the standardized test. Most dental schools require potential students to take either the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) or the Canadian Dental Aptitude Test. The purpose of the test is to determine a prospective student’s academic ability, her comprehension of information related to the sciences, and her ability to perceive an outcome in certain situations. Although all dental schools demand potential students to take the test, the results are only one of many factors that the schools consider when reviewing an applicant’s file.


Taking certain courses and maintaining certain grades are other dental school requirements. Usually schools will require applicants to take a certain number of units prior to graduating, such as 90 semester units completed over three or four years time. In addition, schools may require certain specific classes. These classes typically include inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, biology, histology, physiology, and human anatomy. Plus, it is not unusual for a dental school to require applicants to receive a grade of C or above for those specific science classes and to generally maintain a high grade point average.

In order for a foreign applicant to apply to a dental school in the United States, she must have a student visa, meet the dental school requirements, and oftentimes complete the pre-dental prerequisites at an accredited university or college in the United States. However, these requirements for applicants from foreign countries can vary from school to school. Sometimes a student can attend a foreign university for her undergraduate studies and still attend a dental school in the United States.

In other countries, the requirements are much the same as the United States. For example in the United Kingdom, applicants are required to take the UK Clinical Aptitude Test. They are also required to complete the necessary science courses with a grade point average that is satisfactory to the school. In addition, certain immunizations and health requirements are mandatory before an applicant can be admitted to the school and to protect the health of the people they will serve. Lastly, in some cases, an applicant is required to work in a dentist's office for several weeks.



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Post 2

visit Dr Alka's dental guide for help on how to become a dentist in the UK

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