Application Process

We are here for support throughout your application. If you plan to apply to dental school someday and have completed the Orientation course, please come in and talk with us about your plans to apply. And please ask about our detailed Canvas course on Applying to Dental Programs. We will be happy to add you! 


Below is a rough timeline for preparing your application. 


Fall before you apply

Research Schools. The ADEA publishes the Official Guide to Dental Schools each year, containing information and specifics about each dental school in one convenient reference book.  You can visit our office to examine a copy or you can purchase your own copy of the guide, which is available in paper and electronic form. For a map of all schools, visit the American Dental Education Association.  For tips, visit our Selecting Schools page.

Make a list of your activities outside of class:

  • Hours, dates, locations, contacts
  • What your role was, what you learned
  • Discussions of significant experiences or events

Identify possible letter writers.


Spring before you apply

Study for the Dental Admissions Test. Dental schools require the DAT.  You can find more information on their website.  For tips on taking admissions tests, check out our exam tips page.

Write personal statement. For tips on writing your application essay, check out our Personal Statements page.

Request letters of recommendation. Dental schools require between 2-3 letters of recommendation.  Please check with individual schools.  The Center for Pre-Health Advising recommends getting two letters from faculty, preferably science faculty, and one from a Dentist you have shadowed and knows you well.  For tips on how to build relationships with faculty, visit our Letters of Recommendation page.  


Summer that you apply

Complete the centralized application. Dental schools use a centralized application called AADSAS.  The centralized application opens in the beginning of June.  Dental schools accept students on a rolling basis, so you will be more competitive if you apply earlier. The AADSAS costs $244 for the first school, and $90 for each additional program. The centralized application includes:

  • Biographical Information
  • Coursework & Transcripts
  • Personal Statement
  • Work & Volunteer Experiences
  • Letters of Recommendation

Complete school-specific secondaries. Dentistry programs require a secondary application unique to each school. For information about secondary applications, check the school profile in the ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools under the application process section. We recommend returning the secondaries two weeks after you receive them.

Interview. Applicant finalists will be asked to participate in interviews.  For help preparing for interviews, visit our Interview Preparation page.