Advice: Apply before you take the DAT

Abstracted from VCU Dental website, under “Advice” section
Link: http://www.dentistry.vcu.edu/programs/dds/advice/

“The belief that a candidate cannot apply using the Associated American Dental Schools Application Service prior to taking the Dental Admission Test is a common misconception. The AADSAS application has a section where it requests the candidates DAT scores, leading candidates to think this section must be filled out in order to complete the application successfully. That is not the case; the candidate should just leave this section blank if they have not yet taken the exam.

As a convenience to the applicant, we allow a testing center copy of the DAT scores to be faxed to our office; however, official scores need to be forwarded. This saves considerable time for us in evaluating your application.”

Applying to Dental School

Are you confused about which schools you should apply to? Well here is a guide just for you. With the dental school application service opening up soon it is important for pre-dental students to know the ins and outs of applying to dental school. I will provide you with some tips for applying to dental schools. These are in order from the most important being number one down to the least important. Be aware that this guide is meant for average applicants and not the applicants who have stellar scores like a 4.00 GPA and a 23+ DAT score.

To determine the statistics, in-state/out-of-state, tuition, etc for a school go to the USA Dental School Admission Statistics Page.

1. Apply to your state school then apply to all private schools.

  • State public schools tend to accept only a high number of students who have residency at their state of origination. This gives in-state students the edge while the out of state students are at a disadvantage. Don’t apply to a state public school if you don’t have residency at that particular state or your odds of getting in will be next to nothing. Apply to your state schools then apply to all private schools!

2. Apply to the schools in which you have completed the prerequisites complete.

  • Different schools require different prerequisite classes. For instance, some schools require Human Anatomy and Physiology but some schools do not. Make sure you have the required schools prerequisites completed!

3. Community College?

  • Some schools do not accept community college credits. Find out if your prospective school does or not!

4. Apply Early!!!

  • If you apply earlier you have an enormously better shot at getting into dental school. Your application will be kept on file for much longer and will be looked at more times then if you apply later. Also dental schools become more selective as their class fills so applying early is an absolute must!

5. Apply to schools in which you are an average candidate or better

  • If you have a 3.4 GPA and a 20 DAT score apply to schools in which those scores were the average acceptance numbers for the previous class. You can find that information at the USA Dental School Admission Statistics Page. If the average acceptance numbers are the same as your numbers then you have a good shot!

6. Apply or Don’t Apply to Schools that have special requirements.

  • These schools look highly on students that have research or some religious affiliation, and if you don’t have this requirement odds are you won’t get accepted, but if you do these schools would be a good choice. Here is a list of those schools:
  • Harvard University- Research Experience
  • Columbia University- Research Experience
  • Boston University- Research Experience
  • A.T. Still University- THOUSANDS of hours of public health/community experience needed
  • Howard University- Underrepresented Minority
  • Meharry University- Underrepresented Minority
  • Loma Linda University- Seventh Day Adventist (Religous)
  • Creighton University School of Dentistry- Catholic (Religious)
  • University of Detroit Mercy- Catholic (Religious)

7. See if your state is in the WICHE program

  • The WICHE program is designed for states that don’t have a public dental school. They have partnerships with dental schools in the USA to allow these students to attend their school at near In-State tuition rates. The states that are participating are AK AZ HI MT NM ND WY. If you come from any of these states you are considered a WICHE applicant. Schools that are participating in the WICHE program will grant you reserved seats in their school and In-State tuition! Visit the website and learn more about the program :
  • WICHE Program

8. Apply to new Schools!

  • Newer schools usually have much more lax admission requirements, most pre-dental students don’t apply to newer schools because of the school is an unproven entity. The ADA protects students by having strict requirements for all schools. New Dental Schools can only accept students if they are initially accredited. No initially accredited dental school has ever failed in the past 20 years so students should not worry at all and feel free to apply to newer schools if you need to. The drawback of newer dental schools is that they are much more expensive than older schools. However, the newer schools have been shown to have some of the newest and innovative programs to get their students a great education.

9. See if your school gives preference to a certain major or master’s degree.

  • Some schools give preference to students who have a certain major or even a masters degree. Call your perspective school and find out!

10. Private schools not out of state friendly!?

  • Some schools are private schools but they don’t accept hardly any out of state students. Check out the USA Dental School Admission Statistics Page to find out if your prospective school doesn’t accept out of state students.

11. Apply to schools with lots of seats!

  • The more seats, the better odds you have of getting in. Apply to schools that have a lot of seats available.

12. Apply to a lot of schools!

  • The more schools you apply to the better your odds are at getting in! If you are an average candidate applying to 10 schools is the norm.

That’s the list! If you think I should add more please comment below and I will add it to the page! Good Luck applying!