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Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

About the School

How many students are admitted into the DDS program each year?


What is the in-state / out-of-state rate?

80% In-State     20% Out-of-State

Academic Preparation

Do I need a bachelors degree?

No. However, a degree is strongly recommended because it affords the individual a broad, liberal education. A degree also provides one with a major field of study, on which to build, if dentistry turns out to be a poor career choice for the individual. An individual may enter our program after successful completion of 96 semester hours.

Does it matter what size academic load I carried in undergraduate school?

We recommend that applicants carry a full academic load (15-16 credit hours) per semester and suggest taking a minimum of 3-4 science courses each term. This gives you a chance to preview what is in store for you in dental school (i.e. a full course load which cannot be taken part time). At the same time, it gives us the opportunity to better evaluate your chances of success in dental school.

Does it matter which undergraduate school I attend?

Generally, no. However, be certain that the college or university is accredited. The limit on community college education is two years (64 semester hours), after which you should transfer to a four year school.

Must I major in Biology or the sciences?

No. The choice of a major is yours. Choose a course of study of interest to you. Keep in mind that our faculty does not assume that you have had courses other than those required. It is true that those students who have an extensive science background have an easier time with the dental school basic sciences than non-science majors.

In addition to the required undergraduate courses (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and English), what other courses are suggested?

Any course in Biology related to growth and development such as Comparative Anatomy, Physiology, Embryology and Histology. Biochemistry is particularly recommended. Courses in Psychology/Human Behavior are very helpful when dealing with dental patients. Also, courses in business such as Marketing will help the student prepare for private practice. Some students enjoy courses in sculpture to ensure good hand - eye coordination.

What if a grade(s) of less than "C" is received in a prerequisite course?

You should either repeat the course with a goal of achieving at least a "B" or, take an upper level course in the same discipline, and do well. Follow the advice of your advisor when choosing between these two choices.

Is there a minimum grade point average I must attain? If not, why not?

No. There are many students, who for a variety of reasons, did not perform well academically in their early years. We feel that the minimum grade point average puts them in a hopeless, mathematical dilemma. We are always willing to consider applicants who demonstrate by strong, steady, academic improvement, that they are capable of handling the rigors of a dental curriculum. The best way to do this is by taking a full academic load, heavy in science, at a four year college or university.


How do I apply to dental school?

Submit an application online at or download application at the same site, and mail to:

1400 K Street NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005.

How early may I apply?

Applications are usually available in June of the year before the year of anticipated entry. Prospective applicants are encouraged to submit their application to AADSAS prior to November 1st of the year preceding the date of anticipated entry.

Must I have all required courses completed before I apply?

No. As long as these courses will be completed before entering dental school.

How will I know when you have received my application from the application service (AADSAS).

You can call AADSAS to check the status of your application (800-353-2237), you can call the dental school to verify that your application has been received. Typically, an AADSAS is received at our school four weeks after it has been mailed.

What is the deadline for applications?

We ask that you submit your AADSAS application by November 1st and the UNC online supplemental must be postmarked by December 1st.

Is a supplemental application required?

Yes. You must submit a supplemental application online at after you have received your AADSAS number.

When will I be notified of acceptance?

After your application is complete and you have been interviewed, the Admissions Committee makes its decision. By agreement among dental schools, acceptances will not be issued before December 1st of the year preceding the year of anticipated entry.

What happens if the class is filled before a decision has been made about me? Am I eliminated for that year?

The admissions committee looks extremely hard at selecting the best individuals to be a member of a class. However, some individuals choose not to attend our school. The Admissions Committee will choose an alternate list to select other individuals if space opens. Any person not selected is encouraged to meet with the Director of Admissions or the Admissions Officer to review their application.

Dental Admission Test

When should I take the DAT?

In the Spring of the year preceding the anticipated date of entry. You may take the test earlier if required courses in Chemistry and Biology have been completed. Taking the test early gives the applicant the opportunity to retake the test if necessary. Applicants who take the test as late as in the Spring of the year of anticipated entry will not be eligible for entry into the upcoming class.

How should I prepare for the DAT?

A set of sample examination questions are included in the registration booklet. To receive a registration booklet, contact Dental Admission Testing Program, 211 East Chicago Avenue, Suite 1846, Chicago, IL 60611-2678. (800-621-8099). Take the sample test with a clock to become familiar with the timed aspect of the examination. Commercially preparatory books are also available through most university bookstores. Commercial preparatory courses exist, but they may be expensive. Consult dental students or applicants about their experiences regarding these courses before registering. Look at books in the library (Psychology section) on Tests and Measurements to get an insight in the construction of standardized tests.

What is the minimum acceptable DAT score?

Although we have no minimum score, applicants should try to achieve competitive scores of 18 or better in each category. A low score in one area might be ignored if the applicant does very well in that academic discipline later on.

For how long a period of time are my scores good?

Valid scores will be no more than three (3) years old.

Are Canadian DAT scores acceptable?

Yes. However, US DAT scores are not acceptable at Canadian schools. This is primarily because the US test does not have the chalk carving dexterity component required in Canada. A Canadian applicant intending to apply to dental schools on both sides of the border should take the Canadian DAT.

How many times may I take the DAT?

We recommend a maximum of four attempts.

Are there courses I should complete before taking the DAT?

Yes. The DAT contains sections on Biology, General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry that require a substantial knowledge base. Physics is not required for the DAT. The Perceptual Ability Test section requires extensive practice.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required:
  1. One (1) from a science professor.
  2. One (1) from a professor within your major.
  3. One (1) from a dental practitioner.
Although three letters are required, what do I do if my classes were large and the professors did not know me well?

Ask the professors you select to write letters, for an appointment. The purpose of which, is to allow you to present yourself and your goals. Request supplemental letters from humanities professors and/or teaching assistants. The most important part of any letter is some indication that the writer knows you reasonably well and supports your application.

Must letters be originals, or will you accept photocopies?

Letters should be originals, on letterhead. Copies are acceptable when submitted with an original cover letter from a preprofessional committee.

Where are the letters sent?

Letters should be sent directly to AADSAS. Letters can also be sent directly to the Office of Admissions.


Is an interview required of all applicants?

Interviews are BY INVITATION to applicants being seriously considered for admission. An interview is required for admission, however, the interview does not guarantee that an applicant will be offered a seat in the class. Other applicants, as well as prospective students are welcome to visit the school on an appointment basis.

Who will interview me?

Usually two faculty members of the Admissions Committee and a dental student. You are encouraged to bring questions for your interview. We want this to be a two way conversation. It is not intended to be a stressful situation.

How should I dress for the interview?

Professional or casual business attire is appropriate. Jeans, shirts without ties, shorts or skirts above the knees, tennis shoes, etc. should not be worn. You must remember that this is a professional environment and you should dress accordingly.

How are students selected to fill the class?

Selection is based upon academic performance in undergraduate studies, DAT scores, personal characteristics, leadership experience, community awareness, and potential for success as determined by letters of recommendation and the personal interview.