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Blog / Dental School Acceptance Rates In 2023

Dental School Acceptance Rates in 2023

Written by Seza on Sep 25, 2023

Dental School Acceptance Rates in 2023

Entering dental school is a significant milestone for those aspiring to become dentists. However, the path to securing a seat in a dental school can be highly competitive and challenging. One key factor that applicants often contemplate is the dental school acceptance rate. In this article, we will delve into the world of dental school acceptance rates, exploring what they signify, the factors that influence them, and how prospective dental students can navigate this important aspect of their academic journey. Whether you’re a future dentist or simply curious about the dental school admission process, understanding acceptance rates is a crucial starting point.

What’s the Average GPA for Dental School Admission?

The average GPA needed to get into dental school can differ depending on the specific school and how many applications they receive. Generally, getting into dental school can be quite competitive. Some dental schools might require an average GPA of 3.4 or even higher for their incoming students. However, it’s important to remember that GPA is just one part of the application process. Admissions committees also consider other factors like your hands-on dental experience, letters of recommendation, and your performance on the Dental Admission Test (DAT) when deciding who gets in.


What’s the Acceptance Rate for Dental School Applicants?

The acceptance rate for dental school applicants isn’t the same for every school; it varies based on the specific school and the number of people applying. Dental school acceptance rates can be as low as 1–2% at certain schools, while others may have acceptance rates as high as 50%. However, it’s important to remember that the acceptance rate is just one piece of the puzzle when you’re evaluating dental schools. You should also take into account factors like the school’s reputation, the quality of its program, and whether it aligns with your educational goals and the opportunities you’re seeking in dental education.

What is the Dental Admissions Test (DAT)?

The Dental Admissions Test (DAT) is a mandatory assessment exam used by all dental schools in the United States to evaluate the academic readiness and potential of prospective students for success in dental school. It’s important to note that this test is content-based, meaning that applicants are expected to have completed prerequisite courses in general biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry before attempting the DAT.

The DAT is entirely composed of multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 4 hours and 15 minutes to complete. It comprises four distinct sections, each carrying roughly equal weight:

  1. Survey of natural sciences: This section covers topics related to general biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry.
  2. Perceptual ability test (PAT): The PAT assesses your problem-solving skills, requiring you to tackle problems in both two and three dimensions.
  3. Reading comprehension: This section draws from dental and basic sciences, evaluating your ability to comprehend and analyze complex texts.
  4. Quantitative reasoning: In this section, you’ll encounter questions involving algebra, numerical calculations, and conversions. Please note that calculators are not permitted for this part of the test.

If you’re considering taking the DAT, you must register through the American Dental Association. Upon successful registration, you will receive an official authorization letter specifying the date and time of your test administration.

Residence State and Dental School Admissions

Like medical schools and other professional programs, dental schools often prefer applicants who come from the same state or province. This preference is intended to encourage aspiring dentists to practice within their local area, thereby enhancing dental healthcare for residents there. If your aspiration is to attend a dental school in Canada, you stand a better chance of acceptance by applying to one within your own province. The same principle applies to applicants in the United States. Applicants from the same state as the dental school generally have a higher acceptance rate compared to those from other states. However, this doesn’t mean that out-of-state applicants cannot gain admission, but it may be more challenging for them.

Dental School Application Services

If you are planning to apply to a dental school in the US, it is highly likely that you will use the AADSAS dental school application service. This website is a convenient place for dental school applicants in the US, except for those applying to dental schools in Texas. Students in Texas should use the TMDSAS application service instead. To begin, you should register with the appropriate service and start creating your application. This application will be sent to all the dental schools you are applying to.

To start preparing your application as soon as possible, it’s a good idea to become familiar with the application service you’ll be using. Dental schools often have rolling admissions, so it’s a good idea to apply early to increase your chances of getting accepted before all the spots are taken. Submit your application as soon as you can, and make sure it is as strong as possible. If you’re looking for help and advice with your dental school application, it might be worth considering a dental school admissions consulting service. They can provide guidance and expert assistance.


List of Dental School Acceptance Rates in the US

Below is a list of all the dental school acceptance rates in the US, the average GPA, and the DAT of the various institutions.

Institution Acceptance Rates Average GPA Average DAT
Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health 13.08% 3.43 19.6
Augusta University 11.3% 3.66 21.0
Boston University 5% 3.44 20.2
Case Western Reserve University 3.2% 3.6 20.9
Columbia University 5.86% 3.7 23.0
Creighton University 5.76% 3.63 21.0
East Carolina University 15.8% 3.6 20.45
Harvard University 3.18% 3.85 22.0
Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry 6.1% 3.7 20.5
Howard University 6.51% 3.2 18
Indiana University 8.58% 3.6 19.9
LSU Health Sciences Center 9.33% 3.6 21.5
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) 3.2% 3.58 20.3
Loma Linda University 8.4% 3.5 20.6
Marquette University 4.4% 3.57 20.7
Medical University of South Carolina 2.74% 3.65 20.0
Meharry Medical College 2.9% 3.5 17.0
Midwestern University – AZ 6.2% 3.5 20.2
Midwestern University – IL 6% 3.25 18.7
Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health 3.92% 3.5 18.9
New York University 11% 3.5 21.0
Nova Southeastern University 5.4% 3.53 20.8
Ohio State University 12.55% 3.65 21.0
Oregon Health & Science University 7.9% 3.71 20.3
Roseman University of Health Sciences 4.78% 3.28 19.1
Rutgers School of Dental Medicine 4.4% 3.6 22.0
Southern Illinois University 7.91% 3.66 19.9
Stony Brook University 4.86% 3.77 22.3
Temple University 5.51% 3.51 21.1
Texas A&M University 7.2% 3.69 22.0
Touro College of Dental Medicine 4.5% 3.46 21.2
Tufts University 5% 3.42 20.0
UT Health San Antonio 6.3% 3.52 20.7
University at Buffalo, School of Dental Medicine 5.25% 3.75 21.0
University of Alabama, Birmingham 6.4% 3.75 21.0
University of California, Los Angeles 6.36% 3.72 22.0
University of California, San Francisco 6.44% 3.66 22.8
University of Colorado 3.77% 3.61 21.0
University of Connecticut 3.83% 3.71 21.7
University of Detroit – Mercy 9.4% 3.62 19.6
University of Florida 5.5% 3.82 22.0
University of Illinois, Chicago 5.08% 3.6 20.5
University of Iowa 9.3% 3.75 21.0
University of Kentucky 5.89% 3.6 20.3
University of Louisville 6.17% 3.56 20.3
University of Maryland 6.68% 3.6 21.9
University of Michigan 6.7% 3.73 21.8
University of Minnesota 10.21% 3.67 20.9
University of Mississippi 29.4% 3.73 20.0
University of Missouri, Kansas City 12.8% 3.76 20.5
The University of Nebraska Medical Center 8.81% 3.67 20.1
University of Nevada, Las Vegas 8.8% 3.49 20.57
University of New England 8.13% 3.48 19.3
University of North Carolina 5.43% 3.67 22.1
University of Oklahoma 7.04% 3.63 20.3
University of Pennsylvania 6.1% 3.75 22.4
University of Pittsburgh 5.26% 3.71 21.3
University of Puerto Rico 10% 3.5 17.0
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center 7.2% 3.6 20.0
The University of Texas at Houston 6.56% 3.78 21.4
University of Utah 10.44% 3.66 21.3
University of Washington 10.08% 3.65 22.0
University of the Pacific 7.03% 3.57 22.2
Virginia Commonwealth University 4.4% 3.66 21.4
West Virginia University 5.63% 3.65 19.2
Western University of Health Sciences 2.5% 3.24 20.0


How to Increase Your Chances of Acceptance to Dental School

While maintaining a strong GPA and achieving impressive DAT scores is undoubtedly valuable, it’s crucial not to overlook the qualitative aspects of your application. These components are pivotal in securing a dental school interview, providing you with an opportunity to truly impress the admissions committee. By crafting an outstanding personal statement and obtaining glowing letters of recommendation, you can position yourself as an appealing candidate. However, to truly distinguish yourself, consider investing effort into the following:

  • Engage in Research:

 Incorporating research experience into your dental school portfolio can be significant. While it may not be a strict requirement for dental school admission, some institutions highly value it, and it can augment the competitiveness of your application. Involvement in research allows you to convey your deep interest in the field and demonstrate the development of essential skills like critical thinking, collaboration, and analysis – all crucial for success in dental school. It’s worth noting that dental schools regard lab-based research experience as equally valuable as research in the social sciences.

  • Showcase Leadership and Community Engagement:

 A compelling way to distinguish yourself in your dental school application is by showcasing a robust history of leadership and community involvement. Leadership and volunteer experiences come in various forms, ranging from spearheading a club initiative or event to volunteering at a homeless shelter or contributing to local charitable organizations. Such experiences are highly commendable additions to your application, signaling to admissions committees your readiness to become a leader and a contributing member of your community.

  • Select the Right Extracurricular Activities:

Making the optimal choice regarding dental school extracurriculars can be a bit challenging. However, you can enhance your application by including outstanding non-academic pursuits and interests. Admissions committees often inquire about how you spend your leisure time or your hobbies beyond academic endeavors. Even if these activities aren’t directly related to dentistry, they can still bolster your application. For instance, an affinity for painting or proficiency in playing a musical instrument may not have a direct connection to dentistry, but they demonstrate impressive manual dexterity and creativity, qualities highly regarded by dental schools. Similarly, volunteering at a soup kitchen may not initially appear relevant, but it underscores your empathy and commitment to community well-being. To gain insight into structuring this section of your application and what key details to include, consider reviewing examples of dental school application experiences.

  • Practical Experience and Shadowing Hours:

 While clinical experience or shadowing a dentist is typically not a strict requirement for applicants, some schools may consider it a favorable attribute. Undoubtedly, having hands-on experience can be an asset to your application. Shadowing a dentist provides valuable insights not only into the dental profession and the daily responsibilities of a dentist but also offers the opportunity to secure a strong letter of recommendation. Gaining clinical experience by working at a dental office can also serve as an effective means to gain a deeper understanding of the profession and ensure that it aligns with your aspirations. Admissions committees value candidates who possess firsthand experience and a genuine commitment to dentistry.

  • Prepare for the CASPer Test:

 Many dental schools may request applicants to complete the CASPer test, an evaluative assessment that assesses suitability for the profession. The CASPer is an online assessment that presents various situational scenarios or prompts, prompting you to respond to follow-up questions. This test evaluates your communication abilities, professionalism, critical thinking, and reasoning skills, along with other soft skills and attributes. To be well-prepared, consider familiarizing yourself with CASPer test questions or contemplate enrolling in a CASPer test preparation course. While not as comprehensive as the DAT, it is advisable to allocate at least 6-8 weeks for CASPer preparation.

  • Excel in Your Dental School Interview:

 Your dental school interview represents the final hurdle and an opportunity to make a positive impression on the admissions committee in person. Be prepared to address challenging dental school interview questions and common queries like “tell me about yourself.” Practicing with a mock interview can help ensure your performance is polished. Seek guidance from a dental school advisor for expert insights and advice, or enlist the assistance of a trusted friend to serve as your mock interviewer. Adequate preparation for your dental school interview, especially addressing questions related to manual dexterity and other tricky inquiries, is crucial, as it constitutes the last interaction the admissions committee has with you before making their decision.

Final Word

 Here, we presented a table containing dental school acceptance rates, average GPA, and DAT scores for various institutions. It’s essential to note that while we have made every effort to provide accurate information, admission statistics and data can change over time. Therefore, we strongly recommend verifying these details with the official admissions office of each school.

The application process for dental school is comprehensive and time-consuming. Therefore, it’s crucial to pay attention to dental school statistics, DAT exam scores, and your GPA when preparing your applications. Additionally, since dental schools may assess your autobiographical materials and references, it’s wise to invest time in crafting these documents.

Above all, focus on becoming the most competitive dental school applicant you can be. Dedicate yourself to excellence in all aspects of your preparation, and this will increase your chances of gaining admission. Best of luck!

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