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Dental School Requirement: Dental School Admissions Requirements

Entrance Requirements - There are sixty dental schools in the United States and ten in Canada. Each of these schools grant either of two degrees: the D.D.S. - Doctor of Dental Surgery or D.M.D. - Doctor of Dental Medicine. In terms of education and implied professional qualification, the two degrees are equal. The difference is chiefly semantic.

Although most of these schools cite two years of pre-professional education, as the requirement of admission, the vast majority of those accepted will have had four years of college. Most of these schools also have the same general pre-dental course requirements:

  • Biology---1 year
  • Inorganic Chemistry---1 year
  • Organic Chemistry---1 year
  • Physics---1 year
  • English---1 year

However, it should be noted that there may be additional requirements, and it is absolutely necessary to become aware of the specific requirements of the schools in which you are interested.

Residency Requirements - To increase your chances for being accepted to dental school, you must conduct a thorough investigation to discover which schools are most likely to enroll an applicant of your state residence. There are three different categories of dental schools which will influence your choice of were to apply.

(1) State Supported Schools - Since these schools generally accept very few out-of-state applicants, there is much competition for these few spaces. New Jersey residents are given priority for consideration for admission to New Jersey Dental School.

(2) Private School - State residency is not a primary factor in acceptance to these schools

(3) Contract Programs - Through such a program, a state contracts with an out-of-state school to provide space for its residents. New Jersey does not participate in any such program.

The gathering of information about the individual schools can be highly organized and greatly simplified with the use of the publications of both the American Dental Association and the American Association of Dental Schools. Specifically, the American Dental Association annually publishes a complete list of accredited dental schools in the United States and Canada as well as their addresses. This list may be requested by mail from: American Dental Association, Commission on Accreditation, 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611.

Also of interest is an annual publication of the American Association of Dental Schools: Admission Requirements of United States and Canada Dental Schools. This book contains information concerning the number of applicants, residency requirements, tuition and fee listings, application requirements, curriculum, and the address of each dental school in the United States and Canada. For a copy, write to: American Association of Dental Schools, Attn: Publications Assistant, 1619 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20036.

The student should not forget information is available on campus through the Pre-Professional Advisory Committee. They have access to additional publications (ie., Handbook for Pre-Dental Advisors) and invaluable information gathering through experience. Once you have selected the dental schools in which you are interested, you should write directly to each school, requesting a current bulletin which will supply further, in-depth information.


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