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Pre-Dental Club

American Dental Education Association

How can I be Competitive for Dental School?

Admission to Dental school is a highly competitive process. It is vitally important that Pre-Dental students prepare themselves to be competitive applicants during their undergraduate years.

Applicants are evaluated on a holistic level, with consideration on GPA, DAT scores, Dental shadowing, volunteer, research, and leadership experiences.

Work closely with your Pre-Health counselor who can assist you with:

  • Pre-requisite academic planning
  • Extra-curricular considerations (i.e. shadowing, dental experience, volunteering, etc.)
  • AADSAS and the application process
  • DAT planning
  • Writing personal statements
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Mock interviews


NOTE : All grades received for college credit will be calculated into your GPA, even if you have retaken courses. If you have taken any courses at a different school or if you have retaken courses, your UVU GPA will not likely reflect the accurate GPA calculation for Dental schools. Check with each individual school regarding their policy on retakes.

GPA is a vital part of your application to Dental school. Dental will consider your science GPA, non-science GPA and cumulative GPA as well as the trend of grades. Some schools will evaluate your 2-3 most recent years more heavily than your first 1-2 years.

Minimum GPA considered: 3.0

Average accepted GPA: 3.5

The DAT is a standardized examination required by Dental programs as part of your application.

Average accepted DAT Score in each section: 20 out of 30

GPA Calculator


Dental programs vary in their admissions requirements, program delivery, missions, and quality. It is important to research Dental schools to determine which schools fit your interests and needs most. Most students apply to an average of 14-20 Dental schools.




Note: Dental programs determine their own individual requirements. It is important for you to research the specific requirements for each school you are interested in applying to.

Your Pre-Health counselor will help you plan your pre-requisite courses, ensuring a doable sequence and proper timeline. It is recommended you prioritize the registration of pre-requisite courses over major and general education requirements as you may often finish some requirements during the application process.


Extra-curricular activities help Dental schools evaluate your potential as a clinician and professional. They can help you stand out as an applicant and demonstrate your motivation for pursuing a career in healthcare.


Nearly all Dental programs use the Dental school centralized application service (AADSAS). AADSAS allows you to apply to several schools without filling out multiple applications. AADSAS opens around June 1 and runs for nearly one year per admissions cycle.

Plan to apply to Dental school as soon as pre-requisites are completed (or almost completed), starting in June. Early application is vital to being considered
competitively.  Generally, students will have one year to complete additional requirements and bachelor’s degree after they have started the application.

  • What if I my grades are poor from some of my earlier semesters? Can I still go to Dental school?
  • I have done a lot of volunteer and leadership with my church, but that doesn’t count, does it?
  • What should I major in?
  • How much money will I make as a Dentist?
  • What is the job market like for Dentists?

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