How to Apply
Contact Janet Campanaro at:
Read all information on this page to find the answers you need. If you have further questions, we recommend email for a faster response.
The application cycle for the UMN PASS class of 2018 (January 2016-May 2018) is now closed. Details for the next cycle will be posted soon.
Be sure to mail your completed application package by courier service as early as possible. The University of Minnesota shall not be held liable for delays caused by the U.S. Postal Service or any courier service.
The application form includes a list of all items needed in your application package. Please review the panels below for additional details.
Incomplete and/or late applications will not be reviewed, and no new or additional information will be accepted after the application has been received. Application material will not be returned. In addition, any application received past the deadline will not automatically be entered for the following year.
Applications should be typed or legibly printed in black ink (regular ball point pen). The application documentation must be submitted as a complete package. Please do not submit documents in separate plastic file folders. Use a full-size envelope, do not fold the application forms.
A complete list of application materials is included in the application form, but the following are additional details. You will need:
1. Official transcripts from previous dental education
Include copies of both official transcripts and mark sheets with all courses and grades, and if applicable, results of annual qualifying examinations.
Transcripts may be requested from any dental school worldwide. If an applicant does not have a transcript and/or mark sheets in their possession, they are urged to contact their school of graduation. Please note most schools worldwide do not issue mark sheets. However, most schools in South Asia (e.g. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal) can provide them upon request.
Non-English documents must be translated. An authorized translator must complete and verify the translations. Copies of both original documents and translations must be submitted with the application. All originals must be brought in the event of an interview and examined for authenticity.
The dental education must have been a minimum of 122.5 credit hours according to E.C.E.’s evaluation. In addition to a four-year dental school education, a 12-month internship must have been completed. A mandatory one-year commitment after graduation working for the home country government in a dental clinic, hospital, or in a one-year GPR program is also an acceptable qualification.
NOTE: E.C.E. credit hours of 122.5 to 125 MUST submit NDB Part II to meet our admission requirement. Credit hours 126 and above do not need NDB Part II.
2. E.C.E transcript evaluation
Include a copy, or an E.C.E. duplicate of the course-by-course evaluation report. The documentation must be submitted with the application. We will not accept documentation submitted directly by the E.C.E.
Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
PO Box 514070
Milwaukee, WI 53203-3470 USA
3. Copies of official diploma/graduation certificate
Include a copy of your final dental degree certificate or diploma from an international dental school, and/or higher education schooling in the U.S. (if applicable). We do not accept temporary/provisional diplomas.
If applicable, a copy of 12-month internship certificate must also be submitted. Diplomas in any other language than English must be translated by an official translator into English.
4. Copy of National Dental Board Part I examination
Part I of the NDB must be taken in the U.S. or where offered.
It should be taken either as a written test or as a computerized test and within the past 10 years from the deadline of the application period. Please note that it is no longer possible to retake the NDB PI examination if a passing grade of 75 or above was received at an earlier attempt. Duplicates or un-notarized copies are accepted. Copies should be included in the application package. We will disregard documentation submitted directly by ADA. For further information about dates and sites, and registration materials contact:
The Joint Commission on Dental Examinations
211 E. Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
Part II of the NDB must be taken in the US or where offered if your E.C.E. credit hours are between 122.5 and 125. This does not apply to E.C.E. credit hours of 126 and above.
5. Copy of TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) examination
A TOEFL test is required for all applicants. The test must have been completed within the past three years from the deadline of the application period, and the Internet based test (iBT) is mandatory. Originals or copies are accepted. The computer generated result that you may receive before the printed version is acceptable. Copies of TOEFL results must include both the front and backside of the form. We will disregard documentation submitted directly by the testing organization.
The iBT average score must be 94 or above and with a score of 20 or above in each of the four evaluations. See the Evaluations & Test Scores panel below for more information.
6. Curriculum Vitae or Resume
7. Personal Statement
Statements should be accurate, concise and no longer than one page, ideally. Personal statements that are substantially longer will not be fully read.
The statements are part of the evaluation, so all applicants should follow the same guidelines. Your personal statement gives us information about you, in addition to what is in the application form and in the Curriculum Vitae or Resume. Do not repeat information.
8. Application fee
An application fee of $145 USD must accompany the application. Make the cashier's check or money order payable to University of Minnesota. The applicant’s name must be on the check or money order.
9. Passport photo
Include a passport-size photograph of yourself with your application. Then paste in designated box on page 4 of the application.
Tips for Re-Applicants
Tips for Re-Applicants
Re-applicants to the UMN PASS program do not have an advantage over new applications, so it’s important to take a good look at your application if you were not called for an interview, or if you did not receive an acceptance after being interviewed.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Why is my application (and/or interview) not competitive?
- Could my TOEFL score be better?
- Did I fully understand the interviewer?
- Did I answer the interviewer's questions, or did I just say what I had prepared to say?
- What have I done since I came to the U.S.?
- What will make me stand out above the others?
- Does my personal statement describe my unique traits or does it make me look like all other applicants?
- What can I do to make my application look neater and better?
- Do I have additional credentials since my last application?
Things NOT to do as a re-applicant:
- Do not call us or email us and request that we re-evaluate your application.
- Do not call any of the interviewers and tell them that you are much better than they thought.
- Do not request reasons and explanations for why you were not interviewed/accepted; we will not do this for anyone.
- Do not send applications or CVs for a preview; we will not do this for anyone.
- Do not show up to argue your case.
If you did not get accepted last year and wish to reapply, you have to submit only the current year's application form, along with any additional or new documents that you have not already submitted such as new scores, additional work experience etc., and the application fee. However, if you first applied more than one year ago, you need to submit a complete package of application material. We archive all applications after two years counting from the beginning of the application period.
Application Timeline & Status
Application Timeline & Status
Confirmation of receipt
We will email you within 48-72 hours after we receive your application, excluding weekends and holidays. If you have not heard from us after 3-4 days, please contact us. Remember, you can use your tracking number to find out exactly when your application was delivered to our office.
We have many applications and it takes some time for the committee to review them. We try to review the applications as soon as we can and make decisions on interviews. Please allow about 6-8 weeks for a response to your application.
Some individuals may be offered a position earlier than others. We will not fill all positions before the end of the application period and not until after the last interview. We do not fill the class until all eligible candidates have been interviewed.
If you have been accepted at another school but prefer the University of Minnesota and haven’t heard from us, we suggest that you e-mail or call us and we will provide an update on your status.
There are times when students on the waiting list get accepted after interviews and admissions have been completed. Since there are more programs available today than ever before, some students will change their minds during the acceptance process when other options become available.
Even if you are in the early interview group and are not offered admissions, this doesn’t mean your chances are gone. Applicants who are not among the earlier admitted students will still be on the list of possible UMN PASS students.
We will do our best to notify you if your application is incomplete, but this is not guaranteed. Your application will not advance until it is complete, so check your submission more than once before sending to us.
We request all documentation in one package. We have included a check-off sheet at the end of the application material to make it easier. This is for you to use so you are assured that you have included everything.
We will not return incomplete applications, so avoid submitting original documents. They may disappear in the mail or get buried in an archive box. We neither request any originals nor notarized copies. However, if you get an interview you must bring all original documents for verification.
Evaluation & Test Scores
Evaluation & Test Scores
We do not accept E.C.E. evaluations, board and TOEFL scores submitted directly by the services. This is to ensure that we have all the requested documents with your application.
This is in your best interest. Numerous evaluations have in the past reached us much later than the applications, are occasionally delivered to the wrong address, or may not reach us at all. Incomplete applications cannot be reviewed. Our decision to invite an applicant for an interview is based on all material in one submission. Thus, you cannot resubmit a score if you retake a test or if you reevaluate your credentials.
If you are called for an interview you must bring the original documentation (TOEFL, ADA NDB PI, ECE GPA calculation, transcripts, diploma, etc).
The TOEFL iBT test (Internet based test with a spoken language section) is mandatory. You will need to have a minimal total score on the iBT test of 94, and a score of 20 and above in each of the four sections. Your application will NOT be reviewed if your score is below 94 and/or 20 in any subsection.
Remember: We need both sides of the TOEFL form. The backside is often missing.
The University of Minnesota School of Dentistry's TOEFL Institution Code is 6874. The Department code or Profession code is 38 for dentistry.
NDB I scores
As of January 2010, it is not possible to retake the National Dental Boards if you have received a passing grade in an earlier test. Also, the grade is only Pass or Fail. The use of a numerical grade has been dropped. Because of this situation, we will accept NDB Part I scores that are up to 10 years old.
Since 2012, a numerical score for NDB Part I is not reported. We will only see a grade of Pass. Since the last application cycle, we only note that the Board exam has been taken with a grade of Pass.
Even if you have studied in the U.S. and spoken English the whole time, you still must take the TOEFL iBT examination. All applicants will need to submit a TOEFL score.
The skills assessment is not the same as a bench test. It is a short assessment on our advanced simulators of some basic psychomotor skills needed in dentistry.
Why have we included this? The importance of the NDB PI has diminished when the numerical grades were replaced with a “Pass or Fail” system. Your GPA has less value since schools across the world may judge students very differently.
Also, the transfer of grades into the GPA structure used in the United States may not always be indicative of knowledge and skills. We believe that we need some additional parameters in our evaluation of your knowledge and skills for the sake of fairness.
During the interview day, the skills assessment happens as follows:
- Candidates will visit our Advanced Simulation Clinic (ASC, DentSim) for less than an hour. We will ask you to prepare an outline shape on tooth #19 (or #3-6) using a tapered fissure bur. We will not ask you to cut a specific preparation.
- You will be given an instruction session and demonstration on the simulation unit. You can ask as many questions you like.
- We will let you practice for about 10 minutes on the assessment project.
- After this, we change to a new tooth and reset the simulator.
- During the next 10 minutes you will work on preparing the same preparation a second time. While you work, you can stop and evaluate your progress.
- If you are happy with your performance, you may stop before the 10 minutes are up.
- We will look at how you sit, how you hold the hand piece, if you know the correct tooth, and if you understood and could follow the instructions.
- The simulator will give a score indicating how close you came to the ideal shape and form of the rectangle.
For more information and registration materials, contact:
P.O. Box 6155
Princeton, NJ 08541-6155
An interview is mandatory if an applicant is invited. However, to be invited for an interview does not guarantee acceptance to the program. The interview includes, but is not limited to, presentations, tours of the school, an advanced simulation skills assessment, and two or three personal interviews with faculty members.
Over the years, we have learned that an interview is essential both for the candidate and for the school. The interview is not just for us but also for you. You will get a chance to see what our school is like and what the program is all about. We try to make the interview day worth your time and money whether you will get accepted or not.
What to expect
The interview is an all-day event, from 8 a.m. to around 3:30 p.m. The University financial information is distributed during the interview day. We are usually around all day to answer any specific questions.
- All interviewees meet with the program staff for a small breakfast and a short briefing about the day's program. The director will give a presentation on the program, the school, and the University.
- This is followed by a short break and then the candidates meet with their interviewers. Each candidate will meet with the director and two faculty members.
- Around noon, a junior or senior student will take you on a 30-minute tour of the school. You will have the opportunity to ask the student guide any questions you like.
- Lunch is served in the conference room. This is your time to talk and none of us will disturb you. Occasionally, your guide or another 4-year student may join you. You will be asked to submit your choice of lunch sandwich in advance based on your dietary preferences.
- After lunch we will have the 30-40 minutes skills assessment (versus a traditional bench test).
- By the time the interview ends (3-3:30 p.m.), be sure to allow at least one hour for driving back to the MSP Airport, as traffic is busy at that time.
Meeting outside of an official interview
In fairness to all applicants, we do not meet with any future candidates until they get an interview. The director will not meet with you for what we call a "pre-interview" even if you happen to be visiting the school. However, you may visit the university campus but you will not be allowed to enter any of the clinical areas. This has to do with HIPAA regulations (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).
Applicants do not need to be U.S. citizens or permanent residents/Green Card holders. Every year we have applicants with various visa situations.
Note that it takes time to process a change of visa status, or transfer of a visa (F-1) from one school to another. Therefore, you should apply as early as possible to give yourself maximum time for the admissions process. If you are accepted, visa requests and/or a change of status or school usually takes time. In some situations you may have to return to your home country and request an interview at the embassy and then apply for a student visa.
If you are on a J-1 visa, the same rules apply. However, there might be other visa stipulations with the J-1 visa that might make the situation difficult. Please check with your employer and/or the state department.
We ask about your working permit because, in the past, we have had applicants who have worked illegally in the U.S., even practicing dentistry without a license and on an expired visa. Each visa has its limitations and regulations. If a candidate appears for an interview and is in violation of the applicable visa regulations, all of us are put in a precarious situation.
Ways to Strengthen Your Application
Ways to Strengthen Your Application
Get an early start
It is always a good idea to submit your application early. We advise all applicants with a visa status (H-4 status is not included) to apply as early as possible. However, if you are taking or retaking an exam you should wait until your application is complete.
Pay attention to detail
Your application is a reflection of you, the applicant, for a profession where neatness and details matter. Therefore, it is important that an application looks neat and is well-prepared. Do not submit an application where your handwriting is not clearly readable. Type the application or print neatly, and follow the instructions.
Additionally, make sure there's nothing missing from the application materials. For example, certificates of internships and the second page of the TOEFL form are often missing.
It is the profile of the total applicant pool that determines an individual application's competitiveness. We look closely at each and every application and consider a combination of factors, including GPA, TOEFL scores; personal statements; and applicants' personal and professional experience. This thorough procedure allows for an effective admission process.
TOEFL scores, previous grades (and calculated GPA), your personal statement, and experiences in your new country and home country are the most important in the initial review before an interview is granted.
We do not pay attention to the NDB PI score since it is only reported as a "Pass.” The interview is very important and it is mandatory to present yourself for an interview if invited. We have included a Skills Assessment on the interview day.
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again
Unique education opportunities attract many applicants. We regret that we cannot possibly interview each and every applicant. We focus our interviews on the strongest candidates and we base that decision on our review of the submitted applications.
Even if you don’t get accepted the first time, remember that each year brings new opportunities. You can increase your chances in the future by taking a critical look at your application and start working to strengthen it. Generally speaking, higher test scores increase an application's competitiveness. At this time you can only increase your TOEFL score.
Regarding specialty training
If you have specialty training in your home country, it does not automatically increase your chances. But any further education may be valuable for your ranking. Specialty training in the U.S. might increase your chances.