Admissions criteria

Admissions Criteria

These criteria are not necessarily ranked in order of importance.

Admissions criteria
  • Quality of college performance

    Grade-point average (overall and science) is viewed in terms of consistency and improvement. But the quality of coursework and challenge per term are also considered. Applicants are required to provide written documentation of academic difficulties (e.g., “I,” “W,” “D” and “F” grades).

  • Completion of required courses

    Upon acceptance and prior to matriculation, official transcripts must be sent directly to the School of Dentistry from each undergraduate and graduate institution attended, and must verify sufficient credits and correct courses. Basic science coursework that is older than five years may be considered obsolete.

  • Preferred elective coursework

    Competitive applicants will take a combination of the following preferred electives: art (3-D drawing or sculpture), cell biology, histology, human anatomy, microbiology, physiology, genetics, immunology and statistics.

  • Dental Admissions Test (DAT)

    This standardized exam consists of subtests in Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Reading Comprehension, Quantitative Reasoning and Perceptual Ability. Competitive applicants score at or above the national average in each area. Applicants must submit official score reports to the School of Dentistry by December 1, 2015 for those applying to the class entering fall 2016. The current national average for the DAT is between a 18 and 19. Students accepted to the entering class of fall 2014 scored above these averages: Academic Average: 20.09; Perceptual Ability: 20.94 Total Science: 19.92; and Reading Comprehension: 20.64

  • Personal Statement for AADSAS Application

    Why is the applicant interested in dentistry? What are some other interests and special achievements? Applicants submit an essay describing their interest in dentistry as well as other interests and special achievements.

  • Official letters of recommendation

    Students must submit to the Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS) three strong Letters of Recommendation. Refer to AADSAS Application Instructions for the 2016 Entering Class. The University of Minnesota School of Dentistry requires two letters of recommendation from science faculty and the third from an employer/supervisor.


    Individuals reapplying to the School of Dentistry must provide three new letters of recommendations; they can be from the same recommenders but must be new and different letters.

  • Orientation to dentistry statement

    Applicants must submit a written statement documenting their observation of and participation in patient care in a general dentistry practice. Additional observation experience in a specialty practice is also welcome. A minimum of 50 hours of observation in general dentistry is required. Practice observation should occur outside of a parent’s dental practice.

  • Contribution to the program

    The School of Dentistry is committed to enrolling and graduating a diverse student body of thought, interest, background, and intellect. Diversity enhances the educational experience of all students and better prepares our graduates to practice dentistry in today's world. In evaluating an applicant's potential contribution to diversity, the DDS Admissions Committee considers the following factors: geographic diversity, first generation college student, financial need, disadvantaged educational background, racial and ethnic diversity, evidence of outstanding leadership, special talents, high academic potential, unique work or service experience, community involvement, experience and/or interest in research or teaching, and interest in providing dental services to underserved areas. Applicants will be asked how they, if accepted into the DDS program, will contribute to the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry and to the profession of dentistry.

  • Personal interview

    Invitations for an interview/visit are extended to applicants based on the competitive nature of their applications. By interviewing qualified applicants, the Admissions Committee gains further information on the attributes which contribute to students’ success in the program and career. It is highly recommended that applicants practice their interviewing skills prior to their professional interview at the School of Dentistry. For instance, many college career counseling offices offer mock interview services that can be a great help to applicants.

  • Personal service

    Competitive applicants typically have multiple volunteer experiences which take place over a length of time. Volunteer experiences within the health care community are highly recommended. Examples include involvement as a chair side dental assistant, hospital orderly, nurse’s aide, etc.

  • English proficiency

    The School of Dentistry requires all applicants who are not native speakers of English to submit official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). This requirement applies regardless of the applicant’s citizenship, or high school or college attended. Exemptions are occasionally granted if an applicant has attended school in the U.S. or Canada for a significant period of time. The University of Minnesota School of Dentistry Supplemental Application includes a section that allows you to request an exemption by providing evidence of English proficiency. The TOEFL must have been administered not more than two years before the date of a student’s application to the School of Dentistry. Official score reports must be received at the School of Dentistry by December 1, 2015. The TOEFL is administered via the Internet. Required minimum scores are as follows:

    Internet Based

    Overall Score: 96-97
    Writing: 25

  • International applicants

    International applicants who have been accepted must guarantee sufficient funds to meet all their educational and personal expenses for the duration of their F-1 status at the University of Minnesota.

  • Evaluation of international coursework

    A minimum of 87 semester credits or 130 quarter credits of liberal arts courses from an officially accredited U.S. or Canadian college or university is required. However, the School of Dentistry will consider international coursework from an accredited college or university, if supplied with official or certified transcripts, mark sheets, and degree statements from all institutions attended. Transcripts, diplomas, etc. must be evaluated by Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (ECE). Applicants must complete a minimum of 30 semester credits or 45 quarter credits of prerequisite courses and/or upper division science courses from an officially accredited U.S. or Canadian college or university prior to matriculation. English courses taken from an international college or university do not fulfill the School of Dentistry English requirement for admission

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  • Last modified on May 26, 2015