Application Requirements

Course credits

A minimum of 87 semester credits or 130 quarter credits of courses from an officially accredited U.S. or Canadian college or university is required. A maximum of 64 semester credits from community or junior colleges will be applied to the 87 semester credits. (One semester credit is equivalent to 1.5 quarter credits.) While acceptance is based primarily on performance quality, applicants are encouraged to have a broad liberal education.

Average DATs and GPAs for the 2019 entering class (DDS Class of 2023)

   Average GPA (Median GPA) GPA Ranges
BBCP (Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Physics) 3.48 (3.47) 2.83-4.0
Science 3.5 (3.5) 2.72-4.0
Total 3.59 (3.59) 2.79-4.0
   Average DAT (Median DAT)  DAT Ranges
Academic Average 20.62 (20.50) 18-24
Reading Comprehension 22.19 (22) 17-30
Perceptual Ability 21.23 (21) 19-24
Total Science 20.08 (20) 17-26
  • GPA (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).

Satisfactory/No Credit, Incomplete and Withdrawal Grades

Only under unusual circumstances will credits graded on a satisfactory/no credit evaluation system be accepted for required courses. Applicants may submit a maximum of the following percentage of "S" credits in elective courses: 10 percent of the minimum total credits for 3-year students, and 15 percent of the minimum total credits for 4-year students. Incomplete grades are looked upon with disfavor by the Admissions Committee. Any incomplete and withdrawal grades must be explained in the application.

Letters of recommendation

The University of Minnesota School of Dentistry requires applicants to submit three (3) letters of recommendation. Two (2) letters must be from science or math faculty who have instructed you in a lecture or lab course. Letters from teaching assistants are also acceptable. The third (3rd) letter must be from an employer, or a supervisor from a volunteer or research position. Re-applicants must provide new letters of recommendation. They can be from the same recommenders, but must be new and different letters. Letters of recommendation can be sent by either of the following modes:

  • Letters may be included with your centralized Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS) application. ADEA AADSAS allows each applicant to submit up to four letters of recommendation with their application.
  • Directly from the letter writer to the U of M School of Dentistry Office of Admissions and Diversity by mail or email.

                         University of Minnesota School of Dentistry
                         Office of Admissions and Diversity
                         15-163 Moos Tower
                         515 Delaware Street SE
                         Minneapolis, MN 55455

All three (3) letters of recommendation must be submitted before your application is fully reviewed.  

Job shadowing

The U of M School of Dentistry requires a minimum of 50 hours of shadowing in general dentistry. These hours must be completed no later than June 1 of the year you intend to begin the program.  Applicants are highly encouraged to complete more than 50 hours, shadow more than one dentist, and shadow in different practice settings.  Additional observation in specialty practice is welcome, however, it is recommended that at least half of your shadowing hours are dedicated to general dentistry. Required shadowing hours need to occur outside of a parent’s dental practice. 

Orientation to dentistry essay

Applicants must submit a written essay about their observation of and participation in patient care in a general dentistry practice. This essay should include what you learned and how those experiences influenced your decision to pursue a career in dentistry. Limit of 3000 characters with spaces.

Contribution to the program and diversity essay

Applicants must submit a written essay about how they will contribute to the overall dental program and its diversity. In evaluating an applicant's potential contribution to diversity, the DDS Admissions Committee considers the following factors: geographic diversity (e.g. rural), 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. 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. Limit of 3000 characters with spaces.

Personal statement

As part of the AADSAS application, all DDS applicants must submit an essay describing their interest in dentistry as well as other interests and special achievements. The U of M Pre-Health Student Resource Center offers workshops on interviewing skills and writing personal statements that may be very helpful to you as a DDS applicant. 

Official transcripts

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.