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 2020 entering class (DDS Class of 2024)

   Average GPA (Median GPA) GPA Ranges
BBCP (Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Physics) 3.54 (3.58) 2.71-4.0
Science 3.56 (3.54) 2.78-4.0
Total 3.62 (3.63) 2.79-4.0
   Average DAT (Median DAT)  DAT Ranges
Academic Average 20.86 (20) 17-26
Reading Comprehension 22.10 (22) 15-30
Perceptual Ability 21.18 (21) 16-30
Total Science 20.36 (20) 17-27
  • 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. We will accept S/N courses and online labs for spring and summer 2020 semesters for prerequisite courses due to COVID-19. 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 - Three (3) letters of evaluation are required.

  • Two (2) letters from science or math professors who taught you in a lecture or lab course. Letters from teaching assistants are also acceptable.
  • One (1) letter from an employer or supervisor from a volunteer, work, or research position. Letters from a research faculty will be counted as a supervisor letter, even if academic credit was earned. Shadowing letters typically are not counted as supervisor letters, unless you also worked or volunteered in the office.
  • Letters of evaluation should be sent via ADEA AADSAS. You may submit additional letters beyond the three required letters through ADEA AADSAS or directly to the U of MN School of Dentistry ( by the letter writer (we do not accept letters submitted by applicants).
  • Letters of recommendation need to be up to date for the current cycle. The date on the letter needs to be current (e.g. June 1, 2021 for the 2021-22 cycle). Outdated letters of recommendation will not be accepted.
  • All three (3) letters of recommendation must be submitted before your application is fully reviewed.  

Job shadowing

The U of M School of Dentistry usually requires a minimum of 50 hours of shadowing in general dentistry. However, dental shadowing will not be required for the 2021-2022 admission cycle, but shadowing hours that were completed pre-COVID will be accepted. 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.

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.