If you have been planning to start Dental School in the USA, you need to put in some effort before applying to the best institutes. Start planning early to make a head start and stay ahead of the competition. But, remember, it’s certainly not a marathon and you need to patiently prepare for the admission and entrance examinations. It is always recommended to apply in as many schools as you can and check out dental school Houston.
Prerequisites for Admission
Every school has its own set of rules and regulations. It also lays down prerequisites for selection in a particular course. Students, therefore, need to contact each school to know more about their criteria for admission. The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) has a list of dental education programs accredited in the US. Go through their website to source a complete list of accredited dental education programs and schools.
To enroll in dental programs, there are some prerequisites for most institutes. Let’s take a look at them.
- 8 hours of Physics
- 8 hours of English
- 8 hours of Biology with lab
- 8 hours of General Chemistry with lab
- 8 hours of Organic Chemistry with lab
For enrolment in dental school, it is not a necessity to major in science but a college undergraduate degree is recommended for students.
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Dental Admission Test (DAT)
To seek admission in dental school you need to score well in the Dental Admission Test (DAT). Students must prepare well for this computerized test. It measures general academic proficiency, comprehension of scientific information and perceptual ability.
In order to get a good score, students should complete a year of college level courses in biology, general and organic chemistry. Preparation is the key to cracking this examination and it is advised to take the test at least a year ahead of seeking admission to a dental school.
Application Procedure for Dental School Admissions
Applicants are encouraged to apply in multiple accredited dental schools. This increases the chances of selection significantly. During the admission process, the committee reviews the academic qualifications of the student, results of DAT and grade point average (GPA). Schools may also ask for Letters of Recommendation and conduct personal interviews with students before the selection procedure.
During the personal interview, schools assess a candidate’s personal qualities and capabilities. Factors such as self-confidence, ability to meet challenges, work independently and teamwork is assessed by the committee. It also provides students an opportunity to know more about the course modules and the school.
If you are seriously considering dental school, apply for admission at least a year ahead of the enrolment date. Most of the dental schools in the US participate in the Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS). Candidates can apply to multiple dental schools by submitting a single application through AADSAS. After subscribing to this service, the AADSAS collects verified information related to applications, DAT scores and evaluation letters. It is then shared with the schools chosen by the applicants.
Tips for Dental School Applicants
The application procedure can be quite overwhelming for most students. Let’s take a look at some important points that candidates should bear in mind before applying to dental schools.
Apply Early: If you want to apply through AADSAS, the application procedure starts in June for students who wish to join school the following year. So, candidates are advised to complete the application procedure by August.
DAT Preparation: Do not take DAT lightly. It takes around 3 to 4 months to prepare for the examination and a good score will improve your chances significantly.
Expenses: It is important to make a budget for applications. Applicants must set aside money for application fees, supplemental fees and deposit to hold spots in preferred dental schools.
Thoroughly Check Application:
Before submitting the application form, students must thoroughly check each school’s requirements. Accordingly, letter of evaluation, DAT score, coursework and other relevant information must be updated with the application.
Preparation for Interviews
Personal interviews are an integral part of admission to dental schools. Prepare for interviews by attending mock sessions. The School of Dentistry Houston and others look for students who can communicate their passion for dentistry. So, start developing a compelling and comprehensive personal statement to improve your chances during selection.