Dental Schools Acceptance Rate and Requirements
You’ve undoubtedly thought, “How difficult is it to get into dental school? ” at some time during your pursuit of a career in dentistry. After all, getting into dental school is one of the biggest and most important hurdles that becoming a dentist brings.
You probably put a lot of effort into maintaining a high GPA, taking part in worthwhile extracurricular activities, and performing well on the DAT as a pre-dental student. In the end, though, it’s never easy to forecast your chances of getting into dental school, and it can be challenging to get rid of the nagging fear that you might not end up with any acceptances.
Let’s examine the data and figures surrounding the current dental schools acceptance rate and talk about what they signify for you. In order to improve your chances of acceptance and a prosperous dental career, we’ll help you understand exactly what you’re up against with the dental school admissions process.
Dental Schools Acceptance Rate
Let’s start by exploring the present and past dental schools acceptance rate. Understanding the big picture could help you better comprehend the major trends in dentistry, a field that is constantly changing.
The American Dental Education Association (ADEA) reports that in 2000, only 54.5% of candidates to dental schools were admitted and subsequently enrolled. That percentage was somewhat higher in 2019, the most recent year for which data are available, but not significantly, at 55.9 percent. While these virtually identical numbers provide the impression that acceptance rates for dental schools have remained constant over the past 20 years, they don’t fully capture the patterns and changes in admissions that have taken place during that time.
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The main conclusions drawn from analyzing data spanning almost two decades are listed below.
Changing Dental Schools Acceptance Rate:
- 2002 had the highest acceptance percentage (58% of candidates were admitted).
- 2007 had the lowest acceptance percentage (33.6% of applications were accepted).
Key Takeaway: Over time, dental schools acceptance rate have varied considerably. How come this is the case? Keep in mind that acceptance rates take into account both the number of seats available overall in dental schools around the nation and the annual applicant pool.
Available seats in dental schools and the number of candidates:
- 2000: 4,234 available seats; 7,700 applicants
- 2007: 4,618 available seats; 13,742 applicants
- 2019: 6,231 available seats; 11,148 applicants
Number of Dental Schools:
- 2000: 55 dental schools open
- 2021: 68 dental schools open
Conclusion: More persons than 20 years ago are applying to dental schools, but there are also more seats available because several dental schools established after 2007.
GPA and DAT Averages for Dental School Applicants:
Through ADEA statistics, we have also observed an increase in dental school enrollees’ average cumulative GPA and DAT scores.
Successful dental school applicants’ average GPA was:
- 2000: A 3.35 average overall GPA and a 3.25 science GPA.
- 2019: A 3.57 average overall GPA and a 3.48 in science.
Successful dental school applicants’ average DAT score is:
2000: 18.5 (academic average)
Total science: 18.3
Perceptual ability: 17.7
2019: 20.7 (academic average)
Total science: 20.5
Perceptual ability: 20.4
The cost of Applying to Dental Schools
Cost should also be taken into account when deciding whether or not to apply to dental school, along with other critical factors like your DAT score, GPA, and extracurricular activities.
The first dental school’s application price is $259, while subsequent dental schools’ application fees are $112 apiece. Additionally, almost all dental schools require secondary or supplemental applications, which typically cost an additional $80 each. Last but not least, add an extra $400 plus or minus for each onsite interview’s required travel, hotel stay, and rideshare or public transportation.
The sum required to apply to 15 dental schools would be little over $5,000 based on these typical costs, as follows:
- ADEA AADSAS application $259 + ($112 x 14) = $1,827
- Supplemental applications $80 x 15 = $1,200
- Assume 5 interviews $400 x 5 = $2,000
- Total cost = $5,027
The key message is that, despite the intense competition for dental school applications, you should carefully choose the programs to which you submit your application. Blindly submitting applications to more than 30 dental schools isn’t the ideal strategy and will end up costing a lot of money without considerably increasing your chances of getting accepted. Instead, to increase your chances of admittance without going over budget, we advise taking a deliberate approach that combines a variety of “reach,” “target,” and “safety” programs (described below).
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How to Enroll in Dental Schools
Dental school prerequisites and requirements:
Although becoming a dentist requires time and perseverance, if you have the appropriate expectations, you’ll know exactly what to expect and how to proceed. Similar to other medical specialties, dentistry requires extensive training as well as practical experience. Your chances of success will increase if you prepare for the right college courses and internships.
The prerequisites for dentistry school are as follows:
1. Finish Your Bachelor’s Degree
Enroll in classes that count as pre-dental curriculum as you pursue your bachelor’s degree. You’ll need to take a lot of necessary scientific courses in college. You’ll probably need eight credits in physics, biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry, depending on the dentistry program. To help you with your graduation plan, it is best to speak with your academic adviser.
2. Watching Dentists at Work
You may eventually need to work shadow a few dentists before applying to dental school as you continue to complete your degree requirements. Most dental schools demand that applicants have 100 hours of experience working as a job shadow for many dentists to get a sense of how various practices run.
Start by requesting this chance from your personal dentist. From there, try to gather the names of any additional dentists who would be willing to assist you in fulfilling this pre-dental school need. You can also think about participating in a mentoring or preparation program for dental school, such as the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP).
3. Engage In Extracurricular Activities
By joining organizations and other activities that demonstrate you’re a motivated and well-rounded student, you can improve the strength of your dental school application. Do some local options research and think about joining any biology or health clubs. Inquire with your scientific teachers as well to see if they require research assistants.
4. Become a member of the Student National Dental Association.
You might gain by joining the Student National Dental Association in addition to other groups. In addition to supporting your admission to dental school, chapter events will introduce you to other dental students and working dentists. Sharing your professional aspirations and passions with other industry professionals through networking is a terrific method to learn more about the dentistry school application process as well as to share your interests.
5. Take the Dental Admission Test (DAT)
After your junior year of college, once you’ve decided to participate in the admissions process, you can take the 4.5-hour DAT. A prerequisite for dentistry school is passing the exam, which consists of the following sections:
- Natural science overview including a 100-question segment on biology and chemistry
- 90-question segment on spatial thinking tests perception.
- 50 questions on general subjects for reading comprehension
- Quantitative Reasoning: 40-question segment on statistics, data analysis, algebra, and probability
You must adequately prepare in advance if you want to succeed on the DAT. After 90 days, you’ll get two more chances to pass if you don’t pass on the first time. Most dental schools prefer applicants with DAT scores of at least 19.
To help you establish reliable study habits, you should dedicate at least three months of study time before the exam. You should also take into account some of the following advice:
- Put the most challenging areas first: If you’re concerned about math or statistics-related issues, you should prioritize expanding your understanding of these topics first. Achieving the more difficult topics first will boost your confidence and give you a tremendous sense of success.
- Find out about the perceptual ability test: This portion of the test is renowned for being challenging. You might choose to take practice exams to familiarize yourself with the format and gauge your performance.
- Read challenging passages: The DAT exam will likely contain difficult statements and arguments. Examples of these are given in test preparation guides.
- Attempt practice exams: A more in-depth DAT practice test is available for purchase, however many web resources offer free practice tests. By taking practice exams, you can get a better idea of what to expect on test day and how long it will take you to complete.
- Arrive early on exam day: To allow for potential traffic delays, aim to arrive at the test center at least 30 minutes early. Two kinds of ID are required, one of which must be provided by the government.
6. Make a Strong Application for Dentistry School:
A competitive application is another prerequisite for dentistry school. Spend time researching the colleges you’re interested in, and when reducing your top selections, take into account the locations and fees of the programs. You may want to consider visiting some of the respected colleges on the list your college adviser can give you.
Many students begin the application process for dental schools a year before they graduate. You must include the following items in your application:
- The submission form
- An official transcript from college
- A narrative essay
- Four recommendation letters
- A CV or resume
- Your DAT results
- Proof of the time you spent job-shadowing
- An application fee and any other expenses that might apply
Frequently Asked Questions
Without a college degree, can I still able to enroll in dental school?
No. Even if it's not necessary, you must have completed at least a bachelor's degree in order to apply to dentistry school.
How much of a GPA is required for dentistry school?
You must maintain a college GPA of at least 3.2 to be accepted into a demanding dental program.
Which major is ideal for dental school?
Candidates for dental school who concentrate in biology, chemistry, or pre-medicine may need to take fewer classes in dental school. Remember that a bachelor's degree normally takes four years to finish, and dentistry school takes an additional four years to complete.
Is it easy to get into Dental Schools?
Every dental school is quite competitive, and admission is typically regarded as being pretty difficult. However, if you possess the necessary traits and perform well in the interview, it is possible. There aren't enough openings and there are too many qualified applicants, so luck is always a factor.
The admissions procedure for dental schools is competitive and getting harder every year. The average GPAs and DAT scores of qualified applicants are rising along with the number of dental schools. Therefore, it’s essential to concentrate on getting good grades and studying diligently for the DAT in addition to creating an outstanding personal statement and other application materials for the highest possibilities of admissions success.
Nevertheless, the selectivity and average statistics of the dental schools vary widely, so you can adapt your school choice to the level of competition in your candidate profile while taking into account other elements, such as residency status, that influence your chances of admission.
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