Preparing yourself to apply to the dental schools of your choice involves completing dental school prerequisite courses, getting good grades in all of your courses, gaining experience in the field of dentistry, and taking the DAT test.
As a pre-dental student, you can major in anything. There is not a specific major that all pre-dental students must have. Dental schools do care that you do well in your major and in your pre-dental coursework. Think about what interests you and what might be a good alternative option to dental school should your plans change.
Application to dental school begins a full year prior to your intended start date. For example, you would apply in summer of 2022 to enter dental school in autumn of 2023. Most dental schools belong to the American Association of Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS); students apply to these schools through the online application. The AADSAS application is available in late May, but cannot be submitted until June.
The earlier you submit your application, the better. Many schools use rolling admissions, which means that they will review applications as they are submitted. Students who submit well before the deadlines may receive earlier interviews and consideration for admission. It is recommended that your primary application is complete by July 4th for early consideration.
Letters of Recommendation
Most admission committees require academic and character recommendations. The minimum UW Dental School requirement is for letters from one science teacher, and two character references (one of whom must be a member of the dental profession). It is a good idea to have at least two letters from science faculty and one letter from non-science faculty to meet the requirements of many schools. You will normally gather letters of recommendation during your junior year in order to meet application deadlines early in your senior year. You can send 4 letters to all schools through the AADSAS application and additional letters can be sent with the secondary application.
If a school is interested in you after reviewing your primary application, they will invite you to submit a secondary applications that are specific to that school. Secondary applications usually include more essays and an application fee for the school. You should plan to submit the secondary application as soon as possible to secure an interview.
Washington Dental Schools
ADEA AADSAS Important Dates (Three Application Cycles)
*Dates are subject to change.
- ADEA AADSAS opens: May 9, 2023
- ADEA AADSAS submissions: May 30, 2023
- ADEA AADSAS closes: February 2, 2024
- ADEA AADSAS opens: May 14, 2024
- ADEA AADSAS submissions: June 4, 2024*
- ADEA AADSAS closes: February 7, 2025
- ADEA AADSAS opens: May 13, 2025
- ADEA AADSAS submissions: June 3, 2025*
- ADEA AADSAS closes: February 6, 2026