Hardest Dental Schools to Get Into

Last Updated on August 8, 2022

Given all the different dental schools out there and the number of applicants, it’s hard to select the best school. While you may know of certain dental schools that are hard to get into, do you know which is the hardest dental school to get into?

The requirements for getting into a dental school can be exhausting to meet up with, and the acceptance rate is mostly low. If you are looking for a dental school with a high acceptance rate, then, this compilation of the hardest dental schools to get into, dental schools that do not require dat & upenn dental school acceptance rate in 2021 is for you.

It takes patience and effort to research credible details over the internet. However, you need to worry as you have come to the right source for the latest information on easiest dental schools to get into for international students, dental school admission statistics 2020 entering class, how hard is it to get into dental school, and lots more.

Get full details on the dental school acceptance rate 2020, LSU dental school acceptance rate, easiest dental schools to get into, and so much more. You can also discover more related posts on top undergraduate business schools in US right here on Collegelearners. Be sure to surf through our catalog for more information on related topics.

We at infolearners .com have all the information that you need about hardest dental schools to get into.

Hardest Dental Schools to Get into for International Students

Every year, dental schools receive thousands of applications from interested students while only accepting a small fraction of those who apply. Generally, the major headache students who wish to study dentistry have is that most dental schools demand a lot of documents, and a certain level of academic performance from applicants.

To an average student, being in a dental school is like an Elephant passing through a needle’s eye. This is because of the low acceptance fee and other admission requirements in some dental schools. To solve this fear of not getting admission into a good dental school, I have good news for you.

Dental school admissions are difficult on a general level, but there are definitely some schools that have extra competitive dental programs. These schools tend to be more prestigious, some of them even being part of an Ivy League institution, but they all share a commonality between them: high DAT and GPA admission averages. By these standards, then the top dental schools in the country will typically admit applicants that score between an average of 19-23 on the DAT, and an average GPA within the range of 3.4-3.9.

How Hard Is It to Get Into Dental School? — Shemmassian Academic Consulting

Using admission scores, the hardest school to get into is Harvard University’s School of Dental Medicine, which had an average DAT of 23.8 and a 3.91 GPA in 2018. Coming in at a close second was Columbia University with an average DAT of 23.4 and a GPA of 3.7, followed by UCLA’s School of Dentistry with an average DAT of 23.2 and a GPA of 3.8. This will give you some idea of the academic performance that is standard for admission into these top ranked institutions, and why it is that they are so difficult to get into.

How Hard Is It to Get Into Dental School

At some point along your journey toward becoming a dentist, you’ve probably asked, “How hard is it to get into dental school?”

As a predental student you’ve likely worked to maintain a strong GPA, participate in meaningful extracurriculars and ace the DAT. At the end of the day, however, it is always difficult to predict your chances of getting into a dental school and it can be challenging to kick that nagging feeling that you might not get accepted.

Let’s take a look at the facts and statistics regarding the current dental school acceptance rates. We will help you understand exactly what you’re up against with dental admissions and highlight common mistakes with suggestions on how to avoid them to increase your chances of acceptance.

Dental School Acceptance Rates

To start, let’s look at the current and historical dental school acceptance rate. Getting a sense of the big picture may help you understand the major trends in dentistry, a profession that’s evolving by the year.

According to the American Dental Education Association, in 2000 only 54.5% of applicants were accepted and enrolled in a dental school. In 2018, the most recent year for which data are available, the number was identical. But that unchanged statistic leaves out the changes and trends over that nearly 20 year period.

Here are some key takeaways garnered from looking at nearly two decades of data.

Changing acceptance rates

  • Highest acceptance rate: 2002 – 58% of applicants got in
  • Lowest acceptance rate: 2007 – 33.6% of applicants got in

Takeaway: acceptance rates have varied with the years. Why? Remember that acceptance rates reflect a combination of total seats available in dental schools across the country and the number of applicants per year.

15 Dental Schools with the Highest Acceptance Rates in 2019 - Insider Monkey

Seats available and numbers of applicants

  • 2000: ~4,200 available seats; 7,700 applicants
  • 2008: ~4,700 available seats; ~14,000 applicants
  • 2018: 6,160 available seats; ~11,300 applicants

Number of dental schools

  • 2000: 55 dental schools open
  • 2020: 67 dental schools open

Takeaway: There are more people applying to dental schools, but there are also more seats available, as several dental schools opened after 2008.

Average GPA and DAT of Dental School Enrollees

We’ve also seen, through data from ADEA, that the average total GPA and on the DAT among dental school enrollees is increasing.

The GPA numbers:

  • 2000: Average total GPA: 3.35/4.0; science GPA: 3.25/4.0
  • 2018: Average total GPA: 3.55/4.0; science GPA: 3.45/4.0

The DAT numbers:

  • 2000: 18.5 academic average 
    • Total science: 18.3
    • Perceptual ability: 17.7
  • 2018: 20.5 academic average
    • Total science: 20.4
    • Perceptual ability: 20.1

Takeaway: While the total number of dental schools and dental school seats has increased over the last 20 years, it is more competitive than ever to get into dental school.

What do Averages Hide?

Some dental schools are far more competitive than others, and individual schools can have dramatically different statistics among admitted students.

Here are some examples:

UCSF School of Dentistry

  • Average GPA: 3.62 
  • Average DAT: 22.3.

Columbia College of Dental Medicine

  • Average GPA: 3.7
  • Average DAT: 23.4

Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University

  • Average GPA: 3.62
  • DAT: 20.

Takeaway: understand national averages, but also investigate specific schools to understand the statistics for your desired programs. Consider range, too—for instance, UCSF, which is extremely competitive, actually has a range of DAT scores from accepted students of 17-27. 

Is Dental School Harder Than Medical School? - Own Your Own Future

Dental school requirements

Dental school undergraduate course requirements differ from school to school. Here are the basic requirements for anyone who wants to get into dental school.

Before applying to dental school, you must have completed a year of chemistry, biology, physics, organic chemistry, each with laboratory work and English. Also, some dental schools require undergraduate coursework in anatomy and physiology, microbiology, biochemistry and English composition.

Cost of Dental School Applications

While DAT, GPA, and extracurriculars are important elements that can make acceptance to dental school challenging, cost is another factor to consider.

The ADEA AADSAS application fee is $251 for the first dental school and $108 for each additional school. Nearly every dental school also has a secondary or supplemental application which costs, on average, an additional $80 per application. Finally, factor in an additional $400 plus or minus for the flight, hotel, Uber needed for each onsite interview. 

With these average costs, the total amount to apply to 15 dental schools would be nearly $5000 as follows:

         ADEA AADSAS –    $251 + ($108 x 14) = $1763

         Supplemental Apps – $80 x 15 = $1200

         Assume 5 Interviews –   $400 x 5 = $2000

         Total Cost                                 = $4963

Takeaway: While applying to dental school is very competitive, it is important to do your research and carefully select programs to which you apply. Blindly applying to 30+ dental schools is not the best approach and will end up being quite expensive without significantly improving your chances of admission. We recommend a methodical approach that includes a mix of reach, target, and safety programs (explained below) to maximize your chances of admission without breaking the bank.

Which Dental School is the Hardest to get into?

Dental school admissions are difficult on a general level, but there are definitely some schools that have extra competitive dental programs. These schools tend to be more prestigious, some of them even being part of an Ivy League institution, but they all share a commonality between them: high DAT and GPA admission averages. By these standards, then the top dental schools in the country will typically admit applicants that score between an average of 19-23 on the DAT, and an average GPA within the range of 3.4-3.9. Using admission scores, the hardest school to get into is Harvard University’s School of Dental Medicine, which had an average DAT of 23.8 and a 3.91 GPA in 2018. Coming in at a close second was Columbia University with an average DAT of 23.4 and a GPA of 3.7, followed by UCLA’s School of Dentistry with an average DAT of 23.2 and a GPA of 3.8. This will give you some idea of the academic performance that is standard for admission into these top ranked institutions, and why it is that they are so difficult to get into.

Easiest Dental Schools to get into in 2021 | Expert Guide

Dental School Application Mistakes

Of the over 11,000 applicants in 2018, some made common mistakes that quickly moved them to the bottom of the pile. Avoiding the common mistakes below will boost your chances of admission to dental school.

Dental school application mistake #1: Submitting the AADSAS Application Late

The application for admissions starting Fall 2021 is officially due on February 3, 2021. But in our experience, any application received after September 2020 will be at a severe disadvantage to those who apply earlier.

With rolling admissions, applications are reviewed on a first-come first-served basis. For Fall 2021 admissions the application may be submitted starting June 2, 2020. We recommend submitting your application (including your DAT score) no later than the end of July for admissions starting the fall of the following year. Any later and your chances of landing an interview go down.

Dental school application mistake #2: Writing a Mediocre Personal Statement

Regardless of your scores (DAT/GPA), you need a well-written personal statement. Submitting a personal statement that is uninteresting, poorly written, or fails to answer the question of why you want to be a dentist immediately decreases your chances of admission.

You’ll need to take the time to write a personal statement that is engaging and leaves no doubt regarding your passion and interest in dentistry. Give the admissions committee a reason to meet you in person at an interview.

Begin well in advance so you have time to edit and revise and then let it sit for a few days before you come back to it again. When you feel it is ready to submit, have 3 to 5 trusted readers provide feedback.

Dental school application mistake #3: Submitting a Sloppy ADEA AADSAS Application

The AADSAS application for dental school does not include a CV or resume. There are specific categories with strict format limitations where you enter all extracurricular experiences and activities. Additionally, it can take several weeks to complete the full application.

The nonintuitive format of the application combined with the time commitment can lead applicants to skimp on the process, especially if they have an above average GPA and DAT that they are hoping to rely on. Unfortunately, submitting a poor application can make a significant negative difference, even with above average statistics.

So, give yourself ample time to complete the application. Allow a minimum of two weeks, not including the time needed to write your personal statement. That means at least two weeks dedicated strictly to entering the necessary information into your application.

Treat this section as a series of mini essays describing your extracurricular experiences. Review it for both substance and grammar/spelling. Consider also creating a resume/CV prior to the application opening. This way you are simply transferring the information into your application after it has already been reviewed and edited in a thoughtful way. 

Dental school application mistake #4: Underpreparing, Overpreparing or Preparing in the Wrong Way for Dental School Interviews

Under preparation can obviously backfire. Over preparation, on the other hand, is also a risk. Memorizing responses means you’ll risk coming across as overly robotic, without passion or personality. Finally, preparing in the wrong way can occur when an applicant assumes they are walking into a one-on-one interview but are surprised the day of to learn it is an MMI.

After receiving an interview offer, confirm the interview format. Is it a one-on-one interview with faculty, a panel interview with alumni and current students, a group interview or an MMI? Use the ADEA interview guide, a spreadsheet that includes information from a survey sent to all dental schools regarding interview type and format.

Plus, research the school. What makes it unique? What do they value or emphasize in their program? We recommend having at least three specific talking points per school for the question “why do you want to come to our school?”

Finally, make sure to have an honest yet engaging answer to the question “why do you want to be a dentist?” that clearly describes your journey into dentistry as well as your passion for the profession.

Dental school application mistake #5: Applying to the Wrong Mix of Dental Schools

Some applicants have too many stretch and not enough target or safety schools. Others apply to only public state schools as out-of-state applicants.

It is important to apply to a good mix of target, reach and safety schools as well as a balance of private vs public schools. In general, we recommend applying to at least 15 schools with roughly the following ratio:

  • 2-4 Stretch schools (below the average statistics)
  • 8-12 Target schools (near the average statistics)
  • 3-5 Safety schools (above the average statistics)

Most state schools cap the number of out-of-state applicants, while private schools typically give no preference for in-state versus out-of-state applicants. For example, the dental schools in Texas use their own application system for Texas residents (TMDSAS) and typically only take a handful of out-of-state applicants, some years taking none. In contrast, out-of-state applicants at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry typically comprise roughly 60% of any given entering class. Marquette University School of Dentistry is a private school that regularly has classes composed of 50% out-of-state applicants.

Ultimately, do your homework on every school you apply to in order to have the best possible chance at getting admitted.

Dental School Cost

Well, the cost of a dental school actually depends on the specific institution you choose. Tuition isn’t the only cost you face when entering dental school. As a dental student, you will also pay for your instruments, instructional materials, and other fixed costs. Remember, the cost is all dependent on the school you choose to apply to.

In addition, you should know that the cost of a dental school depends on whether it is a public or a private dental school. 

Apparently, cost should play an important role when you are searching for a school. However, you shouldn’t limit your options to just the lowest-priced schools. In some cases, the most expensive schools could be your best option.

You should also consider applying for scholarships, or other financial aids for dental students. This can play an important role in helping you choose the right school for yourself. Also, it helps you save costs.

Tuition Costs at Public Dental Schools

Well, it is not new to us that tuition in public dental schools is lower than tuition in private schools. This is because public schools receive funding from the state and the federal government.

In 2017 – 2018, public school students paid $37,877  This price includes tuition and mandatory fees, but it does not account for living expenses or supplies. The four-year cost of tuition nears $151,508.

How Hard Is It to Get Into Dental School? — Shemmassian Academic Consulting

How long does it take to become a Dentist?

Getting a degree in dentistry from any of the top accredited dental schools must require you to give it your time and resources.

In fact, the average time required to complete a dentistry program in a dental school is four years. Meanwhile, this is after you must have completed a four-year bachelor’s degree program.

Finally, after you’ve completed your bachelor’s degree program, the next step in becoming a dentist is by taking the Dental Admissions Test (DAT). DAT is designed to assess your fit for dental school.

Least competitive Dental Schools?

Truly, the goal of every prospective dental student is to get an acceptance letter from the school of their choice. But, is getting into a dental school that easy?

Well, it all depends on your level of performance, and your ability to meet up with all the necessary requirements as a dental student.

These tips would help your application to any of the least competitive dental schools of your choice stand out. Read them carefully, and practice. Remember, practice makes perfect.

  1. Firstly, you should have good reasons for choosing dentistry. Don’t just wake up one day and decide to study dentistry without having a good reason.
    Make sure to show off your dental knowledge and prove that you really care about the subject. Express this in your application.
  2. Complete your four-year degree with a full-time course load. Make sure your academic life is in good shape.
  3. Shadow a professional, and also, volunteer in community projects relating to dentistry. This will help you build your knowledge base in the dental profession.
  4. Get at least two recommendation letters from people in the dental profession. Showing a professional can help you to easily get a letter of recommendation.
  5. Lastly, have a good GPA and DAT score. Having pre-dental school experience and good letter of recommendation is not enough. It is important that you have good grades too because no school needs a student that performs poorly academically.

Ranking Criteria

It is important to note that your choice of school will depend on many factors. Therefore, to effectively rank the easiest schools in the world, we used the following factors.

Accreditation:

Knowing if a school is accredited or not is very important. This is because, without the accreditation of a school, the certificate you get from that school will have no market value. Thus, making your years spent in studying to become a waste.

Reputation

The reputation of a school is a very important factor to be considered. By this, we are talking about how real people (and employers!) view the university.

Your university’s reputation affects you and your career more than you might think.

It is made up of the history of the school, location, academic success, physical conditions, and so on.

How to Get Into Dental School and Become a Dentist | Best Graduate Schools  | US News

Acceptance rate 

At first glance, you will think that schools with low acceptance rates are the most desirable due to their superior reputations and highly competitive admissions. However, in reality, there are many benefits to attending a university with a higher acceptance rate.

For one thing, schools with high acceptance rates are easier to get into. 

The DAT score

DAT simply stands for Dental Admissions Test. The DAT score is a requirement for admission to dental school. It is scored on a 1 to 30 scale, while the national average in recent years has been the result of 19 to 20.

If you would like to apply to the easiest dental school, then, you should try your best to achieve the scores that will put you on a competitive footing among all the other applicants.

Tuition Costs at Private Dental Schools

Private dental schools tend to charge more for tuition. This is because they lack state and federal funding. Tuition costs vary greatly between schools, but on average, private institutions charge $67,087 per year. The four-year cost totals $268,348. In addition, other expenses include lab fees, preclinical supplies, books, dental kits, scrubs, and exam costs.

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