dental school application guide

2018–2019 AADSAS: Dental School Application Guide

You’ve worked so hard over the past few years—pulling all nighters in those science classes to earn a stellar GPA, spending your free time volunteering or involved in extracurricular activities, shadowing multiple dentists for countless hours—and you’ve aced the DAT (or will ace the DAT soon).

Now the only thing standing between you and your dream profession as a dentist is getting into dental school.


What is the AADSAS?

The American Dental Education Association’s Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (ADEA AADSAS) is the centralized application service for all U.S. dental schools. For the 2018–2019 application cycle, it “soft-opened” on May 15th, and officially opened up on June 5th. We’ve put together a guide with info and tips about the sections of the application. Be sure to check out the ADEA’s application instructions for more info, and remember that you can contact the ADEA AADSAS for further assistance:

  • Phone: 617-612-2045
  • Application:
  • Email:

What do I Need?

AADSAS “soft-opened” on May 15th and officially opened on June 5th, 2018 around noon Eastern Time. Before this date, you should already have done the following:

  • Completed all of your pre-DAT dental school prerequisite courses.
  • Generated a DENTPIN.
  • Taken or scheduled your DAT.
  • Asked your 4 evaluators for letters of recommendation (these requirements may vary by school):
    • One general dentist
    • Two hard science professors
    • One professional
  • Completed your personal statement (4,500 characters max).
  • Compiled your resume.
  • Documented all of your shadowing hours with a general dentist in addition to any shadowing experience with other dentists.
  • Printed out your unofficial transcript to help list your courses in the application.
  • If you’re reapplying, you should have printed out your old application to prep for the 2019 cycle—access to previous applications is disabled before the next due date.

The best tip for preparing for the dental school admissions cycle is to apply early. AADSAS Processing takes four to six weeks before it is mailed to schools. Applicants submitting their applications earlier are more likely to be invited to interview.

Personal Information Section

You should fill out this section first. You’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Release statement
  • Biographic details
  • Contact information
  • Citizenship
  • Environmental factors
  • Parent or guardian
  • Race & ethnicity
  • Other applicant information

Note that any felony or misdemeanor convictions and academic infractions must be listed here, including a brief description of charges and reflection on the incident. If these apply to you, answer carefully, as they cannot be edited after application submission.

Academic History Section

After completing your personal information, go to the Academic History section. Only fill out the “high school attended” and “college attended” portions for now. Skip the transcript entry section.

  • Be sure to list your institution in the “colleges attended” portion… and know that you need official transcripts for each college attended.
  • Make sure your ADEA AADSAS identification number is included on or with each transcript.
  • Request ALL transcripts as SOON as the application opens.
  • It is the applicant’s responsibility to monitor all transcripts, as you won’t be notified about a missing transcript.

My Programs Section

After completing your transcript requests, it is easier to complete the My Programs section first and then go back to the transcript entry portion in the Academic History section later.

Select the schools to which you are applying:

  • The fee for the first school is $245.
  • Each additional school costs $99.
  • Applying to as many as ten schools is common among applicants.
  • If you need help paying, you may be eligible for the fee assistance program.
  • Before confirming your applications, you will see your total cost listed under “Submit Application.”

Transcript Entry and Coursework

Once your transcript requests have been completed, now is the time to return to the Academic History section and enter your coursework.

  • Choose “Transcript Entry” and begin adding your coursework for each institution.
  • Be sure to review your entries.
  • During “Transcript Review,” you will get to identify different attributes of your courses, such as whether they’re repeated, advanced placement, honors, and/or study abroad courses.
  • Once you submit your application, no changes to coursework can be made, and you may only update grades if you submitted your application before grades were available.
  • You have the option of paying for professional transcript entry: $65 for up to three transcripts, $90 for four to six, and $140 for seven or more.

DAT Section

Next, provide the date(s) of all taken or planned DAT exams along with your DENTPIN. You are required to provide DAT scores in two ways:

  • Manually self-report scores: Use your official score report from Prometric Test Center.
  • Sending official U.S. DAT Scores: When registering for the DAT, select ALL dental schools to send your score to. There’s no charge for this, but there is an additional fee if schools are added later.

Your official score sent electronically to ADEA AADSAS three to four weeks after the test date.

Supporting Information Section

This section includes your letters of evaluation, experiences, achievements, and personal statement.

Letters of Evaluation:

  • If you used Interfolio to collect your letters of recommendation, Interfolio will directly upload them to the AADSAS Application using their delivery service.
  • If you submitted within AADSAS, include the following for each letter: name, contact info, due date, and personal message/notes. Indicate due date based on earliest dental school deadline.
  • Once a reference is completed on the application, it cannot be removed or replaced.
  • Applicants can select four individual evaluations, and each letter should be written by one person.
  • For each evaluation, you’re asked whether or not to waive access to read the evaluation. We recommend always waiving your right to read the letter. If you asked the right people for recommendations, you should feel confident in what they wrote.


  • List the following: academic enrichment (e.g., summer medical or dental education programs), dental shadowing, employment, extracurricular activities, research, and/or volunteer work.
  • For each experience, include: name and address of each organization and supervisor, dates associated with the experience, title held, average weekly hours, and a description of key responsibilities.
  • The description box allows 600 characters for listing duties related to your experience. In this box, you can clarify whether you intend on continuing in your experiences and the expected time commitment. You can then send updates to dental schools.
  • Only record experiences obtained during college, and limit entries to the top six in each category; use your completed resume to help with this section.

Personal Statement:

  • One page, 4,500 characters, including spaces.
  • Answer the question: Why do I want to pursue a Dental Education?
  • Present yourself as motivated, academically prepared, articulate, socially conscious, and knowledgeable about dentistry.
  • Share experiences and qualities that will make your stand out from the applicant pool in a positive light.

Program Materials

This section includes profiles created by each dental school with information about their program and tips on how to be a successful applicant.

Questions and prerequisites may not be available for certain schools. This section must be completed to submit your application; some questions may be optional.

Submitting and Managing Your Application

You made it—time to pay the fee and submit the application. Submitting does not mean the application will be immediately reviewed by dental schools. Your application can be submitted before the receipt of official transcripts and DAT scores, but it won’t be verified until those are received.

Once your application is complete, the verification process begins. Try to submit your application well before the posted deadline to increase your chances of being selected for an interview—remember the rolling admissions!

The only information that can be edited after the ADEA AADSAS application is submitted are the following: addresses; phone number and email; the high school and colleges attended; your transcript entry if you’re still attending school; new DAT scores; new evaluations (can be added up to maximum); and new or in-progress experiences, achievements, or certifications.