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ADEA AADSAS: Dental School Application

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. Applications for dental school are usually released in May of the year before matriculation, and you can usually submit your dental school application as early as June. There is no AADSAS application deadline; each dental school has a unique application cutoff date, so make sure you’re familiar with your target dental schools’ application dates.

Keep in mind also that your primary dental school applications are accepted on a rolling basis, so it is best to complete and submit your application early.

Below you will find information on what you need to have accomplished before you begin filling out your dental school application and the different components of the application itself.

[ RELATED READING: Is Dental School Right For You? ]

 

Before Your AADSAS Application

The following elements of your dental school application should be completed, or at least underway, before you complete the application itself. 

  • Complete prerequisite science coursework.

    It’s fine if you have some prerequisite classes left to take, but you should have completed many by the time you begin your dental school primary application. Individual schools have different prerequisite coursework requirements, but you can generally expect to need to have taken the following by the time you matriculate:

      • 2 semesters biology with lab
      • 2 semesters general chemistry with lab
      • 2 semesters organic chemistry with lab
      • 2 semesters physics with lab
  • Complete your shadowing and extracurriculars.

    You’ll be asked to report the number of hours you shadowed and other extracurriculars you were a part of during your undergrad in your primary dental school application, so plan ahead and get involved early.

  • Create a DENTPIN.

    You’ll use this identification number to register for the DAT and apply to dental schools.

  • Register for the DAT.

    You don’t have to have taken the DAT by the time you start—or even submit—your primary dental school application, but keep in mind that some dental schools won’t consider your application complete until you’ve submitted your DAT scores.

  • Get dental school letters of recommendation.

    Give your recommenders plenty of time to write your letters of recommendation. You can submit up to four letters through the AADSAS, and most dental schools require the following letters:

      • Two letters from science professors
      • One letter from an advisor
      • One letter from a dentist
  • Begin your personal statement.

    You have 4,500 characters (including spaces) to tell dental schools who you are and why you want to go into dentistry. Read more about the personal statement below, and get essay tips from ADEA.

  • Complete your resume.

    You can use your completed resume as a reference for the “Experiences” portion of your dental school application.

If you are curious exactly what to be focusing on for your dental school application all throughout your undergrad days, refer to our Pre-Dental Planner Guides:

  1. Freshman Year Pre-Dental Planner
  2. Sophomore Year Pre-Dental Planner
  3. Junior Year Pre-Dental Planner
  4. Senior Year Pre-Dental Planner

ADEA AADSAS Application Sections

AADSAS Personal Information Section

The AADSAS Personal Information section will ask you to provide the following information:

  • 3 release statement responses (Pre-Submission Release of Information, Advisor Release, and ADEA AADSAS Release)
  • Biographical details (such as birth information and alternate names)
  • Contact information
  • Citizenship information (including residency, visas, and DACA status)
  • Parent/guardian information
  • Socioeconomic status and EO indicator (The EO indicator is determined by the applicant’s parental education and occupation information)
  • Environmental factors (including childhood residency information, relatives in dentistry, and disadvantaged consideration)
  • Race & ethnicity
  • Other applicant information (including DENTPIN number, language proficiency, felony and misdemeanor convictions, military status, etc.)
    • 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.

AADSAS Academic History Section

Here’s the information you’ll need to give in the academic history section of your ADEA application:

  • High school attended
  • Undergraduate and graduate institutions you attended (including high school concurrent enrollment, continuing education enrollment, or study abroad enrollment)
  • Postsecondary coursework: Using an unofficial copy of your transcript for each postsecondary institution you’ve attended for reference, input the term, course code, course title, subject, credits, and grade for each of your courses. You’ll then be able to add extra information about courses as needed, such as if they were AP or study abroad courses. If you’re entering courses you have not yet completed, enter them in a future term.

Transcripts

Request your transcripts as early as possible; you can submit your application before your official transcripts are received by ADEA AADSAS, but your application will not be processed until then. 

Download a “Transcript Request Form” for each postsecondary institution you attended and send it to the registrar’s office so they can send your official transcript to ADEA.

Standardized Tests: DAT and DENTPIN

Provide the dates of all taken or planned DAT administrations, as well as your DENTPIN. If you’ve already taken the DAT, you’ll be required to enter your score and send in an official score report. When registering for the DAT, you can indicate to which dental schools you’d like your score to be sent. Your score will be automatically sent to ADEA 3-4 weeks after your DAT administration.

Supporting Information

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

Dental School 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. Applicants can select four individual evaluations, and each letter should be written by one person.

Once a reference is completed on the application, it cannot be removed or replaced. 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.

Personal Experiences

List any academic enrichment programs (e.g., summer medical or dental education programs), dental shadowing, employment, extracurriculars, 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
  • 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. 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.

You can also include any achievements or certifications you’ve earned in this section.

Dental School Personal Statement

Answer the question “Why do I want to pursue a dental education?” in 4,500 characters, including spaces. Present yourself as motivated, academically prepared, articulate, socially conscious, and knowledgeable about dentistry. Share experiences and qualities that will make you stand out from the applicant pool.

Dental School Application Cost and Submission

You can submit your dental school application once you have completed sections listed above. The cost of submitting your application depends on how many dental schools you’ve designated; you’ll pay $245 for the first school and $99 for each additional school.

Once you’ve submitted your application, a professional verification staff will verify your coursework and transcripts and standardized your GPA.

[ READ MORE: Our Guide to Dental School Recommendations, Essays, and Interviews ]

You can update some, but not all, of the information you include in your application. The list of components you can edit, from ADEA.org, is below: 

  • Current address  
  • Permanent address  
  • Phone  
  • Email  
  • High Schools Attended  
  • Colleges Attended (if still attending)  
  • Transcript Entry (if still attending)  
  • U.S. and Canadian DAT (new test results only)  
  • Evaluations (may be deleted after submission if not completed; new evaluations may be added up to the maximum)  
  • Experiences (new or in progress only) 
  • Achievements (new or in progress only)  
  • Certifications (new or in progress only)

Dental School GPA Requirements

How your GPA is viewed is impacted by where you went to school, the particular classes you took, if your grades are inflated, and if there are any other mitigating circumstances. Some dental schools consider a positive trend in your GPA over time. If you started off slowly but improved significantly in later semesters, take heart. On the other hand, if your grades have been dropping over time, you may have a problem. For example, these schools believe that a GPA of 3.5 arrived at by GPAs of 3.0, 3.5, and 4.0 in your freshman, sophomore, and junior years respectively, differs markedly from a 3.5 earned by a 4.0, 3.5, 3.0 sequence.

Typically, you need at least a 3.0 GPA to be competitive in dental school admissions. A 3.3 GPA will put you closer to your competition, and a 3.5 GPA or above will give you the best chance of admission.

Learn more about requirements in our breakdown of Dental School Admissions: by the Numbers.

Dental School Supplemental Applications

Dental schools may ask you to submit additional information directly, not through the ADEA AADSAS. Some schools send supplemental applications to all applicants, and others send them to a subset of applicants determined after they review primary applications.