So, you’re aiming to study dentistry in one of the many dental schools in the USA. But your path to becoming a highly respected and highly paid dentist is not going to be easy. The 10 easiest dental schools to get into are still some of the hardest schools to enroll in!
In this article, we’ll countdown the easiest dental schools to get into across the states and help you out with a few tips and tricks on acing your application (scroll to the end for those).
Why These Schools are Easy!
The quickest way to determine how “easy” dental schools are to get into is by comparing the acceptance rate. The acceptance rate is usually given as a percentage, e.g., 10%. That means for every 100 students applying to that dental school, only 10 will be accepted.
The average acceptance rate for all universities across the USA is 68% according to U.S. News. For dental schools, the average acceptance rate was 5.1% according to the American Dental Association’s (ADA) 2017-2018 survey of dental education.
Dental schools are hard to get into!
So, comparing acceptance rates is a good place to start. We’ve listed 10 dental schools with the lowest acceptance rates below. But there are a few other things you should consider.
First, most dental schools will prioritize students who live in the same state. If you want to attend a dental school out of state, it will be much harder.
What makes a school easy to get into can also depend on your qualifications. You will need a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) to get into dental school, but some schools will have differing requirements. Some might need a general chemistry degree, while others require more specific courses. This will make some schools harder to get into than others, depending on your previous education.
The key is to research. If you’re serious about getting into dental school, research all 10 schools below to find out which will be easiest for you!
Top 10 Easiest Dental Schools to Get Into
There are a few ways to find the acceptance rate for each dental school. The most reliable (but longest) method is to approach each school individually and ask them. Another way is to use comparative websites. But we did the hard research ourselves and used the data pulled directly from the ADA.
These 10 schools had the highest percentage of first-year enrolment for the applications they received, as recorded in part 2 of the 2018-19 survey. This is the most up-to-date survey released by the ADA at the time of writing this article.
1. University of Mississippi
39.2% Acceptance Rate
The University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Dentistry is the only public dental school in this state, located in Jackson. Spending your four years studying dentistry here would be an amazing opportunity. The requirements for admission include completing multiple semesters on English, chemistry, physics, biology/zoology, advanced biology/chemistry, math, and statistics.
This dental school is also a participant of the ADEA Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS) which we’ll explain at the end of this article.
Pros: great city location, offers a good range of specialties
Cons: Rarely considers transfer students, requires math as well as science courses
Know More Details From https://www.umc.edu/sod/SOD_Home.html
2. LSU Health Sciences Center
16.8% Acceptance Rate
Don’t let the outdated website fool you, the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans has a modern and vibrant School of Dentistry. This school offers more dentistry courses than usual, including oral and maxillofacial surgery, which can lead to the highest-paying jobs once you graduate (an average salary of $242,370).
But this school is best for residents of Louisiana. For the Doctor of Dental Surgery degree, they only accept 56 Louisiana residents, 4 Arkansas residents, and 5 out-of-state residents (other than Arkansas) per year.
Pros: excellent courses for high paying jobs, international student program
Cons: very limited places for students located outside of Louisiana
Know More Details From https://www.lsusd.lsuhsc.edu/
3. Ohio State University
14.8% Acceptance Rate
The Ohio State University College of Dentistry is one of the best for offering hands-on experience, with clinical training programs and several community service programs. A doctorate from the Ohio State University College of Dentistry prepares you for primary care and dental specialties.
This dental school has recently embarked on a $95-million project to expand and improve the facilities, so students who attend can practice with and learn using the latest technology. This is a large and busy (yet friendly) campus!
Pros: excellent practical clinical training program, community service programs
Cons: larger classes, busy and fast-paced environment
Know More Details From https://dentistry.osu.edu/
4. University of Missouri – Kansas City
14% Acceptance Rate
The School of Dentistry at this university in Kansas City operates a student dental clinic and community clinic in the UMKC Health Sciences District. You can find dentistry options in research fields as well as practicing fields here!
For the Doctor of Dental Surgery program, the average DAT Academic Average is 19 and the average science and math GPA is 3.6. So, while this school has a higher acceptance rate for applications, you’ll still need to pass these high standards.
Pros: courses for practicing and researching dentistry, accepts applicants from all states
Cons: high GPA requirements and DAT scores
Know More Details From https://dentistry.umkc.edu/
5. Augusta University
13.8% Acceptance Rate
The Dental College of Georgia is located in Augusta as part of the Augusta University. As a student here, you’ll study on campus and may attend one of the many clinics the dental college serves across Georgia – your entire fourth year of studying is dedicated to patient care. There are two degrees on offer: The Doctor of Dental Medicine degree and a dual degree in oral biology.
90% of the applicants accepted will be from the Georgia state, while the other 10% are from other states (or countries).
Pros: excellent focus on patient care and practical teaching in clinic environments
Cons: fewer programs/specialties to select, mainly for residents of Georgia
Know More Details From https://www.augusta.edu/dentalmedicine/
6. University of Washington
13% Acceptance Rate
The School of Dentistry at the University of Washington (Washington state, not DC) offers graduate and post-doctoral programs plus internships and other learning opportunities. There are also training opportunities in the Office of Research. Based in Seattle, you’ll be in a class with 63 students for the Doctor of Dental Surgery degree – most will likely have a baccalaureate degree already.
Although the small class size makes it harder to get a place, there are fewer course requirements to get into this dental school.
Pros: fewer required courses, no preference for undergraduate major field
Cons: only accepts applications through the AADSAS program
Know More Details From https://dental.washington.edu/
7. East Carolina University
11.3% Acceptance Rate
This public research university in Greenville has eight community service learning centers around North Carolina, for hands-on learning during your dentistry courses. But before you get your hopes up, this university is currently only accepting applicants from within North Carolina. This is to address the lack of practicing dentists currently in the state.
If you do live in North Carolina, you will need a college degree (in any major) before you can apply to this Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) approved dental school.
Pros: rotating placements in clinics across the state
Cons: limited to residents of North Carolina only
Know More Details From https://dental.ecu.edu/
8. University of Utah
11.1% Acceptance Rate
The University of Utah School of Dentistry only offers one graduate degree (the Doctor in Dental Surgery degree program) and the General Practice Residency Program for advanced clinical dental education.
For the DDS program, there’s the usual list of required courses including various biology and chemistry topics that you must have studied. But for this dental school, you’ll also need to have shadowed a minimum of 4 different dentists for 40 hours total!
The school accepts applicants from all states but prioritizes those from Utah as well as surrounding states such as Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico, Alaska, and Hawaii.
Pros: no minimum GPA or DAT score for applicants
Cons: job shadowing is an essential requirement
Know More Details From https://dentistry.utah.edu/
9. New York University
11.1% Acceptance Rate
NYU College of Dentistry educates almost 10% of the entire country’s dentists! That’s an impressive stat and having NYU College of Dentistry on your resume will certainly be impressive when it comes to finding a job. To be accepted by this dental school, you will need a bachelor’s degree OR a GPA of 3.5 and 90+ credits. You will also need 100 hours of shadowing (observing a working dentist) and three individual letters of evaluation.
Pros: prestigious dental school, large classes and flexible learning, accepts international students
Cons: stricter requirements, application must be submitted through AADSAS
Know More Details From https://dental.nyu.edu/
10. University of Iowa
10.6% Acceptance Rate
Last on our list is the College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics at The University of Iowa. As well as the DDS program, this university also offers advanced standing programs and graduate specialty programs. You will need a C grade or above in their list of required courses, and evidence of job shadowing (although there’s no minimum number of hours). For the DAT score, the average of accepted dental students to this university is 20.5, just above the national average.
Pros: no specific major required, no minimum shadowing requirement
Cons: high grade/score requirements
Know More Details From https://www.dentistry.uiowa.edu/
The Requirements You Need for Dentistry School
You can’t just jump into dental school unprepared – all will have requirements that you need to fill first. It varies from university to university, of course, but even the easiest dental schools to get into will require some (or all) of the following:
- College Undergraduate Degree – 8 hours of biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry (all with lab work), plus physics and English are the general requirements. Some universities require more.
- Predental science courses – more specific courses may be required, such as anatomy or biochemistry. If your current college doesn’t offer that, check if the dental school offers these courses to attend before going for your dentistry degree.
- 4 years of college – some dental schools may be prepared to accept you if you’ve attended more than 4 years of college and studied some relevant courses, even if you didn’t major in a science degree.
- 0-grade point average (GPA) or higher – your GPA matters quite a bit, but the specific GPA you need will vary from school to school and depends on the GPA of other applications. The general advice is to have a GPA of 3.0 but obviously, the higher the better.
- Passed Dental Admissions Test (DAT) – the DAT is a computerized test that anyone can take… but really, you need a year or two of college education in biology and chemistry to understand it. Ideally, you need to have passed the DAT in the 12 months before your dental school application.
- Letters of recommendation – an essential requirement for applying to any university, college, or school. But don’t just reuse your letters from college applications. Talk to your professors and think outside the box a little – are there any dentistry-specific academics that you know who could write a letter of recommendation for you?
- Job Shadowing – this is where you “shadow” a dentist and observe them practice. Some schools have a minimum number of hours of shadowing required for entry.
- An awesome application – with acceptance rates being so low, even for the easiest schools, you need to make your application stand out. Go above and beyond the essential requirements and show how you are a well-rounded team player and involved in the community. What can you bring to the dental school that other applications can’t?
Top 3 Tips for Dental School Acceptance
Finally, we’ll leave you with our three best tips to help optimize your dental school application process. Good luck!
- Leave plenty of time – there should be at least 12 months between the time you submit your application and the enrolment date. Make sure you have everything ready!
- Prep for the interview – don’t overlook this stage of the application. Practice like crazy as the school will use the interview to assess your capabilities and qualities. It’s also a chance for you to ask any questions you have about the school.
- Check out the Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS) – this service allows you to submit one application to multiple dental schools at once, saving you a lot of time. Some schools will only accept applications through this program. Just beware that it costs a fee, and you will lose some of the personal touch from your application. You might want to customize each application statements and letters to the specific schools to improve your chances.