The Path to Dentistry

According to the American Dental Association, "dentists give patients smiles they are proud to wear by helping people maintain and improve their oral health, quality of life, and appearance." Admission to dental school is competitive, and dental schools review a candidate’s eligibility on multiple factors such as GPA, DAT (Dental Admission Test) scores, and service and volunteer experience. Pre-Dent is considered an area of interest, in addition to your chosen major. Dental schools accept a variety of majors, as long as a student fulfills all requirements for admission.

Education Requirements

Click here to view that statistics for the entering class from to the Texas Medical & Dental Schools Application Service (TMDSAS).

Students applying to one of the four public Texas Dental Schools should review the education requirements set by the Texas Medical & Dental Schools Application Service (TMDSAS).

For students looking to apply outside of Texas, they should contact individual dental schools for specific prerequisite information.

View the coursework requirements recommended by American Dental Association (ADA).

Service & Volunteerism

Dentists and other health care professionals are expected to perform community service while in school. Career and Professional Development can assist you in researching service and volunteer opportunities; following are a few local opportunities.

What Is the DAT and When Should I Take It?

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the DAT (Dental Admission Test) is designed to measure the following areas:

  • Natural Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry)
  • Perceptual Ability
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Quantitative Reasoning

Typically, students take the DAT in the spring of their junior year so their scores are submitted in time for the opening date for dental school applications. It is recommended that students review the content of the exam and take some form of DAT prep course the semester leading up to the actual exam. Never take the DAT for practice. The DAT is administered year round at test centers operated by Prometric Inc. For further information on the DAT, visit the ADA.

How Do I Apply?

Students applying to one of the four public Texas Dental Schools should review the application handbook provided by TMDSAS.  Those applying to any dental school outside of Texas should review the application overview and instructions provided by the American Dental Education Agency (ADEA).