Dental School

There are more than 50 dental schools in the U.S. The dental school curriculum is 4 years long and leads to the DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) degree. Admission is competitive. Read the entire section on medical school and heed the advice given there.

Course Requirements

The course requirements for dental school are the same as for medical school. (See the relevant section.) LC provides prerequisite courses necessary for dental school.

Clinical Experience

Dental schools look favorably on applicants who have some clinical experience in a dental setting.

Standardized Test

Students planning to enter dental school must take the DAT. This is a standardized test that is available only on computer. Register at the Sylvan Learning Center in Lynchburg (or any other location). Be sure to take the test by the end of the summer between your junior and senior year.

The DAT is scored on a scale from 1 to 30, with an average score of 15. Separate subscores are reported for biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, perceptual ability, reading comprehension, and quantitative reasoning. The average score for admitted students was about 17.5

Health Professions Committee Interview

See the information about the interview in the medical school section. Pre-dental students are required to go through the same process as pre-medical students.


Applicants apply to dental schools through the AADSAS (American Association of Dental Schools Application Service). This is similar to the AMCAS for medical school. The AADSAS also has a service for centrally processing evaluation letters that they strongly encourage applicants to use. DAT scores should be sent from the American Dental Association directly to the dental schools.

Print Resources

This is by no means a comprehensive list. There is additional information in the Chemistry Learning Resources Room.

  • Barron’s Guide to Medical and Dental Schools
  • Admission Requirements of U.S. and Canadian Dental Schools
  • American Dental Association Annual Report on Dental Education
  • Careers in the Dental Professions: Select Dentistry
  • Dentistry in the United States