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Doctor of Dental Surgery


To be considered for admission to the predoctoral program, a student will need to have completed the required courses, have taken the Dental Admission Test, and have attended a personal interview. The School does not select or give preference to a particular undergraduate major field. The Admissions Committee encourages diversity in majors. Courses in the social sciences and the humanities are also important and reviewed by the Committee.

The School of Dentistry is a state supported institution and participates in the student exchange program provided by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) which supports students from western states without dental schools. Although all applications are carefully reviewed, preference in admission is given to residents of Washington and WICHE states. Required courses are: general chemistry-2 quarters or 1 semester; organic chemistry-2 quarters or 1 semester; general biochemistry-2 quarters or 1 semester, general physics-3 quarters or 2 semesters; general biology or zoology-3 quarters or 2 semesters; general microbiology-2 quarters or 1 semester. The School enrolls a first-year class of 55 students and is committed to diversity within the dental school student body and the dental community.

Transfer Applicants: The School rarely, and only under exceptional circumstances, admits transfer students from other dental schools.

Foreign Applicants: The School does not provide a special program for foreign-trained dentists.

Health Sciences Minority Student Programs: To increase diversity of students, the School supports the Health Sciences Minority Student Program. In addition to advising and career counseling, this office works with Health Sciences schools to provide student development and support programs, networking opportunities, and summer research programs. The HSMSP Office activities include participation on several Health Sciences and campus-wide committees for purposes of collaborating and exchanging strategies on effective methods for recruiting and retaining a diverse student body; as well as promoting and celebrating diversity.

The School belongs to the American Association of Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS). The School has established November 1 as its AADSAS priority filing deadline. Only those applications received in the AADSAS Washington, D.C. office by the priority filing date will be forwarded to the University of Washington for consideration. Applications are available online at Information about the Dental Admission Test may be requested from the American Dental Association, Dental Admissions Testing Program, 211 East Chicago Ave., Suite 1846, Chicago, IL 60611-2678, 312-440-2689,

For information on admission to the University of Washington School of Dentistry contact either Kathleen Craig, Office of Student Services, Admissions and Outreach, School of Dentistry, University of Washington, Box 356365, Seattle, WA 98195-6365, 206-543-5840, fax 206-616-2612,,, or Jason Boyd, Predental Advising Office, University of Washington, 171 Mary Gates Hall, Box 353760, Seattle, WA 98195-3760,

Once the AADSAS application has been received, a preliminary screening determines if an applicant meets the Admissions Committee's criteria to receive a supplemental application and request for the following materials:

  1. A supplementary application which includes a short personal statement
  2. A nonrefundable application fee of $35.
  3. Three letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation should include one from a science instructor who can evaluate the applicant's academic and intellectual qualifications, a second from a dentist who is familiar with the applicant's knowledge of and motivation toward the dental profession, and the third (character reference) from someone who can indicate the applicant's community service or volunteer experience. If a predental committee exists on the applicant's campus, a combined recommendation from that committee may be used to replace all three recommendations. The School of Dentistry accepts letters of recommendation processed by AADSAS.
  4. Dental Admission Test scores. Test must be taken by October 31 of the year prior to entry.
  5. Transcripts from all higher education institutions attended.
  6. A list of current and future courses.
  7. Acknowledgment of having read, understood, and of being able to meet, with or without reasonable accommodation, the Essential Requirements of Dental Education at the University of Washington School of Dentistry (to be sent with the supplemental application form).
  8. Conviction/criminal history information. Washington state law requires that all faculty, students, and staff disclose background information concerning crimes and offenses against vulnerable populations. A complete copy of the law is available from the School's Office of Student Services, Admissions and Outreach and will be forwarded upon request. Applications will not be considered until completed disclosure forms have been returned.

Completed applications are screened. Invitations for an interview are based on the seven areas listed. The interview is conducted by members of the Admissions Committee and is an opportunity for an open and friendly discussion. In addition to the interview, the applicant will have an opportunity to receive information about financial aid, meet with enrolled students, tour the School, and meet the Dean and/or Associate Deans.

Following the interview, the Admissions Committee, which is composed of faculty and dentists from the community, will make a decision concerning admission status. In their deliberations, the following seven areas are considered.

  1. Level of Pre-professional Education: The majority of applicants will have a baccalaureate degree by the time of entry. Admission may be offered to applicants without a baccalaureate degree but only to those applicants who have completed all predental requirements and have an extremely competitive academic record. A minimum of three years' full-time coursework is required.
  2. Dental Knowledge: Knowledge of the field of dentistry through experience in a dental setting (dentist's office, clinic, etc.), introductory dental course work, and exploration of the dental literature are considered as admission factors. A qualified applicant will have a clear understanding of the profession and a demonstrated interest in the field.
  3. Communication Skills: Verbal and written skills are important to the delivery of oral health care.
  4. Academic Preparation: Overall grade-point average (GPA) and GPA of predental required science courses are reviewed. College grades are an important indicator of dental school performance and success.
  5. Evidence of Psychomotor Skills: DAT (Dental Admission Test). The test, sponsored by the American Dental Association, covers several areas: quantitative reasoning, survey of natural sciences (including biology, general, and organic chemistry), and perceptual ability (including form development, apertures, angles, cubes, and orthographic projections). At the University of Washington the scores are reviewed to identify an applicant's areas of strength. The test must be taken no later than October 31, one year prior to matriculation.
  6. Contribution to Diversity: Diversity in the student body contributes to the development of oral health care professionals prepared to address the needs of society.
  7. Life Experiences: Community service, research and teaching efforts, travel, and work experience are some of the life experiences that are considered important. Such experiences demonstrate the breadth and level of maturity of a candidate.

Although interviews begin in October, the earliest the Admissions Committee will notify applicants of its decision is December 1. The School uses a "rolling admission" format, so interviews and committee decisions will continue to be made between December and March. The Admissions Committee will make one of three decisions regarding all applications:

  1. Offer of Acceptance. Admission application has been accepted. The applicant will have a specified time to reply to reserve enrollment in the entering first-year class. In addition, enrollment will be contingent on timely submission of the following requirements: required registration deposit, transcripts showing completion of predental courses, registration for autumn quarter of the upcoming academic year, completion of required immunizations, and a Basic Life Support CPR course.
  2. Alternate Status. Applicant is offered a position on the Alternate List. The applicant will have a specified time to reserve a position on this list, which is maintained until the beginning of the school year.
  3. Denial of Admission. The Committee has considered the application but cannot offer a position or alternate status.

Once accepted, applicants receive information about registration procedures, financial aid, curriculum, student organizations, required immunizations and Basic Life Support CPR, and the Big Sibling and Peer Adviser programs. A mandatory two-week orientation called Prep is held prior to the start of autumn quarter that includes course instructions and an off-campus retreat where students socialize and participate in activities to build an cohesive class.