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How Dental School Admissions Work

Applying to Dental School

The American Dental Education Association (ADEA) lets potential dentists apply to any participating dental school in the U.S. through the Associated American Dental Schools Application Services (AADSAS). There are currently 55 participating U.S. schools and one in Canada. The benefit is that you only have to fill out one application -- no more writing out your references, past jobs and extracurricular activities five different times. The application is available at the ADEA Web site.

The deadlines for filing applications vary by school. AADSAS accepts applications during admissions cycles that run from June 1 of the year prior entering school to the following Feb. 1. Therefore, if you were planning to attend dental school in 2011, the AADSAS cycle would run from June 1, 2010, to Feb. 1, 2011. You can file an application with AADSAS at any time during the cycle, but if a specific school's deadline has passed, you won't be able to apply to that school. It pays to have your application in early. Most schools delay reporting admission decisions until December.

The convenience of the AADSAS system comes at a price: $195 for the first dental school to which you apply, and $60 for each additional school.

Next, we'll discuss the grades and courses you'll need to get into your dental school of choice.