Dental School Application Timeline for 2016-2017 (for applicants planning to start dental school in fall 2017)
For Latest TimelineThis blog post is the timeline for applicants who are applying to enter dental school fall of 2017. If you are applying for entry starting fall 2018, you can read my 2017-2018 dental school application timeline.
Since most dental schools have rolling admissions, applying early is important. As the cycle proceeds and spots in the class are filled, admission for the remaining spots can become more competitive. The entire application process takes nearly a full year to complete. By familiarizing yourself with the application process early on, you can develop a schedule for the many application-related tasks you will need to complete and submit a high quality application early in the cycle.
Dental School Application Services
There are two separate centralized application services for U.S. dental schools:
AADSAS (Associated American Dental Schools Application Service)
TMDSAS (Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service) – For Texas residents applicants Texas dental schools.
In addition to submitting a primary application through one of these services, most dental schools require a secondary or supplemental application. The final step in the application is an interview.
Dental School Application Timeline
Here is a timeline for the 2016-2017 dental school admissions cycle to help you with your planning:
September – December 2015
- Become familiar with the application process. Good sources of information are the AADSAS and TMDSAS sites and your pre-health advisor.
- Gather information about dental schools. The ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools is an excellent resource for researching schools. Print and online editions are available for purchase at the ADEA site here.
- Check to make sure that you are on track to complete the pre-requisites courses for dental school.
- Find out if your undergraduate institution school offers a prehealth committee letter and the process for obtaining one. If your school does not have a committee letter, make sure that you check with the dental schools you plan to apply to regarding their requirements for letters of reference, as they vary from school to school.
- Continue to gain dental, community service and/or research experience throughout the next year.
January -March 2016
- Request letters of recommendation from faculty and dentists individually or obtain a committee letter per your undergraduate institution’s protocol.
- Register for the DAT. Information regarding the DAT may be found at the American Dental Association (ADA) site
- Prepare for and take the DAT. Take the DAT earlier if preferred, but do not delay past June in order to have scores submitted to the schools early in the cycle.
- AADSAS opens around June 1.
- TMSDSAS opens in early May.
- Retake the DAT if needed.
- Complete secondary applications. (Note: a few schools request that secondary applications be submitted at the same time as the primary application.
September 2016 – Spring 2017
- Continue submitting secondaries.
- Interview at dental schools.
- Schools notify applicants of acceptances beginning Dec. 1 and continue until the class is full.
- Stay in contact with schools you are waitlisted at.
Begin dental school!
The application process to dental school can be time-consuming, so plan ahead so that you can complete each step early in the cycle.