2018-2019 Dental School Application Timeline (for applicants starting dental school in fall 2019)

The dental school application process takes nearly a full year to complete. Therefore, excellent planning and organization are essential. The dental school application timeline below lists the steps and schedule of the application process to help keep you on track.

Staying on schedule is especially important because most dental schools have rolling admissions. Rolling admissions means that applications are evaluated as they are received. Applying early in the cycle may increase your chance of admission. Many schools begin interviewing in August or September, and acceptances are offered beginning on December 1. As spots in the class fill up, it may be more difficult to gain admission.

There are two separate centralized application services for U.S. dental schools:

AADSAS (Associated American Dental Schools Application Service) https://portal.aadsasweb.org/

TMDSAS (Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service) – For Texas residents applicants Texas dental schools. http://www.tmdsas.com/dental/homepage.html

In addition to submitting a primary application through one of these services, most dental schools require a secondary or supplemental application.  Many AADSAS schools now include the supplemental questions within the AADSAS application; however, some send a separate supplemental appliciation. The final step in the application is an interview.

Here is a timeline for applicants planning to enter dental school in fall 2019:


October – December 2017

  • 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 available for purchase at the ADEA site.
  • 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 2018

  • Request letters of recommendation from faculty and dentists individually or obtain a committee letter per your undergraduate institution’s protocol.


April – June 2018

  • Register for the DAT. Information regarding the DAT may be found at the American Dental Association (ADA) site http://www.ada.org/dat.aspx
  • Prepare for and take the DAT. Take the DAT earlier if preferred, but try to take the test by the end of June in order to have scores submitted to the schools early in the cycle.
  • AADSAS applications become available online in mid-May but may not be submitted until the cycle opens around June 1.
  • TMDSAS cycle opens in early May.


July – September 2018

  • Retake the DAT if needed.
  • Complete secondary applications. ( Starting with the 2017 cycle, many schools include the supplemental questions on AADSAS rather than sending a separate supplemental application.
  • Interviews begin in August or September at most dental schools.

September 2018 – Spring 2019

  • Continue to interview.
  • Schools notify applicants of acceptances beginning Dec. 1 and continue until the class is full.
  • Stay in contact with schools you are waitlisted at.

Fall 2019

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.

More Information about Dr. Eaton's Admissions Consulting Services

Comprehensive dental school admissions consulting including: general guidance on the dental school admissions process; detailed review of your application; thorough editing of your personal statement; and interview coaching and mock interviews.
Dr. Eaton is a graduate of the UCLA School of Medicine and has advised hundreds of successful applicants to dental and medical school over the past thirteen years.
A selection of testimonials from some of Dr. Eaton’s clients.
Dr. Eaton provides dental school admissions consulting on an hourly basis as well as fixed-price personal statement editing packages and mock interview packages.

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