Dental School Application Timeline for 2024-2025 (for applicants starting dental school in fall 2025)

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. Many schools begin interviewing in August or September and fill much of their class on or near December 15. As spots in the class fill up, it becomes more difficult to gain admission. 

To start, you need to know some basic information about how the dental school application process works.

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 public dental schools in Texas.

In addition to submitting a primary application through one of these services, most dental schools require a supplemental (“secondary”) application. The final step in the application process is an interview.

Here is a timeline for applicants who plan to enter dental school in fall 2025:

December 2023

  • 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 Dental School Explorer is updated each spring and is available for purchase at the ADEA site.
  • Check to make sure that you are on track to complete the prerequisite courses for dental school.
  • Find out if your undergraduate institution offers a prehealth committee letter and the process for obtaining one. If your school does not have a committee letter, 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 experience, community service, and/or research experience throughout the next year.

January-March 2024

  • Request letters of recommendation from faculty and dentists individually, or obtain a committee letter per your undergraduate institution’s protocol. Note that the letters cannot be uploaded to the application services until May. However, it is still important to ask early as some letter writers only write letters for a particular number of applicants and may fill up. This is especially true of science professors.
  • Register for the DAT. Information regarding the DAT can be found at the American Dental Association (ADA) site.  Register 60 to 90 days prior to your planned test date.

April-May 2024

  • Prepare for and take the DAT. Aim to take the test in late spring or early summer. If the summer is needed for preparation, take the test by early August.
  • AADSAS applications become available online on May 14 but may not be submitted until the cycle opens on or near June 4.
  • The TMDSAS cycle opens in early May.
  • Submit transcripts to AADSAS and/or TMDSAS after spring grades have posted. Submit transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended.
  • Note: some schools have secondary application questions within the AADSAS application in the “Program Materials” section. Those questions must be completed at the time AADSAS is submitted to those schools.
  • Sign up for Casper. Casper is a situation a situational judgement test required by some dental schools. Registration is through Acuity Insights.
  • Take Casper in May if time allows. If not, take by the end of June so schools have your results early in the cycle.

June 2024

  • Take the DAT if you have not already done so.
  • Take Casper if you have not done so already.
  • Late June –  schools that do not have supplemental applications within the AADSAS application begin sending secondaries to applicants.

July-August 2024

  • Take or retake the DAT if needed.
  • Take Casper if needed.
  • Continue to receive supplemental applications from schools.
  • Some schools begin inviting applicants for interviews in late July or August.

September–December 2024

  • Continue to interview at dental schools.
  • Dental schools may begin offering admission to applicants on December 15.

January-April 2025

  • Some schools send additional interview invitations in early to mid-January. Interviews are complete at many schools in January or February, although some schools continue into early spring.
  • Update schools you are waitlisted at to inform them of new accomplishments

May-July 2025

  • Stay in contact with schools you’re waitlisted at to express ongoing interest and provide updates of new accomplishments.

August 2025

  • Begin dental school!

4 thoughts on “Dental School Application Timeline for 2024-2025 (for applicants starting dental school in fall 2025)”

    1. Because admissions are rolling, taking the DAT in October makes getting admitted to dental school more difficult as schools begin making offers of admission on December 15. However, your specific chance of admission depends on your overall application portfolio, and schools do continue to interivew into the winter and even the early spring in some cases. It is strongly advisable to take the DAT by early August at the latest, though.

  1. Sarvenaz Ghorbanian

    i have a DAT test scheduled for Aguest 21st. But unfortunately i don’t think i will be ready by then, i need more time. how late is it if i take my DAT on September 12 instead?

    1. It’s optimal to take the DAT by early August; however, the DAT is a very important component of the application, so taking it later when one is ready is better than pushing to take it earlier, even if it means your application will be complete later in the cycle.

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