According to the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), all dental schools in the US received about 11,759 applications in 2021. This is 6.75% more than the number of applications received in the preceding year.
What does this mean? More people are interested in the dental field and this means more competition for prospective students.
If you’re in search of some of the easiest dental schools to get into in the United States, then you are in the right place. We reviewed 11 schools you can gain admission to with low academic stats.
Now let’s get to business.
How easy is it to get into dental school?
To be sincere, gaining admission into an accredited dental school in the United States is hard, but not impossible. The competition continues to increase as more people are inclined to dentistry due to its reputation and monetary value.
Getting into dental school is only a small part of the journey to becoming a professional dentist, surviving dental school is another. For every 10 applicants, only 1 will be enrolled, note that these 10 applicants are not your regular 3.0 GPA holders.
Different schools have different selection methods they use but it’s based on the same principle. “How qualified is the applicant to study dentistry at our institution?” “Will he/she be a good fit for the university?”
What’s the bottom point? Dental school admission is tough but you can still get in if you know what you are doing. You don’t need to have a 200 IQ, you just need to be above-average.
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Easiest dental schools to get into
Below are some of the easiest dental institutions to get into in the United States in 2022. The list is based on admit rates, GPA, and DAT average.
1. University Of Mississippi School Of Dentistry
Acceptance Rate: 29.4%
The University of Mississippi School of Dentistry is an accredited public dental school in Mississippi and the only one in the state. Just like most state-funded institutions, the school gives preferences to Mississippi residents and does not accept transfer students.
UMMC School of Dentistry has an average overall GPA and an average overall DAT score of 3.73 and 20 respectively. It makes use of several selection factors which include life experiences, cognitive and non-cognitive components as well as 4 recommendation letters.
2. University of Utah School of Dentistry
Acceptance Rate: 27%
University of Utah School of Dentistry is one of the best dental institutions in the state of Utah. It offers a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) program as well as a General Practice Residency (GPR) program.
While the University of Utah Dental School gives preference to applicants who are residents of the state, it enrolls a good number of out-of-state students every year. The school has an average cumulative GPA of 3.66 and a DAT Academic Average of 21.3.
Regarding job shadowing, applicants need a minimum of 80 hours of dental experience with at least 4 different dentists. Also, the U of U school of dentistry does not accept international students.
3. ECU School of Dental Medicine
Acceptance Rate: 14.7%
East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine is one of the best dental institutions in North Carolina. With a small class size of 53, it is notorious for rejecting out-of-state students. If you are not a resident of the State of North Carolina, don’t waste your time applying.
Also, the ECU School of Dental Medicine does not accept transfer students or internationally trained dentists. According to the profile of the 2021 Entering Class, the school has an average Overall GPA of 3.47 and a DAT Academic Average of 20.2.
4. Augusta University Dental College
Acceptance Rate: 11.2%
Although it’s not friendly to out-of-state students, Augusta University Dental College is one of the easiest dental schools you can get into in the United States. It enrolls more than 90 dental students annually and does not offer foreign dental programs.
While a minimum overall GPA of 2.8 is required to apply, Augusta Dental School has an average GPA of 3.67 and an average Dental Admission Test (DAT) score of 21. Also, the school interviews approximately 25% of its applicant pool annually.
Since preference is given to Georgia residents, only about 10 out-of-state students are matriculated (in a class of 96). If you are an OOS or international student with poor academic stats, don’t waste your time.
5. Louisiana State University School of Dentistry
Founded in 1968, Louisiana State University School of Dentistry is a public dental school in New Orleans with a class size of 75. While it gives preference to residents of the state of Louisiana, it enrolls about 15 out-of-state students every year.
LSU School of Dentistry has an average GPA and an average DAT score of 3.6 and 21 respectively. If you are not a legal resident of the United States, don’t bother applying as you will not be considered for admission.
6. University of Minnesota School of Dentistry
Acceptance Rate: 10.21%
University of Minnesota School of Dentistry is the only dental school in the state of Minnesota. It offers an accredited DDS program and has a class size of 105.
Similar to other public dental schools mentioned in this article, the University of Minnesota Dental School gives preferences to Minnesota residents. The school has a total median GPA of 3.63 and a median DAT Academic Average of 20.
Prospective students interested in earning their dental degree at the U of M School of Dentistry must have a minimum of 50 hours of dental experience before applying. This does not make the GPA, recommendation letters, and transcripts useless, it’s just a basic admission requirement.
7. Ohio State University College of Dentistry
Acceptance Rate: 9.65%
Ohio State University College of Dentistry is one of the largest public dental schools in the nation and offers a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) program as well as a dual DDS/Ph.D. degree program. It has more than 500 dental and dental hygiene students.
Ohio State Dental School has an average total GPA of 3.65 and a DAT Academic Average of 21. Apart from completing the prerequisite courses and meeting the minimum GPA and DAT requirements, applicants need to complete a minimum of 40 hours of dental experience (most admitted students have an average of 120 hours).
8. University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry
Acceptance Rate: 9.4%
University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry is a private Jesuit dental institution in Michigan. It has a pretty large class size of 144 and receives more than 1500 applications every year.
Also, Detroit Mercy Dental School admits in-state, out-of-state, and international students. It even accepts Canadian DAT scores for admission.
Apart from fulfilling all academic prerequisites and submitting DAT scores, transcripts, and other supplemental materials, applicants must have a minimum of 60 hours of mental experience with a general dentist at the time of application. The school has an average incoming total GPA of 3.62 and an average overall DAT of 20.
9. WesternU College of Dental Medicine
Acceptance Rate: 9.3%
WesternU College of Dental medicine is a small private dental school in California with an innovative Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) program that prepares students for success in all areas of life. It receives almost 3000 applications and enrolls 69 students annually.
Apart from meeting the basic admission requirements, applicants must also have a minimum of 30 hours of dental-related work experience, most admitted students have more than 100 hours of dental experience. Also, possessing a BS or BA in any field of study may strengthen your application.
Although WesternU Dental School admits more in-state students, about 38% of matriculated students are out-of-state students. The school has an average DAT score and an average overall GPA of 20 and 3.35 respectively.
10. Howard University College of Dentistry
Acceptance Rate: 7%
Howard University College of Dentistry is one of the oldest dental schools in the nation. Also, it is among the easiest dental schools you can get into with a low GPA in 2022.
Howard Dental School offers an accredited Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree and has a class size of 80. The school enrolls a lot o out-of-state students annually and has an average DAT score of 18 and an average cumulative GPA of 3.2.
11. Roseman University College of Dental Medicine
Acceptance Rate: 5%
Roseman University College of Dental Medicine is a private suburban dental school located in Utah. Being a new institution, it is one of the easiest dental schools you can gain admission to with a below-average GPA.
You may be wondering why Roseman University Dental School has a low acceptance rate, it receives more than 2000 applicants annually and can only enroll 100 of them. Also, the school does not give preference to in-state students or those with ties to Utah.
Roseman Dental School offers a Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D) degree and is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). It has a DAT Academic Average of 19.1 and an average cumulative GPA of 3.28.
Are private dental schools easier to get into?
Generally, expensive private dental schools are easier to get into considering the fact they admit a lot of students and would do anything just to get their class seats filled up. Although, there are some exceptions to this like Harvard, Univesity of the Pacific, UPenn, etc.
In my opinion, it’s better to apply to any public dental school in your state. Not only will you reduce costs and potential loan debts but you also have a better chance of getting in provided you meet their admission requirements.
One thing you want to avoid is applying to overpriced or predatory dental schools. Always check the cost of attendance and financial aid programs available to dental students before applying to any institution.
5 Tips for prospective dental students
What should prospective dental students know before applying to any dental school? Here are some tips that may help you.
1. Be passionate about it
Joe writes about he loves the dentistry career due to its reputation and value in society in his personal statement. He doesn’t have any prior experience in dental or job-dental fields.
Also, Joe doesn’t come out as someone passionate to be a dentist during his interview. A few months after applying, he received his rejection email.
Don’t be Joe. The admission committee can easily detect if you are qualified for admission depending on how passionate you are. Some of the things that display your passion include:
- Personal statement/essay.
- Good academic standing.
- Work experience(s).
- Extracurricular activities.
- Awards and accomplishments.
- Life experiences.
With this said, don’t try to game the system by “faking it till you make it”.
2. Apply Early
All dental schools in the US have a deadline for applications. Once the deadline is over, the application portal is closed till the next academic session.
It is better to apply early to avoid losing the opportunity of applying to your dream school. Also, applicants interested in the early decision program may need to apply early.
3. Only apply to schools you are a good fit for
You don’t want to waste your time applying to Tufts dental school with a 3.2 GPA. If you know you are not eligible for admission to a dental school, don’t apply.
For example, if you don’t have any volunteer experience, it would be unwise to apply to schools that consider it a top selection factor.
4. Be competitive
Ever played a game of chess? Noticed how powerful the queen is in the game?
The same applies to gaining admission into any dental institution in 2022. There are other applicants you are competing with for the same spot.
Make sure your grades are great, DAT above 20, shadowing above 150 hours, prerequisite coursework completed, etc.
5. Proofread your application before submitting it
Nobody wants to review a sloppy application full of errors and unfilled required spaces. Check your application to make sure there are no problems.
We reviewed some of the easiest dental schools you can get into in the United States. They include:
- University Of Mississippi School Of Dentistry
- University of Utah School of Dentistry
- ECU School of Dental Medicine
- Augusta University Dental College
- Louisiana State University School of Dentistry
- University of Minnesota School of Dentistry
- Ohio State University College of Dentistry
- University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry
- WesternU College of Dental Medicine
- Howard University College of Dentistry
- Roseman University College of Dental Medicine
It is worth noting that none of these schools are inferior to other institutions in the dental field and they are not so easy that you can be offered admission without doing some hard work.
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