D.D.S. Program Admission

Admission Process

  1. Fulfill all academic prerequisites
  2. 60 hours of shadowing with a general dentist (D.D.S. or D.M.D.) are required at the time of application.  Applicants should consider this number of hours a minimum for consideration.
  3. Take the Dental Admission Test (DAT) and send scores directly from the Dental Association (either American or Canadian). Though all scores will be looked at, only scores from the last 2 years will be considered valid for admissions purposes, counting backwards from when application is submitted.
  4. AADSAS Application: Apply through the Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS) including submittal of all official transcripts, DAT scores and letters of recommendation.  Once your AADSAS application is received by the Office of Dental Admissions, an acknowledgement will be sent to you via email
  5. University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry Supplemental Materials: 

    Submit a passport size (2"x2") photo with your signature on the back (for identification purposes), and a supplemental non-refundable application fee of $125.00 (U.S. funds), made payable to "UDM School of Dentistry". Payment can be in the form of a money order or certified check. Personal checks will not be accepted and will be returned to you, delaying processing of your application. Please mail your payment to:

    University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry
    Office of Dental Admissions
    2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
    Detroit, MI 48208

  6. Contact the Office of Dental Admissions to follow-up on your application

Please send all admission questions to dental@udmercy.edu

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    Academic Prerequisites

    Academic preparation must include the following specific requirements, both in time and in credit hours (Please note, eight semester hours in science and six semester hours in English are generally equivalent to a one-year course):


    • Eight semester hours (12 quarter hours) of Inorganic or General Chemistry with laboratory.
    • Eight semester hours (12 quarter hours) of Organic Chemistry with laboratory.


    • Eight semester hours (12 quarter hours) of General Biology or Zoology with laboratory.
    • Additional courses strongly encouraged include: Anatomy, Physiology, and Statistics.


    • Eight semester hours (12-quarter hours) with laboratory.
    • Sufficient prerequisite mathematics should be taken as well as High School Physics.


    • Six semester hours (9-quarter hours).
    • First year college courses in Composition will satisfy the requirement.
    • Three semester hours of credit in literature may be used to satisfy part of  this requirement if the course description confirms that writing was integral to the course.


    • Three or Four semester hours 


    • Three semester hours (2 quarter hours)

    The dental admissions committee reserves the right to modify the prerequisites when additional courses are necessary to an applicant's preparation for dental school. Grades of C or higher are expected in prerequisite courses; however, high B grades or higher are truly more competitive.

    Courses in sociology and psychology, especially human behavior are highly recommended, as are business courses. If a student wishes to strengthen his/her academic credentials, he or she should consult with predental advisors at their present college/university regarding the proper course of action. Pre-requisite courses should be completed at a 4-year institution and not a community college.  Preference is given to applications that have credits from a 4-year institution. Applicants are strongly advised to consult with a counselor or pre-health advisor at their school.

    Academic Achievement

    A minimum GPA in science courses of 3.0 is recommended, but GPAs of 3.5 or higher are considered more competitive. A full-time academic load (15-18 semester hours) of three or four science courses each term is encouraged, particularly during the junior and senior undergraduate years.

    Credit Expiry

    Prerequisites should be completed within 5 years of the application date. Candidates whose prerequisites are older than 5 years at the time of application are advised to retake these courses, preferably at a 4-year institution.

    Note - Canadian Students:

    • For those who have completed Grade 13 or OAC, full credit is given for Grade 13 or OAC English toward fulfilling the English requirement (grades of “C” or higher are required in order to be acknowledged). University prep courses in English are also considered.
    • Grade 13 or OAC science courses do not fulfill the requirements in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. However, credit may be given for these courses toward meeting the requirement of eight semester hours in each science when these courses are also taken in a university. 
    • 6 credit hours (or a full year sequence) is equivalent to U.S. 8 credits hours for science courses (i.e. biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, physics)

    Application Procedure

    The School of Dentistry utilizes the Associated American Dental Schools Application Services (AADSAS).  Applications to Detroit Mercy Dental are accepted from opening day through December 31 of each year. Please visit the American Dental Education Association's (ADEA) website to submit your electronic application.  A non-refundable application fee of $125.00 (U.S. funds), made payable to "UDM School of Dentistry". is due at the time of application and should be sent directly to the School of Dentistry.  Payment can be in the form of a money order or certified check. Personal checks will not be accepted and will be returned to you, delaying processing of your application. Please mail your payment, along with a 2”x2” photograph with your signature and AADSAS ID number on back to the following address:

    Office of Dental Admissions
    University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry
    2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
    Detroit, MI  48208-2576 


    Dental Admission Test (DAT)

    All applicants for admission are required to take the Dental Admission Test (DAT), a national standardized test. Scores from the DAT are an important component to one's application to dental school and should be recognized as such by the student.   Members of an admissions committee frequently use the DAT to predict a student's success or potential failure in the school's curriculum. Additional information about the DAT can be obtained by visiting the American Dental Association's (ADA) website at  http://www.ada.org/prof/ed/testing/dat/index.asp.

    Students are advised to take the DAT only after basic requirements in chemistry and biology have been completed. An applicant should try to achieve competitive scores of 20 or higher in each section. Retaking the DAT, with the goal of achieving more competitive scores is encouraged. DAT scores older than two years from the time of the test are not acceptable .

    The Canadian DAT is acceptable for Canadian applicants: http://www.cda-adc.ca.

    DAT scores after December 31st will not be accepted.


    Letters of Recommendation

    Two (2)  letters from science faculty within non-plant or non-environmental disciplines of biology, chemistry or physics - by whom the candidate has been instructed - are required.  A single (1) composite/committee letter can take the place of the two letters from science faculty, provided that science faculty (using the criteria laid out previously) are included in the committee reviewing the applicant.

    One (1) letter from a general dentist (D.D.S. or D.M.D.) attesting to the applicant having spent a reasonable amount of time with the practitioner chair side, exploring the dental profession.  Candidates are required to have a minimum of 60 hours of shadowing with a general dentist.

    An applicant who feels that the application did not allow explanations of certain aspects of scholastic history may submit a written personal statement directly to the Office of Dental Admissions.

    General Guidelines for Letters of Recommendations:

    Letters of recommendation must be dated and must appear on official letterhead (college/university or dental office).  Professionally, they must include an original signature with typewritten name beneath the signature as well as professional title.  Faculty should include the course code, title and term within the content of their letter.  It is highly recommended that letters of recommendation from TA's, Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs) or PhD candidates be cosigned by the course director or department chairperson.  Please print and give these guidelines to your referees when you ask them for letters of recommendation.


    Selection Factors

    The Director of Dental Admissions reviews all completed applications and together with the Dental Admissions Committee selects applicants for admission to the School of Dentistry.

    Selection is based upon various components of a dental school application which may include cognitive and non-cognitive components of an application: difficulty of an undergraduate curriculum, academic performance in undergraduate studies, DAT scores, and personal characteristics and potential for success as determined by letters of recommendation, personal statements, and personal interviews, to name a few. The dental admissions committee requests an interview for the purpose of gaining information not readily gained from the application. Interviews are BY INVITATION to applicants being seriously considered.


    Reapplication Requirements and Suggestions

    Submit  your  application  early.  American  dental  schools  operate  on  a   "rolling  admission  cycle"  (applicants  are
    accepted from December 1st until the class is filled). With numerous applications being received by dental schools each year, and an increased quality in those applications, dental schools have been filling their incoming classes earlier and earlier.

    Continue  to  enroll  FULL-TIME  in  upper-division  (graduate)  biologically-based  science  courses  (non-plant  or  non- environmental). If you have already obtained your BS degree, it is suggested you begin working toward a Master's degree (preferably in an area of biology, basic medical sciences, or public health).

    Submit new letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation should be submitted from current professors each year you apply.