DDS - Frequently Asked Questions


HOW CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT A CAREER IN DENTISTRY?

Indiana University School of Dentistry (IUSD) encourages you to maintain close contact with the pre-dental advisor on your campus to discuss proper course selection and sequence. Because the decision to enter dental school is such an important step, you should consult your pre-dental advisor for valuable information and sound advice to help answer career questions.

You are also encouraged to contact the IUSD Office of Admisions and Student Affairs (OASA) as soon as you begin your plan of study so that admission procedures and dental prerequisites can be discussed.

Participate in a pre-professional club, a Biology Club or some type of pre-professional organization on your campus.

Plan to attend Dental Day this fall (October 5th), hosted every year by the first year dental class of  IUSD.  Dental Day is an interesting and informative program for all those who are exploring a career in dentistry. Registration is available online only.

Plan to spend time in several dental offices to observe and discuss dentistry as a profession with the dentist and the auxiliaries in the office. Contact your family dentist and/or a dentist in your community to schedule a time when you can observe in her/his office.

Familiarize yourself with issues facing the dental profession on a national level. Contact the following websites:

WHEN AND HOW DO I APPLY TO DENTAL SCHOOL?

All applicants to IUSD must apply through the American Association of Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS).  AADSAS is a centralized application services sponsored by the American Dental Education Association (ADEA).  AADSAS simplifies the application process for both applicants and schools by allowing applicants to complete one application form.  Information is then sent in a standardized format to the dental schools as directed by the applicant.  AADSAS began accepting applications on June 3, 2013. All DDS applicants must submit an online application at the ADEA website. 

In order for your application to be sent by AADSAS, you must submit your application to AADSAS no later than November 1, 2013.

Because IUSD maintains a rolling admissions policy you are encouraged to apply early. In order to maximize the opportunity for a fall interview, AADSAS should receive your application no later than July.

HOW MUCH IS THE AADSAS PROCESSING FEE?

For 2013, the processing fee is $244 for the first dental school and $90 for each additional dental school.

WHAT MATERIALS NEED TO BE COMPLETED THROUGH AADSAS?

  • Application forms, including the biographical sketch and educational information.
  • Official transcripts from each college or university attended.  AADSAS will verify all transcript information provided by applicants.  Applications will not be sent to requested schools until all transcripts are received and verified.
  • AADSAS processing fee.
  • All letters of evaluation.

HOW SOON WILL IUSD RECEIVE MY APPLICATION FROM AADSAS?

IUSD should receive your application approximately six weeks after the date your application is received by AADSAS.

IS IT TO KEEP MY APPLICATION FILE UP-TO-DATE?

For applicants who wish to enter dental school in 2014, final acceptance will not be granted until all files are complete. You should be sure to provide the IUSD OASA Office with all the items listed in the question above and any other information requested.  Failure to do so may result in your acceptance being reconsidered or rejected by the Admissions Committee. Your file must be complete with DAT scores and letters of recommendation before you can be granted an interview.  IUSD will accept only three required academic letters of recommendation and one optional personal letter of recommendation.

TO HOW MANY DENTAL SCHOOLS SHOULD I APPLY?

Applicants usually apply to four - seven dental schools. 

WHAT UNDERGRADUATE MAJOR SHOULD I SELECT?

Any undergraduate major is acceptable for application to Indiana University School of Dentistry. You should choose a major in which you are interested in order to have an alternate career in the event you are not accepted to Dental School. 

HOW MANY YEARS DOES IT TAKE TO COMPLETE THE D.D.S. DEGREE?

Dental school is a year-round, four-year program that begins the first week in July.

WHAT ARE MY CHANCES OF BEING ACCEPTED TO INDIANA UNIVERSITY?

There were 1,412 applications to the 2013 entering class.   One hundred and four students will matriculate.  Detailed Profile of the 2013 entering class is available for review.

IS AGE A FACTOR WHEN BEING CONSIDERED FOR DENTAL SCHOOL?

No.   IUSD does not consider age a factor when reviewing dental applicant credentials.

HOW CAN I BETTER MY CHANCES OF BEING ACCEPTED TO IUSD IF MY GPA IS LOW?

Individuals who are not admitted due to a low GPA are invited to contact OASA to arrange an advising appointment.

DO I STAND A BETTER CHANCE OF BEING ACCEPTED IF I COMPLETE MY PRE-DENTAL COURSES AT INDIANA UNIVERSITY?

IUSD does NOT give preference to IU graduates. At least thirty (30) of the required ninety (90) hours must be taken at a four-year college.  It is preferred that applicants complete upper level science courses at 4-year institutions (i.e. those that grant baccalaureate degrees).

WHAT ARE THE REQUIRED PRE-DENTAL COURSES I MUST TAKE?

For the entering class of 2014 the following courses must be completed by June 30, 2014.

  • 8 semester/12 quarter hrs. of each of the following:
    • BIOLOGY or ZOOLOGY
    • INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
    • GENERAL PHYSICS
  • 4 semester/6 quarter hrs. of each of the following:
    • ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
    • ANATOMY

        ALL SCIENCE COURSES LISTED ABOVE MUST INCLUDE LABORATORIES

  • 3 semester/4.5 quarter hrs. of each of the following:
    • BIOCHEMISTRY LECTURE
    • PHYSIOLOGY LECTURE
  • 2 semester/3 quarter hrs. of each of the following:
    • INTRODUCTORY PSYCHOLOGY
    • ENGLISH COMPOSITION
  • Currently, a minimum of 90 semester hrs. (135 quarter hours) of college credit is required.  

ARE ADVANCED PLACEMENT (AP) CREDITS ACCEPTED FOR PREREQUISITE COURSE REQUIREMENTS?

IUSD only accepts four (4) hours of AP credit in any one discipline (the grade attained will not be calculated in GPA). For example, we require 8 semester hours of biology or zoology with labs. If a biology AP course was taken in high school the biology or zoology course must be taken at a higher level. The exceptions to the above rule are Psychology and English Composition. IUSD will accept AP credit for these prerequisites.

IS PARTICIPATION IN EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES NECESSARY?

It is not necessary to participate in extra-curricular activities if they interfere with academic performance.  However, the Admissions Committee does look for well-rounded individuals who have interests and hobbies beyond academics. Involvement in extracurricular activities and community service can broaden your background and enhance academic discipline.

WHAT CRITERIA DO THE ADMISSIONS COMMITTEE MEMBERS USE IN SELECTING STUDENTS TO IUSD?

The Dental Admissions Committee is charged with the responsibility of reviewing and selecting qualified and diverse candidates for admission to the DDS program who best demonstrate the capability of advancing the oral and general health of diverse populations.

Criteria used for selection of students include science GPA (i.e. math, physics, biology, chemistry), overall GPA, DAT scores, academic letters of recommendation, the personal interview, years and hours of college credit, degrees received, motivation, manual and artistic skills, character, personality, ethics, and exposure to the field of dentistry.

The average cumulative GPA was 3.49 for the 2013 entering class at IUSD. The average science GPA was 3.41.

IS THE PERSONAL INTERVIEW REQUIRED?

Yes. The personal interview is required. Interviews at IUSD are typically conducted from September through February.

HOW CAN I OBTAIN EXPOSURE TO DENTISTRY?

The IUSD Admissions Committee expects all applicants to have a minimum of 40 hours of exposure to general practice dentistry in a private practice setting.  You can accomplish this by talking to your family dentist or a dentist from your local area during the summer and school breaks.  You should spend time with them during working hours and observe the operation of the office.

HOW MANY LETTERS OF EVALUATION ARE NEEDED?

All letters of recommendation must be sent directly to AADSAS.  AADSAS will process four letters of recommendation. IUSD will accept only three required academic letters of recommendation, two of which must be from science professors.  Interviews will be granted to selected applicants only after the three (3) letters of recommendation, DAT scores and the application fee have been received by IUSD.  Recommendations are accepted in the following format:

  • One recommendation from a pre-dental or pre-professional committee
  • Three academic letters of recommendation from faculty members whose subjects you have completed at the university you attended. At least two of the three should be from your science professors; the third can be from another professor or someone with personal knowledge of your achievements.

DOES AN APPLICANT HAVE TO SIGN A WAIVER TO THESE LETTERS OF EVALUATION?

It is not required that an applicant sign a waiver, but IUSD and the writer of the recommendation must know whether information submitted should remain confidential.

DOES AN APPLICANT HAVE TO USE IUSD EVALUATION FORMS FOR THE LETTERS OF EVALUATION?

No.   AADSAS provides a standard form for all letters of recommendation.   Evaluators also have the option of sending their letters of recommendation electronically.

WHEN IS THE DENTAL ADMISSION TEST (DAT) GIVEN?

A computerized version of the DAT is available to candidates at specific Prometric Testing Centers. Candidates may take the computerized version after submitting their DAT application to the ADA and scheduling a test date/time with Prometric. Candidates may take the computerized DAT almost any day of the week and will receive their scores immediately after completing the exam. Dental Admission Test software and sample tests are also available through the ADA.

SHOULD I TAKE A REVIEW COURSE TO PREPARE FOR THE DAT?

National surveys conducted by the American Dental Association indicate that most dental applicants do not take a review course for the DAT. You will automatically receive a sample test titled "DENTAL ADMISSION TEST SAMPLE TEST ITEMS" with your DAT application.

IS THE DAT REQUIRED FOR APPLICATION TO DENTAL SCHOOL?

Yes.  

HOW MANY TIMES MAY I TAKE THE DAT AND WHEN SHOULD I CONSIDER RETAKING THE DAT?

A recent ADA ruling limits the number of times you can take the DAT to three.  

WHAT IS COVERED ON THE DAT?

There are four examinations in a multiple-choice format included in the DAT Program: Survey of Natural Sciences (Biology, General Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry) Reading Comprehension, Quantitative Reasoning, and Perceptual Ability.

Successful performance on the DAT requires completion of at least one year of college education, which should include courses in biology, and general and organic chemistry. Physics is not covered on the DAT.  Most applicants complete two or more years of college prior to taking the examination.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO TAKE THE DAT?

Current examination fees are listed on the DAT website. These feea include the submission of an official copy of your DAT scores to five dental schools, a personal copy, and a copy for your pre-dental advisor. Fees are not refundable.

Walk-in candidates are not permitted; candidates must register ahead of time.

ARE STUDENT LOANS AVAILABLE?

Yes. The majority of dental students at IUSD pay for their education with federal student loans. After you have been accepted to IUSD, you will receive a financial aid notification by mail if you filed the FAFSA. Please refer to our financial aid page for more specifics.

ARE SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE?

Yes, but scholarships are very limited. They usually range between $100 and $500.

WHAT POST-GRADUATE PROGRAMS ARE AVAILABLE AT IUSD?

Dental Materials Pediatric Dentistry
Endodontics Periodontics
Operative Dentistry Preventive Dentistry
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Prosthodontics
Orthodontics Dental Sciences  (Ph.D.)


HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY CHANCES OF BEING CONSIDERED FOR A POST-GRADUATE PROGRAM?

If you are considering applying to a post-graduate program after dental school, you should contact the department chair of that program as soon as you begin dental school. Most programs are competitive, therefore you need to maintain a high GPA while in dental school in order to be considered.

IF I AM A NON-RESIDENT, HOW CAN I ESTABLISH RESIDENCY FOR FEE-PAYING PURPOSES?

With very few exceptions, you will remain a non-resident (for fee-paying purposes) throughout your four-year dental education. If you enter IUSD as a non-resident, to establish a "resident student" classification, you must continuously reside in Indiana for at least 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the first scheduled day of classes in which you register in the university. Attending IUSD for one year does not entitle you to resident tuition if you are not from Indiana.

Note that physical presence in Indiana for the predominant purpose of attending an institution of higher education shall not be counted in determining the 12 month period of residence.   Please refer to the IUPUI Residency Policy for further information.

WHO SHOULD I SPEAK WITH IF I HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS?

If you have additional questions, you may contact:

Melanie R. Peterson, D.M.D., MBA
Assistant Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs 
Indiana University School of Dentistry
Office of Admissions and Student Affairs
1121 West Michigan Street, Room 105
Indianapolis, Indiana  46202
(317) 274-8173