DDS - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


HOW CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT A CAREER IN DENTISTRY?

The decision to enter dental school is an important career decision. Indiana University School of Dentistry (IUSD) encourages students to maintain close contact with pre-dental advisors on campus to discuss proper course selection and sequence. Additionally, students should consult pre-dental advisors for valuable information and advice to help answer career questions.  They are also encouraged to contact the IUSD Office of Admissions and Student Affairs (OASA) as soon as the course of study is begun so that admissions procedures and dental prerequisites can be discussed. It is very helpful and students are encouraged to participate in a pre-professional club, a Biology Club or some type of pre-professional organization.

Students and others interested in a dentistry career are encouraged to spend time in several dental offices to observe and discuss dentistry as a profession with dentists and their auxiliaries. Contact your family dentist and/or a dentist in your community to schedule a time to observe in her/his office.  Applicants should consider completing a minimum of 40 shadowing hours in three to four general dental offices to get a sense of differences in practice styles.  Additional shadowing is helpful and can be done in a variety of settings (e.g., specialty offices and public health clinics).

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

WHAT UNDERGRADUATE MAJOR SHOULD I SELECT?

Any undergraduate major is acceptable for application to Indiana University School of Dentistry provided the prerequisites are completed prior to matriculation.  

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

IUSD only accepts four (4) hours of AP credit in any one non-science discipline (the grade attained will not be calculated in the GPA). For example, IUSD will accept AP Psychology and English Composition for these prerequisites. 

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 service 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 begins accepting applications in early June each year. All DDS applicants must submit an online application at the ADEA website. All IUSD applicants must submit applications to AADSAS by November 1st of each admissions cycle year. This is an IUSD deadline requirement. Applicants are encouraged to apply early in the cycle in order to maximize the opportunity for a fall interview.Depending on individual circumstances, spring interviews MAY be granted.

WHAT MATERIALS NEED TO BE COMPLETED THROUGH AADSAS?

  • AADSAS processing fee
  • Official DAT score report
  • All letters of academic recommendation (two science, one other academic area)
  • Personal statement
  • Official transcripts from each college or university attended (AADSAS will verify all transcript information provided by applicants; Applications will not be sent to request schools until all transcripts are received and verified)
  • Educational information
  • Shadowing hours
  • Achievements and Experiences

WHAT IS THE TIMEFRAME FOR THE PROCESSING OF APPLICATIONS?

If it is submitted correctly, IUSD receives applications approximately six weeks after the date submitted and received by AADSAS.  If the application is complete, it is submitted to members of the Admissions Committee for review. The review process can take several weeks. Upon a successful review, an applicant could receive an offer for a fall interview as early as August of each admissions cycle year.

HOW CAN I BETTER MY CHANCES OF BEING ACCEPTED TO IUSD? Individuals who are not admitted 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 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, letters of academic 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.

IS THE PERSONAL INTERVIEW REQUIRED?

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

HOW MANY LETTERS OF EVALUATION ARE NEEDED?

All letters of academic recommendation must be sent directly to AADSAS. Please see our DDS Prerequisites page for the required format.

DOES AN APPLICANT HAVE TO SIGN A WAIVER FOR LETTERS OF ACADEMIC RECOMMENDATION?

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

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

No. AADSAS provides a standard form for all academic letters of recommendation. Evaluators also have the option of sending their letters of recommendation electronically. Applicants are encouraged to notify their evaluators that they may receive a letter request from AADSAS and that they should follow the correct format.

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.

WHAT ARE THE ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERNATIONAL DDS APPLICANTS?

International applicants applying to the IUSD DDS program, must have all marks evaluated by ECE (ece.org) and must provide TOEFL score reports directly to IUPUI Office of International Affairs. The minimum required TOEFL score is 90. All requirements for international students should be addressed with IUPUI's Office of International Affairs: international.iupui.edu .

ARE STUDENT LOANS AVAILABLE?

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

ARE SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE?

Yes, but scholarships are very limited.

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 you must continuously reside in Indiana for at least 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the first scheduled day of classes in order to be considered a resident. Attending IUSD for one year does not entitle you to resident tuition if you are not from Indiana.

NOTE: 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:

Dr. Melanie R. Peterson, MBA
Assistant Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs
Director, International Dentist Program
Indiana University School of Dentistry
Office of Admissions and Student Affairs
1121 West Michigan Street, Room 105
Indianapolis, Indiana  46202
Office: (317) 274-8173
Fax: (317) 278-9066
merpete@iu.edu