UW School of Dentistry

Admission FAQs

Residency and Citizenship Requirements

UWSOD admission is limited to US Citizens and Permanent Residents. There are no exceptions. A typical entering class is composed of 85 – 90% Washington residents and the remaining 10 – 15% primarily from WICHE states (Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota and Wyoming, residents of other states who have attended high school or college in Washington state OR who are current applicants to the DDS/PhD program). Residency Classification information is updated annually.

Academic Preparation

Q. Does UWSOD offer personal advising appointments or transcript review?
A. No, we do not offer personal advising or transcript review. UWSOD does offer quarterly free Pre-Admissions Workshops on the UW Seattle campus. Upcoming dates are posted on our website.

Q. Is a BA or BS degree required for entry into the DDS program?
A. A minimum of three years of full-time undergraduate coursework are required for entry. The vast majority of our entering students have completed a BA or BS degree prior to matriculation.

Q. Does the University of Washington have an undergraduate predental program?
A. The University of Washington does not have a predental degree program. Students major in any field of their choice while completing the course requirements that apply to a majority of dental schools. For an explanation of courses and typical class schedule see the Pre-Health advising website.

Q. Do I need to complete all requirements before I apply?
A. Students can apply prior to completing all required coursework, however most applicants have completed all of the required science courses at application time. Students offered admission will be required to submit transcripts showing completion of all required and completed coursework before matriculation.

Q. Does UWSOD accept international students to the DDS program?
A. UWSOD accepts only US Citizens and permanent residents. International dental students may apply to the IDDS Program.

Q. Does UWSOD accept courses from community and junior colleges to fulfill entry requirements?
A. It is possible to complete some of science courses at community and junior colleges to fulfill requirements. However, we strongly recommend that some of our prerequisite science courses be taken at a four-year institution.

Q. What is the average science and total GPA?
A. Recent science and overall grade point averages have been in the 3.50-3.55 range.

Q. How is the science GPA calculated?
A. AADSAS calculates the science GPA including biology, physics, general chemistry and organic chemistry courses. The UWSOD also requires coursework in microbiology and biochemistry which are reviewed in your AADSAS application.

Q. Does UWSOD accept AP courses?
A. AP courses can be accepted to fulfill the science requirement if your undergraduate institution gives you credit on your transcript and if it appears (and is verified) on your AADSAS application.

Q. Are Microbiology and Biochemistry really required?
A. Yes, the Admissions Committee makes no exceptions to this policy. We require two quarters or one semester each of upper division Microbiology and Biochemistry.

Q. Are specific English courses required?
A. UWSOD does not require specific English courses.

Q. Does UWSOD have a specific math requirement?
A. No. We accept the math courses completed for college or university degree requirements.

Q. Does UWSOD recommend higher division or graduate courses beyond the requirements?
A. Students who have completed all our prerequisite courses may select upper division science courses such as Medical Microbiology, Developmental Biology, Genetics, Immunology, and Anatomy/Biological Structure. While additional coursework may enhance preparation for dental school, it does not affect admissions.

Q. How are retakes calculated?
A. UWSOD does not calculate retakes but reviews both grades including grade trends in the AADSAS application.

Q. What actions would you recommend for an applicant who was dismissed from the dental program at another University?
A. Applicants must disclose all their previous education and submit transcripts to AADSAS. Additionally, the AADSAS application asks for previous acceptance or attendance at another school. If applicable the applicant needs to address this issue in the essay. It is highly unlikely admission would be granted to someone who was dismissed from another dental school.

Q. How long are course credits valid?
A. As long as the courses are from accredited institutions and fulfill our requirements there is no specific time limit. Generally students need not retake the courses. Exceptions could be low grades or poor overall academic performance.

Q. Does it matter what undergraduate school I attend?
A. No, as long as the institute is fully accredited.

Q. Is there a preference for specific majors?
A. No, all majors are considered.

Application Process

Q. What is “rolling admissions”?
A. Rolling admissions at the UWSOD means the Admissions Committee makes decisions on a continual basis beginning on December 1 and ending on or about March 1. It is recommended that applicants apply and complete their files well before the November 1 deadline, although individual decisions are not based on the date the application was received.

Q. What is UWSOD’s application deadline?
A. UW SOD deadline for the AADSAS application is November 1st for each cycle.

Q. Are applicants from the University of Washington given preferential treatment?
A. UWSOD does not have a preference for which undergraduate schools applicants attend.

Q. When is the AADSAS application available?
A. Online applications are available in early June at the AADSAS website.

Q. Do applicants need to send transcripts to UWSOD or just to AADSAS?
A. All transcripts should be sent only to AADSAS as part of your application. Official transcripts are requested once students have been admitted.

Q. Can applicants submit an AADSAS application prior to taking the DAT?
A. Yes, however applications will not be reviewed until official DAT scores are received.

Q. How long does AADSAS take to process my application?
A. It may take up 4-8 weeks.

Q. How will I know when UWSOD has received my AADSAS application?
A. You will receive an email that your application was received.

Q. How will I know when my admission status changes?
A. Status changes will be transmitted to the AADSAS web portal. If no changes have been posted this means the application is under review. We receive 1,000+ applications and review takes a considerable amount of time

Q. Does UWSOD send the secondary application automatically to every applicant?
A. Unlike many dental schools, UWSOD does not send out secondary applicants automatically. Once we receive and screen your application you will be notified of any secondary application materials needed. UWSOD gives primary consideration and sends secondary applications to residents of Washington and WICHE states.

Q. When is the $100 application fee due?
A. If you have received a request to submit the secondary application the instructions for submitting the fee are included. Submit the fee only upon request.

Q. When does UWSOD send offers of admission?
A. Offers of admission are made between December 1 and March 1.

Q. What is alternate status and how does it work?
A. Official notification of alternate status will be sent after the committee has finalized the class. Alternates will be notified of their position on the list which remains active until the program begins in late summer.

Q. Is it possible to defer admission?
A. The UWSOD defers admission rarely and only for exceptional circumstances.

Q. What is a typical applicant pool and how many total students are admitted?
A. Typical applicant pool is 1,000+ applications. The class size is 63.

Dental experience and Community Service

Q. How many hours of dental volunteer/shadow/observation does UWSOD require?
A. We require a minimum of 100 hours. These hours must be completed at the time of submitting an application.

Q. How many hours of community service does UWSOD require?
A. We require a minimum of 100 hours. These hours must be completed at the time of submitting an application.

Dental Admissions Test (DAT)

Q. What is the DAT?
A. The DAT stands for the Dental Admission Test. DAT registration is at the DAT website

Q. Does UWSOD accept unofficial DAT scores?
A. No. We accept only official DAT scores submitted through AADSAS.

Q. Do you accept the Canadian DAT?
A. The UWSOD will accept the Canadian DAT if taken by a US citizen or permanent resident.

Q. How long are DAT scores valid?
A. According to the American Dental Association, there is no cutoff date for DAT scores. However, applicants who have older test scores may choose to retake the DAT to improve scores.

Q. Are there any exceptions to the DAT?
A. There are no exceptions to completing the DAT. Applicants must take the DAT prior to the due date of October 31 each year. Scores from a test after that date are not considered during the current cycle.

Q. What is considered a good DAT Score?
A. UWSOD DAT scores for entering students have averaged between 19 and 21 in recent years. If choosing to retake the DAT applicants should keep in mind there is a 90 day waiting period before retaking the exam. The test must be taken before October 31 in order to be considered for admission.

Q. Which courses need to be completed prior to taking the DAT?
A. Required courses in biology, organic chemistry, and general chemistry should be completed prior to taking the DAT.  Physics, Biochemistry and Microbiology are not on the DAT.

Q. How should I prepare for the DAT?
A. Numerous DAT preparatory courses, manuals and online courses are available.

Q. Where and when can I take the DAT?
A. The DAT is available at testing centers in many locations. The test is given year-round.

Letters of Recommendation

Q. Are letters of recommendation submitted through AADSAS or should I submit them directly to the UW?
A. All letters should be submitted directly to AADSAS.

Q. Do letters of recommendation must come from professors? How many are required?
A. We like to see three different types of recommendations, one from a science faculty (can evaluate your academic and intellectual qualifications), one from a dentist (familiar with your knowledge of and motivation toward the dental profession), and one character reference (someone who can indicate your contribution to humanity and community). A committee evaluation is also acceptable.

Q. Can recommendation letters be sent via e-mail or regular mail?
A. All letters should be submitted directly to AADSAS.

Criminal Background Checks

Q. Does your school require criminal background checks during the admissions process?
A. Yes, along with many other dental schools we participate in the CERTIPHI national background check system. Once an offer of admission has been made, CERTIPHI contacts the student directly to request a processing fee and obtain permission to begin the check. Only after UWSOD receives a clear background check is an admitted student’s acceptance confirmed. At that stage the Registrar will process the new student and request deposit payment.


Q. Does the UWSOD require interviews?
A. The UW School of Dentistry invites select candidates (approximately 15% or 165-180) from the applicant pool for interviews. From these candidates, the entering class will be selected.

Q. Who will interview me?
A. The interview is conducted by three members of the Admissions Committee. As part of the interview day applicants have an opportunity to obtain information about our School’s programs and mission, financial aid, and meet with enrolled students over lunch. Our deans meet with all of the applicants at the end of the interview day.

Q. What is the dress code for the interview?
A. Business attire is recommended for the interview.

Q. How many students receive offers of admission?
A. Each year is different, but in recent years there have been 80 offers for a class of 63. This translates to 7% of the applicant pool receiving an offer of admission.

Q. How many alternates are offered admission each year?
A. The number of alternates admitted varies each year. Alternate status becomes part of the record but does not affect consideration in following admission cycles because each year’s pool is unique.