D.M.D. Program

D.M.D. Program

Rich history of dental education

The DMD program at the University of Louisville is a 4-year program which focuses on educating students to demonstrate the academic, cultural, social and personal abilities necessary for competent general dentists who will serve the community and help fulfill the School’s urban and statewide missions. The School was founded in 1887 and with the commencement exercises of the DMD Class of 2015, a total of 129 classes of DMD students have graduated from ULSD.

The program is accredited by The Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. View all School of Dentistry accreditation information.

School's values held strongly by ULSD faculty, staff and administration

ULSD Student Body

The ULSD Student Body is a robust blend of students from a variety of backgrounds. While many sub-groups of the population are included in each class, the percentages by gender, race, ethnicity, age, colleges attended and home states will vary from year to year.

Both cognitive and technical skills are required to successfully negotiate the curriculum.  With this in mind, applicants must be able to meet the minimum technical standards [PDF] for admission and matriculation with or without accommodation.

Although the characteristics of a given class change from year to year, the information below depicts the profiles of entering classes for the last five years.

Entering ClassOverall GPAScience GPADAT Acad AverDAT PATDAT BiolDAT ReadingDAT Tot SciClass Size


Supportive Environment

ASC, study groups, no-fee tutoring, big brother/big sister, cultural competency, student representatives communicate with course directors

  • An Academic Support Counselor is proactive in assisting students with academic and personal issues
  • Study groups and tutoring are available by request
  • Students share study guides and are encouraged to seek tutoring as needed or recommended by faculty
  • Cultural competency and inclusion are promoted by activities such as “Book in Common” and Cultural Competency Day events.

State of the Art Learning Facility

  • $45 Million Invested to renovate and renew the infrastructure of the building and provide state-of-the-art clinics and classrooms to ULSD was completed in Fall 2011.
  • ULSD is on the cutting edge of technology.  The ULSD became one of the first dental organizations to take radiographic images with digital sensors and upload those images to thin clients.
  • A computer training lab connected to Dental Informatics includes 14 student stations and an instructor station.
  • Each of ULSD's approximately 250 dental chairs has dedicated terminals providing direct access to axiUm, MiPACS and Dolphin Imaging.
  • With technologies such as electronic signature capture pads, ULSD has adopted digital, paperless environment.
  • During ULSD's renovation, all lecture classrooms received A/V upgrades making teaching capabilities state-of-the-art.
  • Many course lectures uploaded to Tegrity, making lectures available 24/7
  • ITERO and EKTON digital scanners are used in clinical practice settings
  • CT –Cone Beam Scanning

Academic excellence from start to finish!

Student learning outcomes, board pass rates and graduation rates.

  • Excellent educationally prepared students with average GPA’s of 3.5 and average academic DAT scores of 19.
  • ULSD student performance on the 2013 NBDE pass rates was 95.7% for Part I and 93.6% for Part II


Diversity is evident in the composition of the classes with an average of more than 10% of students coming from underrepresented populations, average age of 24 ranging from 21-42, and students coming from more than 20 states and several other countries. The University of Louisville School of Dentistry gives equal opportunity without regard to race, color, creed or religion, sex, national origin, age, physical or mental handicaps or disabilities, military status, sexual orientation, marital status, or other factors, prohibited by law. The university, when appropriate, provides reasonable accommodations for disabled individuals upon request.

Pre-dental Summer Academic Enrichment Programs - PEPP, SMDEP (one of 12 programs in the US-partially funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) and the MCAT/DAT Workshop, GEAR UP Health Sciences Summer Academy, LASDA Introduction to Dentistry Workshop

Student Life

ULSD is student centered and supports student life:

  • Big brother/big sister mentoring program
  • 10 registered student organizations: ADEA, Alpha Omega, CMDA, HSDA, LASDA, Psi Omega, SADHA, SNDA, SPEA, Tau Sigma
    • ULSD provides funding for ASDA membership
    • ULSD funds travel to national conferences

Modern Learning Support Systems

  • Large simulation clinic with state-of-the-art technology
  • "Standardized Patient" program places students face-to- face with trained “patients” to provide constructive feedback to them.
  • Kornhauser Library was newly renovated in 2014 to support web-based literary resources and small group study environments and 24 hour access.  The library is located on Health Sciences Center campus adjacent to the School of Dentistry and School of Medicine.

Exposure to six Dental Specialties, Dental Hygiene, GPR program, etc.

Research opportunities

  • MS Oral Biology degree program is an option for all DMD students at no additional tuition fee
  • DMD/PhD program is an option for those who plan to pursue academic or research careers
  • ULSD received over $6 million in the 2012-13 fiscal year
  • Dr. David Scott was recently funded by NIDCR to continue his research on the role of GSK in regulating inflammation, and Dr. Don Demuth received funding from NIDCR to study anti-bio-film compounds that target P. gingivalis.
  • Each year ULSD supports student presentations of summer research projects to a national audience at the IADR/AADR meeting.

Service Learning, community outreach and study abroad opportunities

  • International Service Learning in Belize and the Philippines
  • RAM service treatment project in Eastern Kentucky, Tennessee, and Western Kentucky
  • Smile KY- a collaborative effort by the University of Louisville School of Dentistry, Louisville Dental Society, Louisville Water Company, corporate and civic entities provides free treatment at ULSD for elementary school students from the greater Louisville area
  • Extramural Rotations
  • Annual Freshman Halloween Project in Jefferson County Public Schools
  • Annual Oral Cancer Screenings at the Kentucky State Fair
  • Students rotate through pediatric dental facilities at Underwood and Lee Clinic and Home of the Innocents- local agencies where children with developmental disabilities are treated.
  • In Fall 2013, ULSD opened a dental clinic at Kosair Pediatrics on Eastern Parkway. The facility houses ULSD Pediatric residents and DMD students complete regular rotations in which they provide treatment to pediatric patients.
  • Student/Faculty Exchange and Trainee Program is being developed between ULSD and Jagiellonian University, Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology, Krakow, Poland. Other sites are currently being explored.

Interprofessional Learning

The University of Louisville School of Dentistry collaborated with the School of Nursing to utilize the clinical skills of both disciplines to better identify and manage oral-systemic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The Schools of Nursing and Dentistry received nearly $1.1 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to support the project.

"The friendliest people in the world" - based on unbiased internal research. Faculty, staff and students who want to be here!

D-1 Early Start

July to allow students opportunity to acclimate to their new living and learning environments. Followed by a fun event like a cruise on the Belle of Louisville down the Ohio River on the oldest operating steamboat in the U.S.!

Structured communication system

Course representatives coordinate communication between class members and course directors, class officers provide leadership for events and governmental issues, student leadership meetings with administration are held regularly.

Want more information on how to become a ULSD student?

Also, if you are interested in our monthly information sessions, please view the schedule on the website.  The sessions typically take place between 9:30-12:30pm, and they include a tour as well as presentation, and Q&A.  The presentation includes information about the DMD program, the application process and living in Louisville.  You will need to register in advance, as space is limited.  You may contact our office at 502-852-5081 to register.  Information sessions are designed for first time applicants.  If you are already an applicant or have reapplied to our DMD program, please contact our office for further information.

Dynamic Curriculum

  • Curriculum is continuously evaluated to keep pace with the demands of modern dentistry
  • Student members serve on the curriculum committee to provide valuable input from their experiences and their needs
  • Students begin learning dental anatomy and operative dentistry three weeks after arriving for the freshman summer term.
  • Newly formed interdisciplinary Department of Oral Health and Rehabilitation focuses periodontology, endodontology, dental hygiene, and implant and esthetic dentistry

The first two years of the D.M.D. curriculum focus on the studies necessary to prepare each student for the clinical practice of dentistry and for the National Boards, Part I, including courses in the basic sciences, pre-clinical techniques and behavioral sciences. Students utilize the Simulation Clinic to gain experience in diagnosis and pre-clinical procedures. First and second year students also gain clinical experience in various dental disciplines through direct patient contact.

The third and fourth year curricula include advanced basic science, clinical and practice management courses and extensive clinical patient treatment using a comprehensive care system. Students complete rotations in pediatric dentistry and oral surgery.

An extramural rotation is required. During this experience students are placed in practices throughout Kentucky and nationally through the Public Health Service's/Co-Step Program and the military.

Senior elective courses permit students to explore the many different aspects of the profession which are of special interest to them personally.

For a complete list of courses with descriptions, see the listing below by year.


Application Process beings 13 months PRIOR to enrollment.


  • EARLY JUNE Submit AADSAS application online https://portal.aadsasweb.org/ *APPLY EARLY!
  • LATE JUNE Pay $65.00 application fee upon request
  • Submit 3 letters of recommendation or 1 pre-professional school committee evaluation to AADSAS

Early August

  • Submit all official transcripts to AADSAS and VERIFY receipt
  • Authorize submission of official DAT scores to AADSAS

Late August - February

  • Interviews
  • Offers and acceptances begin December 1
  • Acceptances from alternate list
  • January 1: Deadline for Applications

Academic Requirements

Pre-Dental students are encouraged to complete a variety of undergraduate courses, particularly in the sciences.  Applicants must have completed at least 90 undergraduate semester hours before applying and most will have earned a bachelor’s degree prior to enrolling in dental school.  Admission to dental school is competitive and preference is given to individuals with bachelor’s degrees.

No specific major is required of pre-dental students; however, 32 hours of science courses must be completed in a U.S. or Canadian school.  Students enter dental school with majors as wide-ranging as business, chemistry, English, engineering, foreign languages, and the social sciences.  Many pre-dental students major in biology because the recommended courses for dental school coincide well with a biology major.  Students need 60 or more college semester credit hours from four year institutions.

Required courses (labs are required for all science courses where labs accompany the course):

  • General Chemistry (2 semesters/3 quarters)
  • Organic Chemistry (2 semesters/3 quarters)
  • Physics (1 semester/2 quarters)
  • Biology (4 semesters/ 6 quarters at minimum). Beyond the introductory course we suggest that you choose from among the following courses:
    • biochemistry (strongly recommended)
    • comparative anatomy or upper level human anatomy (strongly recommended)
    • physiology
    • cellular biology
    • histology
    • microbiology
    • immunology
    • other upper level biology courses

Applicants must have earned grades of "C" or better in required basic science courses and accompanying labs to fulfill the science prerequisite requirements.  Accepted applicants must complete all planned courses listed on their AADSAS application prior to matriculation.

Deviations from these requirements must be approved by the Admissions Committee.

It is expected that all applicants will have completed general education requirements and have received a broad exposure to the humanities and social sciences. Additional courses students have found helpful are biochemistry, fine arts, personal and business finance, psychology, and communications.

Dental students require both cognitive and technical skills to negotiate the curriculum. With this in mind, applicants must be able to meet the minimum technical standards for admission and matriculation with or without accommodation.

  • All acceptances will be made with the contingency that candidates must consent to, submit to, and satisfactorily complete a criminal background check investigation as a condition of matriculation into ULSD (see ULSD Admissions Policies for details)

Students offered conditional admission must meet all conditions stipulated in their letter of acceptance including successful completion of all courses which were in-progress or planned at the time their application was submitted.

Admissions Criteria

The ULSD Admissions Committee is charged by the school's faculty with selecting applicants who demonstrate the academic, cultural, social and personal abilities to become competent general dentists who will serve the community and fulfill our diverse urban and statewide missions.

The University of Louisville School of Dentistry gives equal opportunity without regard to race, color, creed or religion, sex, national origin, age, physical or mental handicaps or disabilities, military status, sexual orientation, marital status, or other factors, prohibited by law.  The university, when requested provides reasonable accommodations for disabled individuals who provide required documentation.

The committee uses an Admissions Index system. Selection criteria are divided into academic and non-academic components. Academic factors comprise 60 percent and include:

  • Overall G.P.A.
  • Biology/chemistry/physics G.P.A.
  • DAT scores

The remaining 40 percent are non-academic and include the letters of recommendation, the required "on-site" interview and an evaluation of personal qualities such as:

  • Perceived motivation to pursue a career in dentistry
  • Maturity
  • Communication skills
  • Strength of pre-dental curriculum
  • Employment
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Contributions to diversity
  • Resiliency

International Applications

ULSD accepts applications from international students who meet eligibility guidelines of the School of Dentistry and the University of Louisville.

Applicants whose native language is not English must submit official TOEFL iBT scores. Preference is given to candidates with a minimum score of 100 and with listening and speaking section scores at 26 or above.  The institution code for submitting TOEFL scores to the U of L School of Dentistry is 5933. For more information about TOEFL testing, go to: www.ets.org

Exception: The initial requirement for TOEFL scores may be waived if the applicant has graduated from a U.S. high school or completed at least 90 credit hours at a U.S. accredited institution of higher education.  The committee reserves the right to request TOEFL scores if deemed necessary for evaluating proficiency.

If a student is applying with credits from any international post-secondary institutions, the student must submit an official transcript evaluation report from Education Credentials Evaluators (ECE) in additional to the AADSAS application requirements. Foreign transcript evaluations are only accepted from ECE. Those candidates will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

International Applicant Guidelines [DOC]


Applications should not be submitted until all minimum requirements have been satisfied or evidence has been provided that they will be satisfied before the date for which admission is requested. Acceptance to the School of Dentistry is contingent upon satisfactory completion of all requirements and conditions of admission. All planned courses listed on the AADSAS application must be completed or waived by Admissions Chair. Acceptance may be withdrawn for failure to maintain high scholastic or behavioral standards during the remainder of pre-medical training. The School of Dentistry may accept applications for transfer if there are spaces available.


Enrollment of new students is accomplished by the university's acceptance of the advance tuition deposit and approved admission by the School of Dentistry once all conditions of enrollment are successful met. The advance tuition deposit is non-refundable.

Criminal Background Check Policy

As in many other dental schools in the United States, ULSD offers of admission are contingent upon submission of an acceptable background check. Applicants are strongly advised to fully disclose all charges and outcomes, regardless of conviction status as they may appear on the comprehensive background check. Reporting a violation does not automatically disqualify an applicant from further consideration, but failure to disclose legal and academic violations may result in withdrawal of an offer.

Transfer Admissions Criteria

Transfer students need to comply with the transfer admissions criteria. The School of Dentistry considers transfer applications on a case-by-case basis.

Admissions Tests

All applicants are required to take the Dental Admissions Test (DAT), which is administered through the American Dental Association (ADA).

These computer exams are given at testing centers across the U.S. Contact the ADA to make reservations to take the DAT.

DAT scores must be less than 2 years old as of application cycle opening date. Go to http://www.ada.org/dat.aspx for more information.

You will not be allowed to retake the exam until the 90 day period between test dates has occurred. Testing centers become overbooked as the admissions cycle peaks in the fall/winter semesters. There is a 90 day “block out” period after the exam. If you chose to retake the test you will not be allowed to do so for 90 days.

Department of Testing Services
American Dental Association
211 East Chicago Avenue , Suite 1846
Chicago, IL 60611-2678
(312) 440-2689 or (800)-621-8099
(ask for the DAT office)

Early Admission to Dentistry

The University of Louisville Early Admission to Dentistry (ULEAD) program grants early admission to the School of Dentistry to exceptional Kentucky high school seniors who complete their bachelor's degrees at UofL. Read more...

Contact Admissions Staff

Email Dental Student Affairs and Admissions

Email Dental Hygiene Student Admissions

Email Dental Financial Aid

School of Dentistry Student Affairs and Admissions Office

Phone:  502-852-5081 or 1-800-334-8635 (ext. 5081)

  • Call the School of Dentistry Office of Admissions and Student Affairs to schedule an appointment to meet with an Admissions Counselor if you need counseling regarding applying to dental school. You may also schedule a phone appointment if you are unable to come into the office.
  • You may also call this number to register to attend an Information Session (dates are listed on our website)
  • Email the School of Dentistry Office of Student Affairs if you have a question regarding the application process or you need to add information to your application.

Mail:  (Please do NOT mail application materials!  Those must be submitted directly to AADSAS)

University of Louisville Office of Student Affairs, Room 234
Attn:  DMD Admissions
501 S. Preston St.
Louisville, KY  40202

Tuition & Fees for Academic Year 2015-2016

TypeKentucky ResidentNon-Resident
Instrument & Supplies Fee$7,000$7,000
Health Profession Fee$105$105
Student Rec Fee$196$196

Financial Aid

Approximately 90 percent of all dental students receive some form of financial aid.  Both scholarships and loans are offered, although the majority of financial aid comes in the form of student loans.

ULSD financial aid coordinator is dedicated to helping dental students.

Most financial aid is federally-based and is available only to U.S. citizens or qualified non-residents or qualified non-residents.  International students (F visas) are not eligible for federal student aid.

All applicants for federal student aid must annually submit a free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), or a renewal application.  A student’s financial aid award cannot exceed the cost of attendance. Cost of attendance is a standard figure computed for each category of student (i.e., all first year out-of-state students have the same cost of attendance budget) and includes:

  • tuition and fees
  • dental supplies fee
  • books and supplies
  • personal and living expenses

Federal regulations require that cost of attendance be based on the student only, and not include the student’s family.  We are unable to consider larger cost of living expenses because a student is married or has dependents.  However, child care costs for dependents can be added to the student’s cost of attendance when documentation is provided.

Contact ULSD Financial Aid

Email: Dental School Financial Aid
Phone: 502-852-5076
Web page

Frequently Asked Questions

The ULSD participates in the ADEA Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS) located in Washington, DC. Application can be accessed online at www.adea.org

GPA and DAT scores at or above the averages posted on the website improve an applicant’s competitiveness .

It is crucial to show all prerequisite courses are complete or will be completed. Shadowing general practice dentists (more than 1 or 2) is very important since the committee wants to know that you have a full understanding of what the dental profession is all about. The Admissions Committee wants to see more than 40 hours of shadowing general dentists. Community service and strong interaction with classmates is desirable, since dental health care providers become leaders in the community where they practice and live. It is imperative to prove those abilities and show leadership qualities.

The University of Louisville School of Dentistry (ULSD) DMD program accepts 120 students to our entering class each year. The student body is typically comprised of about 40% Kentucky residents and the remainder coming from other states and countries.

For the past several years, the ULSD has received approximately 3,000 applications.

The Admissions Committee interviews an average of 450 applicants each cycle. Interviews are by invitation of the Admissions Committee and all accepted applicants must participate in the interview process.

The Dental Admission Test is an standardized exam which is an application requirement. You can register at: http://www.ada.org/dat.aspx.

First, you should take the exam when YOU are ready! In the very best scenario, taking the DAT by August 1 during the year you are applying (after submitting your application in early June that year) to AADSAS will give you an edge in having all your application materials complete.

Definition of a complete application- ULSD needs your application, official DAT scores, 3 letters of recommendation (or one committee letter) and your $65 application fee to consider your application complete.

If you need/want to retake the DAT, you must plan to do so no later than mid-October so that your application is updated with new DAT scores before the November decision meeting on offers that will be sent out in early December.

Our DMD program does accept Canadian DAT scores.

No. Official DAT scores are processed through AADSAS and sent directly to dental schools to which the applicant has applied.

NO! Please apply to AADSAS early (June) to assure timely completion of the application process and further consideration by the Admissions Committee for possible interview invitation.

Completed applications are reviewed by the screening committee in an ongoing basis throughout the application cycle. Any time completed applications are updated with any new information, the screening committee reviews those updated materials for further consideration for invitation to interview with the Admissions Committee. It is helpful for you to contact the school by email to notify us of new scores.

The University of Louisville School of Dentistry Class of 2017 overall GPA entering dental school was 3.51 and the Biology, Chemistry and Physics GPA was 3.39. The DAT averages for the 2013 entering class were: Academic Average-19 , Perceptual Ability - 20, Biology- 19, Reading- 20 and Total Science- 19.

Although we do not require secondary application materials, applicants invited to participate in the interview day are required to provide two supplemental documents upon arrival to our school. Those documents are sent to applicants prior to the interview for review and completion.

Yes, as long as the 4 year institution from which you will acquire your BS/BA degree will count those courses toward your degree, we will honor them also.

No, but all courses should be either completed, in progress or planned to be completed by June 30 of the year in which you intend to matriculate into dental school. You MUST have all the prerequisite courses along with the labs completed before Orientation begins on July 1 to be eligible for admittance to our program. It is best if you add all courses planned and in progress to your AADSAS application materials. The Admissions Committee will be able to see that you have planned to take all the required courses before July 1. This will enhance your chances of being invited to an interview as well.

You may take lower level prerequisite courses in a junior/community college setting as long as they will transfer to your 4 year university for college credit toward your ultimate degree. The standard rule is only 60 college credits are eligible towards admission to dental school. All subsequent college credits and all upper level Biology courses must be taken in a 4 year institution.

Typically, the same rule applies to online courses as the junior/community college setting. If the online course is transferable towards your college BS/BA degree in a 4 year institution, it is acceptable. It is next to impossible to take online upper level biology courses and labs that should accompany those courses online. It is most advantageous to stick with the lower level courses online and move toward classroom settings for the upper level courses.

No. You may major in any subject you wish as long as you complete the required prerequisite basic science courses. Many students choose to major in biology which efficiently includes most of the pre-requisite courses for dental school.

YES! All successful accepted candidates are required to participate in the interview day process.

Interview invitations are sent via the email address reported on your AADSAS application with a response deadline date and further instructions to confirm your date included in the email invitation.

You will need to resubmit those materials to AADSAS. However, you will be able to access your previous cycle application online to make adjustments, update and save to the new cycle. DAT scores must be two or less years old.

The ULSD Admissions Committee requires 3 letters of evaluation which include 2 basic science professors (Biology and/or Chemistry) and 1 personal letter which can be submitted from a variety of sources including dental health professionals or supervisors, if employed. You may also use your University Pre-Professional Committee Evaluation, which will fulfill all three of your letter requirements.

Please wait until our Admissions office contacts you via the email address you submitted on AADSAS. We will ask you to submit your $65.00 application fee and give you instructions on how you can submit the fee payment online. You will also receive another email confirmation when the fee is paid which will include the next steps to complete your application with our school.