Admission Criteria

Important Information about impacts of COVID-19 on DMD admissions ►  COVID-19 Admissions Updates

The ULSD Admissions Committee is charged with selecting applicants who demonstrate the academic, cultural, social and personal abilities to become competent general dentists. The committee uses an Admissions Index system. Selection criteria are divided into academic (60%) and non-academic (40%) components. 

Academic Prerequisites

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 is competitive and preference is given to individuals with bachelor’s degrees. Students enter dental school with majors as wide-ranging as biology, business, chemistry, English, engineering and the social sciences. Students need 60 or more college credit hours from four-year institutions. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have amended our admissions policy to accept Pass/Fail (rather than letter or numerical) grades for the Spring 2020 term. Letter or numerical grades will also be accepted per our policy.

Required Coursework
  • Biology (4 semesters/6 quarters/16 credit hours at a minimum - see recommended courses below)
  • General Chemistry w/ labs (2 semesters/3 quarters)
  • Organic Chemistry w/ labs (2 semesters/3 quarters)
  • Physics (1 semester/3 credit hours/2 quarters)
  • Biochemistry (1 semester/3 credit hours/2 quarters)
Recommended Coursework
  • Microbiology (strongly recommended)
  • Upper level human anatomy
  • Upper level physiology
  • Histology
  • Immunology
  • Other upper level human biology courses
All applicants are required to take the Dental Admissions Test (DAT), which is administered through the American Dental Association (ADA). DAT scores must be less than 2 years old as of application cycle opening date. Applicants choosing to retake the exam after an application has already been submitted may contact our office to ask that the application be put on hold until new scores are received. Applicants with Canadian DAT scores must mail an official score report directly to the School of Dentistry.

Nonacademic Factors

CASPer Assessment (new requirement for 2020-21 cycle) 
All applicants are required to complete this computer-based assessment to maintain admission eligibility. CASPer is an online test which assesses for non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics that we believe are important for successful students and graduates of our program. Please go to for more information and to sign up for a test. Please note, CASPer test results are valid for one admissions cycle. 

Letters of Evaluation
Three letters of evaluation or an evaluation from an institution's preprofessional committee are required. All letters must be submitted to AADSAS. The Admissions Committee has a strong preference for two letters from basic science professors of prerequisite courses (with whom you've taken a graded course). The third letter can be from anyone of the applicant's choosing.

Dental Shadowing and Observation
Applicants are required to demonstrate, at the time of application, a minimum of 40 hours of dental observation/shadowing in a general dentistry setting. Applicants should consider observing in a variety of general dentistry settings.

Minimum Technical Standards

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

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.