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 60 undergraduate semester hours before applying (90 by matriculation) 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 (16 credit hours minimum - see recommended courses below)
  • General Chemistry w/ labs (8 credit hours minimum)
  • Organic Chemistry w/ labs (8 credit hours minimum) - must take Organic Chemistry I and II with labs
  • Physics (3 credit hours)
  • Biochemistry (3 credit hours - in addition to biology requirement)
Recommended Coursework
  • Microbiology
  • Upper level human anatomy
  • Upper level physiology
  • Histology
  • Immunology
  • Other upper level human biology courses
DAT
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 may submit those electronically through the Canadian ADA.

Nonacademic Factors

Altus Suite
All applicants are required to complete Altus Suite as part of the application. Altus Suite consists of a two part online assessment of non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics. Altus Suite will complement the other tools that we use for applicant screening. In implementing Altus Suite, we are trying to further enhance fairness and objectivity in our selection process. Applicants must complete Altus Suite prior to application review. To complete Altus Suite visit TakeAltus.com to create an account and complete the following assessments:
  • Casper - 60-90 minute online, open-response situational judgment test (SJT)
  • Snapshot - 10 minute, one-way video interview with standardized questions; Note: Snapshot must be completed no more than 10 days after the applicant's Casper test date
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. It is up to the applicant to determine the letter writers who they feel will provide our committee with the best representation of them as a student and person.

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. Please see our COVID-19 implications for an update on dental shadowing.

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.