Frequently Asked Questions

ULSD continues to monitor the pandemic and its impact on dental admissions. Last cycle, we adjusted our prerequisites to accept "pass" grades if an institution has implemented a pass/fail grading system for Spring 2020 and will continue that policy in future cycles (for Spring 2020 only). All other COVID-related adjustments will be posted to our website.

The ULSD participates in the ADEA Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS). The application process typically begins during the first week of June. Applications must be submitted through AADSAS prior to the deadline date of December 31. Applicants are encouraged to apply early in the admissions cycle. After submission, AADSAS verifies your transcripts and materials which can take 2-4 weeks. You will be notified via email when we receive your verified application materials with instructions for next steps. The application can be accessed online at www.adea.org.

Our admissions committee looks for applicants that can display competence in the following areas: active learning; self-awareness, resilience & problem-solving; communication, professionalism & ethical behavior; technical knowledge; empathy & compassion. Applicants can demonstrate competence in these areas by successfully completing upper level science courses that mirror content one would see in dental school, gaining exposure to the dental profession through shadowing, work experience and virtual means, committing themselves to serving their community, and gaining experience in leadership and team settings that help develop tangible skills.

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 30% Kentucky residents and 70% from other states and countries.

For the past several years, ULSD has received approximately 2,000 applications.

A complete ULSD application consists of: your AADSAS application, official DAT scores, 3 letters of recommendation (or one committee letter), completion of Altus Suite (Casper and Snapshot), and a $65 application processing fee (which can be paid online after we email you a link). ULSD Admissions will send you an email when all these requirements have been received and processed in the ULSD Admissions Office.

Although we do not require secondary application materials, applicants invited to participate in the interview day are required to provide two supplemental documents. Those documents are emailed to applicants and need to be returned prior to the interview for review by the Office of Admissions.

The ULSD Admissions Committee requires 3 letters of evaluation or 1 committee letter. We do not have a specific requirement for who writes the letters. We believe the applicant should make their best determination to select letter writers who they believe can best describe their personal and academic attributes. Extra letters beyond those allowed in AADSAS are not accepted.

Please wait until our Admissions office contacts you via the email address you submitted on AADSAS. We will ask you to submit the $65.00 ULSD application fee and give you instructions on how to submit the fee payment online. You will receive email confirmation once the fee payment is posted to your application. The confirmation email will also explain next steps for the application process. There is typically at least a 24-hour turn-around time for processing online fee payments.

The Dental Admission Test is a standardized exam which is sponsored by the American Dental Association and is used to measure academic ability, scientific understanding, perceptual ability and critical thinking. Official DAT scores are an application requirement. You can register here.

Applicants should take the DAT when they feel fully prepared to best demonstrate their knowledge of the subject matter. Ideally, for purposes of being most competitive, applicants typically plan to take the exam as close to the completion of the upper level human biology and second semester of organic chemistry that appear on the DAT exam. This can occur late in the sophomore year, and most commonly at the end of the junior year of college.

In the event that you believe test scores do not reflect your abilities, you can re-take it after 90 days. More than two attempts at the DAT may make you less competitive.

ULSD requires that DAT scores be two years old or less at the beginning of the cycle to which you are applying.

Yes. Our DMD program does accept Canadian DAT scores.

Official DAT scores are processed through AADSAS and sent directly to dental schools to which the applicant has designated on the DAT application. The DAT testing service encourages students to select an inclusive list of schools to which you may apply during the DAT application process. This list of school designations cannot be altered once your application has been submitted. The cost is the same, no matter how many schools are designated. If you require more school designations, you will be required to submit a score report request and additional fees will be charged.

Apply to AADSAS early (June) to assure timely completion of the application process and to enhance early consideration by the Admissions Committee for possible interview invitation. This also allows your official DAT scores to catch up to the rest of your application in AADSAS.

If you indicate a future DAT date on your application then your application will be put on hold until the new, official scores are received. It is helpful to notify our office when you see in your AADSAS dashboard that we have your official scores.

For the ULSD Class of 2023, the average overall GPA was 3.61. The biology, chemistry, physics (BCP) GPA average was 3.49. Other DAT averages were: Academic Average-20, Perceptual Ability-20, Biology-20, Organic Chemistry-20, Reading-21, and Total Science-20.

Yes, as long as the 4-year institution from which you obtain your BS/BA degree counts those courses toward your degree, the University of Louisville will also honor them. The course credits must appear on your transcript from an accredited university or college in the U.S. The Admissions Committee reserves the right to evaluate courses on a case by case basis.

No, but all courses must be 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, labs and degree completed prior to July 1. It is best if you list 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 prior to the start date.

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 degree. The standard rule is only 60 college credits are eligible towards admission to the ULSD DMD program. All subsequent college credits and all upper level biology courses should be taken at a 4-year institution.

If the online course is credited towards your college BS/BA degree in a 4-year institution, it is acceptable. The pandemic has taught us that students should be exposed to a variety of teaching methods.

You may major in any subject you wish as long as you complete the minimum required courses for dental school. Many students choose to major in biology which efficiently includes most of the prerequisite courses for dental school. Always consider taking more upper level human biology courses to better prepare your for dental school.

The Admissions Committee encourages every student to develop a course of study in conjunction with the college or university pre-dental/pre-health advisor. If the school does not have a pre-dental advisor, the student should consult faculty members/department heads from the biology and chemistry departments to select courses that mirror the rigors of the dental program curriculum. ULSD admissions counselors are also available to review plans and offer advice. We recommend you select courses that extend the content of biomedical sciences, which includes: anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and histology.

Successful applicants most often demonstrate the ability to carry full-time academic loads (with one or more science courses) while balancing other community and personal responsibilities. Full-time study is defined as four or more courses per term. In each term, at least two of the four courses should be pre-dental science courses. Applicants should achieve a C- or better in each course; minimal D, W, F or I grades with the exception of Spring 2020 courses (due to COVID-19). Transcripts showing a "pass" for courses in this semester only will be accepted.

In order for applicants to understand the dental profession and have a solid foundation of the many facets of general dentistry, they should do their best to expose themselves to various aspects of dentistry. We require applicants to complete a minimum of 40 hours observation in general dentistry prior to the application process. We also recommend applicants seek out other avenues of exposure (virtual shadowing, professional development workshops, employment, etc.) You will not be allowed to update shadowing hours once you submit your application to AADSAS. Future shadowing hours will not be counted. Shadowing general dentists should be a high priority early in your admissions process.

Yes. All successful, accepted candidates are required to participate in the interview process.

The Admissions Committee interviews an average of 400 applicants each cycle. Interviews are by invitation of the Admissions Committee and all accepted applicants must participate in the interview process.

Interview invitations are sent via the email to the address reported on your AADSAS application with a response deadline and further instructions. It is important to check your spam/junk folder if you have a strict filter on your email account.

Interviews typically consist of one or two one-on-one interviews lasting approximately 20 to 30 minutes each. Genuine unrehearsed conversation is best practice. Committee members are interested in interpersonal skill, critical thinking and ethical reasoning.

This is a professional school interview. The expectation is for candidates to dress in business professional attire.

The ULSD interview process typically begins late August and runs through January or February.

Interviews are designed for applicant participation only. Guests may wait in our patient waiting areas, dine at one of Louisville's many restaurants, or visit tourist attractions.

You will need to resubmit application materials to AADSAS for a new application cycle. Reminder: official DAT scores may be re-submitted but the date taken must be within two years of the cycle open date to be considered valid. Applicants will be required to complete Altus Suite (Casper and Snapshot)again.

No. Re-applicants are advised to strengthen their applications before re-applying.

In order to qualify for Federal Student Aid the FAFSA must be completed each academic year. Eligible students are awarded up to their full cost of attendance, which includes tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, board and estimated living expenses. Financial aid is based on the cost of the attendance for the student only.

ULSD offers institutional scholarship opportunities for incoming students. Usually these awards vary from $1,000 to $10,000 one-time or renewable.

The Army, Navy and Air Force each offer commitment based scholarships. These scholarships pay tuition, fees, and a living stipend for recipients.

Yes, The Kentucky Board of Dentistry issues dental licenses under laws adopted by the state legislature. Specific licensure requirements vary among states/jurisdictions, but all have three types of requirements: 1) an educational requirement, 2) a written examination requirement, and 3) a clinical examination requirement. All jurisdictions recognize graduates of dental schools accredited directly by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) as having fulfilled the educational requirement.
It is the responsibility of the student dentist to understand the licensing requirements in the state(s) he/she intends to practice dentistry. Contact the respective board of dentistry to learn more about licensing requirements.