The 10 Easiest Dental Schools to Get Into (2022) (2023)

So, you’re aiming to study dentistry in one of the many dental schools in the USA. But your path to becoming a highly respected and highly paid dentist is not going to be easy. The 10 easiest dental schools to get into are still some of the hardest schools to enroll in!

In this article, we’ll countdown the easiest dental schools to get into across the states and help you out with a few tips and tricks on acing your application (scroll to the end for those).

Why These Schools are Easy!

The 10 Easiest Dental Schools to Get Into (2022) (1)

The quickest way to determine how “easy” dental schools are to get into is by comparing the acceptance rate. The acceptance rate is usually given as a percentage, e.g., 10%. That means for every 100 students applying to that dental school, only 10 will be accepted.

The average acceptance rate for all universities across the USA is 68% according to U.S. News. For dental schools, the average acceptance rate was 5.1% according to the American Dental Association’s (ADA) 2017-2018 survey of dental education.

Dental schools are hard to get into!

So, comparing acceptance rates is a good place to start. We’ve listed 10 dental schools with the lowest acceptance rates below. But there are a few other things you should consider.

First, most dental schools will prioritize students who live in the same state. If you want to attend a dental school out of state, it will be much harder.

What makes a school easy to get into can also depend on your qualifications. You will need a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) to get into dental school, but some schools will have differing requirements. Some might need a general chemistry degree, while others require more specific courses. This will make some schools harder to get into than others, depending on your previous education.

The key is to research. If you’re serious about getting into dental school, research all 10 schools below to find out which will be easiest for you!

Top 10 Easiest Dental Schools to Get Into

There are a few ways to find the acceptance rate for each dental school. The most reliable (but longest) method is to approach each school individually and ask them. Another way is to use comparative websites. But we did the hard research ourselves and used the data pulled directly from the ADA.

These 10 schools had the highest percentage of first-year enrolment for the applications they received, as recorded in part 2 of the 2018-19 survey. This is the most up-to-date survey released by the ADA at the time of writing this article.

1. University of Mississippi

39.2% Acceptance Rate

The University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Dentistry is the only public dental school in this state, located in Jackson. Spending your four years studying dentistry here would be an amazing opportunity. The requirements for admission include completing multiple semesters on English, chemistry, physics, biology/zoology, advanced biology/chemistry, math, and statistics.

This dental school is also a participant of the ADEA Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS) which we’ll explain at the end of this article.

Pros: great city location, offers a good range of specialties

Cons: Rarely considers transfer students, requires math as well as science courses

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(Video) Top 5 Cheapest Dental Schools in the World 2022

2. LSU Health Sciences Center

16.8% Acceptance Rate

Don’t let the outdated website fool you, the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans has a modern and vibrant School of Dentistry. This school offers more dentistry courses than usual, including oral and maxillofacial surgery, which can lead to the highest-paying jobs once you graduate (an average salary of $242,370).

But this school is best for residents of Louisiana. For the Doctor of Dental Surgery degree, they only accept 56 Louisiana residents, 4 Arkansas residents, and 5 out-of-state residents (other than Arkansas) per year.

Pros: excellent courses for high paying jobs, international student program

Cons: very limited places for students located outside of Louisiana

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3. Ohio State University

14.8% Acceptance Rate

The Ohio State University College of Dentistry is one of the best for offering hands-on experience, with clinical training programs and several community service programs. A doctorate from the Ohio State University College of Dentistry prepares you for primary care and dental specialties.

This dental school has recently embarked on a $95-million project to expand and improve the facilities, so students who attend can practice with and learn using the latest technology. This is a large and busy (yet friendly) campus!

Pros: excellent practical clinical training program, community service programs

Cons: larger classes, busy and fast-paced environment

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4. University of Missouri – Kansas City

14% Acceptance Rate

(Video) Easiest Dental School To Get Into In 2021

The School of Dentistry at this university in Kansas City operates a student dental clinic and community clinic in the UMKC Health Sciences District. You can find dentistry options in research fields as well as practicing fields here!

For the Doctor of Dental Surgery program, the average DAT Academic Average is 19 and the average science and math GPA is 3.6. So, while this school has a higher acceptance rate for applications, you’ll still need to pass these high standards.

Pros: courses for practicing and researching dentistry, accepts applicants from all states

Cons: high GPA requirements and DAT scores

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5. Augusta University

13.8% Acceptance Rate

The Dental College of Georgia is located in Augusta as part of the Augusta University. As a student here, you’ll study on campus and may attend one of the many clinics the dental college serves across Georgia – your entire fourth year of studying is dedicated to patient care. There are two degrees on offer: The Doctor of Dental Medicine degree and a dual degree in oral biology.

90% of the applicants accepted will be from the Georgia state, while the other 10% are from other states (or countries).

Pros: excellent focus on patient care and practical teaching in clinic environments

Cons: fewer programs/specialties to select, mainly for residents of Georgia

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6. University of Washington

13% Acceptance Rate

The School of Dentistry at the University of Washington (Washington state, not DC) offers graduate and post-doctoral programs plus internships and other learning opportunities. There are also training opportunities in the Office of Research. Based in Seattle, you’ll be in a class with 63 students for the Doctor of Dental Surgery degree – most will likely have a baccalaureate degree already.

Although the small class size makes it harder to get a place, there are fewer course requirements to get into this dental school.

(Video) This New Dental School Has NO REQUIREMENTS?!

Pros: fewer required courses, no preference for undergraduate major field

Cons: only accepts applications through the AADSAS program

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7. East Carolina University

11.3% Acceptance Rate

This public research university in Greenville has eight community service learning centers around North Carolina, for hands-on learning during your dentistry courses. But before you get your hopes up, this university is currently only accepting applicants from within North Carolina. This is to address the lack of practicing dentists currently in the state.

If you do live in North Carolina, you will need a college degree (in any major) before you can apply to this Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) approved dental school.

Pros: rotating placements in clinics across the state

Cons: limited to residents of North Carolina only

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8. University of Utah

11.1% Acceptance Rate

The University of Utah School of Dentistry only offers one graduate degree (the Doctor in Dental Surgery degree program) and the General Practice Residency Program for advanced clinical dental education.

For the DDS program, there’s the usual list of required courses including various biology and chemistry topics that you must have studied. But for this dental school, you’ll also need to have shadowed a minimum of 4 different dentists for 40 hours total!

The school accepts applicants from all states but prioritizes those from Utah as well as surrounding states such as Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico, Alaska, and Hawaii.

Pros: no minimum GPA or DAT score for applicants


Cons: job shadowing is an essential requirement

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9. New York University

11.1% Acceptance Rate

NYU College of Dentistry educates almost 10% of the entire country’s dentists! That’s an impressive stat and having NYU College of Dentistry on your resume will certainly be impressive when it comes to finding a job. To be accepted by this dental school, you will need a bachelor’s degree OR a GPA of 3.5 and 90+ credits. You will also need 100 hours of shadowing (observing a working dentist) and three individual letters of evaluation.

Pros: prestigious dental school, large classes and flexible learning, accepts international students

Cons: stricter requirements, application must be submitted through AADSAS

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10. University of Iowa

10.6% Acceptance Rate

Last on our list is the College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics at The University of Iowa. As well as the DDS program, this university also offers advanced standing programs and graduate specialty programs. You will need a C grade or above in their list of required courses, and evidence of job shadowing (although there’s no minimum number of hours). For the DAT score, the average of accepted dental students to this university is 20.5, just above the national average.

Pros: no specific major required, no minimum shadowing requirement

Cons: high grade/score requirements

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(Video) 2 new ways of getting into McGill Dental School 🦷

The Requirements You Need for Dentistry School

You can’t just jump into dental school unprepared – all will have requirements that you need to fill first. It varies from university to university, of course, but even the easiest dental schools to get into will require some (or all) of the following:

  • College Undergraduate Degree – 8 hours of biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry (all with lab work), plus physics and English are the general requirements. Some universities require more.
  • Predental science courses – more specific courses may be required, such as anatomy or biochemistry. If your current college doesn’t offer that, check if the dental school offers these courses to attend before going for your dentistry degree.
  • 4 years of college – some dental schools may be prepared to accept you if you’ve attended more than 4 years of college and studied some relevant courses, even if you didn’t major in a science degree.
  • 0-grade point average (GPA) or higher – your GPA matters quite a bit, but the specific GPA you need will vary from school to school and depends on the GPA of other applications. The general advice is to have a GPA of 3.0 but obviously, the higher the better.
  • Passed Dental Admissions Test (DAT) – the DAT is a computerized test that anyone can take… but really, you need a year or two of college education in biology and chemistry to understand it. Ideally, you need to have passed the DAT in the 12 months before your dental school application.
  • Letters of recommendation – an essential requirement for applying to any university, college, or school. But don’t just reuse your letters from college applications. Talk to your professors and think outside the box a little – are there any dentistry-specific academics that you know who could write a letter of recommendation for you?
  • Job Shadowing – this is where you “shadow” a dentist and observe them practice. Some schools have a minimum number of hours of shadowing required for entry.
  • An awesome application – with acceptance rates being so low, even for the easiest schools, you need to make your application stand out. Go above and beyond the essential requirements and show how you are a well-rounded team player and involved in the community. What can you bring to the dental school that other applications can’t?

Top 3 Tips for Dental School Acceptance

Finally, we’ll leave you with our three best tips to help optimize your dental school application process. Good luck!

  1. Leave plenty of time – there should be at least 12 months between the time you submit your application and the enrolment date. Make sure you have everything ready!
  2. Prep for the interview – don’t overlook this stage of the application. Practice like crazy as the school will use the interview to assess your capabilities and qualities. It’s also a chance for you to ask any questions you have about the school.
  3. Check out the Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS) – this service allows you to submit one application to multiple dental schools at once, saving you a lot of time. Some schools will only accept applications through this program. Just beware that it costs a fee, and you will lose some of the personal touch from your application. You might want to customize each application statements and letters to the specific schools to improve your chances.

Also Read:9 Cheapest Dental School In The World (US, Canada And Europe)


How can I become a dentist with low grades? ›

The gateway to dentistry is open to UK students who have lower grades. The gateway to dentistry program is an extra year of study but after completing this year you are guaranteed a place on the dentistry course. This is an excellent option if you have low grades and fit their criteria.

What is the lowest GPA to get into dental school? ›

The lowest GPA admitted to a dental school in America ranges 2.64-3.69 depending on which school. To get in with a low GPA the other aspects of the application must be exceptional. A competitive GPA for admission, which is the average GPA of admitted students, is between 3.24-3.89 depending on the school.

What is the lowest Atar for dentistry? ›

As for dentistry, the lowest minimum ATAR required by an Australian program is an ATAR of 90 (Charles Sturt University), an adjusted ATAR of 90 (University of Adelaide), or an adjusted ATAR of 70 for the University of Adelaide's Bachelor of Oral Health.

Is a DAT score of 22 good? ›

The DAT score ranges from 1 to 30. According to the test prep experts at Kaplan, competitive DAT scores that rank in the top 25% DAT score percentile are 19 to 20 points. So, a top score would be 22 or higher. The average DAT score is 17.

Is becoming dentist easy? ›

Becoming a dentist is challenging in a number of ways, including the years of schooling required, the financial cost of education and setting up a dental practice, and the competitive dental school application process.

What is the lowest salary for a dentist? ›

How much does a Dentist make in the United States? The average Dentist salary in the United States is $177,158 as of September 26, 2022, but the range typically falls between $154,376 and $204,543.

Is dentistry harder than medicine? ›

Which is more difficult? When it comes to how hard both subjects are to study, there isn't a massive amount of difference. In the pre-clinical years at least, there is a lot of overlap between content. Dentists have to know anatomy, physiology and pharmacology etc.

Why is getting into dentist so hard? ›

Dentistry is competitive. There are fewer dental schools than medical schools. This makes it even harder for you to get a place. On average there is a 15:1 application to place ratio for undergraduate dental schools.

How can I increase my chances of getting into dental school? ›

  1. Participate in meaningful pre-dental extracurriculars. The majority of extracurricular activities included on your dental school application will be pulled from experiences during your undergraduate years. ...
  2. Academic enrichment.
  3. Dental experience.
  4. Employment.
  5. Extracurricular activities.
  6. Research. ...
  7. Volunteer.
14 Jun 2021

Can I get into dental school with a 2.5 GPA? ›

At one point, I had a 2.5 GPA, and I finally got into dental school on my 3rd time applying, so there is hope! just a lot of hard work and making sure you do well on your DAT and also ensuring that you're up front about why your gpa is so low.

Is the DAT harder than the MCAT? ›

Which Test is Harder – DAT vs MCAT? Overall, most test takers feel that the MCAT is far more difficult than the DAT. The MCAT focuses on responding to lengthy passages. It is also a longer exam and covers more areas of science.

Is 70 ATAR easy to get? ›

All you need to get 70 (pretty much), is get roughly 30 for each subject. So around the C+ and the B mark for exams and SAC's. But seriously, AIM WAY HIGHER BRO (lieks 90 or above), if u want to get to a Go8 uni.

Is a 75 ATAR hard? ›

An ATAR is a rank given in increments of 0.05 between 0.0 and 99.95, meaning that a score of 75 puts you in the top 25 per cent of your state. This rank provides an easy method of comparison for institutions when selecting students for course entry.

Is a dentist a Dr? ›

A dentist is a doctor, so they complete a path of study that's similar to that of a medical doctor. The first step is to complete an undergraduate program in a related field like biology, chemistry, health, or math, and earn a bachelor of science degree.

How many questions can you miss on the DAT to get a 20? ›

You can miss around 20 questions in the perceptual test to score a 20. And lastly, you can miss around 10 questions in the reading comprehension section to score a 20. These are just averages, there are many different versions of the DAT being tested at the same time.

Is an 18 a good DAT score? ›

The DAT is scored on a 1 to 30 scale.
Good Enough DAT Scores.
3 more rows
3 Jan 2022

Is a 19 on DAT good? ›

Average (19-20)

Receiving a 19-20 AA on the DAT puts one at the lower end of the competitive range for admission. Many students gain admission with a 19-20 AA, which is great news! The main thing to ensure you have with this score is a well-rounded, pristine application that is submitted early.

Is dentistry harder than engineering? ›

First off dental school is tough, much more difficult than physics or engineering. The practical aspects are extraordinarily difficult to grasp for some. Has nothing to do with academic capability, it's all about developing a skill set you don't have.

Is being a dentist worth? ›

Dentistry is still a great profession for many reasons and can be extremely worthwhile. It is not always an easy road, but it can be a highly rewarding one. I still love what I do every day, despite the challenges!

Is being a dentist easier than a doctor? ›

Typically, dentists experience less demanding work loads than physicians. While they might have adjusted schedules to meet the needs of their patients, most dentists can expect to work standard business hours and achieve relatively high levels of work-life balance.

What type of dentist pays the most? ›

The highest-paid dental specialty is oral and maxillofacial surgery. Surgeons, including oral and maxillofacial surgeons, make a national average salary of $288,550 per year . These professionals are highly trained in both dental care and medical surgery.

Where are dentists paid the most? ›

Cities With the Highest-Paid Dentists
CityAverage Annual Salary
Rapid City, SD$262,070
Longview, TX$251,760
New Haven, CT$250,430
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT$250,410
11 more rows
25 Apr 2022

What dentist earns the most money? ›

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon (Median Annual Net Income $400,000): Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are known for treating injuries, diseases and defects of the head, neck, face, jaw including the soft/hard tissue of the oral and maxillofacial region. This dental specialty earns the highest out of the 12.

Who makes more money Dr or dentist? ›

Dentists do not make more than all doctors. They average $166,000 a year in the US. The average physician in the US makes $189,000. So on average dentists make less.

Who makes more dr or dentist? ›

Dentist vs Doctor: How Much You Earn

However, dentists will generally earn more than most doctors, especially family physicians and lower-tier specialists.

What are the disadvantages of being a dentist? ›

  • Education. Get ready for many years of school. ...
  • Costs. Dental school is expensive. ...
  • Costs, again. High practice overhead. ...
  • High Responsibility. You are in charge of someone's health. ...
  • Stress. With the high responsibility comes the high stress. ...
  • Call. ...
  • Challenging Patients. ...
  • Unpredictability.

What is the hardest part of dental school? ›

Becoming a dentist is one thing, but having your own practice is a whole new realm you need to learn how to navigate. As an undergrad, I'd say the hardest part is disciplining yourself to prepare for the DATs and getting through all of the hard core science classes.

What is the hardest year of dental school? ›

Overall, most dentists feel that the first and the second years of dental school are the hardest.

How much do newly qualified dentists earn? ›

Newly qualified dentists who want to work in the NHS must undertake dental foundation training for one year, from April 2021 the annual salary is £34,728.

Is a 3.4 GPA low for dental school? ›

The ideal dental school applicant will have a 3.5 cumulative GPA or higher. There are many schools that average Biology, Chemistry, and Physics (BCP) GPAs together. For these science courses, the average applicant should strive for a 3.4 GPA or higher.

What GPA does a dentist need? ›

To be competitive applicant, a 3.5 or higher GPA is recommended ● Courses: Grades of the following prerequisites have to contain an average grade of C or higher.

Is 30 too late for dental school? ›

Is it too late to start dental school when you're 30? In short, no. However, there are some specific points you may want to consider before applying. Explore these three important considerations for dental school attendance at or after the age of 30 as you're making this big decision.

Is a 3.6 science GPA good for dental school? ›

An overall GPA of 3.5 or above (on a 4.0 scale) is the preferred GPA for consideration for admission to Dental School. The recommended science GPA average is 3.6.

Can I get into dental school with a 2.5 GPA? ›

At one point, I had a 2.5 GPA, and I finally got into dental school on my 3rd time applying, so there is hope! just a lot of hard work and making sure you do well on your DAT and also ensuring that you're up front about why your gpa is so low.

Can I get into dental school with a 23 DAT? ›

The current national DAT average is 20.7. Even 4-5 years ago, this average was 19.4-19.6. However, in recent years, students are scoring better on this exam. That means that to get accepted to a program, you should at least have a 21 or above.

Do dental schools see all DAT scores? ›

All U.S. dental schools require official DAT scores for each examinee. Official scores are reported electronically to the dental schools you select on your DAT application.

What major is best for a dentist? ›

Many dental schools have accepted students with majors in music, art history, engineering, math, humanities and sports administration, to name a few. The majority of dental students, however, still majored in biology and chemistry.

Is being a dentist worth it? ›

U.S. News & World Report ranks jobs yearly, and in 2021 dentistry came up as the No. 9 best job in the country and the No. 11 best paying career3. We have a high annual salary that keeps growing and an almost non-existent unemployment rate4.

Why is getting into dentist so hard? ›

Dentistry is competitive. There are fewer dental schools than medical schools. This makes it even harder for you to get a place. On average there is a 15:1 application to place ratio for undergraduate dental schools.

At what age do most dentist retire? ›

The average American retires at age 62, but the average retirement age for dentists is 69.

Can I get into dental school if I failed a class? ›

Yes you can! Make sure to retake the course and get a high grade. Unlike most college GPAs, AADSAS will not replace the failing grade. They will request both the failing grade and the repeat grade and use both for the GPA calculation.

What is the best age for dentist? ›

Generally children should see a dentist by the time they're one year old or when their first tooth comes through, whichever happens first. After that, your dentist will let you know how often to bring your child for a check-up – usually every 6-12 months.

How hard is it to get a 20 on the DAT? ›

But generally, if you want to get +20 score, then you can only afford getting 2-3 questions wrong on each section of the DAT. That's not a lot of room to make mistakes. That's definitely very difficult to do and it requires you really be well prepared for the test as well as being a smart student.

What percentile is 23 on DAT? ›

As of the 2021 DAT exam results, a 23 on the DAT falls in the 93rd percentile.

Is an 18 on the DAT good? ›

The DAT is scored on a 1 to 30 scale.
Good Enough DAT Scores.
3 more rows
3 Jan 2022


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